17 Jul PR Roundup – July 17
Our PR roundup is a collection of top stories in PR and communications.
Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal had a minor crisis on its hands last week after tweeting out a story about tennis players breaking Wimbledon’s all-white dress code. Unfortunately, it appears that in their haste, the WSJ combined a caption that included the phrase “Something’s not white!” with a picture of Venus Williams. Communications pros take heed: Speed is important, but it’s good to take a step back and look at what we’re posting or allow someone else to check our content from a different perspective.
WSJ issued a quick apology. But the apology tweet included a picture of the original tweet, as well as language that said that the original tweet “was seen by some as insensitive.” First, why make it easier for people to see the insensitive tweet by including a picture of it? Second, the language used suggests WSJ staff did not find the tweet insensitive but deleted it after pressure by others. It seems we could all use a refresher on how to apologize. Watch for an upcoming blog post.
Kid Rock for Senate
How can a celebrity gain attention in the era of President Trump? Tease running for office. Kid Rock did just that Wednesday as he shared a link to kidrockforsenate.com and told fans to “stay tuned” for a major announcement. This lit up traditional and social media as people tried to figure out if this candidacy was real and if Kid Rock really had a chance to win the Michigan senate seat up for election in 2018.
With attention on him, Kid Rock announced the next day that he will be releasing new music and early Friday announced a 2018 tour. While it is still not clear if Kid Rock really is willing and able to run for a U.S. Senate seat (Can you imagine?), he has made it clear that celebrities and politics can be a potent marketing combination.
Toy manufacturer Hasbro was in hot water last year when their new Star Wars version of Monopoly did not include Rey, the female lead of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” as a token representing a game player. Hasbro said at the time that Rey was left out to avoid spoiling the upcoming movie. The toymaker promised Rey would be included in future editions. It has been 18 months, and the U.S. is still missing Rey.
While other markets have the updated game, a Hasbro spokesperson said the token was still missing due to “insufficient interest” by retailers who were already stocked and selling the original version. The company now offers a free Rey token free for anyone who purchased the game without her, although some customers are unhappy at the extra effort they have to go through. If product sales are strong, however, it’s hard to argue in this case that Hasbro should pull the original games from U.S. stores in favor of new ones. While there are some exceptions, the best PR solutions should make good business sense.
Until next time…