Sunday, January 11, 2009

Public Relations Blunders - 2008 Edition

As we ring in 2009, rest assure that the best, er, worst, public relations projects of 2008 continue to resonate loud and clear. Here are some of my favorites from the annual Fineman PR list:

1. After the $85 billion federal bailout package was approved, AIG partied like college students when they receive their financial aid checks. The AP reports that AIG executives spent more than half a million dollars on golf trips, spa packages, banquets and a New England hunting trip. Nice.

Now where do you suppose we get some of those stereotypes involving corporate execs?

4. John McCain cancels on David Letterman. Oops. As a public relations professional this one really tickles me. To think that John Weaver, the Maverick's chief strategist, didn't see a red flag in cancelling on Letterman at the last minute only to have McCain interview with Katie Couric, also of CBS, just down the street is comical. Supposedly McCain was catching a plane to deal with the financial crisis...

That's the political equivalent of cancelling a date with a woman then showing up with her sister at the Applebee's where you two had planned to meet. Nice cover.

5. "Nike Just Blew It." Good headline Fineman, really.

Nike sponsored a women's marathon in San Francisco only to disregard the winner's time, a personal record by school teacher Arien O'Connell. Nike only monitored times of those in the "elite" leader pack, or in layman's terms, those athletes who Nike thought stood a chance. Really, the headline is good.

11. "The boobs have it, the biggest PR blunder since New Coke." OK, it's only a top 10 list, but this one involving UPS, Hooters, and a thoroughbred horse came darn close. Check it out.

Complete 2008 list with explanations is on Bulldog Reporter here.

I link to Bulldog Reporter because I've always found them to be a great source of information relating to the public relations field - check out the list and spend some time on their site. No, I'm not working for them. It's honestly good information for PR pros, firms, freelancers, students, professors, and anyone interested in managing your messsages in today's world.

You might also want to see the biggest PR Blunders of 2007.

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