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

Clooney Alamuddin 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR FERFECT) to George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin, who did not announce their engagement this week. It’s standard Clooney MO not to talk about personal matters, but his lack of statement or attempt to hide the engagement (Alamuddin is sporting a rather large ring) led the media to dig. Therefore, what the media spoke about most is Alamuddin’s admirable human rights work via her law practice, which explains at least part of Clooney’s attraction. As for Cloons, previously a confirmed bachelor and serial dater, Alamuddin is a departure from his last companion, former World Wrestling Entertainment star Stacy Keibler.

rick scott 1 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (Full Fiasco) to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who went looking for Obamacare horror stories and instead found praise. Scott, with media in tow, visited a senior center in Boca Raton last week to warn about cuts he said the Affordable Care Act would force on a popular Medicare program. Seniors, he said, “tell me stories about how their plans are being changed, how they are losing their doctors, the coverage is changing, and so what I’m here to do is just hear your stories.” But his fear-mongering didn’t fit with what seniors reported. “Not really,” said one, asked if she’d seen changes to her coverage. “Very happy,” said another. “Completely satisified,” said a third. None of which described Scott’s reaction.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. How jaded must we be that another revelation of the obstreperous mayor smoking crack cocaine — his second in less than a year — barely raises an eyebrow? This week, the Globe and Mail published photos of Ford holding what appears to be a crack pipe, while the Toronto Star posted audio of Ford, apparently inebriated, slagging off local politicians. Ford released a statement saying he’s going to take a “break” from his re-election campaign “to seek immediate help,” though he’s still refusing to go down with the ship, i.e. resign his office. The circus continues…

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

vargas The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Elizabeth Vargas, co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20 TV news magazine, for a graceful disclosure of human frailty: her decision to enter rehab for alcohol abuse and dependency. Vargas, out of sight for several weeks, might have preferred to quietly undergo treatment and slip back into her life without been missed. Whatever the motivation, she hit all the right notes in going public, calling out the prevalence of addiction in society, expressing gratitude for support of loved ones and her employer, and expressing a desire, as a public figure, to impart courage to others facing similar challenges. And of course, she got the news out herself – always a sober move.

 The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon, for striking a rather awkward pose in a press conference about the popular yoga pants. After suffering a costly setback with a product recall resulting in the dethroning of Lululemon CEO Christine Day, one wouldn’t think matters could get much worse until Lululemon’s founder blamed product quality issues on…customers being too fat. “Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work [for the pants],” Wilson told Bloomberg. “It’s more really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure there is over time.” Clearly, one yoga pose Wilson has mastered is putting his foot in his mouth.

 The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Blockbuster, which said it will shut its remaining 300 stores and close its mail-order DVD business. The news probably comes as a surprise to many folks who thought the company went out of business a long time ago. If nothing else, Blockbuster will be fondly remembered by millions of families as an integral part of a 1990s weekly ritual: wandering the aisles in search of the latest new releases, only to find that every copy of the movie you wanted to see was already gone.

Letterman’s Sneak Attack on Lohan

 Lettermans Sneak Attack on Lohan

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) to Lindsay Lohan for keeping her cool.

LiLo, aka Lindsay Lohan, was on the stand again this week – only this time her interlocutor wasn’t a sour-faced judge but a late night TV host. In her first television interview in six months, the actress was ostensibly appearing on Late Night with David Letterman to promote her work in Scary Movie 5. From the moment she sat down, though, she was on the receiving end of a fusillade of questions about shoplifting, her addiction problems, and an impending stint in rehab.

A visibly uncomfortable Lohan tried gamely to avoid answering but was clearly at a loss when Letterman refused to abandon his line of questioning. At one point, she lightly chastised him, “We didn’t discuss this in the pre-interview,” and, at another, pleadingly asked that the conversation move on to discuss the movie (request not granted). In the end, Letterman appeared to get what he was after: Lohan was moved to tears and acknowledged she has career- and even life-threatening issues she needs to work on. She said accepts responsibility for her actions and sees the 90-day court remand as a “blessing.”

The attack-dog approach was out of character for Letterman, and it rubbed many observers the wrong way. That said, others felt the 65-year-old comedian came off as more of a stern and concerned parent than a heartless journo, which may be more of the truth: Lohan has appeared on Late Night since 1992, when she was seven years old.

THE PR VERDICT: “B” (Good Show) to Lindsay Lohan for keeping her cool. Breaking down completely or walking off the set would have generated even more headlines.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Expect the unexpected. Every meeting with a media representative should be treated as one that might cover the gamut, whether the interview takes place in the executive dining room or on the set of a talk show. Journalism has changed so dramatically over the past decade that what came to be known as  “ground rules” can no longer be relied upon, even for sought-after subjects like LiLo. Nothing is off limits, so be prepared for anything, and everything.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher: Where’s the Tweet?

DEMIMOORE Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher: Wheres the Tweet?Actress Demi Moore has been in the headlines this past week for all the wrong reasons.

At the time of her November separation from Ashton Kutcher, articles quoted endless “friends” and “close sources” who gave prurient details of the breakup.

This week un-named sources confirmed that Moore is being treated for an unspecified addiction and eating disorder at a facility in Utah.  People quoted one kindly source as saying Demi is “on total lockdown and only talking to a small group of people”.

For a couple that conquered the twitter-verse and all things in social media, it seems entirely unsatisfactory that the only sources shaping this sad chapter are unnamed and not seemingly on the actress’s side.

The PR Verdict: “F” for Ashton (and Bruce) for their handling of this issue. Get Tweeting!

Don’t let an unnamed source hog the airtime giving updates that don’t help. Show some leadership and become the official spokesperson. Part of Kutcher’s fame came from mastering the Tweet.  Now is the time to use the technology for more selfless reasons