Top 7 PR disasters of 2011

What events of the year do you think should have made the list?

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As 2011 slows to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest PR disasters we have all gotten the thrill of experiencing this year.

1. Netflix raises fees and changes name. First it split its services in two and raised prices (practically doubled!). Then the CEO sent out an apology (justification) letter explaining the actions and changing the name of the DVD mail out service to “Qwikster,” only to recant and do away with the new moniker. The result? Lots of upset users and multiple member cancellations.

2. Yahoo fires CEO by phone. This one didn’t get quite as much press, but it definitely ended up with Yahoo receiving quite the bashing in the blogosphere. Despite the need to fire its CEO, Yahoo execs decided to do it in the least mature manner possible—over the phone. What is this, junior high?

3. Penn State child abuse cover up. Nothing funny about this one. Even today more details are coming out about the disgusting child molestation cover up at Penn State. It has resulted in multiple firings, including one of the most famous college football coaches of all time, Joe Paterno. Not to mention Paterno’s reputation is forever ruined. Penn State may as well shut down the football program, because the damage is irreparable.

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