Playing Catch-up

It’s been a relatively busy month in the world of public relations.  My computer was down for a while so I missed several high profile stories that had major PR components.  To catch-up, here’s a listing of some of the highest profile PR blunders of the past month and a half:

  1. Obamacare Roll-out:  President Obama’s signature legislative achievement went live on October 1, 2013.  Shortly thereafter the problems began.  The website has been plagued by bugs and many, many people have had issues in attempting to sign-up for insurance on the insurance marketplace exchanges.
  2. Government Shutdown:  At the same time as the Affordable Care Act went live, Congressional Republicans shutdown the government in a high stakes game of chicken.  Their ultimate goal was to defund and repeal the ACA.  It failed.
  3. Cancellation Madness:  You know when President Obama promised no one would have to give-up their current insurance policies? Well, that was not exactly true.  Hundreds of thousands of people have received cancellation notices and the administration fumbled the ball in a big way.
  4. Olympic Dreams:  Russia continues to face backlash from its anti-gay propaganda law, with the country’s sports minister acknowledging Putin should have waited to enact the law until after the Olympic Games.
  5. JP Morgan Deal:  JP Morgan, one of the largest financial institutions in the country agreed to pay a multibillion dollar settlement with the justice department.  The deal stems from the 2008 financial meltdown and the part JP Morgan played.
  6. Winter Wonderland:  Six cities have submitted bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, one city glaringly absent.  Oslo, Stockholm, Lviv, Almaty, Beijing, and Krakow all submitted bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games; however, Munich was absent from that list.  The citizens of the municipalities which would host events voted overwhelmingly against submitting a bid to the IOC.
  7. Friday, Black Friday:  Many of the nation’s largest retailers revealed plans over the past month to open stores on Thanksgiving, instead of waiting until the Friday after Thanksgiving to start the holiday shopping season.  This continues a trend started several years ago of opening at midnight on Black Friday.

These are just a few of the headlines over the past month which kept PR practitioners busy.  I’ll be examining some of them more in-depth over the next couple of days, with analysis and suggestions on what could have been done better.

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