2014 PR Disasters

Today, the year 2015 is in full swing and is already experiencing many media/public relations controversies. Hillary Clinton has announced that she will be running for office next year and Tim Tebow miraculously signed a one year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. One could say that the world is ending, however, it is not and this is not what I want to discuss. I want to enjoy the year 2015 and embrace all it has to offer. Saying that, let’s reflect on some of the largest public relations disasters of 2014 instead.

It is only appropriate that we begin this discussion with “America’s Dad” himself, Mr. Bill Cosby. The once extremely popular American comedian and icon hit a never ending downhill slide in 2014 when ridiculous amounts of rape allegations surfaced all over media and news outlets. To distract from all of that, Cosby’s public relations team asked people to make memes of Cosby. Instead of creating funny and lighthearted memes, fans did just the opposite. Memes were generated with Cosby asking, “Does this coke taste like roofies to you?” This is not exactly what Cosby’s team had in mind.

The next noteworthy disaster of 2014 began with a want to be boxing champion of the world Ray Rice. Stick to football Ray! If knocking your girlfriend out in an elevator and then dragging her out by her hair is not enough to warrant punishment, I do not know what is. To make things even worse, the NFL could not have handled the situation any worse. Commissioner Goodell was completely blindsided when TMZ released the full surveillance footage of Ray Rice attacking his girlfriend. He then topped off the worst way to handle a crisis situation by playing ignorant and staying quiet about it for weeks. My hat is off to you NFL.

I want to give you a few quick examples of why doing research before launching a public relations campaign is so important. The first mistake began with a hashtag “WhyIStayed.” DiGiorno miserably failed to research the meaning behind a trending hashtag when they used it to promote their pizza. The hashtag was intended to discuss domestic violence, not dinner. Urban outfitters stepped up to the plate of idiocy when they started selling a Kent State sweatshirt covered in splattered blood. Now I wonder why that sounds familiar, probably because of the Kent State massacre in 1970.

Breaking News: Hallmark offers Swastika wrapping paper… For Hanukkah. The nerve of some companies is mind blowing.

Well 2014 was a year of excitement, change and most of all, stupidity. But, what would America be without controversy and change. I can answer that, a better place. Unfortunately, my opinion does not really matter.

Reference:

http://prsay.prsa.org/index.php/2015/01/09/biggest-pr-disasters-of-2014/

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