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PR Winners and Losers in 2013

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PR fails in 2013:

Burger King had to go into damage control mode when one of its employees sent out a tweet showcasing his feet in tubs of lettuce. To make matters worse for the company, the tweet was captioned “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.” For a any company, such an awful tweet can be felt for years.  For a restaurant, the damage may be irreparable. And if you thought things could not get more disgusting in the world of food, you were wrong. A Taco Bell employee posted a tweet that showed him urinating on a plate of tacos. Even though he assured those who had seen it that the plate would be thrown out, management had not choice but to immediately – and publicly – fire him.

An NRA employee, just hours after the Aurora, CO shooting tweeted, “Good morning, shooters! Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” They were quickly forced to delete the tweet, and later a NRA spokesperson also apologized officially.  He said that the individual who sent out this tweet had not known of the events that had unfolded the previous evening.

Before producing their own maps, Apple maps borrowed from Google. This strategy had proven frustrating for some Apple users, and they were relieved when Apple released their own maps. But, to their dismay, the new map app turned out to be a huge failure. It had so many errors that the manager of this application was fired just months after its release. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and after issuing a public apology, Apple’s CEO encouraged iPhone users to use competitors maps.

Media Relations wins in 2013:

Coke knows how to get attention, and in a 2013 campaign, they did just that.  They made seemingly run-off-the-mill, yet highly attractive people, overcome a huge number of obstacles just to reach the premiere of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, first.

To help promote the newest Muppet movie, cupcakes featuring the faces of the main characters were sent to those who were tweeting the most about the movie. This was a cute, and thoughtful way of appreciating the tweets and attention from fans online. This was cutest PR bid of the year.

In an anti-smoking advertisement, children asked older people around them to light their cigarettes. This ad used real people, and hidden cameras to capture the true emotions evoked by such a controversial act. It has been reported that this advertisement did force many people to take a step back, and rethink their smoking habit.

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