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Hijack This, Heaven Sent PR: It’s our PR highs and lows of the week

Feb 25, 2013

From Carnival’s stranded passengers to a retiring Pope and another Twitter hijacking, there goes another week of PR mishaps. Here’s a quick look back at the week that was in PR land.

Hijack This

McdonaldsBurger King’s 82,000+ Twitter followers may have been a little confused when reading tweets that stated the company had been sold to its competitor, McDonald’s. Even Burger King’s branding had been changed to match McDonald’s – OUCH! The Twitter takeover definitely caused some humiliation for BK’s social media team for their lack of account security! ‘Whopper123’ probably isn’t the strongest password.  Despite the mess, Burger King should be giving thanks to the anonymous hacker. The publicity from the account hijack helped BK gain 30,000 new followers, turning this PR mishap into a PR opportunity.  Have it your way indeed!

The Pope’s Resignation: ‘Heaven Sent’ PR Or Hath Hell Frozen Over?

PopeThe Pope’s unexpected resignation two weeks ago might have had all the trappings of a successful PR move: The Vicar of Christ on Earth admits he’s all too human – and frail – to lead his more than 1 billion followers, devoted and less observant alike. But this week there’s mounting concern his untimely departure was also linked to the growing backlash of yet another sexual scandal ripping through the church concerning gay priests, male prostitutes and blackmail. While the Catholic Church isn’t going anywhere, the bigger communications question going forward is whether or not the 2,000 year-old organization can finally confront and expunge its reprehensible record of sexual inappropriateness and downright abuse. Remaining relevant in the 21st century is about more than having an active Twitter account. The new pope, whoever, he may be, must re-engage the Catholic and global community through traditional and tech-centric means.

Finally we take a look at the long and tragic journey of Carnival’s Triumph that we’ve heard so much about over the past week. The ship’s passengers were finally able to escape the disabled cruise ship and safely return home. But what happens to Carnival now? Carnival Cruise Lines’ CEO, Micky Arison, has issued a formal apology to the guests who had to endure the horrible conditions while stranded at sea and offered a full refund along with $500 dollars for each passenger, and let’s not forget, a coupon for their next cruise. I think it’s safe to say that no one will be redeeming that coupon anytime soon.

Carnival CruiseSo as we put last week behind us and start off fresh here’s hoping other companies were paying attention to the PR fumbles of week’s past and put their best foot forward. Otherwise we can only imagine what stories will make headlines this week.

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