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

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to the Australian online betting company that came up with an outrageous combination of national pride and private commerce. SportsBet.com floated a 150-foot balloon replica of Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue wearing a jersey that read “#KeepTheFaith.” (Australia was considered a 750-1 long shot in the World Cup.) Reactions ranged from chuckles to cries of blasphemy, but either way the company received worldwide publicity.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to Eric Cantor, the second highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, who lost his party’s primary. Cantor was expected to be the next Speaker of the House, but his support of immigration reform was attacked by Tea Party rep David Brat. Cantor’s loss was considered a stunning upset for Republicans and made headlines all week, exacerbated when Cantor resigned from his post.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to David Brat, winner of Virginia’s congressional primary. The media shone brightly on Brat’s Cinderella story and surprising win, but when the victory confetti settled to the floor, Brat revealed himself to be unprepared to face the media. Asked by NBC Washington correspondent Chuck Todd about minimum wage issues and foreign policy, Brat responded, “Hey, Chuck, I thought we were just going to chat today about the celebratory aspects.” The weak response supported the theory that Cantor’s stance on immigration reform, rather than the attributes of Brat or the Tea Party, was the deciding factor in Brat’s win.

Why Bain Capital is in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

BAINromney2 300x168 Why Bain Capital is in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

The PR Verdict: “C” for Bain Capital.

If any publicity is good publicity, then take a look at Bain Capital, the investment firm, founded by presidential Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  The firm is front and center in a TV ad, issued by the Obama campaign, undermining Romney’s record on jobs.  The ad’s main focus is Bain’s 1993 investment in a Kansas steel company, GST Steel.

The advertisement cuts between interviews with former GST workers and clips of Romney on the campaign trial, saying he knows what “makes jobs come and go.”  One ageing worker says of Bain, “It’s like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us,” while another says that Bain’s impact was “like watching an old friend bleed to death”.  Ironically, the ad echoes a strategy used by Newt Gingrich during Republican primaries, which characterised Romney’s firm as “rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company.”  Ouch!

A statement has been issued by Bain to clarify  certain facts but it has gained almost no traction in the wider media. One thing Bain can be sure of? Whatever it says will be drowned out, from now until November.  How then to protect a brand?

The PR Verdict: “C” for Bain Capital.  So far the statement issued to the media is adequate but won’t suffice.  Editorial coverage wont give the clarifying bang needed.

The PR Takeaway: Bain Capital is caught in the in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In its statement the firm reaffirmed that it takes no public position on any candidate, that Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital over 13 years ago and that it has grown revenues in over 80 percent of its companies.  Fair enough! The bad news is that this will not get any serious airtime. Competing priorities are sexier.  Bain now needs strategically placed, low key advertising to convey its points without being edited.  Privately, why not start preparing for a partial rebrand, sometime after November?

To read the statement from Bain click here. To see the TV advertisement click here.

What’s your PR Verdict?

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Newt Gingrich and the Eye of the Tiger

rockygingrich Newt Gingrich and the Eye of the Tiger

PR VERDICT: "F" for Gingrich

 

 

 

The copyright owner of the song Eye of the Tiger filed a lawsuit against  Newt Gingrich, GOP candidate yesterday. The filing demands Gingrich stop using the song at public appearances.

The lawsuit lists previous appearances and promotional videos where Gingrich has allegedly used the song without permission since 2009.

The filing points out that Gingrich is well aware of copyright laws, given that he owns a production company that sells his written work, documentaries and audio books.  Furthermore the filing quotes Gingrich in a debate about online piracy as saying, “If a company finds it has genuinely been infringed upon, it has the right to sue.”

The PR VERDICT : “F”  for Newt and his campaign.

For a candidate who is routinely characterized by opposing Republicans as careless, impulsive and unstructured, Gingrich has handed his detractors a gift.  The failure to have previously addressed this issue, if true, is an embarrassment.

Best strategy now? Respond  to the claim with a short statement claiming that legal advice had confirmed that copyright was not an issue, the song has been used without comment since 2009 and that the timing of the lawsuit is politically motivated. Ideally the statement should have been issued yesterday by Gingrich’s campaign.

If none of the above is viable, then the Gingrich team needs to revise some of its most basic checklists and think about another song.  Suggestions welcome.

To read more about this click here. To watch a video click here.