PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

obamacare logo  PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, whose supporters, including its namesake, had reason to celebrate Monday when enrollments pushed slightly past the original sign-up target of 7 million. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that target for initial sign-up period through March 31. Despite a horribly marred start and with withering opposition at every turn, the mandated healthcare program saw sign-ups somehow make their numbers. And while public opinion is still hardly enthusiastic, one poll did find for the first time that public support for the healthcare law surpassed opposition. Perhaps the rally will prompt lukewarm supporters to stop apologizing and start cheering.

  PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to General Motors’ chief executive Mary Barra, for a defense statement best summed up by “I don’t know.” As the head of GM faced a House subcommittee investigating what the car company knew and when regarding flaws that led to numerous deaths and injuries, Barra’s responses infuriated senators and the families of the deceased alike. PR is in freefall, and GM is still recalling millions of cars and facing possible criminal charges. In leaving Barra to claim ignorance or hang herself and her company, GM’s legal and PR teams register a complete fail.

  PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Britain’s Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, whose editorial boards told a parliamentary science committee they believe humans are negatively impacting global climate conditions. Really? That’s rather confusing considering, as the committee chairman put it, “some papers regularly give a platform to lobby groups or indeed conspiracy theorists – many not even qualified scientists – who pooh-pooh the evidence and attack UK climate scientists.” We are shocked, shocked, to find out that publications, looking to increase readership, might take one view in their papers while believing the exact opposite. Yawn.

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful!

sambrick1 300x280 Dont Hate Me Because Im Beautiful!

The PR Verdict: “F” for “Samantha The Beautiful”.

The fastest way to light up the blogosphere? Write about the pain of being extremely beautiful.  Guaranteed to elicit rage and vitriol, that is exactly what happened to columnist Samantha Brick who published an article in London’s Daily Mail entitled, “‘There are downsides to looking this pretty': Why women hate me for being beautiful.”  And hate they certainly do.

In her column she talked of the pain of being blessed with extraordinary looks.  Samantha wrote of her gilded life as a beautiful woman, being routinely gifted free champagne, flirting with male bosses while at the same time annoying female friends and co-workers.

The Daily Mail’s website, received more than 3,000 comments in response to Brick’s cri de coeur, the vast bulk wondering out aloud if she really is as pretty as she claims.  Coverage followed in multiple UK and US publications.  “If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me and it won’t be very flattering” she wrote insightfully.   Sometimes any publicity is not good publicity.

 The PR Verdict: “F” for “Samantha The Beautiful”.  Her column, read largely by women, annoyed and upset readers. Is this any way to build a following?

First principle of PR is that it is ALWAYS better to avoid talking oneself up and instead have someone do it for you.  It always has more  gravitas and is less disputed.  How different might the article have been if Samantha’s beauty had been verified by independent endorsement from friends and colleagues.  From there Samantha and her heartbreaking story of life among the mean girls might have carried more weight.  This time however she never got past first base.

To read Samantha Brick’s column click here.

What’s your PR verdict on Samantha Brick’s claim to fame?