Monday, January 26, 2009


Recent corporate PR buzz

Two interesting articles regarding recent PR issues for two Fortune 500 companies. Their PR departments have some work now!

Article #1 - Citi
The gist of the article is that Citi, despite getting $45 billion in TARP assistance, is going ahead with their purchase of a new $50 million corporate jet. There are a few obvious mistakes in this story.
#1 - If you get $45 billion from TARP, which the tax-payers are on the hook for, it probably isn't wise to invest in a new jet. Especially when the company already has two.

#2 - Here's a quote from the head of CitiFlight "Why should I help you when what you write will be used to the detriment of our company?" replied Bill McNamee, head of CitiFlight Inc., the subsidiary that manages Citigroup's corporate fleet, when asked to comment about the new 7X.
I get his reasoning. There isn't anything he can say that will make anyone understand the logic behind this; however, outside of "no comment," this could be the worse possible response.

Maybe I am looking too much into this story, but I think this poses a serious problem for Citi. When your stock is in single digits, your company is fighting to stay afloat and you are getting bailed out by tax-payers; a new luxury jet probably isn't the best thing to go out and purchase.

Article #2 - Nike
The article discusses Nike's move to have Rafael Nadal wear more "traditional" tennis clothing. His regular garb consists of capri shorts and sleeveless shirts - not your typical attire. Nadal's loyal fans are upset and angry about this change, but from a corporate PR standpoint, this makes complete sense.

Nike, arguably one of the biggest corporate sponsors, has a right to make sure their brand is portrayed in a positive image that is most beneficial to their bottom-line - profit. By dressing Nadal in a more conservative and traditional clothing, this allows Nike to sell more product, which is ultimately the goal of their sponsorship. It's also a neat and cheap way to get publicity.

Happy Hunting!

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that citi bank thing really pissed me off. I cannot believe them.
I agree with you on the nike thing. Nadal knew when he took the deal that he might be told exactly what to wear. Also, why do his fans care what he wears that much? It didn't change how he played.

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