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Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

PR Fail: Barilla Chairman Says He Will ‘Never’ Include Gays in Ads


Here’s a case of foot-in-mouth disease followed by a quick but debatably effective damage control operation. Yesterday Guido Barilla, chairman of the pasta company that bears his name, told an Italian radio show that his brand will “never” feature gay men or women in its ads and that “if the gays do not agree, they can always eat pasta from another manufacturer.”

Here’s his reasoning at work:

I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role…if the gays do not agree, they can always eat pasta from another manufacturer.

A woman’s place is in the kitchen and gays can never be part of a real family? He went homophobic and misogynistic while mentioning respect in the midst of a thoroughly disrespectful comment and encouraging a significant portion of the population to abandon his brand. That’s what we call “the keep digging strategy.”

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What’s ‘Enterprise Tech’ PR All About, Anyway?

Today we bring you another guest post courtesy of Pasta, a provider of public relations management solutions. Today the company launched “Pasta PR Chats,” a new interview series where employees speak with public relations practitioners of all shapes and sizes—from agency folks, to PR-savvy entrepreneurs, to in-house managers. Their first interview is with Rod McLeod, an account manager at Bateman Group and finalist for this year’s PRWeek Young PR Professional of the Year Award. You can head on over to Pasta’s blog for the entire interview, but here are some choice excerpts along with a clip in which Rod discusses the truth behind a lingering PR stereotype:

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Case Study: Good Corporate Communications in a ‘Difficult Situation’

Today we’re glad to bring you a guest post via Laura Kelso. Laura is a co-founder of Pasta, a Bay Area startup providing public relations management solutions to tech clients. A former tech PR pro turned fledgling front-end developer, she now focuses on building smarter approaches to the management and execution of PR.

Earlier this month at PyCon 2013 — a big tech industry conference for developers — a female attendee tweeted a picture of two male attendees, publicly shaming them for making inappropriate sexist jokes. This tweet led to at least two people losing their jobs. One of them was the woman herself, who worked for SendGrid as a “developer evangelist”, and the incident has sparked heated debate about sexism in tech and attacks on all sides.

But stepping away from the commentary regarding her intentions or actions, we can learn some valuable PR lessons from the actions of a company facing fire due to the actions of an individual employee. As the title of the CEO’s public statement implies, SendGrid did an excellent job of handling a “difficult situation” by taking a stance and communicating it quickly to stakeholders.

SendGrid correctly decided that the incident required a corporate response.

The behavior of an individual employee via personal social media channels is always a gray area. Since the employee in question was officially representing the company at PyCon and her actions directly affected her responsibilities, SendGrid was correct to address the situation directly and publicly.

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