The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

bartoli The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Marion Bartoli, for making a graceful exit from the world of professional women’s tennis just two months after winning her greatest championship at Wimbledon. The French 28-year-old officially retired from tennis after a disheartening loss in the second round of a regional tournament in Ohio. Tears streaming down her cheeks, she acknowledged near constant pain from her life on the court and said her body just couldn’t take it any longer. She called her father to discuss her future after the loss, then announced her decision to retire with little fanfare. “Everyone will remember my Wimbledon title,” she said. “No one will remember the last match I played here” at the Ohio tournament. In the world of sport, so seemingly tarnished by the spectacle of athletes behaving badly, Bartoli’s candor and humility score an ace.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (Full Fiasco) to Orson Scott Card, the science fiction writer whose recent rant against President Obama suggests he’s having trouble distinguishing between reality and the realms his characters inhabit. According to a May blog post that went viral this week, Card sees Obama as a maniacal dictator whose quest for world domination involves marshaling urban street gangs to do his evil bidding. The scheme would fit right into Ender’s Game, Card’s celebrated novel-turned-film starring Harrison Ford and set to open in theaters Nov. 1. This paranoid scribble won’t help Card’s image, which he may be trying to rehab. Already notorious for his virulent opposition to gay marriage, Card recently (and quietly) stepped down from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage. Now he has this to contend with. Ender’s Game, or game ender? 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Vogue’s profile on Jennifer Lawrence. Within the seven-hour interview, the Hunger Games star and Oscar winner revealed, “I always knew I was going to be famous.” She goes on to elaborate that she didn’t know for what she might be famous, only that fame was a certainty. This seems a landmark in celebrity interviews, not quite outlandish enough to be one of those near-reality parodies from The Onion, but still flabbergasting in its “Huh?” factor. Readers will likely be neither shocked, inspired, nor terribly interested.

Changing Hathaway’s Haters

 Changing Hathaways Haters

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Anne Hathaway.

Without a doubt, this year’s Academy Awards gave the media lots to talk about. There’s the debate over Oscar presenter Seth McFarlane’s envelope-pushing monologues, and Jennifer Lawrence’s stumble. But of all the gossip-worthy notes, one point was made so often in the Twitterverse that it began a media storm: Apparently, people hate Anne Hathaway.

Not everyone, of course. After all, Hathaway won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Les Miserables, and she has appeared on numerous magazine covers. But public opinion has been poisoned: the words “Hathaway,” “annoying” and “hate” garner multimillions of Google results. Even Anderson Cooper recently felt the need to defend Hathaway on his show.

The reasons are vague but came to a tipping point with Hathaway’s Academy Awards acceptance speech. The accusation? Rehearsed and not terribly genuine. Even before that, though, Tweeters were bashing her Awards dress for showing her nipples, a wardrobe malfunction that seemed less accidental after paparazzo photographed her going commando at the New York Les Mis premiere.

Who cares if a few (million) people hate her? Well, Hollywood, for one. Hathaway’s detractors are predominantly women. If Hathaway scores low on female popularity ratings, then certain roles won’t be made available. She needs some turnaround PR to make sure her place at the Vanity Fair Oscar party is secured.

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Anne Hathaway. A legion of female haters may ultimately change her career in Hollywood.

THE PR TAKEAWAY:  Want to be more liked? Find new friends and revisit old ones. When half the movie buying population doesn’t care for you, a PR rethink is needed. Hathaway’s problem is that she tests in market research as aloof and unapproachable. For the moment, cease photo shoots with Vogue and Bazaar, quietly put Valentino back on the rack, and instead publicly pal around with some old school buddies while booking slots on the chat shows hosted by other women: Ellen, Wendy Williams, Oprah, and Chelsea Handler. Being aloof and talented may be chic, but being in the company of other likeable women will turn this PR issue around. Just ask Hilary Clinton and Meryl Streep.