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Reputation

5 PR Experts Weigh in on NFL’s Attempt to ‘Combat Domestic Violence’

Peaceful football

We’re all well aware that the National Football League has a big problem on its hands. A recent YouGov survey tells us that the NFL brand has experienced “the [sharpest drop] in consumer perception since Target’s data breach” last December.

Here’s something you may have missed this week: in order to confront all that terrible publicity, the league announced the creation of a “social responsibility team” consisting of its own community affairs VP Anna Isaacson and three (female) advisers, each of whom have built careers as experts on the prevention of domestic violence and sex crimes.

The question: is this a meaningless stunt or an earnest attempt to address underlying issues?

This week, we spoke to five industry experts to get their take on the league’s move. For context, we’ll start with quotes from two of the women involved, who will be responsible for “policy-making and education.”

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One Man Wants to Show You How to ‘Get It Right’ with Wikipedia

wikipedia1Have you ever had a client ask you to “look into” or “take care of” their Wikipedia page? Most likely the answer is “yes.”

For PR professionals and the clients they serve, Wikipedia matters. It is the planet’s fifth-most visited domain, and 53% of American adults consult it on a regular basis.

Take a look at your client or brand’s page on Wikipedia now — is it up to date? Is all the information correct? Are all associated images optimized?

Wikipedia’s volunteer community has created an incredible resource, but it does contain some major blind spots.

So what’s a PRNewser to do? Editing a Wikipedia page can be difficult on one’s own—the rules for writing and editing are constantly changing, and they’re governed by a community that is resistant to outside assistance.

They have their reasons: we’re all aware of the fact that certain firms specialize in Wikipedia “sockpuppeting”, and while a coalition of the industry’s top names did come to an “agreement” with the site’s community this year, problems remain.

(For a refresher, we spoke to seven experts on the ramifications of the agreement earlier this Summer.)

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Everyone Is Pissed at the NFL

nflHere’s a somewhat encouraging note on which to end the week: in the wake of its horrific handling of the Ray Rice scandal, the National Football League‘s reputation hit its lowest point in the past five years — and approval ratings have dipped more among men than they have among women.

Before the full video of Rice punching his fiancee broke, the league was at a high point — it was even more popular than during the period after the 2014 Super Bowl. Now, however, the YouGov Brand Index tells us that public perception of professional football has flip-flopped from a positive 36 to a negative 17.

Also: the dip was more than three times as extreme among male respondents as among females.

Maybe bad behavior does come with consequences.

Here’s the chart — and that looks like a game-ending fumble at the end:

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Domestic Abuser Ray Rice Just Lost His Job

NFLToday the NFL proved that it is not completely divorced from reality by resolving a crisis it could no longer deny when a video of Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee unconscious during an argument in a hotel elevator surfaced on TMZ.

We never thought that TMZ, of all places, would teach one of America’s most successful organizations to better monitor its own ethical compass. Stranger things have happened, we suppose…

The NFL’s SVP of comms Greg Aiello explained things to CNN:

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How Should Celebrities Respond to Embarrassing Leaks?

J LawConfession: we mostly ignored Twitter over the long weekend and did not receive the same barrage of news about celebrity image leaks that filled everyone’s timelines on Sunday and Monday.

We have to agree with the sentiments expressed by posts on Forbes and New York magazine, among others: “scandal” is the wrong word to use for a story that involves the sharing of “content” never intended to be public, and the way we approach this topic confirms the persistence of gender-based double standards that have managed to seep into every corner of our society.

We won’t even comment on the asinine arguments made by the people who tried to justify the posting of these images (the very same people who spend so much time ranting about the NSA from their comfy basement perches).

The question, then: how should famous people respond to potentially embarrassing revelations like these?

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NFL Promises to Crack Down on Domestic Violence

This afternoon the NFL attempted to fight back against one of its biggest reputation challenges by issuing stricter punishments for domestic violence among players.

Will this move pay off? Some details from commissioner Roger Goodell‘s letter to team owners after the jump.

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Good PR Averts the Sriracha Apocalypse

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For L.A. cool kids, the hottest ticket in town this weekend was a tour of the Sriracha hot sauce factory in Irwindale, California, which kicked off its grinding season with an open house (and much fanfare).

There, the company’s once-reclusive and sometimes-combative CEO David Tran greeted guests amongst red, green and white balloons next to an Instagram-ready cardboard cutout of himself.

Tran didn’t just set up a party to combat his company’s recent problems stemming from a bad reputation and an insurmountable odor: he opened the doors and let the world smell his spices.

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What We Should All Learn From Edelman’s Commitment to Become Its Own Client

Edelman ReputationEdelman PR has been in a bad way lately — not for their client outreach efforts but for what they have done to themselves.

First, the global independent juggernaut caused a small kerfuffle by taking a stance against all those pesky “climate change skeptics.” Given their ardent statements of commitment to the cause, this didn’t go over too well.

Then, the agency thought that using Robin William’s unfortunate death to start a conversation about effective pitching would be a good idea. Many disagreed and they apologized, but no one really listened.

Now, Edelman will start to consider itself as a client. Question from the rest of us: What took so long? 

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STUDY: Social Media Is Winning PR War for Anti-Fracking Groups

Signs protesting the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, are seen near the town of Calicoon Center, New YorkWe’ve written frequently about the PR war over hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” — anti-fracking and environmental groups VS. the energy companies that have adopted the controversial practice. Now, a recent study by Makovsky suggests that while both sides may be impassioned and dedicated to winning the debate, the war is being fought on two different battle grounds, and the side utilizing social media appears to be the side that’s winning.

The survey revealed that 57% of U.S. consumers believe that fracking is one of the three most important environmental issues today. Furthermore, 65% of respondents (71% in fracking cities) say they hear about the issue at least weekly, and 77% say they hear about it primarily from internet news sites and social media.

Now here’s the kicker: the study also found that the vast majority of social media mentions of the subject are coming from anti-fracking activists and groups. In fact, of the 1.3 million Twitter mentions of fracking from January through July 2014, anti-fracking activists generated 2000% more impressions than groups supportive of the practice. Let us spell that out again… two-thousand percent! Read more

Something So Bad, Even Trump Doesn’t Want His Name on It

donald trump talkingDonald Trump is clearly a big believer in getting his name in the media, on a label or on the side of a building, even if he gets tons of criticism in the process. So it’s kind of unbelievable that we’ve actually stumbled on something that even he doesn’t want to attach himself to.

Trump has filed a lawsuit to get his name off of the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Plaza, two Atlantic City hotel/casinos that he built back in the 80s and 90s. In 2009, he got rid of his stake in the companies and licensed the use of his name to Trump Entertainment Resorts. Now his lawsuit says the casinos have fallen into an “utter state of disrepair” and he doesn’t want them to bear his name any longer.

Ha!

Trump will go on and on in the most idiotic ways to get his name on a reporter’s lips, but he still has a sense of the importance of the perception of quality. Even if his words are rubbish, he knows that the goods have to have a little substance behind them if he’s going to be given the license to prattle on endlessly.

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