Google and Larry’s Laryngitis

 Google and Larrys Laryngitis

The PR Verdict: The PR Verdict: “D” (It’s a Dud) for Google. (Pictured: Google CEO Larry Page.)

Larry Page, Google’s CEO, regrets he is unable to lunch today. And not just today, it seems, but all the way into mid July. The reason? Larry has “lost his voice” and “can’t do any public speaking engagements for the time being,” says Google. That includes the second quarter earnings conference in three weeks’ time. His voice is gone, and it isn’t coming back anytime soon.

The announcement has spooked investors. In an industry that endlessly speculated about the on again, off again health of Steve Jobs at Apple, this sort of news gets the rumor mill activated. Google says it is business as usual and that Page is “OK”  and continuing to run the company. “He’s running all the strategy business decisions and all that,” reassures Google.

Not all investors buy it. JP Morgan described the announcement as ”odd,” and others are wondering. One told the Wall Street Journal that the decision to miss an earning call was “highly unusual.” He said, “It’s hard to imagine a CEO missing that much stuff and not having a serious problem,” echoing what could become a rumbling chorus.

The PR Verdict: “D” (It’s a Dud) for Google. Who knows what the real situation is, but this explanation doesn’t reassure the market. Already suspicion is growing that Google is being less than frank.

PR Takeaway: Don’t over-complicate. Let’s face it, losing your voice doesn’t last three weeks. If Page can’t speak at earnings in three weeks’ time, it’s not a bad idea to flag it beforehand–but why not suggest that he’s having a minor medical procedure/treatment that will put him out of action for a fixed period? Use calming words to minimize the fuss and reinforce that it’s not market moving and material. Something is up, and now Google has more explaining to do. It might have been easier to have been straightforward from the start.

Should Google have anticipated investor worries, or is this a case of the truth just not being good enough these days? Give us your PR Verdict, below.


What’s Real About The Real DKNY PR GIRL?

Donna Karan PR girl Aliza L Whats Real About The Real DKNY PR GIRL?

The PR Verdict: A begrudging "A" for DKNY PR GIRL

Aliza Licht has the lofty title of Senior Vice President for Global Communications at Donna Karan International.  In addition to her intergalactic title she is also pied piper to a legion of devoted Twitter fans numbering 380,000. Up until recently her Twitter nom de plume was DKNY PR GIRL.

Aliza Licht recently outed herself to the NYTimes which obliged with a gushing profile about the fashion PR who, by any yardstick, has mastered social media.  In the interview she offers surprising insights including, “The friends you make on Twitter are real relationships”.  Examples of DKNY PR GIRL advice were also given. “Attention to details is everything. The wrong colored binder clip can destroy your presentation.”

Aliza/ DKNY PR Girl also produced a short promotional video giving an insiders’ view on her fabulous life.  As an example of PR and marketing strategies it is hard to beat.  Content wise, it is another issue.

The PR Verdict:  A begrudging  “A” to DKNY PR GIRL.   While the content of the tweets and videos seems aimed exclusively at teenage girls who can argue with 380,000 followers?

From a PR point of view the problem the with the video is that it seemingly reduces the DK business to a little operation on seventh avenue run by a skeleton staff. Despite her lofty title, Aliza is seen doing everything, from answering phones, walking around with a clipboard and moving tiny labels around a seating plan.  From the Global Head of Communications there is no mention of a team or infrastructure much less any mention of DK herself.  In the future, give the intern a chance at stardom in the next video and reserve the Global Head for more serious management responsibilities.

To read the NYTimes article click here. To see the video click here