The PRV Report Card: Winners & Losers

Screen Shot 2013 05 16 at 7.16.52 PM 150x150 The PRV Report Card: Winners & LosersPR Winner: “A” (PR Perfect) for the Republicans who have turned up the heat on the Obama’s second term. If true that life comes at you in threes, then this week was the triumvirate of PR gifts. Obama found himself on the back foot regarding the IRS/ Tea Party scandal, the Justice Department/AP phone record snooping, and finally the ongoing thorn in the side of the Administration that is Benghazi. No matter the merits, the concerted drum beating has been an effective PR attack. Objective one: change the news agenda and place the Administration on the defensive, unable to talk about what it wants to talk about. For this week at least, mission accomplished.

Screen Shot 2013 05 16 at 7.17.58 PM 150x150 The PRV Report Card: Winners & LosersPR Loser: “F” (Full Fiasco) to Barbara Walters and the media reaction to her announcement that she is stepping down. In what will be her long goodbye to broadcasting, America’s famous interviewer announced that she would be phasing herself out during a series of programmed appearances and TV specials over the next twelve months. Online and columnist reactions to her career were astonishingly scathing. Slammed as lightweight, fawning and inconsequential the reaction could have only made unhappy bedtime reading for Babs’ PR team. A couple more glowing endorsements from journalists who think Babs paved the way for other women might have given the coverage some more balance. For Babs and her team, this might be a tough twelve months.

Screen Shot 2013 05 16 at 7.19.58 PM 150x150 The PRV Report Card: Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO Kylie Busutti, a former Victoria’s Secret model currently touting her book I’m No Angel. In her sad tale, Ms. Busutti recounts being shocked – shocked! – to find out that models are required to be absurdly thin and that Victoria’s Secret apparel is sexy, apparently too sexy for Busutti’s Christian faith. We’re not sure what deserted island this young woman grew up on, but these are hardly revelations. There is something rank, too, about claiming a moral high ground that wouldn’t let her continue in such a tawdry profession but does, apparently, permit trying to capitalize on it.

Barbara Walters & Syria’s Assad

 Barbara Walters & Syrias AssadYesterday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave his first interview since violent protests began in his country. Barbara Walters got the scoop. It was a strange and ultimately chilling interview.

Bashar al-Assad, whose demeanor is more like that of a low level bureaucrat than a brutal dictator, said he couldn’t comment on the protests, claiming he had not seen any detailed documents. Despite a recent UN report pointing to 4000 deaths, he quizzed Walters: Barbara, you don’t live here. How did you know all this?”

Rejecting any suggestion that there is a crackdown against protesters he reassured Walters without irony, “we don’t kill our people… no government in the world kills its people, unless it’s led by a crazy person.”

The PR Verdict: “F” for the Syrian dictator. Despite his low-key delivery, nothing he said was credible or believable. The documented atrocities speak for themselves.

His PR strategy was to present himself as a genial leader in a casual fireside chat. But with the world watching his atrocities for the last nine months, his innocent demeanor fooled no one.  Instead his ruthlessness was obvious. Credit goes to Barbara Walters for simply letting his true colors shine.

Take a look and see for your self. Click here.