Even though we are only a few days into the third month of 2012, there have already been a healthy dosage of PR blunders. From the rant of a popular football wife, to the poor handling of a major crisis, 2012 has already opened the gates with some major public relations mishaps.
One of the most talked about blunders was made by Gisele Bundchen, famed Victoria’s Secret model and wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. After a devastating loss in the 2012 Superbowl in which the Pats had many chances to score a touchdown, Gisele was captured on video responding negatively to taunting New York Giants fans who were saying that her husband can only throw the football, but that he can’t catch it too. She was blaming the loss on the numerous fumbles by the Patriot wide receivers. Criticizing other players is unacceptable in the world of sports wives, and Gisele had the bad fortune to get caught on tape doing it.
Another major blunder of 2012 involved Susan G. Komen CEO Nancy Brinkler. The foundation announced that they would discontinue funding for Planned Parenthood due to the abortion services that are offered. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, is the largest breast-cancer organization in the U.S. ? and is known for providing womens’ services such as breast cancer screenings. After the announcement many supporters of Planned Parenthood were furious that they would stop funding an organization which offers free contraception and similar health screening services to women. To make matters worse, CEO Nancy Brinkler appeared on MSNBC and further infuriated her supportersby reacting defensively and refusing to acknowledge the truth in the situation. Instead of reassuring her supporters, she angered them by lying on national television about the influence of their vice president, who stated she was staunchly against the mission of Planned Parenthood, and also about the grants that they were supposedly continuing to give to the organization. Brinkler and the organization eventually apologized for their mishandling of the situation and retracted their announcement to discontinue funding.
These are only two examples of many media blunders that have happened in 2012, but they demonstrate how aware the public has become. Companies can no longer afford to ignore or manipulate the truth about a situation because the negative backlash can be profoundly influential, as both Gisele Bunchden and the Susan G. Komen foundation learned his year.