PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Lynn de Forrester Rothschild. What happens when people turn on their own? That might have been the reaction to the op-ed by Rothschild, chief executive of the famous family’s investment holding company. In the week of the rapidly approaching sequester deadline, Rothschild questioned in Monday’s New York Times the intellectual justification for the “carried interest” exemption that effectively minimizes the tax bill for private equity, hedge fund managers, and investment trusts. Describing the tax exemption as violating basic standards of “fairness and common sense,” she joined the ranks of other financial notables like Warren Buffet by penning a point of view with punch. As calls for spending cuts intensify, this was a timely addition to a debate that continues to stall. In this case it was the identity of the author that made this a PR moment.
PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (“Full Fiasco”) to The Onion. As much as we love the biting humor of The Onion, the satirical publication earns this week’s PR Loser Award for its wildly offensive and unfunny Tweet about nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis during the Oscars. Presumably the Tweeter thought referring to an adorable child (who carried a puppy purse to the awards) as one of the most vulgar words in the English language would be groundbreakingly clever and hilarious. Despite an immediate apology from CEO Steve Hannah, however, the mark was badly missed. In one of the most controversial awards shows ever, The Onion crossed far over the line.
THE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Michelle Williams. If there were presses to be stopped, we’d be yelling that famous line now; if you weren’t already sitting down to read this, please do so. Members of the press, prepare: Actress Michelle Williams has announced that she is growing out her pixie haircut. Yes, yes, we know: shocking. Now, we’re not so busy examining matters of papal shakeups and sequester-related furloughs that we don’t like our media candy as well as the next person. But surely the press junket for Oz: The Great and Powerful couldn’t have been dull enough to warrant this many quotes about the Williams’ do. PRs for the film, take note – and take control of the interviews.