A public relations nightmare or triumph?
Every college student that decides to pursue a career in public relations takes courses in crisis management. Some situations, though, you just can’t prepare for. In fact, when I was in school, I don’t think “catfishing” even existed.
So, what do you do in a situation like this? It’s all over the sports news. An inspirational love story of Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te’o, who loses his girlfriend and grandmother in a six hour span of time and goes on to lead his team to a dramatic victory. All of America is inspired. Only to find out that the girlfriend was a hoax. She never existed. The Notre Dame athletic department was quick to make a public statement, backing their star player, but was that the right move?
If after further investigation, they find out he was in on the scam, how do you recover the tarnishing of your brand? Or does this make for good guerilla marketing – showcasing your university on every social media site, webcast, newscast in the nation?
Things are developing on an hourly basis for this story – how would you react?