PR disaster as tweet exacerbates international diplomacy ructions

Revelations that Australian intelligence sources may have been bugging SBY and wife’s personal phones, the indignant reactions from the ‘phone tapee’s’, the bungling “all governments gather information” interview by Mr Abbott with the ABC’s dogged Leigh Sales and, most recently, the inopportune twitter-sniping from a political research firm owner, marks this as a PR disaster of national and international import.

Offensive Tweet sent by pollster firm CrosbyTextor principal Mark Textor

Offensive Tweet sent and deleted by pollster firm principal Mark Textor

#BoycottMyer PR disaster has Bernie on the backfoot

Shooting-from-the-lip Myer CEO Bernie Brookes has caused a sorta social media stink by saying that Julia Gillard’s NDIS levy will impact retail spending (sic, at his stores). While mainstream media reports mostly on the social media ‘outrage’ (see Addictomatic coverage), Social Mention calculates that the coverage is three times more likely to be negative towards Myer and Brookes; others report a dip (surely temporary) in the Myer share price.

Social media seminar – where digital PR meets customer service

Sydneyside social media fans might want to consider an imminent (21/22 March), crisis-orientated social media training conference. It’s a “…must-attend for heads of service, consumer affairs leaders, emergency managers with an interest in stakeholder management, managers of contact centres and heads of complaints handling teams OR anyone who is responsible for customer interactions in times of crisis.”

Social Media "Expert's" Retarded Rant PR Disaster

PR disaster news from The Age (hat tip Asher Moses):
“A Vodafone store employee who describes himself as the telco’s “social media expert” and “ambassador” has been deriding customers on Twitter and Facebook as “mentally retarded” and threatened them with a “pimp slap backhand”.

Yet another reason why social media engagement should probably best be conducted by staff with acute PR savvy. Social media is all about reputation far more than it is about mobile phone smarts. Smart phones don’t make for smart career moves

Latest Shell PR disaster shows ease of social media 'brandjacking'


Journalist Kashmir Hill of Forbes provides a solid, informative overview of Greenpeace and Yes Men’s online attack against the Shell global brand. Yet to label the activists as pranksters perhaps diminishes the strategic creativity of Yes Men, who are long-established thorns in the flesh of errant conglomerates the world over.

Though the contest is over, you can have fun creating your own Ad here.

Weiner's Twitter gaffe lives again in Ad campaign

You know your PR disaster’s gonna live forever when marketers start using your misfortune as marketing leverage. Cutting communicators at Spirit Airlines have a Weiner Sale – too hard to resist. And they’ve also “confirm(ed) with certitude that the photo is in fact our weiner. The ad is ours, and we sent it.” Hat-tip to Gothamist. http://gothamist.com/2011/06/07/come_fly_with_spirit_airlines_too_h.php

Aussie Ad Agency creates social media PR disaster

Here’s a guest post by Peter Hawkins of Tribe Count on the George Patts/Defence Force social media bungle; I saw Peter’s comments on a recent Mumbrella story, and thought he made good sense while many Ad types overlooked the PR implications and impressions, preferring to brush the issue aside. Peter writes:

“GPY&R recently found themselves in the middle of a PR meltdown when a News Ltd paper investigated the online behaviour of members of its social media team.  The agency had been charged with reviewing the social media policy of the Australian Defence Force ( ADF)  after a recruit secretly filmed himself having sex with a fellow trainee and airing it to colleagues via Skype. The News Ltd article and the prime time television news bulletins that followed highlighted comments the social media team had made on Twitter and on their own blogs. The agency’s Facebook page also features images from a drunken staff party and provides links to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of staff, including the social media manager. The episode raises several issues.  Firstly, the need for every  organization to put in place staff policy on social media activity  that protects the company’s image and reputation. Continue reading

Reputation2.0 and Ricky Nixon's latest PR disaster

If you’ve ever pondered what it’d be like to watch someone publicly hang themselves, then cut free just before the final, fatal asphixiation, only to give an encore petard-hoisting the following day, then Channel 7’s ‘Sunday’ night interview with AFL leper Ricky Nixon provided a comparably grisly spectacle. Instead of the ‘3 R’s’ stock-in-trade of crisis management – Regret, Responsibility and Remedial action, Nixon opted to Refute, Recriminate and Retaliate.
During the vilified footy entrepreneur’s latest, most clumsy – and to date implosive – attempt at PR redemption, there were lessons aplenty for the modern celebrity, politician, public figure and even corporation. Clearly visible lessons included:

  • Don’t do media interviews when you’re tired or easily provoked to irritation or anger
  • Don’t give interviews when you can’t master your ego and emotions or mask your simmering aggression, disdain or sense of hurt and injustice Continue reading