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Oscar’s Mishap Calls For Major Damage Control

Awards season is upon us. The time of year we all crowd around our televisions to watch our favorite stars, movies, and songs take home awards for being the best of the year. But what fun would it be if everything went according to plan at these? Not much considering how fun it is when they don’t.

At the Oscars this year, Warren Beatty and the Oscar’s decade-long accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers pulled a Steve Harvey and announced “La La Land” as Best Picture when “Moonlight” was, in fact, the winner.

It will go down as one of the most memorable faux pas in Oscars and television history. The look on Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s faces as “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz stood in front of the mic and said, “You guys, I’m sorry, no, there’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.”

So what is a media professional to do in a time like this?

When situations like this happen, it’s damage control time. The Oscars began this as soon as they realized the wrong envelope had been given to Beatty. The crew frantically rushed around backstage trying to locate the correct envelope and ran to the stage to fix what they could once it was found. As for PricewaterhouseCoopers, they are still trying to save their reputation after this fumble.

The accounting firm released their first initial statement only three hours after the accident occurred, apologizing to the presenters, both movies, the Academy and the viewers at home.

As a media professional, remember: always own your mistakes. Don’t try to push the blame off on someone else. Your audience will see right through that. Also, try to address your audience on a more personal level. You don’t want to sound like an automated message in times like these; the people want to know that you really care about what is going on. Make sure to keep them informed every step of the way.

Crisis communication is very important when it comes to your brand. There is always a chance that things can go wrong, so you must have a plan set and ready when they do.

If you want to learn more about crisis communication, go to PR Daily.


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