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!

Ahmadinejad Courts Satan’s Media

 Ahmadinejad Courts Satans Media

The PR Verdict: “F” (Full Fiasco) for yet another loony Ahmadinejad appearance at the UN.

Do the rules of PR apply to President Ahmadinejad of Iran? In New York for the UN Summit, he has participated in a dizzying media blitz of interviews including CNN, CBS, the AP, and other national outlets. The Iranian President, who has previously described the US as “Satan,” seems oddly keen to court domestic US opinion, or at the very least, take advantage of Great Satan’s media.

His scheduled interviews appeared to be part of a typical PR curtain raiser, designed to drum up anticipation for his speech before the UN. He told CNN and other outlets that his main message is that he wants “a new world order for all of humanity.”

Ahmadinejad describes this new world order as a world where there is “justice, morality, purity, and compassion.” He can’t help mentioning that this utopia would ultimately involve the “elimination” of Israel, although he softened his message by saying he would be neutral on the issue of his child marrying a Jew. If Ahmadinejad’s intention was to court US opinion – and why else talk to all the outlets – his messaging was clearly irreconcilable with most US mainstream views.

The PR Verdict: “F” (Full Fiasco) for yet another loony Ahmadinejad appearance at the UN, buttressed by a thorough PR blitz that guaranteed coverage while doing nothing to enhance credibility.

The PR Takeaway: The most basic PR lesson is “Without trust, nothing works.” Ahmadinejad said in multiple US interviews that he would “not dismiss” one-on-one talks with America on his nuclear program and that he was open to negotiation. If his PR intention was to soften US domestic opinion,  then his PR offensive was a resounding failure. As long as he continues to trade in his grab bag of hate names and villains, then his PR blitz only reinforces the perception that he is not to be trusted, notwithstanding his plea at the UN to “hold hands with all of humanity.”

Have you heard the Iranian President’s speech at the UN? Give us your PR Verdict!