Biggest PR Disasters of 2012

By Natasha Bailey

As 2012 comes to a close, Business Insider came up with the biggest Public Relations disasters of the year. You might already have guessed that Penn State and the Sandusky scandal is somewhere on this list but if you’re wondering exactly where, we came in first.

Things were pretty bad for Penn State and there’s no denying that we should be on this disaster list but let’s take a look at some of the other PR disasters sharing the title with us.

Tweets seem to be behind a few of the disasters on this list. Kitchen Aid, the NRA and McDonalds have all gotten in trouble for things posted on their twitter pages. Kitchen Aid, a joke about President Obama’s dead grandmother, the NRA, an insensitive tweet following the Aurora shootings at a premiere of the Dark Knight and McDonalds, a campaign were users got to share their McDonalds stories, some of which were horrific.

Employees behaving badly have landed both Burger King and Taco Bell on this list. The lewd actions and photo documentation of such actions by employees gave both these food chains the right to be on the disaster list.

Other companies on the list were American Apparel for their Sandy sale during Hurricane Sandy. Apple also made this list with their awful map app and Chick-Fil-A for their COO’s offensive comments about gay marriage.

On behalf of the PR departments of the companies listed, these were some pretty harmful events but that’s where crisis communications come in and disasters like this are able to be handled quickly and efficiently.

Check out other PR disasters and more background on exactly what happened at the Business Insider website.


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