These are embarrassing times for one of America’s most loved personal development gurus. Attendees at a recent seminar hosted by the self-actualized Tony Robbins not only found themselves in the headlines but cooling their feet in ice water as well. The reason? A fire-walking episode that failed to go to plan.
Late last week, over 20 attendees at a recent Tony Robbins personal development seminar suffered burns while walking across hot coals. The famous fire walk is part of Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” seminar, aimed at helping participants understand that they can overcome personal challenges. Participants are encouraged to tackle their fears, feet first.
“I just heard these screams of agony,” one witness relayed to the media, presumably to the horror of the Robbins’ PR machine. While many left the seminar feeling elated and transformed, others weren’t so lucky and left with second-and third-degree burns, caused by coals heated up to a cozy 2,000 degrees. As for Robbins himself, he has been nowhere in the subsequent media coverage. Where is our guru, and will his feet be held to the fire?
The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Anthony Robbins and his handling of a personal transformation exercise that went wrong. Next time, how about more leadership from one of America’s leading gurus?
The PR Takeaway: Unleash the Power Within and say SOMETHING. Tony Robbins has been noticeably absent from media coverage concerning this mishap. His organization, Robbins Research International, issued a bland CYA statement saying, “We have been safely providing this experience for more than three decades, and always under the supervision of medical personnel … ” Perhaps, but wasn’t this the time for one of America’s leading advocates of personal responsibility to explain–personally–what happened? A company statement is fine, but his name, after all, is on the billboard. Might we suggest a refresher fire walk to reaffirm his commitment to personal responsibility and accountability?
Should Tony Robbins have personally addressed this PR mishap, or should he continue to lay low? Give us your PR Verdict!