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

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR Perfect) to Chris Christie. First, the governor of New Jersey decided to combat constant fat jokes made by David Letterman by showing up on the Late Show and noshing on a donut. “I didn’t know this was going to be this long,” Christie quipped. After Connie Mariano, physician to President Clinton, cast a shadow over speculation about a Christie White House run in 2016 by saying she feared the overweight politician would die in office (she has never examined him), he shot back in typical Joisey gov fashion: “She should shut up.” In both cases, Christie showed how to deftly turn negative media into positive PR.


 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (“Full Fiasco”) to North Korea. The government released a bizarre propaganda mini-film depicting a nuclear missile launch and New York City engulfed in flames. A dreamscape sequence set to “We Are The World,” the video was released on YouTube, a rather ironic platform given the dictatorship’s antipathy to freedom of information. If Kim Jong-un was going for intimidation, the video wasn’t a success. Bemusement and confusion seemed to be the primary reactions, at least outside North Korea. Maybe the response was different within the country itself – where, erm, no one has Internet access to watch it.


bfrankel 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersTHE “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” PR AWARD TO: celebrities and their pets. This week, ran two stories about celebrities and their pet troubles. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton got her minute of questionable fame this week with the search for her lost dog. Bunton “took to Twitter” to announce that her chocolate labrador Phoebe went missing and has now come to an untimely end (no details given). Not be outdone, reality TV star Bethenny Frankel tweeted that her beloved dog Cookie is ill “which makes me sad & gives me anxiety.” The news? Cookie has been released from “hospital” following the insertion of a catheter. We can understand stars working social media to stay in the public eye, but there isn’t much to say here even when limited by 140 characters.

Netanyahu’s Graphic Bomb

 Netanyahus Graphic Bomb

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s use of simple props.

A visual aid can help make a PR message easy, but Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming in for some sniping following his presentation to the United Nations last week. His now infamous and widely broadcast graphic cartoon of a bomb, broadcast while delivering his speech to the UN General Assembly, has provoked some confusing reactions – among them, from his home state of Israel, no less.

The graphic made headlines globally, leaving Iranian President Ahmadinejad of Iran cooling his heels. The bomb cartoon was divided into segments; 70 percent and 90 percent, representing the advances Iran is making towards nuclear armament. The red line, drawn by Netanyahu as he was speaking, indicated that by next summer, Iran would be 90 percent complete. Simple enough?

Not so fast! There was some confusion as the Israeli media incorrectly reported the Prime Minister was referring to actual percentages of uranium enrichment. This was BIG news, given the general consensus is that Iran has reached a level of uranium enrichment of only 20 percent. The Israeli press reported that Netanyahu was announcing that enrichment was far more advanced than previously indicated. He seemed to be saying that enrichment is now 70 percent and getting close to 90 percent. Panic buttons were pressed: The threat is more imminent than previously thought. Trouble is, that’s not what Netanyahu was saying.

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR problematic) for Netanyahu’s use of simple props. Rather than illustrating a point unequivocally, confusion increased.

The PR Takeaway: Keep your message simple, yes, but avoid confusion. The Israelis stole the show in letting the world know how they saw the Iranian threat. The problem with the cartoon graphic was that its message wasn’t entirely clear and couldn’t stand alone without explanation. Next time, opt for a little more complication and ask the question, Does this make sense without any accompanying words? After all, the point of any simple graphic is to express an idea clearly and eliminate ambiguity, not create it.

What did you think of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s graphic? Give us your PR Verdict!