A friend sent me a viral email today containing a link to an Amstel beer advert which interestingly has been around for over 18 months.
The video clearly pokes fun at men, but have representatives of the less-fair sex created a PR crisis for Amstel and demanding the “patronising” approach be withdrawn and an apology given. Hell, no!
Clearly PR on Mars is much more relaxed than that required on Venus (as Neville Hobson illustrates).
But let’s not think women don’t have a sense of humour – although we have the angry moms getting their diapers in a knot over the Motrin advert at YouTube, the ill-fated commercial has stimulated various spoof take-offs – I like the boob job version, but best of all is the Angry Motrin Mom demands an apology from McDonalds.
I’m all for organisations being socially responsible and recognising emerging issues by monitoring online coverage – but some of the reaction we see online is frankly ridiculous.
Likewise the furore over John Sergeant in Strictly Come Dancing – where ironically the position is reversed. The “elite” supposedly didn’t like the way the public were behaving in voting for the worst dancer in the competition – so the BBC is found guilty over another celebrity-induced crisis. Now the public react in complaining about John’s decision to quit.
We are in new territories for PR practitioners where the old rules are being rewritten. It is easier and easier for publics to form and garner quite a bit of “Google juice” via social media when they aren’t happy.
Issues may attract large numbers of complaints, comments or posts, or involve groups who some may consider as influential. But, the more people “cry wolf” over matters that frankly don’t matter, the more this power is potentially diminished.
We can’t ignore the need to recognise that some people are from Venus and expect organisations to react to their every snivel – but there are others who have a more pragmatic Mars perspective. And, that’s not meant to be a gender related stereotype.
Rather than simply reiterating the traditional advice in PR crisis communications, I wonder if we don’t need to learn the rules of poker or other games/sports. Maybe that’s where men learn to roll with the punches rather than trying to fight every battle.