Not the Time for Politics or Clever PR #Fail 1

We’ll keep this quick, folks: when a good fraction of the country is consumed by a frustrating investigation following the horrendous bombings at the Boston Marathon, don’t try to capitalize on the activity to push your own agenda. Two examples below.


After the identities of two suspects were released during last night’s FBI press conference, admittedly Boston was in a bit of a frenzy. Not even a week after the tragic events of the Marathon, we now had two someones at whom we could point our fingers. We were relieved, fearful, hyper-sensitive. This morning, Arkansas State House Representative Nate Bell quipped about gun control. I don’t care what your stance on gun control is: The wounds are still fresh. Needless to say the whiplash was impassioned. Bell later apologized, but we’ll see how long it takes for that apology to be accepted.

It happens in politics and it happens in PR. Check out this pitch sent to Brad McCarty of The Next Web that pitched video technology in the wake of the blasts. Brad did a pretty good job of summing up why this was a terrible idea. Moral of stories: don’t push your agenda during times of crisis.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all suffering through this atrocity and those risking our lives to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “Not the Time for Politics or Clever PR #Fail

  • Denis

    From my own observations as a PR student I distinguished two aspects of Bad PR during crisis times: a company takes poor action or creates poor communication surrounding the crisis. This kind of publicity is never welcomed and can ruine the business very easily. That’s why PR practitioners should think several steps futher before using the crisis for their own benefit.
    However, if the damage to company’s reputation is already done due to somebody’s poor performance from inside, there are ways to limit the damage. The mistake should be reviewed immediately when found because today bad publicity speed is beyond belief. “No comments” situations must always be avoided, it will only make the bubble become even bigger. All media questions should be answered; otherwise, company may look like it’s hiding the facts. Company’s spokesperson should not be reading a prepared report at the press conference, it creates an impression of insincerity. An apology to both shareholders and stakeholders is the best way to show that responsibilities have been taken very seriously. After all the necessary steps to prevent the spread of bad publicity, the situation should be reviewed overall. But it does not mean that it’s the time to relax; building relations with all the parties, supporting charity or any other positive cause is very critical. The future of the company will depend on the bad publicity or crisis handling.