Lost Cat Spells PR Nightmare for AA

Jack the CatJack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK Facebook page has nearly 1,400 fans, with comments piling up by the minute. The page is mentioned in news stories around the country, via print and broadcast. Jack the Cat was lost by American Airlines during the Irene hurricane craziness and the owners weren’t satisfied with the airlines response. So they took to social media and this heartbreaking pet story has gone viral.

The comments are interesting. No matter what atrocities are happening in the world – mass murder, genocide, disease, famine – a sad pet story will bring people to their knees. Many people in all corners of the nation are praying for the safe return of Jack and AA is being bombarded by Facebook comments, Tweets, emails, calls.

This is worse, PR-wise, than a plane crash. Many people, and I am one of them, suffer deeper hurt from animal abuse than human abuse. It’s a strange phenomenon. This episode will cost AA millions in lost revenue and a damaged reputation. They should spare no expense, and use every possible resource to find that cat. If they find Jack, and put safeguards in place so it never happens again, there might be a sliver of redemption for the airline.


Watch us get deeper into debt, tick by tick by tick … http://usdebtclock.org


Mercenary PR & The Photo Op

Never underestimate the power of the photo-op.

Seif al-Islam, Gadhafi's sonSeif al-Islam, Gadhafi’s son, looks like somebody you might run into around Tompkins Square Park (the scene of epic battles in its own right). He’s much better dressed than the rebels. He looks like he shops at Banana Republic. He is intoxicated by the attention, one last taunt before he retreats to the compound for the ‘Scarface’ finale (say hello to my little friend) when you go out guns ‘ablazin’. He is also deluded and crazed, like his father. What is unfolding now reminds me of the Branch Davidians, hunkered down against all odds, or Hitler in the bunker, exhorting others to die for a lost cause while you plot your suicide. The Arab spring turns to the Arab fall and the drama continues. Libya is a brief glance away from Syria, which is heading for its own nasty showdown.  The videos coming from Syria have been too gruesome to watch.

CNN's Matthew Chance Twitter

Where is Qaddafi? Does He Still Need PR?

where is moammar? According to NYTimes story, Mystery of Qaddafi’s Whereabouts Looms Large in Conflict’s Endgame

Colonel Qaddafi’s last public appearance was on June 12, when he was photographed playing chess in Tripoli with the visiting president of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov, an equally eccentric if less powerful personality from Russia who claims to communicate with aliens from outer space.

I should have known the end was near for the wacko dictator when word got out that he was looking to hire a NY PR firm. See: Moammar Gadhafi is looking to hire a New York public-relations firm to improve his image.

“Libya has been under an unjustified media and PR attack which led to NATO’s military involvement.” – Ali Darwish of the Libyan Ministry of Information.

There, it’s all been just a PR problem.

Post Racial, Post Messaging, Recessionary America

Laugh in the Face of FearI get upset when one person doesn’t like me. Imagine millions of people spewing vile in your direction every minute of every day. People who define their life, it seems, by dissecting every word and every move you make so they can find an opening to attack you maliciously and relentlessly. This is American politics today.

Today, as the markets nose dive and economic indicators are grim, and we have a brief respite from the Slasher Debt Crisis, politicians all over America are trying to re-jigger their messages and blame someone else for a lousy economy and a horrible state of public discourse.

Barack Obama ran on the a platform of bringing change to politics in Washington. Now he blames “Washington created” problems that are bedeviling Americans, as if they are outside his control. Even if that’s true, it’s a slippery message platform.

Michelle Obama sent me, and a few million others, an email today asking to sign greetings to her husband for his 50th birthday. Great. I did it, and then was bounced to a message asking for a campaign contribution. The Dow is down 3% today, nearly in free fall. It’s not a good day to ask me for money.

There seems to be a collective shrug when it comes to developing solutions for our problems. Some say “cut up the credit cards.” Others say stimulate the economy. What we get is a hybrid approach that satisfies neither proposition.

What’s my personal prescription for all this doom and gloom? Think of Syria. Think of Libya. Then laugh, loud and often. It could be worse. And it seems like it will be. We could be heading for another recession, before we recover from the last one.