Top PR Headlines of 2011

What a year for PR (or lack of it)… Kim’s wedding, Charlie’s rant, Herman’s denial, Facebook’s fall and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream balls.

Let’s take a closer look at five PR disasters from the past year:

Cain was Cheesy – So this wind-up toy of an ex-Republican Presidential Candidate went a bit too far when he denied affair #1, then affair #2 and then long term affair #3. What was he thinking? Where were his advisors? When his wife stopped talking to him, he decided to get off the election train. Maybe he should get back to business and put his sausage on his pizzas.

Facebook Loses FaceFacebook hires big time PR pros to question Google’s use of personal data, and then tries to get away with “no fingerprints.” Facebook was outed by Newsweek’s Dan Lyons in The Daily Beast. Bet Mark Zuckerberg wished he were transparent when the egg splashed on his face.

Kim, Kris and Married Bliss – Couldn’t the infamous duo have waited just a few more months to announce their divorce? In a year when there’s a huge divide between the rich and poor, why shove an 18 million dollar wedding in Americans’ faces? Couldn’t Kim’s best friend, PR Guru Jonathan Cheban, have given her better advice?

Charlie’s No Angel – OK, so maybe we couldn’t tear ourselves away from the screen watching Charlie Sheen rant and rave about everything from his Two and a Half Men producer, Chuck Lorre, to his own two goddesses. I was always taught to keep things amicable in this business. Not sure Charlie had that in mind when he called Lorre, “A stupid little man.” Good luck, Charlie.

Ice Cream Balls – You’ve got to give Ben & Jerry’s credit for coming up with off the chain names for its ice cream over the years, but things got a little warm for the brand when they churned out “Schweddy Balls” after the infamous SNL skit. While this made some folks laugh, my guess is that Ben & Jerry’s wasn’t laughing when big grocery chains dropped its ice cream like a hot potato.

Here’s the good news: 2011 is basically over, the folks noted above have gotten their due and it’s a clean slate for all of us. There will always be PR headaches, and that means there will always be PR. Here’s to a good year, everyone! Happy 2012!

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