Posted by: Ian Ross | March 19, 2009

AIG’s PR Is A Disaster

AIG has become the symbol of corporate evil in these trouble times. And their public relations has become a joke… and an insult to the profession.

The company that is receiving billions in US bailouts, keeps making big public blunders — expensive corporate retreats, its restructuring officer joking that it woud be “better to go to jail” then deal with securities law, and the latest, million dollar bonuses to people who caused the company’s failure.blog_aig_cartoon

AdAge had a great article a few days ago. It noted, “…PR pros are shaking their heads at the blundering giant insurer, which is fast becoming not only the poster boy for financial-industry greed, but also a company seen as too arrogant or stupid to keep out of its own way.”

You would think that it is time that AIG got some good public relations help. But the fact is they have plenty. According to a CNN report, they have employed PR firms Kekst and Company, Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller. Plus they already have a big in-house team. The fact that their excessive PR spending is also making news just shows how bad things are.

There are some other interesting blog posts out there on this topic: PR Junkie, ODwyer and EthicalOptimist. They offer more scorn… but also a few solutions and a little hope that AIG can turn things around.

In my opinion, AIG’s public image is damaged goods. It is going to take a miracle to turn things around.

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Responses

  1. I enjoyed your post. While AIG now has some help from the large firms you mentioned, the real issue is why they didn’t focus on PR earlier. The firms you mentioned are doing damage control after the fact. The problem with AIG is that they didn’t focus on PR as an integral part of their business model from the start. They are a day late, and many dollars short.


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