The BIG PR Lessons In The Shooting Of Cecil The Lion

The BIG PR Lessons In The Shooting Of Cecil The Lion
SHARE
THIS



If the unsavoury shooting of Cecil the Zimbabwean lion has taught us anything it’s how not to manage a disaster says crisis and media trainer, Geoffrey Stackhouse, from Sydney’s Clarity Solutions in Sydney. In this opinion piece he says the global outrage is, in most parts, due to poor communications…

Walter Palmer (below), the lion killing dentist from Eden Prairie, has become an international pariah. Partly for his heinous deeds but the outrage is magnified by his arrogant and misguided communications.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-29-at-4.29.02-AM1-410x220

In this classic crisis his comments are a text book example of how a phoney apology can ignite an online firestorm and trash an already damaged brand.  

Palmer and his media advisors don’t seem to understand that all crises are about managing outrage. And because outrage is highly volatile, pure emotion – the only communication option available is to join the sadness. Anything else will be ignored or, more likely, inflame the situation.

The problem here is that Palmer has used logic to justify his actions. And when that didn’t work he said it again more emphatically. That’s like trying to communicate with a person who doesn’t speak English by yelling at them. He needs to switch from the language of logic to the language of emotion.

Palmer’s toxic statement of regret focuses purely on justifying his actions. You can’t claim to be the innocent victim without showing you deplore the crime, yet nowhere does he acknowledge the tragedy of killing an innocent and iconic lion.

Perhaps he has been conned by lazy lawyers who always argue that an apology is an admission of guilt. In most cases that’s simply not true, and in the court of public opinion it’s the only evidence that counts.

The first thing Palmer has to do is show he ‘gets it’. He must make a clear statement that he is horrified to discover he has killed an iconic animal which was part of a research project.

Talk is cheap so he needs to put some ‘skin in the game’ so to speak. He has to make a commitment to some concrete actions that demonstrate his regret. It could be a financial donation or support for lion conservation and sustainable hunting.

The icing on the cake would be a call to others to hunt responsibly or, better still, to become a passionate advocate for protecting the lions of Hwange National Park.

But Palmer’s communication fail has helped make him an international pariah and probably ended his career as a dentist. The only thing that could make this worse is a statement of support from Donald Trump.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Designworks The Insiders

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency

The Fuel Agency has launched the new ‘TAFE + Jobs’ campaign, aimed to promote and drive applications and enrolments for courses starting in 2019 There’s a lot happening in Victoria, with record investment in road and rail projects, and in the health, community and disability sectors. As a result, there’s greater demand for skilled workers. […]

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO

Rakuten has a new CEO. However, judging by the tired handshake photo, B&T doesn't have any new ways of illustrating it.

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising

Who better to explain why your ads are getting blocked than a real ad blocking expert. As B&T has done right here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman

B&T has spared no expense with today's top Women in Media profile, save for suit hire, corsage and dry-cleaning.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner
  • Technology

Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner

The announcement designates Kantar as an approved third-party measurement provider for brands looking to verify their media spend performance on Google owned platforms. Kantar is approved globally to provide both Brand Lift Insights for evaluation of brand impact from campaigns and for independent measurement of audience reach from campaigns on Google properties. Kantar CEO Eric […]

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Final Call! B&T Late Entries Close Today!

B&T Award entries officially close at 5pm today! Good news if you've almost finished, bad news if you haven't started.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off
  • Campaigns

Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off

“It’s 2018”, is something you hear a lot when you talk to the players, coaching staff and fans involved in Rugby AU’s bid for the ‘Rugby World Cup Women’s 2021’ tournament. There is this sense that they are not only ready for a greater stage, but raring to go. As one player said “Ready?! We’re […]

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power
  • Marketing

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power

Shhh Silk is an Australian brand that quickly grew in popularity among celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Kim Kardashian West. Shhh Silk has just received a $1.8 million order from a very large brand in the US, and CEO Olivia Carr’s projections is for this to be a $50 million business in five years’ time. […]