PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
Who’s Been Naughty and Nice in PR for 2010?
by Wesley Hyatt on 12/23/2010
As Christmas approaches, I can’t think of a better time to give out lumps of coal and gifts to those who have been naughty and nice respectively in the PR world this year. So here goes.
Nice, Overall Winner – Oprah Winfrey
As Oprah winds down production of her talk show, she has had some excellent and popular programs revisiting previous guests and holding special events, like a reunion of The Sound of Music movie cast. Her program remains the TV show bar none where authors will have a best seller once they promote their books on it. To top it off, she was a Kennedy Center honoree. If anybody hates her, they aren’t saying so publicly due to her popularity.
Naughty, Overall Winner – Tony Hayward
Happy you have your life back now? Too bad the same can’t be said of many Gulf Coast residents and businesses destroyed by the BP oil spill. You remember them, right? They were the ones suffering when you attended a yacht race while you were BP’s CEO and downplayed the spill’s impact. You did and said the wrong things almost every time during your company’s environmental disaster. BP may forgive you, but we won’t forget you.
Nice, Politics Division – Elizabeth Edwards
When your political opponents are willing to stop protestors at your funeral, it speaks volumes about your character. Elizabeth took the difficult role of being a politician’s spouse, served as an admirable role model as a cancer survivor for millions of every stripe and weathered other personal challenges in the process with dignity. She will be missed.
Naughty, Politics Division – John Edwards
There’s something very wrong when you reap your best PR for declining to speak at your beloved wife’s funeral. The former senator’s image is so damaged that Edwards' promoted humanitarian visit to disaster-stricken Haiti struck most people as self-serving rather than altruistic. Stay low and perform good works in 2011 if you want better PR, John.
Nice, Public Figures – Benevolent Billionaires
Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and more have pledged donate the bulk of their wealth to charity when they die. In these tough times, that’s a likable way for them to spread their wealth.
Naughty, Public Figures – Wall Street Executives
The American public bailed them out, so they celebrate paying themselves extra while the economy sputters. Is it any wonder that a Bloomberg News poll found that 71 percent of Americans favor banning annual bonuses on Wall Street?
If there any others you think should make this year’s naughty or nice list, or you like or dislike my nominees, feel free to leave a comment below. And merry Christmas to you!
Image Source: Vanessa Pike-Russell