2012 PR Disaster Awards announced

The Australian Labor Party has secured top position in our annual list of PR Disasters. After research by CyberChatter, the ALP has secured three top five placings on the list of the most talked about PR nightmares of 2012, a year rife with political PR glitches. So, without any further ado, here you go (biggest disaster first):
1. Carbon tax– Arguably Julia Gillard’s most unpopular decision since her time as Prime Minister. This legislation caused a nation-wide uproar talked about in traditional media, online forums and Twitter.
2. Alan Jones– During a speech at the 2012 Liberal Club President’s Dinner, the Sydney broadcaster said that Ms Gillard’s father ”died of shame” because of the ”lies” she told. Although Mr Jones later apologised to the PM, a number of his breakfast radio program sponsors pulled their advertisements from 2GB after a major social media campaign.
3. 2Day FM– Presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian’s on-air antics preceded the suicide of British nurse Ms Saldanha, who took her own life after being tricked into forwarding a prank phone call from the pair posing as Prince Charles and The Queen.
4. AWU Slush Fund– Julia Gillard’s credibility was affected amid reports she assisted former boyfriend and union colleague Bruce Wilson in the theft and misuse of significant funds.
5. Tent Embassy Riots– One of the PM’s staff lost his job after admitting he informed protesters of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s whereabouts at a 2012 Australia Day function, amid claims that Abbott had called for the Aboriginal tent embassy to be torn down.
6. Peter Slipper– Mr Slipper was ultimately removed as house speaker amid claims from former staffer James Ashby of sexual harassment. Despite the dismissal by the Federal Court of the James Ashby case against Mr Slipper, he now faces charges on three counts involving alleged fraudulent conduct.
7. The Circle– Network Ten’s The Circle issued an apology after public and corporate backlash over comments made by presenter Yumi Stynes about a photo of Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith. Stynes’ stated “he’s going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is there.”
8. Craig Thomson– Mr Thomson vigorously denied allegations and reports of allegedly spending hundreds of thousands of HSU funds on prostitutes, restaurant meals, hotels, air travel for his wife and other personal items including cash advances.
9. Nick D’Arcy– A photo posted on Facebook of Kenrick Monk and Nick D’Arcy posing with automatic pistols and shot guns sparked outrage less than two months out from the 2012 London Olympic Games.
10. Red Cross– The Red Cross apologised after a blundering employee caused fury by posting a comment on Facebook that said “all gays engage in risky behaviour” and everyone with tattoos gets “infected by dirty needles.”

Australia's 2011 PR Disasters Awards announced

For the second consecutive year, Qantas has topped the list of the annual PR Disasters Awards conducted by PR watchdog and blogsite PRdisasters.com. And for the first time in the awards’ history, the airline had three embarrassing PR glitches feature in the year’s top ten most talked about PR nightmares. Here are Australia’s Top 10 PR Disasters for 2011 (biggest disaster first):
1. Qantas grounding – business decision that inconvenienced and angered a nation
2. Qantas luxury Tweet – poorly conceived Twitter promo which drew ire not idolising
3. Brendan Fevola – termination of troubled star’s contract with Brisbane Lions
4. Tony Abbott – mute, shaking-head TV interview freeze
5. Qantas ‘golliwogs’ – social media rugby promo, which catalysed a racial brouhaha
6. Ricky Nixon – PR fallout from unseemly association with the St Kilda teen
7. Larissa Behrendt – bitchy comments against Bess Price published on Twitter
8. Kyle Sandilands – personal vendetta against a journo forced a humiliating apology
9. Australian Defence Force – Cadet Skype-cam sex scandal
10. Gasp Retail – bad customer service flowed from in-store to email; a PR 101 fail! Continue reading