PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. Yahoo’s CEO suddenly found herself and Yahoo at the center of a national conversation about the merits of working from home. Brought in to turn the ailing tech firm around, Mayer arrived at the Yahoo campus only to find empty offices and parking lots with her colleagues “working from home.” Her subsequent leaked internal memo abolishing the work-from-home option caught media attention and put Yahoo front and center in the work debate. Yahoo’s response? “This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home. This is what’s right for Yahoo right now.” No further comment, but the media was clearly well briefed with informed statistics about Yahoo’s climbing morale and productivity. Mayer’s PR point was made loud and clear: Yahoo’s turnaround has begun.
PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to Hugo Chavez’s camp. We love a conspiracy theory, but the dark mutterings coming from Chavez supporters that the US government was responsible for the cancer that killed their leader was one of the more fantastic PR responses. Even more so, given that Chavez was treated for his illness in Cuba, courtesy of his revolutionary pal Fidel. Until very recently, Cuban doctors gave him a clear bill of health and said the Venezuelan leader’s revolution would continue unabated. Don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but this PR point was more than vaguely comical.
THE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO Justin Bieber. Nothing fuels a fire better than more gasoline – or, in this case, more Tweets. Admittedly, the teen heartthrob had a mildly squiffy PR week: He was reportedly booed after starting a concert two hours late, a nightclub turned his under-age pals away from his birthday party, and actress Olivia Wilde Tweeted that he should put a shirt on. Rather than ignoring these molehills, Bieber made mountains of them with a slew of ranting, defensive Tweets, concluding “im a good person. i know that. u cant tell me different” [sic]. The only thing we’d say differently, Biebs, is that most of the problem is now coming from u.