How would you handle the crisis surrounding the Dalai Lama as a PR professional?
The situation, as it unfolded is such:
On April 11, a video of the Dalai Lama asking a child to suck his tongue emerges. Worldwide reaction was swift and many people accused the Nobel Laureate of being a pedophile and a pervert.
The office of the Dalai Lama quickly apologises through their official Twitter account.
Meanwhile, his followers and supporters went on the offensive. Some tried to defend the Dalai Lama, saying that he was innocently playful. Others went further, accusing his detractors of not understanding Tibetan culture; others went overboard, portraying the criticisms as orchestrated by the Communist Party of China.
Needless to say, the issue did not die down. Defensive explanations and a half hearted “apology” where the Dalai Lama tried to dismiss the incident as a case where his playfulness and teasing had been misinterpreted could only add fuel to the fire.
But even as the fames raged, another video, as incriminating videos will in this day and age, emerged. This time it is of His Holiness and Lady Gaga.
One trespass caught on video could have been interpreted as a human lapse of judgement, if stretched, but two? And this time His Holiness wasn’t being playful with a kid but a full-grown woman who looked extremely uncomfortable as she parried his playful hand.
Which bring us to today’s intellectual exercise: if you are the Dalai Lama’s public relations advisor, what would you advise him to do or say from now on?
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