How to commit PR Seppuku II: it gets worse

A posting in Linked In by Astrid alerted Unspun to this and when Unspun went to the Senayan City site he couldn’t believe his eyes.

The home page is business as usual, giving the usual marketing drivel about what it is why its such a great place.

But if you go to the events section there are two links. One is to their press release of Dec 1, with a black ribbon as a visual. Not the best way to express condolences and compassion in a personal way but nothing very wrong with that.

If you click the second event then you get something bizzare: Five clippings from various publications about the aftermath of Reno’s suicide in the shopping mall. What’s distasteful about all of them is that they have sections highlighted with a marker pen. These sections are obviously what the management thinks are information favorable to them.

Managements usually fall into this trap in moments of crisis. When hit with a shower of bad news, they think that they can counteract it with their dose of good news.

The trouble with information like this is that they appear to a third party as defensive. As if the management is so kia su and the reader so dumb that they have to be shown how good the management has been in this whole incident.

It would be much better if the management were to post a letter of heartfelt condolence in their webite. If they are are imaginative about it they can post a YouTube video of the boss expressing his condolences or assuring his audiences of the measures they have put in to minimize such incidents.

In such moments people want to see and hear someone of authority from the company, who cares, someone who is compassionate and some who can provide assurances about how the place is run.

The public certainly does not want to see the company posting self-serving highlighted media clips. Its distasteful, its defensive and it certainly isn’t PR but some crude and amateurish spin doctoring.

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