The quarterback from the Florida State University, Jameis Winston, has found himself in hot water. Jameis is considered arguably the best player in college football today, and a clear front-runner for the Heisman trophy. Recently, allegations have surfaced that Winston committed a sexual assault on a female over a year ago. Winston’s case is interesting because the female in question is not levying charges, but the state is deciding if it wishes to bring charges against Wilson. State Attorney Willie Meggs has been weighing in on the evidence, and has stated that the decision to charge or not would not occur before Thanksgiving. FSU fans and students have been very vocal when it comes to their opinions on Winston’s dilemma. The consensus is overwhelmingly in support of Wilson’s innocence.
Throughout all of this commotion and controversy, Winston has been very tight-lipped. Many are quick to point out that if Wilson were innocent, he would be more vocal. To many people, this would seem to be the case. However, this is most likely Wilson taking excellent PR advice from his attorney. No matter what, keep your mouth shut! The less you say the better, especially in a very touchy situation such as this.
Recently, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached a deal with Iran in regards to curbing their nuclear uranium enrichment program for six months for limited sanction relief. The World powers are hailing this as a major victory after talks between Iran and the UN dragged on for months on end. The talks were repeatedly broken down and stalled by Tehran. The UN Council utilized sanctions and embargos to economically strong arm Iran into agreeing to these terms. All parties involved released public statements of excitement over the deal. Not all governments were happy about the deal however. Israel stated that the deal was a huge mistake, and would allow Iran to continue develop their nuclear arsenal without the embargo of sanctions to economically constrain them. This is understandable, considering Iran’s stance on Israel, and their desire to see Israel razed. Another detractor was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who stated that he believed that although it was a great victory politically, the world should be weary of Iran developing nuclear material. This was a sentiment echoed by President Obama. Although this deal has been heralded by political leaders around the world, many are ensuring to make sure to not trust Iran.
In today’s world of social media, movements can gain strength at shockingly rapid rates. Twitter is the poster child for this sort of social media grass roots organizing. Recently, the hashtag #BBUM (Being Black at University of Michigan) creted by members of the Black Student Union at U of M gained serious viral strength. African-American students at University of Michigan took to Twitter to share their stories after a number of racial incidents began to occur on campus. Tyler Collier, president of the Black Student Union wanted other black students on campus to have a voice to discuss these issues and share stories to raise awareness. The hashtag quickly went viral and drew attention on a national scale. Many students began to share their frustration at the lack of respect and dignity given to them on campus. The response form the University has been very positive. The official Twitter account sent out a tweet saying: “Thanks for engaging in this conversation. We’re listening, and will be sure all of your voices are heard. #BBUM.” Further statements from university spokespeople and affiliates have echoed that tweet as well.
This is an excellent example of how social media is an excellent way for people to get their voices heard, and spurns positive conversation on subjects such as race by all who are involved.
By now, everyone and their grandmother has heard of the wild and outlandish antics of Toronto, Canada’s mayor Rob Ford. In what seems to be the plot of a movie, New York based gossip website Gawker announced that Somali drug lords were in possession of a video that showed Ford smoking crack cocaine out of a glass pipe. Ford is now currently refusing to step down as mayor of Toronto as the city council strips him of his mayoral powers. Not only is Ford under scrutiny for using crack, he often spends his weekends getting absolutely wasted and trading around in what he refers to as his “drunken stupors.” This includes but is not limited to multiple DUIs and getting hammered drunk at political functions. For most public figures this is absolute political suicide. Ford, however, isn’t most politicians. The thing about Rob Ford is that the people of Toronto absolutely love him (before they found out about the crack). In 2010, 53% of Toronto’s citizens showed up to the polls when he was reelected (compared to 39% in 2006). By comparison, in the latest Los Angeles mayoral election only 15% of the citizens showed up to the polls.
How did Ford manage this you ask? By being a damn good politician that’s how! Ford paid for all of his office expenses with his own money, voted down raises in property taxes, and removed limo privileges and club memberships for himself and his fellow councilors. This guy may be nuts, but he sure knows how to win over constituents. Heck, I’d vote for the guy, crack and all.
It seems that everywhere you look; there are political figures, celebrities, and television personalities are making inflammatory comments that send PR teams scrambling to conduct damage control. Some are very egregious and racist remarks that deserve the unwanted attention they garner; others are can be quite comical. This is especially evident in the case of MSNBC commentator Martin Bashir. In a rant against comments made by former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Bashir said that someone should defecate on her. To some this was an example of one of the news media’s “talking heads” taking a hilarious shot in the dark at a now borderline irrelevant political figure (who has themselves made very boneheaded statements). Though the fact of the matter is, saying something like that on a broadcast is media suicide. And Bashir (knowing very well his job is now on the line) went into full PR crisis mode and issued a live apology a few days later. He made the best decision possible with a PR disaster such as this and made these statements:
Last Friday, on this broadcast, I made some comments which were deeply offensive and directed at Gov. Sarah Palin. I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers, and anyone who may have heard what I said.
My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics, and they have brought shame upon my friends and colleagues at this network, none of whom were responsible for the things that I said. And at a place where we try every day to elevate political discourse and to focus on issues that matter to all of us.
Only time will tell if Bashir will hold on to his job, though he did do everything right. He admitted guilt, apologized, and made a promise to change his ways. There may be hope for Bashir yet
Sometimes in the world of Public Relations, a company’s CEO is its own worst enemy. One such example is lifestyle-clothing line Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jefferies. Recently, an interview with A&F CEO Mike Jefferies from 2006 has resurfaced in which he stated: “…we go after the cool kids…a lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” Public reaction to these statements was of course, overwhelmingly negative. Interesting take on Public Relations with customers, maybe; yet this is not nearly close to the most inflammatory statements Jefferies has made. A quick glance through a Google search of Jefferies reveals that he has a history of making bone-headed statements that land his company in hot water. Take a look at some of these gems:
“I don’t want our core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing our clothing.”
“People said we were cynical, that we were sexualizing little girls. But you know what? I still think those are cute underwear for little girls. And I think anybody who gets on a bandwagon about thongs for little girls is crazy. Just crazy! There’s so much craziness about sex in this country. It’s nuts! I can see getting upset about letting your girl hang out with a bunch of old pervs, but why would you let your girl hang out with a bunch of old pervs?”
“Abercrombie is only interested in people with washboard stomachs who look like they’re about to jump on a surfboard” (Seriously Jefferies? This one made me cringe)
“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong”
“I really don’t care what anyone other than our target customer thinks.”
(Source of quotes)
A&F should really consider keeping this guy in the dark, far away from making any form of communication with anyone.
When I was in high school, one of the favorite activities of my friends and I was online videogames. We always loved to play first person shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. As we have grown, so have these to videogame franchises. Call of Duty and Battlefield has evolved into two of the largest entertainment franchises of all time. These games generate billions of dollars worth of revenue for their respective companies.
Battlefield and Call of Duty go head to head for the money if gamers at the beginning of every Q4 of the fiscal year. With billions of dollars at stake, the backing developers Activision (Call of Duty) and Electronic Arts (Battlefield) have begun pumping millions of dollars into their PR and advertising departments to generate buzz for their games. This has lead to elaborate marketing campaigns to generate “hype” for these games. For the reveals of the respective games, both companies put on massive events and invited well-recognized players and many fans to come learn about and try the new iterations of the games. These events are very similar to the keynote Apple presentations that reveal their newest products. This is a very smart move, as fans love the generated buzz that comes with these presentations.
The PR departments have their work cut out for them. Both of these games are near-modern military style shooters that offer cinematic single and multiplayer experiences. The franchises both have a very polarized hardcore fan bases, the key is swaying the gamers who don’t have a particular brand they associate with. This will be a very interesting PR war, and one that will get more and more bloody closer to the release dates. Even if you do not play video games, it is a very interesting economic phenomenon to observe.