Monday, August 24, 2009

How Exactly Is This a PR Crisis?

Okay, so the CEO of Whole Foods recently spoke his mind in the Wall Street Journal about the proposed healthcare reforms. Blah, blah, blah. And now customers are up in arms – protesting and picketing and boycotting and twittering and joining Facebook pages. Blah, blah, blah.

Apparently John Mackey had the audacity to remind Americans that healthcare is not a birthright. Agree or disagree, he still has the right to free speech. And so too do the customers and union members and anyone else who wants to pile on. Hey, this is still America, land of the free, home of the brave. Everyone has rights.

But how in the name of the Liberty Bell is this a "PR Crisis"?

According to BBC News:

Seemingly caught off-guard by the unfolding PR crisis, Whole Foods sought to distance itself from its chief executive's comments.

"We've had a lot of emails and phone calls and people coming into our stores to talk about it," said Libba Letton, spokeswoman for Whole Foods. "Our top priority is addressing their concerns."

But public relations experts criticised the store for bungling its response.

"You have two choices: you either take a proactive approach and wade right in and sort it out or you sit back and wait," said Erica Iacono, executive editor of industry magazine PR Week. "The company seems to be taking a wait and see approach and hoping it goes away. It's a mistake."

By the way, not to accuse the BBC of being sensational, but Erica Iacono is the only "PR expert" referenced in the story. And nothing personal, but how exactly is Erica Iacono an expert on this matter?

Regardless, none of that matters. In fact, none of any of this should matter.

Mackey spoke his mind and now the marketplace is speaking its mind and the chips will fall where they will. I mean really, what do the protestors and the twitterers expect? Do you want Mackey to recant? And if he does, will those words be "real" or calculated? And then you have to ask yourself what you really want: the truth or something else?

1 comment:

  1. Back in 2008, this Whole Foods, CEO John Mackey (how old is this kid?), was caught posting negative comments (trash talk) about a competitor on Yahoo Finance message boards in an effort to push down the stock price. So now I am suppose to take this loser seriously? Please, snore, snore.

    It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.