Do you really understand the consequences and power of Online Reputation Management? Do you get how social media silos and scuttlebutt are the fuel that can feed global online news attention and damaging search engine finds? Ahead of a four-session seminar series for IABC International, PR analyst and author of the book ‘Public Relations Disasters’ Gerry McCusker shares his thoughts in a year of celebrity social media stuff-ups and suggests a new engagement ethos for ORM.
Sometimes, reputational ineptitude scales the heights of unawareness and at other times it plumbs the depths of idiocy. When Bill Cosby’s online PR team invited audiences to meme pictures of cuddly old Bill, had they never heard of this year’s recent #myNYPD social media snafu?
Yet another reason why social media reputation isn’t a game for kids, or for old blokes with allegedly chequered pasts.
Reviewing the candidates and numbers for 2013’s Annual PR Disasters Awards is proving challenging; the feeling is that sport may very much dominate the field rather than previous years which saw government and corporate PR disasters abound. Just to whet your appetite, prospective candidates (in no particular order yet) for the Awards include:
Political expense abuse claims
Tom Waterhouse/Gai Waterhouse/John Singleton snafu
Essendon Bombers* performance drug scandal
MP Geoff Shaw court and stakeholder skirmishes
Collingwood boss Eddie Maguire’s King Kong gaffe
Myer’s Bernie Brookes NDIS pronouncements
VW car recall
Australian government phone spy scandal with SBY
Mark Textor tweet
Cronulla Sharks doping allegations
Young political candidate media gaffes
What stands out for you as the Aussie PR blunder of the last year?
The hidden side of impression management in the Essendon supplements scandal now revealed by the Herald Sun and The Australian.
What does a business do when a PR blunderbuss like Charles Green is its media spokesperson?
As a keen football follower and PR analyst, I’m compelled to rubberneck the PR debacle that is The (newco/sevco) Rangers back in Scotland. The apparent leadership blunderings have caused me to research the role of the CEO in preventing/managing PR disasters. I found this paper from the Institute For PR:
Ken Makovsky, writing in Forbes Magazine notes…”if the CEO is getting mostly negative publicity, it is very hard to get positive coverage on the organization as a whole. “The opposite is also true,” notes Nicole Lee, a master’s student at San Diego State University, “If an organization is regularly bashed in the media, its CEO would likely struggle to maintain a positive reputation.”
In addition to the academic view, reputation practitioners would counsel that the CEO must always be the custodian of reputation, not the imperiller of it.
In 2007, under-flak AFL player agent Ricky Nixon set out his principles on Crisis Management for boys mag Alpha. And he’s had plenty experience of managing negative PR having advised headline grabbers such as Gary Ablett Snr, Wayne Carey and Ben “Such Is Life” Cousins. Kindly, Alpha has revisited ole curly top’s advice, and evaluated him against his own recommendations.
One could surmise, though, that where drugs and alcohol are present (and perhaps playing something of a dominant role) high quality decision making is adversely impacted.