Our last post on marketing fails looked at some of the worst marketing ideas and backfires.
Marketing can be complex, but Public Relations can be an even trickier game to play. With marketing you can plan and release a campaign, but PR is ongoing, often off the cuff, and sometimes one slip up can become a media nightmare. It’s all about your interaction with your target audience and the media.
A simple blunder can go viral faster than you can make an innocent, misunderstood comment. Just take a look at some of these Australian PR disasters from recent years.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “wink”
A Prime Minister that already has a reputation for being sexist, so he’s most likely been advised by his staff to tone it down. After all his verbal blunders it was a simple ‘wink’ on a radio show that set off his critics.
Alan Jones’ inappropriate comments
In 2012 2GB radio shock jock, Alan Jones, inappropriately suggested Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father had “died of shame” in a speech he made at a Sydney University’s Liberal Club dinner. He wasn’t aware there was a journalist in the audience and his comments caused public outrage. Mr Jones eventually held a press conference to apologise for his remarks, but not before major companies like Freedom Furniture, Woolworths and Mercedes Benz pulled all their advertising from the program.
Sarah Murdoch announced the wrong Next Top Model winner
In a live finale, Sarah Murdoch was fed the wrong name and initially announced Kelsey Martinovich as the winner. After she received applause and praise only to be told it was a mistake and the winner was actually Amanda Ware.
Kelsey handled the blunder incredibly well, graciously consoling an embarrassed Sarah Murdoch. To save face for the mix up Foxtel’s director of publicity, Jamie Campbell awarded Kelsey an overseas trip and $25,000.
A costly repair for what came down to two incorrect words.
Have you heard of any other great or costly PR blunders? Let us know in the comments below.