In any given week, if you look for it, you’ll find examples of public relations; good, bad and ugly. Here’s what I found recently:
The Good: Restaurants and fast food chains have so many examples of bad PR that you could write a novel. So when something goes against that trend, it’s worth talking about. Red Robin recently received great positive PR and all it cost them was $11.50. How did that happen? A couple expecting their second child visited a location in North Carolina. When the bill came due, the couple was pleasantly surprised to see her meal was at no charge with “MOM 2 BEE GOOD LUC” written on the bill.
The Bad: Allstate recently released an ad that focused on how they’ve helped numerous victims of Hurricane Sandy and how their agents put the customer first. The problem was that one of the damaged homes featured prominently in the spot is not being covered fully by the company and the insurance claim is still in dispute. The homeowners have vocalized their displeasure with both the company and the video. I’ve tried to include a link to the video, but it’s been removed. While not a PR disaster of epic proportions, this is certainly bad PR for the company.
The Ugly: Did you happen to watch the NCAA Football Championship game on January 7th? During the game, play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger made some comments about the girlfriend of the starting quarterback for Alabama. What he said wasn’t necessarily inappropriate or bad, but many viewers during and after the game took to social media criticizing the comments as “creepy” and “awkward.” In my opinion, an apology wasn’t necessary, but ESPN issued one to escape a potential firestorm.
What have you noticed recently in public relations and would you nominate it as good, bad or ugly?