Today Show Scores a Great “Get” With Deen

 Today Show Scores a Great Get With Deen

The PR Verdict: “A” (PR Perfect) to The Today Show. (Pictured: Paula Deen and Today Show host Matt Lauer)

How quickly PR fortunes can change. Last month, NBC’s The Today Show was facing a PR fiasco, with falling ratings, a scathing cover story in New York Magazine, and a tell-all book that painted a rather unflattering picture of host Matt Lauer. At the same time, Paula Deen was enjoying success with shows on The Food Network, her own magazine, many cookbooks, and heading a multi-million dollar empire. This month, everything has changed for both.

Last week, Deen’s PR began to flame out amid allegations that Deen used racist terms and condoned a racist atmosphere at her restaurant. She quickly scheduled a damage control interview last Friday on The Today Show, which she then blew off, citing exhaustion. After being dropped by The Food Network and one of her sponsors, Deen rescheduled her Today interview for this morning.

Ratings are sure to be high, and it’s a great “get” for Today, even if it’s a “re-get.” In addition to having to answer questions about the allegations, Deen must address blowing off Matt Lauer, as well as her apology videos that have been criticized as widely missing the right PR mark. The only better “get” would be missing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – and no one will be surprised to see Today get him first.

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) to The Today Show for reversing their poor PR.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Nothing kills bad PR like success. The Today Show took its lumps, but it kept right on going, and when opportunity knocked, it pounced. Having been a friendly interrogator in the past – Deen chose Today when she revealed she had Type 2 diabetes, known to be caused or aggravated by the high-fat cuisine she’s famous for – Today was a natural choice for Deen’s public mea culpa. The lesson presented: When hit with bad PR, you can’t afford the luxury of pain. Get up and find every opportunity to get back to what you were known for.

Martha Stewart and Match.Com: Is It Love?

 Martha Stewart and Match.Com: Is It Love?

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for Match.com.

You must have heard about it by now – after all, Saturday Night Live has already done a skit on it – but in case you haven’t, Martha Stewart, domestic diva-turned-entrepreneur, is turning to the Internet in the hopes of finding true love. Ms. Stewart has joined millions of other singles by posting a profile on dating website Match.com. She shared this tidbit last week in a candid conversation about her love life with NBC Today show host and longtime friend Matt Lauer.

What you may not have heard in the rush-to-coverage that followed, however, was much of a response from Match.com. At first blush, this seems a bit odd. After all, having one of the world’s most successful and recognizable businesswomen touting your product on national television is a dream come true. Indeed, the PR team over at Match must still be reeling from such unexpected good fortune.

Or are they? Matchmaking is a tricky business – even more so when your new unofficial spokeswoman is a global celebrity whose happiness depends on your company coming up with the goods. Sam Yagan, the CEO at Match.com, agreeably appeared on an episode of Today to help Ms. Stewart write and post her profile, but other that the Match.com response has been very low-key: no press releases, interviews, or big social media blitz. This is the right approach: Save the champagne for the engagement party.

THE PR VERDICT:  “A” (PR Perfect) for Match.com. By staying out of the media limelight now, Match leaves itself room to take credit if Martha does find Mr. Right, as well as to graciously split with her if she doesn’t, without taking an unnecessary PR hit.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: When it comes to PR, it’s the marriage that should be celebrated, not the courtship. Dating is an uncertain phase;  success is far from certain, whether in love or in business. The big PR push should come when quantifiable results are produced and stand the test of time. Until then, it’s just another concept that, like new love, could go south in a heartbeat.

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

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (GOLD STAR!) TO Mike Tyson, who spoke this week about the day he found his then-wife Robin Givens in bed with “some little beach-bum-looking dude,” otherwise known as Brad Pitt. The true punch line is that there was no punch thrown; “I wasn’t thinking of attacking him,” Tyson told Global Grind. “I was just depressed I couldn’t bone [Givens] no more.”  Once known as throwing a punch or even a bite at the slightest provocation, his new PR image is that of the vegan, reflective giant.  With this amusing head-shaker of a story, his previous PR image of the unhinged boxer continues to recede and his PR rehab continues.

 

 

NY Post1 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) TO The New York Post, which came under fire from readers and the media alike for printing a front-page photo of a man seconds away from death after being pushed onto subway tracks. (Out of respect for the family of victim Ki-Suck Han, the PRV will not show the photo.) The photographer said he was too far away from the victim to help, and that he was trying to warn the train driver with the flash from his camera. The Post did not bother defending its decision to run the photo with screaming headline DOOMED. With the Murdoch press still under the glare of phone hacking and other scandals, it’s silence on the issue leads to the inevitable question: Have they learnt any lessons?

 

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO NBC’s Today Show, for a bizarre mock-segment featuring host Matt Lauer as the “victim” of sexual harassment. The faux story, spawned after host Willie Geist swatted Lauer’s bottom with a newspaper, got more cringe-worthy by the minute as NBC investigative reporter Jeff Rossen was brought in report the “facts” and the camera cut to Lauer quietly questioning what he’d done to provoke the attack. Anyone on the receiving end of real sexual harassment couldn’t fail to be offended. An ill-conceived idea to stem Today’s recent ratings decline? Whoever dreamed this one up needs to return to Sensitivity 101 class. (For more, here.)

GMA Weather Report: Sunny for Gay Marriage & Ratings

s SAM CHAMPION large300 150x150 GMA Weather Report: Sunny for Gay Marriage & Ratings

The PR Verdict: “A” (PR Perfect) for Good Morning America. (Pictured: Rubem Robierb and Sam Champion)

Last Friday, Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion was singled out by his cheering co-hosts as having good news to share: He was engaged. During hearty congratulations from a crew that seems closer than most morning show personnel, it was easy to miss one slightly surprising aspect: Champion was not only engaged, but also coming out.

The announcement of Champion’s engagement fit right in with GMA’s congenial, family-like vibe, and the fact that he will  his marry longtime boyfriend Rubem Robierb did not merit the batting of a single on-air lash. Outside GMA’s studio in Times Square, Champion was met by viewers from all over America who congratulated him like extended members of the GMA family.

The hosts on Good Morning America have been positioning themselves as a family for a while now, especially since co-host Robin Roberts decided to publicly share her battle with MDS, a rare bone marrow disorder. Video segments have been devoted to her bone marrow transplant while co-host George Stephanopoulos has struggled to maintain composure as he reads her blogs to GMA viewers. And the ratings keep on climbing.

The PR Verdict: “A” (PR Perfect) for Good Morning America winning ratings with team chemistry, not sensationalism.

The PR Takeaway: Keep it in the family. Gone are the days when GMA could only dream of approaching the ratings of the mighty Today Show. Now, GMA has overtaken Today. In the wake of an uncomfortable public dismissal of Ann Curry and reports that Today host Matt Lauer is losing popularity with viewers, GMA’s folksy, seemingly sincere family approach is winning hearts – and ratings. Team chemistry is the main drawcard here, and sharing the good and the painful is what makes this more than just a slick marketing gimmick. Viewers seem to be liking it, and they keep on coming back for more.

What’s your opinion of GMA’s “family style” approach? Give us your PR Verdict!

THE PRV REPORT CARD: This Week’s Winners & Losers

krisjenner 150x150 THE PRV REPORT CARD: This Weeks Winners & Losersmcdonalds 150x150 THE PRV REPORT CARD: This Weeks Winners & Losersoctomom 150x150 THE PRV REPORT CARD: This Weeks Winners & Losers

What do Kris Jenner, NBC , McDonald’s, and the Octomom all have in common? They all share the glory of being part of this week’s PR Verdict media wrap-up.

PR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (Full Fiasco) to NBC for ignoring the 9/11 moment of silence. Instead, they ran  a segment with Savannah Guthrie interviewing Kardashian matriarch/mogul Kris Jenner about her breast implants. The network finally commented on the resulting outrage, telling The New York Times that its decision not to run the national moment of silence was  consistent with previous NBC coverage of 9/11 anniversaries. This was  not a gaffe, said NBC PR,  so we won’t apologize, only to repent a day later and make a half hearted apology to local affiliates. Who knew Kardashian breast implants made for better television than the President talking about 9/11?  Read more here.

PR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR Perfect) to McDonald’s for its decision to list calorie information on its menus starting next week in the US.  The fast food chain also said that it’s testing menus for next year that will include recommended food groups from the US Department of Agriculture’s 2010 dietary guidelines. It’s always better to be one step ahead of regulation; seizing the advantage by making the move before it is made for you makes good PR sense. Read more here.

And finally:

octomom2 150x150 THE PRV REPORT CARD: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHERE’S-NO-“THERE”-THERE PR AWARD: Nadya Suleman, better known as The Octomom, has been talking to the media with breathless excitement about her new rented California home for her and her family of 14. Suleman’s rep confirmed, “The home has five bedrooms and three full bathrooms as well as a 14,000-square-foot backyard that features a gated pool and spa and basketball court.”  The rep added, “[Nadya] has been earning and doing well from several endorsements, appearances, taking calls from fans on DialAStar.com, and her video. Her single ‘Sexy Party’ comes out Tuesday on iTunes.” The Octomom, who is also making money by staring in adult films, told the media “I owe a lot to Wicked Pictures contract star Jessica Drake,” she said. “She opened my eyes to a whole different world of self-pleasure that I could have never imagined… I’m very excited for [her masturbation video] to come out!” Sometimes, you can’t pick your clients. Read more, if you feel you must, here.

Are there any recent stories you feel should make the PRV Report Card? Give us your PR Verdict!