ISBN 9780749444402,Talespin: Public Relations Disasters - Inside Stories and Lessons Learnt

Talespin: Public Relations Disasters - Inside Stories and Lessons Learnt


Kogan Page Limited



Kogan Page Limited

Publication Year 2005

ISBN 9780749444402

ISBN-10 0749444401


Number of Pages 336 Pages
Language (English)


Many PR practitioners believe that the obsessive reporting of the concept of 'spin' has unfairly tainted the entire PR discipline. But others believe that PR people themselves make the catastrophic errors of judgment that create PR disasters.

From the top celebrities who have publicly slated their sponsor's products to corporate photo-calls that were disasters waiting to happen, Talespin reveals why PR consultants are so often accused of 'sexing-up' information. As each tale unfolds and spins out of control, the perpetrators of shoddy PR practice are exposed.

Gerry McCusker gives us an amusing, yet shocking, peek behind the scenes of 79 real-life public relations disasters from around the globe. Documenting both the infamous and the unreported PR disasters from the worlds of branding, business, media, music, politics and sport, he asks the question: "How can these catastrophes continue to happen?"

While Talespin makes for a compelling and entertaining read, its message is deadly serious: malpractice, misjudgment and the media's own agenda are the combustibles that combine to cause PR mayhem. Anyone working in the media-related industries will learn unforgettable lessons from these real-life PR horror stories.

About The Author
Gerry McCusker has over 20 years experience of working at a senior level in the PR and advertising industries. Based in Australia, he now runs his own consultancy, Generation Text, and is a Media Trainer with public speaking consultancy Kissing-with-confidence. His client credentials include: BMW, Dunlop, Espirit/Sprint Telecoms, Gateway Supermarkets, Irn Bru, Malvern Star, MINI, National Australia Bank, Pacific Brands, Repco, Tennent, Caledonian Breweries, Ultra-Fresh, Unisys Computers, Vauxhall Motors and Whyte & Mackay Whiskey. A regular contributor to lifestyle and marketing publications, he also presents at seminars and conferences in Singapore and Australia.

Table of Contents
A - Ambassadors - Clearly there's no substitute
Announcements - The Information superhighway
Astroturfing - PR create smokescreen
B - Brands - Cola brands fizzing after allegations
Briefings - Master plan Leeds to nowhere
Broadcast Media - PR man of letters
C - Celebrities
Community Relations - Community relations good intentions turned around
Contingency Planning - In a frorth over debt collection
Crisis Management - Motorists let down by trye fiasco
D - Damage Limitation - destabilizing the PR Effort
Diplomacy - Love thy Neighbour
Direct Mail - Volkswagen Blasted Over Bomb Mailer
Disclosure - 'Virus' catches Consultancy Out
E - Endorsement - Radio star makes waves
Ethics - The lie of the land
Event Management - PROs left feeling sheepish
F - Financial PR I - Share value takes a kicking
Financial PR 2 - From relations to investor relations
G - Goodwill - Trouble brewing
Government - Grave error in burying bad news
Grassroots Campaigns - Boob job exposed
Guerrilla Marketing - Naked ambition
H - Healthcare PR I - open doors policy opens wounds
Healthcare PR 2 - A bitter pill to swallow
Hype - Bottled water launch becomes washout
I - Icons - home truths for lifestyle icon
Internal Communications - mechanical failure
Interviews I - Losing the PR war
Interviews II - Dogged by bad publicity
Issues Management - Pouring oil on troubled waters
J - Journalists I - Registering disdain
Journalists II - Investigating journalism
Journalists III - Smoke and glass mirrors
K - Kobe Bryant
L - Launches I - Unsinkable enthusiasm
Launches II - Creating media impact
Leadership - Conservative
Libel - Lawsuit hard to swallow for PR people
Lobbying - PR hall of shame
M - Mascots - Costume drama
Media Lista - List hysteria alert
Media Relations I - football guru's PR own goal
Media Relations II - News release hits wrong note
Minority Groups - Taking the message to market
N - News Management - Courage of convictions
Newspapers - Retraction drives newspaper bananas
O - Off the Record - All that glitters...
Opinion Formers - Image is a bankable asset
P - Philanthropy - A good strategic fit
Photocalls - Hotel reservations over photo call
Political PR - Battle for hearts and minds
Promotions - Operating in a PR vacuum
Propaganda - Truth is the first casualty of PR war
Publicity - Falling fowl of public opinion
Public Opinion - The offal truth
Q - Quotes
R - Radio - promotion leaves station cooling its heels
Reputation Management - Even plating field
Research - Own goal for football brand
Rumour Management - Devil of a stain mars reputation
S - Smear Campaigns - Virgin sullied but reputation intact
Soundbites - When the chips are down
Speeches - CEO caught pie-eyed
Spokespeople - Legal eagle sings the blues
Sports PR - Kicked into touch
Stakeholder Relations - airline grounded over PR response
Stunts - Tearing strips off publicity attempt
T - Targeting - Scouting for revenue
Television - Bogged down
Testimonials - Word is our
U - Undercover Operations - A royal pardon
V - Video News Release - Video killed the media star
Viral Marketing - Maize of deception
W - World Wide Web I - Kick in the teeth
World Wide Web II - Room for improvement
X - X X X X Factor - fail is a four-letter word
Y - Youth Marketing - Knickers in a twist
Z - Zephaniah, Benjamin - Poetic licence
Conclusion - What's making PR such a disaster area?