Celebrities and people with considerable authority are human, which means they make mistakes. Fortunately for them, most have the financial means and common sense to hire PR teams to help make them appear more intelligent than they are. In layman’s terms, PR firms are there to put the fires out when our precious idols/constituents fall from glory. Most of the time these unsung heroes get the job done and quite well, I might add. However, there are times when even the best laid plans fall flat on their faces. So here are the 3 most laughably terrible PR fails of this year.
Earlier this year, the NYPD took to twitter to help scurry up some goodwill for their department. For those who don’t know, it can be said that they (NYPD) definitely do not sit at the popular table in school. In an effort to get some city love, the department asked New Yorkers to post photos of their encounters with the police to twitter with the hashtag, #myNYPD. Instead of getting the love they so desired, the NYPD twitter account was trolled with photos of police brutality. With their less than friendly reputation, it’s hard to believe they didn’t see that one coming.
(Protect and serve!)
Between his marital woes, horrible song lyrics (that he allegedly did not create), and creepy VMA performances, you’d think this dude would keep his head low, or at least have a PR team to tell him to STFU, but Robin Thicke is that gift that keeps on giving. The music channel VH1 asked their twitter fans to join them in a Robin Thicke Q&A using the hashtag #AskThicke. With his popularity in the toilet, how on earth did they think this was a good idea? Right out the gate, Thicke was hit hard with scathing questions about his marriage, music, and overall douchebaggery and it was quite the sight.
Youtuber Sam Pepper is infamous for his grotesque and frankly sexual assault-ridden pranks. He’s done everything from lassoing girls to creepily asking girls for kisses on camera. This guy is a grade A garbage and yet, millions of people follow him. It wasn’t until his recent “prank” which occurred a few days ago, that landed him in some serious hot water. Pepper went around asking girls for directions while secretly pinching their butts. In the video (which was taken down) these girls were visibly uncomfortable and were not happy at all. Pepper’s prank was met with some serious criticism from fellow Youtubers which led to a campaign to get his video off of YouTube. Facing a ton of negative press Pepper hastily puts up another video (which was taken down also) of a woman grabbing men’s butts (as if that’s ok too). To add icing on the cake, he goes on to make a third and final video where he justifies his social experiment by explaining that men deal with sexual harassment too and that it’s underreported. He even goes on to say that the latter two videos were done with consent (but offers no proof) and it was all in the matter of bringing awareness to men’s plights with harassment. Some of his followers bought his poorly constructed explanation, but others quickly pointed out the inconsistencies in his execution. Either way, it was one of the worst covers up to happen this year.
Moral of the story is that social media can be a tricky thing to navigate, especially if you are lacking in the intelligence department. Furthermore, it’s best to get a good set of eyes to ensure your “well thought” plan doesn’t backfire. Lastly if you did have a PR team backing your idiocy, you should fire them promptly and seek better council. What other PR disasters occurred this year? Let me know! 🙂