Pubic Relations Nightmares – What were they thinking?
On a day such as today with two hideously pathetic public relations nightmare stories hitting the fan it just amazes me that people don’t understand the importance of hiring good public relations specialists.
First, let’s take the saddest news. Joe Paterno, legend 46-year head coach of Penn State is fired because the advice he received from his “ supervisors” at the University was just plain stupid. Do these people have public relations advisors? Do they even get it? Obviously not.
Any public relations advisor worth their salt would have jumped out in front of this story years ago. Joe Paterno should have been advised to scream to the rafters about the “alleged” Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse. The president of the University, Graham Spanier, should have come forth in shock and horror. But oh, no. These media rookies tried to cover the story up.
To protect Penn State? Not entirely. They naively thought they were protecting themselves and so, by extension, the school. They believed, like most human beings caught in the glare of the media headlights, that they could sweep and keep this scandal under the rug. After all…they didn’t molest boys.
Or did they?
Sorry… but the public relation’s answer is yes. They did. By omission — not commission. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law this is the same thing.
Caught unceremoniously in the spotlight, the board of directors at Penn State simply had no choice but to fire Joe Paterno. He knew what happened and told his superiors. When he saw that no action was taken he let it ride. You cannot do that. If I had been his PR advisor I would have made him come forward or resigned in protest.
You simply cannot get away with this shit in these days of the internet. Inquiring minds somehow always find out. Then, it can be heartbreaking when the punishment is worse then the crime.
I am not a college football fan, but I am a public relations expert. Why don’t these colleges keep a good public relations consultant on retainer? Or, if they are indeed the best and the brightest, why don’t they collectively have enough common sense to seek out a good public relations consultant when difficult situations arise?
What was Graham Spanier, long time president of Penn State thinking? Or… was he thinking?
Public relations has a dirty name by inference. Hacks, flacks and spin artists.
Perhaps in some cases this is true.
However, public relations experts, if they know their job and have integrity, are there to provide sage advise when the chips are down. It is what they do and many do it very very well.
When the Sandusky molestation charge was first told to Paterno, imagine if he, along with his supervisors, had been afforded the counsel of a good press crisis management team?
Here is what I would have advised them…
Tell this story RIGHT NOW! Stand on the side of justice for the “alleged” molested children. Might for Right! The worst thing that one can do is to allow a situation like this to fester. If you do, no amount of prayer for the victims will help in the eleventh hour.
Witness the mess PSU is in now. I rest my case.
Speaking of festering…..
Take ‘ol Herman Cain for instance. I mean please! When it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck – and it quacks like a duck – by golly – it is more then likely a duck. Let’s face it — even if you are tired of Gloria Allred.
This brings me to the second unbelievable press mess this week.
Why? Because the director of Eddie’s latest film entitled, Tower Heist, is his good friend Brett Ratner, and Ratner is an asshole on a 15-minute-fame-roll who couldn’t keep his trap shut and used the phrase “rehearsing is for fags.” Low and behold, this upset some people. Later, he spoke ever so candidly about his own sexual preferences on the Howard Stern Show. Not too attractive.
Eddie, seemingly desperate to make a stand-up comeback, is tied at the hip to this director. So bye-bye director and bye-bye Eddie’s presumed comeback unless my old nemesis, Mr. Wow-Wow himself, who just happened to executive produce Tower Heist (my golly what a coincidence) can step in as producer to save the Oscar day.
Now what is wrong with this scenario?
The Academy, via president Tom Sherak, fires Ratner and hires the director’s executive producer to take over. Can Brian Grazer get Eddie back? Does anyone care?
Oh yeah. Brian does. He just happens to have a vested interest in kicking Eddie Murphy’s career up a notch at the moment. Can he pull it off or will we see Ron Howard up there hosting this year? Stay tuned.
Does all of this smack of conflict of interest to you?
Give me a fucking break.
Listen up. I am a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I pay my dues every friggin’ year. I grant you it is my choice to do so. But that won’t stop me from bitching.
The Academy awards garners north of 80M dollars a year in advertising revenue. Can’t those in charge do a bit better? Can it really be that hard folks? Why not Lady Gaga? Think of the costume changes alone. Who’d tune out and miss those?
How about the Academy manages to elect new innovative leadership — people who haven’t been hanging out and on for millenniums. Bring in minds that are hip and can figure out in advance that hiring a whole this year’s movie team is not the way to pay tribute to the historical and on-going excellence of film. It’s tawdry and cheap. And this year it backfired big time. Serves them right.
Here’s the real question that comes to mind for the Academy:
When exactly did you get in the business of ponying-up a paid commercial for any production company?
Find your integrity guys! Your ratings are slipping.