10 Disastrous PR Moves by Companies
FEMA's fake reporters
What if they threw a press conference and nobody came?
That was the scenario when FEMA scheduled a 2007 press conference to update media on efforts to combat raging wildfires in California.
To reporters, press conferences are a necessary evil in covering big stories for which a public official has to efficiently answer questions or detail talking points, and they know they must separate spin from facts. But delivering the trut is harder when a press conference is missing one very important element -- the press.Instead of letting reporters grill executives, FEMA filled the room with staffers and agency officials. It was a make-believe press conference! In a memo to all FEMA employees Oct. 29, 2007, administrator R. David Paulison said that "without intending to deceive," the FEMA external affairs staff "nevertheless lost perspective of the core imperative that they preserve the credibility of our agency." He described the fake press event as among "a series of serious mistakes and extremely poor decisions." Among the issues Paulison cited is that media who did get to take part in the conference off-site were restricted to a "listen only" capability, which kept them from stepping on the toes of the fake reporters who did get to ask questions. An earlier statement from FEMA's vice admiral, Harvey Johnson, missed the point: "The real story -- how well the response and recovery elements are working in this disaster -- should not be lost because of how we tried to meet the needs of the media in distributing facts."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV