Well this is a lesson in PR if ever I saw one. Unless you are creating a witty parody on what not to do in a situation, the likes of which you see successfully done in Vanity Fair and Tatler, then this sort of article is just asking for trouble.
There is a PR lesson here. ‘Epic fail’ are the words that spring to mind, but it’s all about how you recover. I mean, try not to make these mistakes in the first place, but if you do it’s time for some crisis management to take place to rescue or limit damage to your reputation. Your reputation is very important don’t underestimate its power, protect it to protect your integrity and the trust between you and your stakeholders.
So if you missed this, I’d like to draw your attention to the outrageous article posted by Glamour Magazine entitled ’13 things that can make a man fall for you’. As if modern dating isn’t hard enough than offering some ridiculously manipulative tactics to ‘lock down’ a guy (their words not mine!). Anyway, angry girl rant over.
Vice, in response, wrote a very funny article totally shredding Glamour to pieces, well done Vice. It was mockery at its finest and my oh my they had some material to work with.
Glamour in response to the online back lash they received from the general public and other publications such as Vice, removed the article and replaced it with a pretty good apology, openly admitted their fault.
When you are in a crisis and are caught very clearly red handed, then being honest and saying sorry can stop the back lash in its foot steps. Clear, honest and concise communication goes a long way. It was also dealt with swiftly, time is of the essence.
I think my biggest question is why did Jillian Kramer write this for Glamour in the first place? Was she given a brief – just another page filler? Or did she come up with the idea? Did no one really think this would not cause uproar amongst the female population? How did this make it past the editors? This really concerns me when it is a popular magazine with so much influence on a young female demographic. What are your thoughts?
I set out to write a piece on the Rugby World Cup 2015 ticketing but actually discovered the positive PR that is channelled through rugby and the close stakeholder relationships within it. When I wrote my PR Masters Dissertation this year I focused on ‘Global Sporting Events: Managing PR strategies in complex stakeholder environments’. I examined the top global sporting events in 2014 – the Tour De France, the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. From this I concluded that a positive reputation hinged on good compatible working relationships between the main stakeholders before, during and after the event. Without it the brand, event and nation suffered in many different ways – audiences are perceptive, dynamic and savvy. If you compare the English and French ‘bro-mance’ that was the Yorkshire Tour De France to the boycott and corruption of FIFA, the perception of each was radically different, they were viewed differently by other stakeholders and this impacted their overall effectiveness. The power of stakeholders is phenomenal, so managing the PR strategies and relationships is fundamental to the overall success of the event.
We are gearing up for another global event in the UK. The worlds finest rugby players will be going head to head on home turf. Of course I want tickets, it’s the Rugby World Cup in the UK, practically on my door step! It’s a no brainer.
However, like many, I didn’t get tickets in the ballot. It seems to be all or nothing. But, I wanted to see what else was out there about other people’s experience and the effect it has had on audience stakeholders. Did it receive good PR? Bad PR? Or did it depend on whether you got tickets or not?
I still don’t know that yet. I got distracted. Blame YouTube. Instead I learnt that rugby as a sport has a ‘good will’ unlike any other I’ve experienced (I’m an ex-amateur rower and sports aficionado!). It is rare you hear of any hooliganism (sorry football fans!) and it has been used as a positive force to engage historical change within nations (Yes, I’m talking about Mandela, apartheid and THAT 1995 Rugby Match).
Even the Royals are on board, driving promotion of the 2015 World Cup, but also defining the town of Rugby as the ‘Proud Home of the Game’. Similar to the big three sporting events of 2014 I mentioned earlier, this event also influences the PR of nations, cities and the towns in which they take place. The positive partnerships and sponsorship contracts between stakeholders are already radiating from the snippets of advertising and PR being released. It pre-sets a tone for the event within the media and gives us a hint that this is going to be bigger and better than the ones before it. After the success of the 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Yorkshire Grand Depart and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we as a nation have a rather high standard and legacy of sporting and event success to maintain and develop.
Communications between stakeholders hosting the event and their prospective audience are one of the most important to nurture and this has already started…
What happens when you take a rugby legend and the Captain of the England rubgy team? Priceless Surprises. MasterCard have got it right, they are building on the concept of national sporting pride and focusing on the sporting stars of tomorrow, youth teams. There is a bit of branding here and there, but the focus is on the relationships, using sport to influence and drive positive change. Ok, it’s a little cheesy, but it has the feel good factor and shows a great relationship between the event, the nation and the key stakeholders…
Whilst researching, I also found a partnership between the City of London Police and the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which is humorous in getting it’s point across playing on the infamous, characteristic kicking technique of Jonny Wilkinson. It warns ticket buyers to ensure they are buying from official ticket sources, which shows a clear aim to crack down on the crime but also a caring element for fans not often seen in other global sporting events (certainly not the three I looked at in 2014 anyway!). Have a look here…
This early PR strategy of collaboration is already creating an environment where positive PR is generated about the event, the nation and the stakeholders. This preparation is laying a positive foundation for the build up to the event. I can’t wait to see how PR and communications unfold in the run up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup event, it’s already an exciting start!
Found this picture of my time working at MAC cosmetics, part of Estee Lauder Companies. IMATS is one of the biggest UK make up events and it was a privilege to represent the PR team and MAC PRO professional make up artist scheme at the event in 2011.