What Were They Thinking? Dept. July Doldrums Edition
I assume the summer heat and the thunderstorms are getting to people. That's the only explanation I have for this month's winners of our occasional "What Were They Thinking?" communications recognitions.
The first one, our "Taking Ambulance Chasing to New Lows" award, goes to the publicity department behind the pitch sent to a friend of mine this week for an interview with author Dr. Joey Faucette entitled, "3 Strategies to Work Positively in a Tragedy."
The third sentence in the pitch was: "For example, the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. This tragedy suddenly dominates our conversations, news media, buying habits, and prayers. It fogs our perception."
To which my friend responded,"The most tasteless, classless pitch I've ever gotten. Lose my address and contact info."
We couldn't agree more; hence the award.
The second one already has the sports media buzzing. In the aftermath of the NCAA sanctions against Penn State for the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's alleged abuse of children over many years -- seemingly to protect the football program -- microphones are being thrust in front of rabid alums and fans of Penn State football to get their reaction. The "Be Silent or Be Media Trained" award goes to the alum who came out with this beauty, reported in Huffington Post among many other sites:
“I just can’t put my arms around it, it’s, to me,it was our 9/11 today. I just saw planes crashing into towers,” said Price, who told WNEP that he has gone to almost every home PSU football game, with his wife, since 1986.
As Fred Toucher of Boston's Sports Hub said on air (I'm paraphrasing), it's unfair in a way to criticize people who have no media training and were put on the spot like this, as they don't have a clue what they are saying. His view is that the TV station that first used this comment wanted dumb comments to boost their ratings. I tend to agree. However, anyone -- trained or untrained -- who equates the tragedy of 9/11 with the impact on their favorite college sports team deserves, at the very least, a "What were they thinking?" Communications award.
Do you agree? Did I miss any other recent gaffes?