Best and worst crisis management 2021 (2023)

In a world where politicians and celebrities' reputations can change rapidly thanks to the power of social media, here are some of the year's most notable PR flops and volleys.

Veteran public figures who successfully weathered the PR storms of the 2021 crisis left nothing to chance, defended their reputations and quickly took control of their narratives. These strategic crisis management actions are the foundation of effective reputation management and why these leaders have been able to survive and thrive despite challenges.

On the contrary, educating the public, denying the facts and refusing to take responsibility for miscalculations are colossal blunders of crisis management that have tarnished the reputations of some key figures this year.

Here's a breakdown of the best and worstHigh risk crisis managementin 2021.

The best crisis public relations

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle- Love 'em or hate 'em, these fascinating royals.took control of the narrativeand turned the tide in their favor during the bombardmentInterview with media expert Oprah WinfreyLast March, in an interview that took the right turn, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, addressed a series of ugly allegations and ended up looking harder.

Oprah's interview was a carefully crafted production, from the way the photos were framed to the immaculate clothing, hairdo and makeup of the participants. It was a lesson in preparation: Oprah knew what to ask and how to ask, while Harry and Meghan seemed like the "good guys."

The media savvy couple proved they know how to use modern media unlike the royal family whose PR operation is outdated. The young king's Q&A effectively turned the PR crisis around and blamed it on the royal family.

cardi b- This outspoken rapper came under fire for allegedly trashing other rappers on Instagram, but he was quick to debunk attempts to do so"unsubscribe" from her on TwitterAttack enemies head-on. She hasn't waited for the crisis to spiral out of control to set the record straight, knowing that time is of the essence and it's sink or swim.

He took command again when backlash erupted over a pornographic song in March. Rather than shying away from it, Cardi B continued her fight for freedom of expression, singing the song extensively and pointing out that her music is not for children. Her actions show that Cardi B can have a positive influence on women in general, she doesn't apologize for herself, she works hard to maintain a relatable brand and she's very open about sticking with it.Marriage despite challenges. Cardi B earned Bonus RP Points per Crisis by participating in aThanksgiving-Kochshowwhich clearly showed her baby bump and portrayed her as cute, funny and vulnerable.

Mackenzie Scott- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' philanthropic ex-wife set a prime example of successful crisis management in 2021, scoring high marks for everything from the collegial way she handled her public divorce to the nearly $6 billion donation dollars to charities after being named the 4th richest woman. in the world.

He has publicly acknowledged how the pandemic has hurt disadvantaged groups while increasing the wealth of billionaires. Scott then used his money and media savvy to ensure good press coverage.donate millions of dollarstoo often overlooked colleges and universities that tend to serve low-income, minority and regional students.

She also treated them a lot.public divorcewith Jeff Bezos classily and gracefully announcing the terms of their divorce on Twitter and noting that they are co-parents and friends, effectively avoiding a tabloid frenzy when it had been otherwise.

Britney Spears— After nearly 14 years of SpearsGuardianship has endedin court Nov. Britney racked up PR Crisis Points by repeatedly thanking her loyal fans for launching"Libertad Britney"move, which drew attention to his case and kept him in the spotlight.

The crooner and performer's painful experience helped illuminateMental health, guardianships and guardianships. In fact, her positive handling of a decade-long press crisis gained such positive momentum that the media seems to be backing her after years as a media punching bag.

The worst PR crisis

marca zuckerberg | facebook | Meta
—The social media CEO has faced a lot of criticism this year, particularly at congressional hearings that have prompted some lawmakers to call for the dismantling of Zuckerberg's growing social media empire.

if facebookemployees and complainantsAccusing Facebook of acting in bad faith and suppressing evidence that its platforms harm children, Zuckerberg ignored his concerns and went ahead, in clear violation of Crisis Management 101: Never Ignore an Ongoing Crisis.

Zuckerberg firmly avoided taking responsibility, instead largely blaming the press for deliberately running a smear campaign that, unsurprisingly, drew even more negative attention to him.

Facebook's renaming at the height of its public relations crisis was seen by many as an attempt to distract from a period of mainstream media attention as calls mounted on Capitol Hill to break the internet giant's "monopoly."

Travis ScottDisaster at the Travis Scott Astroworld ShowIt is aepic exampleof failed crisis management. Ten fans died and over 300 were injured in a crowd. The popular rapper apologized for the pandemonium, but his words rang hollow to many considering the artist has a well-known reputation for stirring up chaos at his events.

It is now the subject of more than 300 lawsuits filed in the wake of the deadly Houston spectacle in November. And despite viewers' cries to "stop the show," the show went on for nearly an hour longer, drawing criticism that organizers didn't do enough to take reasonable precautions and that Scott did too little to stop the disaster to soften as it unfolded.

Alec Baldwin- He's an A-listerABC-Interviewabout the deadly shootout on the set of Rusta turning pointwho made things clear; Instead, it was a classic example ofwhat not to dowhen a crisis occurs.

Baldwin, who accidentally shot and killed camerawoman Halyna Hutchins on set in October, has refused to accept responsibility for her death, blaming the gun and saying she didn't pull the trigger.

Baldwin and others involved are now the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging the incident was a result of a general culture of neglect during production. And while social media can work well to spread information quickly and mitigate reputation crises, Baldwin and his wife are convincedStay active on social mediavery long and shared content that drew even more criticism.

Era of critical crisis response

As 2021 draws to a close and we reflect on the crisis communications wins and losses of the year, it's important to note that the culture of cancellation continues to grow, and unfortunately, the world is sure to see another crisis response mix in 2022.

What should we take away from 2021? That our society is more fragmented, more impartial and quicker to condemn than ever. Lawmakers, social media influencers and leaders of all stripes will need to tread carefully over the coming year if they are to avoid violent attacks in the form of Twitter mobs and online outrage.

Americans of all creeds and political backgrounds would do well to keep this in mind: we are one nation united by much more than divides us. Our countrymen are not the enemy and we must all seek a renewed commitment to treat one another with courtesy and respect. Well, that's a New Year's resolution worth keeping.

Evan Nierman is the founder and CEO ofred fig(@redbanjan), an international PR and crisis management company. He's alsoAuthor of "Crisis Averted: PR Strategies to Protect Your Reputation and Bottom Line.“

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