By Claire Logsdon
2017 has seen many PR missteps and while it is only October, there are plenty of stories regarding the past 10 months. The story garnering most attention was Pepsi’s controversial ad starring Kendall Jenner, where they were accused of trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement. Though Pepsi eventually stopped using the ad, they initially refused to and then issued a public apology statement to Jenner instead of angry protesters.
The next scandal on the list occurred during the aftermath of a video release of a passenger being aggressively forced off a United Airlines plane. First, the company refused to apologize for their actions, but after protests and boycott threats, they released an apology. However, the damage was done and United Airlines is facing a ten year all time low in sales.
Cosmopolitan’s insensitive article put a positive title on weight loss that was the result of cancer, incensing people over the magazine’s poor word choice. Worst of all, the magazine has not issued an apology and refuses to acknowledge this issue. These are only several of the top stories regarding public relations mishaps this year; hopefully the country will see better PR in the year following.
Torossian, Ronn. “The Biggest PR Crises Of 2017.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Aug. 2017
By: Claire Bowman
This weekend, the popular soap brand, Dove, received backlash for a racially insensitive advertisement. It featured a black woman who removed her brown shirt and transformed into a white woman wearing a light shirt. The company has since deleted the post from their Facebook page, but not before online users began to criticize them. People have been offended because the post insinuates that black skin is less clean than white skin.
Though Dove has publicly apologized on their various social media accounts, we must wonder where this company’s public relations and advertising teams were trying to go when developing and approving the advertisement. Dove is a company that has been a large proponent of showing off diversity in the past, so this has left some dumbfounded.
Their quick response to the post’s negative reception shows they care about how their brand is received, but what does it say about the brand and people of color? If Dove really wants to be seen as having inclusive products, then they need to keep a much closer eye on what they post in the future. Otherwise, their reputation with the public is going to deteriorate, as we’re living in too divisive of times for brands to be making mistakes like these.
Photo Source: www.thewrap.com
By: Rosie Leuby
With many great triumphs in life, there will also be moments of failure. There are many different major public relations mistakes that have happened over the years that can teach future public relations practitioners what to be careful of. Here are just a few major mistakes found in public relations practices that one can learn from:
1. McDonald’s on TwitterAs a public relations move, McDonald’s promoted the use of a hashtag, #McDStories, on Twitter. Almost immediately after posting about their promotion, the hashtag was overwhelmed with negative comments about McDonald’s. They pulled the hashtag after only two hours and criticized Twitter users for their “snarky” comments. The lesson to learn here is that one cannot control the conversations on social media, and especially not act all that surprised when people say something that is not nice.
2. Coca-Cola‘s Carton Change
One of there products, Tropicana, was getting a new, cleaner-looking design on their cartons, instead of their signature orange with a straw image. It caused the customers to be upset and confused them when they were trying to purchase their favorite orange juice. The uproar caused Coca-Cola to quickly reverse their decision after the fan outcry. The lesson here is to stay true to the brand packaging.
3. Apple’s Steve Job’s Comment
When a post to the world, like a comment from Steve Jobs about the iPod being the “funnest” ever, has grammar issues, that message is no longer getting through to consumers as the word choice has distracted them. The lesson to learn here is how no one is immune to grammar mistakes and one should make sure that grammar rules are used correctly.
To learn more about public relations mistakes and lessons to learn from it, check out this link: http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2012/05/05/11-major-public-relations-mistakes-and-how-to-learn-from-them/
By: Allison Haworth
Word on the street has Chipotle in hot water due to an E. coli outbreak in the Pacific Northwest states. So far, 41 people have been sickened between Oregon and Washington and 12 have been hospitalized.
What does this mean for Chipotle? Stocks have fallen about 16 percent within the past month, which means it will take a while for Chipotle to regain the trust of their costumers.
Since the E. coli outbreak last week, 10 stores have been directly affected but 43 stores have closed out of caution. It seems misleading that part of Chipotle’s branding is “Food With Integrity” and having fresh, organic, local meat, but they can’t even provide food that is safe for the public to eat?
In regards to locally raised livestock, the safety standards are not as strict as if the USDA were to conduct tests. The E. coli could have been from basically any ingredient aside from the tortillas.
As Chipotle is taking measures to ensure the food is back and safe to eat, for now, it looks like if you want Chipotle, you might have to risk it for the biscuit.
By: Christina Peterson
The so-called Carnival “Cruise from Hell” may have devastating effects for Carnival as an organization. A fire caused the cruise ship to lose power and drift uncontrolled through the Gulf of Mexico. Sewage and water seeped through into the cabins, and there was hardly enough food to go around. People were getting upset not only about their safety but also about the large amounts of money they wasted on this vacation. The coast guard investigated the fire said that the fire was not large it just happened in the perfect place to take out power for the entire ship.
CEO, Gerry Cahill apologized on behalf of the company. He completely took responsibility for the issue at hand. He stated that the cruise line prides them selves on providing excellent service and experiences to their customers, although this time this was not the case. The company offered to repay each customer $500, a free flight home and a full refund for the trip. This was the right thing to do because the waste of money was a large downfall from the crisis. It is important that the company reminds their consumers that Carnival is known for luxurious vacations and this was an abnormal experience. If these actions are taken to compensate for the miserable experience aboard the ship, then parts of Carnival’s reputation may be salvage for handling the situation accordingly.
by Rosie Leuby
Social Media can be hard for any business. That is why an entrepreneur named Jason Squires was nice enough to highlight 9 of the most common mistakes businesses will make in social media.
1. Focusing on Quantity of Followers, Not Quality
Having a ton of followers is good, but if they aren’t interested in your business they will not be sharing with their friends.
2. Not Posting Engaging Content Regularly
Status updates, tweets, etc. should be used to attract your audience and be something they can engage with. Around 176 million people buy products online.
3. Not Making Followers into Paid Customers
Having people share your posts are great for brand awareness, but your business will not benefit unless they make a purchase.
4. Focusing on Too Many Social Media Channels
Unless you have employed a specific person to work on online efforts, do not spread yourself too thin across too many websites.
5. Having No ‘Brand Personality’
Make your posts interesting with a personality, because if people think your posts are too generic and boring, they will not make a purchase.
Do not post too many ‘salesy’ updates, the audience will loose interest and stop viewing your page.
7. Doing Everything Manually
Manually takes time, there are a lot of programs and websites out there design to allow you to manage everything from one screen. Embrace them!
8. Broadcasting the Same Message Across All Channels
It is understandable to promote the same product across your social media accounts, but you need to mix it up a little. Change the design to appeal to the audiences that follow you across multiple sites.
9. Not Having a Strategy at All
Blindly trying to create a social media present is not a good idea. 90% of businesses currently using social media will have a planned strategy.
Just ask yourself: Are you using social media affectively?
Allen, K. 9 social media mistakes businesses make. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/17551.aspx
by Alana Hallett
If you haven’t read or seen it in every major newspaper or news media, Ebola has officially arrived in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian patient who recently traveled from Africa, came into Texas Presbyterian on Sept. 25, 2014 with symptoms of Ebola, but was released with antibiotics. As to why he was discharged, that’s the question on everyone’s mind. DallasNews stated that Duncan returned two days after being discharged, and was officially diagnosed with Ebola. Presbyterian hospital announced Duncan died on Oct. 8, 2014. The even worst part, he not only died, but the two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have now contracted Ebola.
The real question, has Ebola affected the hospital’s ability to communicate? Bruce Haynes, Washington consultant, states that “mixed messages from Presbyterian created confusion that undercuts the public’s confidence.”
Due to the lack of communication and confidence between the hospital and public, the hospital hired Burson Marsteller, global PR firm to help them restore trust. Its public relations efforts include a new social media campaign illustrating the hashtag #presbyproud, as well as a series of videos posted on YouTube with messages from Presbyterian nurses answering the question: Do you feel safe working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas? Daniel Varga, the clinical officer, is hoping to see a restoration in trust and confidence in the hospital to treat all patients. Will these new strategies work? Or will they fall at the hands of another fatal effort illustrating how not to handle a situation?
Yasmin, S., & Railey, K. (2014, October 17). Texas Presbyterian begins public relations effort to restore trust. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20141017-presbyterian-begins-public-relations-effort-to-restore-trust.ece
by Shannon Kinney
If you happened to step outside yesterday, October 22nd, you probably noticed the hoards of people crowded around The Farmer School of Business. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the line coming out of Dividends. The massive amount of people standing on the corner of High and Patterson were protesting to display their disapproval of George Will, a Washington Post columnist, coming to give a speech. Many students didn’t like the idea that Miami University was paying is a whopping $48,000 to come speak after he published a controversial piece, “Colleges become the victims of progressivism” on The Washington Post, about campus rape and sexual assault earlier this year.
As many people are well aware, sexual assault has been a reoccurring issue specifically on Miami’s campus. It is not something that is taken lightly here in Oxford, Ohio. The scrutiny of the matters regarding campus rape that was shared in Will’s column did not go unnoticed or unheard in this small college town.