French President, Francois Hollande, was caught out this week, or rather his PR advisers were, when his appearance on a live-stream app went disastrously wrong.
The embattled president’s visit to an internet company, which his advisers thought would be cool to live-stream on Periscope, a video app, turned into a PR disaster after viewers had real-time access to post comments on-screen. Oops!
Unsurprisingly, the French public went for the jugular and no subject was off-limits. Comments were made on the president’s waistline, fashion sense, sex life, and his inaction on French unemployment.
This tirade continued for 24-long-minutes until someone in the presidential team finally worked out how to switch the broadcast to the presidential Elysee website, where comments can be filtered.
Without a doubt, technology has revolutionised PR, not least because of the number of channels it has opened up. However, more channels mean greater risks.
Having run similar sessions like this myself for clients, I am flabbergasted that the potential for this to go wrong wasn’t identified. The very technology that led to this mishap also has the capability to pre-empt such a mishap. Time-delay and monitoring control anyone?
PRs that play with technology must know how to use technology. Simple really.
One poster said Hollande’s increasing girth suggested that a disproportionately large amount of France’s tax revenue was being diverted to his food bill. Another commenter said Hollande’s salary — 178,920 euros a year (about $196,000) — was clearly not enough, because he did not seem able to afford full-length suit pants. The poster called for the creation of a special French fund to buy four inches of cloth to extend the pants to cover the president’s ankles.