With 2014 behind us and 2015 officially in gear, it’s important to reflect on some of the most important moments of 2014. Every year, it seems as though there is a new batch of PR crises, scandals and campaigns that through reflection, can teach us as PR professionals for the future. Here is a batch of some of the best PR stories of 2014:
Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the world by storm this summer. The Internet exploded with videos of people from all around the world dumping buckets of ice on their heads in order to raise awareness for the ALS Association. Each person who participated in the challenge was asked to nominate three people to pass the challenge on to creating a viral phenomenon. Helping to raise millions of dollars for the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge succeeded in creating a campaign that individuals were excited to participate in.
CVS Caremark’s public announcement that it was going to stop selling tobacco products is an example of how brands can use campaigns and communications to build awareness of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. Not only did this further brand them as a business that has a higher regard for the nation’s health, but it also teaches other organizations and brands that taking a chance and making a bold choice such as this one can really pay off if followed by positive action.
While other leagues such as the NFL seemed to be stuck in a crisis communications loop, the NBA and new commissioner Adam Shiner were able to act effectively on the Donald Sterling racism crisis that happened in the midst of the 2014 playoffs. Now ex Los Angles Clippers owner Sterling was caught making racist remarks during a private phone conversation. Silver took swift action and banned Sterling from the NBA for life, fined him $2.5 million and persuaded the other owners to force him to sell the club, which he ultimately did. By taking hard and fast action, Silver demonstrated how to not let a PR crisis get out of control.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Rute Barkai.