Hunting, like public relations, is all about timing. So it’s utterly inconceivable that the NRA has decided that now, as the country is still bereaved, shocked and confused about a spate of unfathomable mass shootings from Colorado to Connecticut, is a good time to release its Target Practice app, which is tailored for gun enthusiasts ages four and up.
Yes, four and up.
The politics of the gun debate aside, we’re perplexed by this app release. The NRA has the resources to employ the best in the PR business, yet this decision is a good example of everything a brand shouldn’t do when navigating a deeply emotional moment for the public (and attempting to emerge with its reputation intact).
The release is poorly timed, insensitive and completely tone deaf to the ways millions of people in America and beyond feel about guns–especially guns and children. We’ve all become far too familiar with the violence, the wasteful loss of innocent life, and the image of individuals with assault rifles marching down the halls of an elementary school.
So what, possibly, could have led the NRA to make such an inexplicable decision? We can only guess that a discussion regarding the timing of this app release occurred in some conference room in some office building in some alternate reality. Perhaps the individuals in this meeting raised these very relevant PR questions: