Public Affairs - Worst Public Affairs Disasters 2016 (Part 1)
Galaxy Note 7
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 had great potential and was speculated to be a major contender with Apple.However, in an unexpected turn of events, Samsung had to recall the Note 7 phones after reports of an internal battery error that caused the device to overheat and catch fire. While Samsung’s move to swiftly recall the phones was positive at first, the situation worsened after the replacement devices were showing similar defects. The situation got to the point where airlines were banning customers from using their Note 7’s while in the air. Samsung worsened the situation by not coordinating the management of the recalls of their phones with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and poorly handling customer contact during the crisis. Despite Samsung’s poor management of this crisis, turning it into a public affairs disaster, their loyal following will likely continue to use their products, and any damage done will be temporary.
Lochte’s poor behaviour at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and his handling of the situation was indeed a public affairs disaster. After drunkenly vandalising a Rio gas station, Lochte decided to cover his tracks by concocting a tale about being robbed at gunpoint by a group of bandits. Lochte then fled back to the USA before the truth was revealed, after which he admitted the truth and gave a formal apology. The situation did a lot of damage to his reputation, and he is now trying to rebuild it with his appearance on Dancing With The Stars and the announcement of his fiancee's pregnancy.
Outrageous EpiPen Prices
Martin Shkreli became an icon of industrial greed in 2016, but Heather Bresch may have managed to take the cake. As CEO of pharmaceutical company Mylan, Bresch was behind a 400% price hike of Mylan’s EpiPen, causing Congress to launch a formal investigation. Unsatisfied with Bresch’s answers, Mylan attempted to resolve the situation by reducing the price for those without adequate health insurance, but this didn’t manage to stop all the backlash from the public affairs failure.
With a talented and experienced public affairs manager, such as Desiree Peterkin Bell, many of these disasters could have been avoided. To find out more about Desiree Peterkin Bell, and the services of her company DPBell & Associates, visit her website.