Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Death And PR

While I wasn’t particularly close to Duff—you know you’re from TA if you call him that—his death struck a chord. It’s the idea that the death of one diminishes us all in some way. In which case, we should all feel so miniscule these days given the death toll of Typhoon Frank, more so with the sinking of MV Princess of the Stars.

However, it seems that the owners of Sulpicio Lines and their hired attorneys do not feel little at all. In fact, they even feel big enough to blame everyone else for the sinking of the ship. First they pointed the blame to “an act of God”. Since they began with the Almighty, why stop there? They next blamed PAGASA and threatened to sue for negligence. Now Del Monte Corporation has alerted the authorities that there is a huge cargo of their pesticides in the cargo hull of the ship; the reaction of Sulpicio to this news has been typical of their responses for the past few days: “D’uh, gee, we didn’t know that!”

My god.

Let us for a moment set aside decent human reaction in the face of great tragedy. Let us even forget about the moral thing to do. From a corporate public relations point-of-view, the statements coming from Sulpicio show that these folks are woefully insensitive to the situation. Let’s toss in “stupid,” “dim-witted” and “dense” into the list of apt descriptions as well.

Shouldn’t their lawyers know some basic PR? Do they teach that in law school? And shouldn’t they advise their clients to just shut their traps? It seems that ever statement, every action or non-action (what with their reported hesitation to allow the floating of the ship because doing that will mean getting a smaller amount in insurance claims) from them is an act of god-awful PR. It’s a desperate kind of business self-preservation that will eventually sink them. But while that strikes me as ironic justice, I think someone should just tell them that the most prudent course of action is also the correct one: Do the right thing.

Hey, maybe all those deaths have diminished them after all. Unfortunately all the diminishing happened in their brains.

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