Gini Dietrich

Rush Limbaugh’s Non-Apology Creates Bigger PR Crisis

By: Gini Dietrich | March 7, 2012 | 
134

Can we give the Moron Award to Rush Limbaugh?

For those of you who haven’t heard, last week Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for speaking at a Democratic House of Representatives event. She called for  religion-affiliated institutions, such as Georgetown, to cover contraception in their health plans. Because it’s not covered, she said some pay up to $1,000 per year.

Apparently Limbaugh thinks she must be both a slut and a prostitute “if she required so much costly contraception.”

But then he upped the ante by saying she is, “A woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences. No responsibility for her behavior.”

The National Organization for Women called for Clear Channel to take Limbaugh off the air and, while the company hasn’t done that, the advertisers are speaking.

During the weekend, ProFlowers was the seventh company to pull its advertising from Limbaugh’s show. They announced it on their Facebook wall.

And, just yesterday, AOL and Tax Resolution Services also pulled their advertising, making the total nine. But that’s not all. Peter Gabriel discovered his song “Sledgehammer” was the song used during this tirade and demanded his music be removed from the show.

While Limbaugh did issue an apology to the law student by saying,

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

He goes on with a “but” by saying it’s not really his fault and blames it all on the left, the side where you “can’t expect morality and intellectual honesty” even as advertisers continued to pull their funding of his show.

Let’s set the politics aside (I know that’s hard to do here every time I write about something so politically-charged) and talk about the PR repercussions of all of this.

It doesn’t matter if it’s business, life, your marriage, or a friendship, when you say, “I’m sorry, but…” the apology is voided.

And that’s what Limbaugh did here. He said, “I’m sorry, but…”

There are many companies (Carnival, Susan G. Komen, Claire’s, Boners BBQ, Kenneth Cole, and more) who can take lessons from places such as FedEx who know how to say “I’m sorry.”

It turns out Limbaugh could use that same lesson in humility and true sorrow.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • jennwhinnem

    Gini, since you’ve shared that you’re a Mormon, I’ll share that I’m a Catholic. Mormons may make good leaders but Catholics are good at apologizing and forgiveness (hold all other jokes please, esp how you can’t make money off these activities). What else would all that confession be about?
     
    So when I see these false apologies they really offend me. A true apology does not contain the word “if” or “but.” Usually when I see false apologies it has to do with the “apologizer” not wanting to lose. Well, you just lost at apologizing buddy!
     
    Also I would hope regardless of your politics we agree it’s not okay to call a woman you don’t know a “slut.”
     
    Thanks for commenting on this issue, Gini.

    • ginidietrich

       @jennwhinnem Ah yes. The Catholic guilt. 
       
      He totally lost apologizing. I love that, as advertisers are leaving in droves, he’s saying, “I’m sorry, but the left is no better.” Yeah…what Jenn said. It’s not OK to call anyone a slut, no matter your politics.

  • AjntB2Sli

    @SpinSucks Funny, Ive yet to hear an apology at all from leftists media about calling (cont) http://t.co/grqIIjhK

    • ginidietrich

      @AjntB2Sli I don’t care who you are. People calling others names is not OK

      • AjntB2Sli

        @ginidietrich wasn’t personally attacking you. I was responding to the message. Seems to be one sided.

  • What I’m going to be interested in once this blows over – because it will – is seeing how many of those advertisers come back, and if his show is going to be pulled. Last I heard, there was only one station that had done that, I think in Hawaii, but I’m not 100% sure.
    Is this a PR crisis? Yes. And who’s coming out on top? Sandra Fluke, because she has been nothing but composed and gracious in the face of this reprehensible tirade.
    Whatever happened to just saying, “I’m sorry? I screwed up and I’m really sorry.” Which, of course, doesn’t remove the fact that anyone who could say things like this is simply beyond the pale, in my opinion, but at least have the grace to offer a real apology.

    • ginidietrich

       @Shonali We all screw up. He’s not known for his, um, decorum. I’m not surprised he said  it. But I am surprised in how egotistical and defensive he’s been about it. I don’t know why this is so hard. I’m sorry goes so far. For businesses and people, alike.

    •  @Shonali I think those advertisers will be back quicker than they even realize. He has a huge following nationwide and they will not ignore that for too long. In my opinion, they have made a hollow gesture because they will likely go back and continue advertising as if nothing happened.
       
      And not many people will bat an eye when they do go back because so many have such a short term memory.

      • ginidietrich

         @Anthony_Rodriguez  @Shonali I really, really hope you’re wrong. Nothing will change if that happens.

        •  @ginidietrich  @Shonali I hope I’m wrong too. I feel a little pessimistic about it though.

    •  @Shonali The problem isn’t Rush Limbaugh. The problem is the listeners.  This subset of the population will tun into Rush no matter what he says. Once a Dittohead, always a Dittohead. This is a temporary condition, and those sponsors will eventually flow back for the very reason Rush makes the millions that he does: many, many listeners.

    •  @Shonali Hah; I forgot about saying that although was thinking the same. Who’s going to come sneaking back b/c his ratings are still going to be good?

  • yourgreatlifetv

    @ginidietrich Moron award is an understatement. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @yourgreatlifetv Right?? It makes me so angry.

  • Amen

    • ginidietrich

       @KenMueller Wow. Man of many words today.

      •  @ginidietrich Oh, there’s plenty more I could say, but more from a sociological perspective, tapping into my radio roots. But that would be more like a book. 

        •  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich He was eating peanutbutter and it stuck to his fingers.

  • Gini,The lack of depth, culture, compassion  and just plain understanding about life from some of these white, 60+ year old men who want to hold on tightly to a control of this country, is mind-blowing. You would think that by now everyone would have a deeper appreciation for women and their medical & health decisions, but this is far from being the case. Thank you for writing this post which transcends political messages as it relates to a human issue.Sending you a Big Hug,
    -Bern 

    • ginidietrich

       @yourgreatlifetv It’s astounding to me. And I learned this morning a friend’s kid was bullied on the playground because he’s African American. It’s 2012, people, not 1912. There are so many people who fought for us to have freedoms. Let’s not throw it away by being bigots and calling names.

    •  @yourgreatlifetv Hi Bern! This is such a good point – It shouldn’t be any of his business anyway. 

  • StaceyHood

    @startabuzz Hey Mel!

    • startabuzz

      @StaceyHood Hey, Stace!

  • James_JGK

    @dawgpndgirl @ginidietrich For sure!

  • It doesn’t matter if it’s business, life, your marriage, or a friendship, when you say, “I’m sorry, but…” the apology is voided. Enough said, don’t make the apology if you feel you still have to make your point. 
     
    I’ll admit, I lean more to the right in my political preference; but having a gay sister and being a volunteer for Guardian ad Litem that involves DCF and numerous other government funded agencies, I also am much less judgmental………thank goodness. 
     
    Personally, I prefer the moderate, inclusive approach and if either party starts leaning too far from mainstream they will lose my interest very quick. Who the f is Rush Limbaugh anyway and why does he get so much credence; like he lives a perfect life………..
     
    That’s my story for today, no buts allowed.

    • ginidietrich

       @bdorman264 It doesn’t matter what your politics are. No one should be calling another human being names. And we wonder why our kids are being bullied. The close-mindedness kills me. 

      •  @ginidietrich  @bdorman264 Horsehockey Gini. That Bill guy is a Son of a  Dorman and if that isn’t name calling what is?

  • JonBellah

    This entire situation just makes my blood boil. So I’ll just ignore the political side of it and agree with you that Rush needs a lesson in apologizing. (Here’s hoping that lesson comes in the form of taking him off the air for good…)

    • ginidietrich

       @JonBellah I hope so, too. This country does not need people who aren’t humble enough to say they’re sorry when they call another human being names.

  • There is so much to say to all this, and it’s mostly been said in the comments below, but I’m going to say one thing: I love the way ProFlowers responded. It’s incredible how small things like that can really influence your perception of an organization. 

    • ginidietrich

       @Lisa Gerber I hope they stay the course and don’t reinstate their advertising.

      •  @ginidietrich  @Lisa Gerber I had just switched my Flower account to AmateurFlowers and now have to switch back!

  • Well, now I know why every apology I’ve ever issued hasn’t gone over well.

    • ginidietrich

       @JayDolan LOL!!

  • To tell you the truth Gini, the whole thing is sad to me. What Rush said was just ugly. Really ugly. It’s exactly why I never listen to talk radio shows, as there is simply too much hate and venom. I don’t care if it’s Rush, or Sean Hannity, or Keith Olberman….to me, they’re all the same–If I listen to them I don’t feel good, and so I choose not to.
     
    I literally sigh at the negativity that has swept the world on both sides of the political aisle.

    • ginidietrich

       @Marcus_Sheridan I agree, Marcus. It’s really sad we can’t be nice to one another. It’s trickling down to our kids and we wonder why they’re being bullied? Maybe their parents should take a look in the mirror.

      •  @ginidietrich Yeah, I saw your comment about the bully thing…I know all about that. Where I grew up, I was in the minority in school. In middle school, I was the chubby white kid getting picked on and beat up by a group of black guys every day on the bus. Scared to death, I wouldn’t say anything to my parents. It got so bad that I used to get sick every school morning until my Mom finally had enough and took me to a specialist, where I finally told her what was happening.
         
        Needless to say, I stopped riding the bus.
         
        I mention this because ignorance is on all sides. For me, it’s not about all the terrible old white dudes out there. Or the female haters. Or the male haters. Or the racists.
         
        For every awful group, there is another equal and awful group of extremists on the other side.
         
        I used to think I would be involved in politics, but at this point in my life, I feel I can be of more help to this world if I really learn my message and find ways to help individuals and businesses on all levels, especially when it comes to the subject of personal development and other positive attributes.
         
        This way, I stay away from all the negative but can focus on watching people’s lives truly go in a better direction.

        • ginidietrich

           @Marcus_Sheridan And isn’t it a better life to focus on the good? 

        •  @ginidietrich 🙂

        • DianaStrinatiBaur

           @Marcus_Sheridan yes and there is so much good out here to focus on. I can’t stand to watch people being mean to other people or animals.  I just can’t stand it. And since I’ve decided NOT to participate in the gawking, I have less general anxiety.  It’s a choice.  Meanness DOES trickle down and causes our children to be either victims or perpetrators of mobbing, bullying and hate.  They see and hear the meanness and they either mimic it or they become victims  of it.  There is no place for it, or for fake apologies in civil society. 
           
          There’s no empathy or humanity in all of this.  Not in the original content, not in the apology, not in any of it.  I am happy to see that his sponsors have responded by pulling away.  It is the only type of language that this sort of individual understand. 
           
           I also can’t stand talk radio in general unless it’s Car Talk on NPR.  Because those two guys really love helping damsels in distress with their faulty fan belts. And I do mean the real car parts.  

        • ginidietrich

           @DianaStrinatiBaur  @Marcus_Sheridan I don’t why we can’t just all get along? Why is it so hard to understand people don’t do things the way we do and that’s OK?

      •  @ginidietrich  @Marcus_Sheridan Civil discourse is a lost art. Which is why I have to really filter out FB and Twitter in an election year. The hate I see from both sides is amazing, and will be the subject of a post once we get to the “final” campaign.

        • ginidietrich

           @KenMueller  I’ll debate you!

        •  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @Marcus_Sheridan @DianaStrinatiBaur I wanted to add this is not new. During the Bush/Kerry fight that got really ugly I forget what news org pulled campaign pamphlets from the 1840s that made the stuff today seem like disney quality. The difference is the ease of getting many to see something. Like the GOP Woman’s group in the south that created a handout showing Obama as a monkey eating waffles. That is tame seriously vs the stuff listed from so many years back.

  • All I have to say is how does anyone listen to this piece of trash.
     
    I just erased something I shouldn’t post here just because I respect your blog too much @ginidietrich . I will stick to the case study.
     
    For every person who does this stuff, Imus, Glen Beck, Limbaugh, geez the list goes on….they forget about their sponsors. The forget that yes ratings bring them money but they REPRESENT their sponsors. Maybe the sponsors like the demographic but they do not want to be viewed as a hateful, spiteful, narrow minded, bigotted brand. And if the person dishing this stuff out portrays themselves this way the Brands will jump off.
     
    The saddest thing is there is no claw back where a brand can ask for advertising refund so the person loses money they earned.
     

    • ginidietrich

       @HowieSPM As you and I discuss elsewhere, it will be interesting to see what happens. WIll the sponsors stay away? Or do they think advertising with him brings them so much money, they can’t help themselves?

  • Humility? True sorrow? C’mon, Gin; absolutely not possible in this regard and from this individual who should try to uphold balance for all Americans rather than rabble rousing political dissent and gender inequality. He has always and forever will disgust me; perhaps I’m in the minority on this one from those across the aisle and other camps. So be it. I have always attempted to keep my politics mine, but the attacks are so vicious and demeaning with some commenters, I can’t.

    • ginidietrich

       @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing I get where you’re coming from, but if we don’t challenge people who bully others, it will continue happening. I’m sorry sure goes a long way, even when you screw up this badly.

  • rustyspeidel

    In the old days, before you all were born, folks could disagree and still be friends. Folks could protect themselves against libel and slander in the courts. Folks could talk through their disagreements in a civil tone.
     
    Now, not so much. We communications professionals should lead by example, and advise our clients to do the same. This includes advertisers, media outlets, PR firms. If we can’t see a coaching opportunity when we see it, who will? Do the right thing. Do the courageous thing. Don’t take the greedy or mean-spirited path. In the end, it always backfires. 

    • ginidietrich

       @rustyspeidel It ALWAYS backfires. In any situation. 

  • Strange, I thought we were living in 2012.
     
    Anyway while the fact that a student needs up to 1000 $ for contraception and that the institution should pay for it is completely arguable, I personally think they could use that money for scholarships, being unpolite in such a way is completely unforgivable.

    • ginidietrich

       @Andrea Hypno Right?? No matter how you feel about the politics at hand, this is no way to treat another human being.

      •  @ginidietrich Exactly, that’s what I meant. Limbaugh has been unpolite, not the student. Sorry if it seemed the contrary. Next Summer a full immersion English course should be one of my goals. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

           @Andrea Hypno No, no. I knew what you meant. Your English is perfect. I was just repeating for effect.

        •  @ginidietrich  Ok then. 🙂

  • lfredsouthwick

    He also said that if she’s going to continue to demand taxpayers dollars to have sex (..which she isn’t doing), she should post videos of those acts online for everyone to watch.
     
    http://wapo.st/wJWOMY
     
    Delightful man, isn’t he?

    • lfredsouthwick

      *taxpayers’ dollars

  • Totally agree. Rush’s apology was not prompted by the public outrage or even the consequent press coverage. Rush thrives and lives for those moments. Otherwise, he would have apologized the very next day. Instead he piled it on for several days thereafter. In fact, he did not release a statement until he started losing his advertisers. Rush was not affected by the public disdain. He responded only when it started costing him money. I am also convinced that someone drafted the third paragraph in his written “apology” statement for him. The two paragraph rant before the apology was pure Rush. The third paragraph was not.

    • ginidietrich

       @billquiseng To your point, what’s the point of having a three paragraph apology? It needed to be three sentences. Max. “Sandra, I screwed up. I attacked you personally. I’m very sorry.” End of story.

  • Robb_Wexler

    @ginidietrich Gini…..BINGO. I was AMAZED he just didn’t say. “I’m sorry..I was wrong.” THAT would have ended it. But nooooooooooooo..

    • ginidietrich

      @Robb_Wexler I don’t know why it’s so hard. I really don’t

  • delwilliams

    @ginidietrich I will go for three, “shut up hypocrits” probably not, but it will blowover once media moves on to real news.

  • Sorry Gini, for once I am going to disagree with you, and here’s why:
    He has apologized twice, but then the media keeps questioning whether he meant it or not as if they know his heart. Second, the MEDIA has continuously put “slut”  and not her name,in their titles to get clicks, My last count was over 210 million according to Google. Third, there is a HUGE piece of hypocrisy going on when Bill Maher, by his own admission can call Sarah Palin a “cunt,” “twat” etc repeatedly and suffer zero repercussions. He says he can do it because “he is on HBO and has no advertisers”. When Laura Ingraham was called a “slut” “talk-slut” the guy who called her the name got a week off the air, no loss in advertisers. So, perhaps unintentionally, it is acceptable to call conservative women derogatory names while anyone with GOP on their voter registration card is crucified. The media blew this story up for their own gain not to help that lady. She is just the flavor of the day as evidenced by her being put on shows to keep it alive. Rush will lose advertisers, but when it has died down,he will have new advertisers and  that woman will never be heard from again, that’s how pawns are played. It’s a game and she bought into the idea that people really want to hear her ideas. 

    • ginidietrich

       @delwilliams Totally don’t agree. He apologized only after he began to lose advertisers. He’s not really sorry. His three paragraph “apology” was full of “but the left does this and the left does that and where does that leave me” BS. If he’d said, “Sandra, I screwed up. I attacked you personally. I’m very sorry.” and ended it there, that would have been an apology. 
       
      Businesses and people, alike, have to learn I’m sorry (and ONLY those two words) goes much further when we screw up. And screw up we will.

  • ladylaff

    After reading the full transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said, I really have the creeps and would be genuinely terrified to be alone in a room with him.  Although I do not condone people like Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a “see you next tuesday” as @delwilliams pointed out that is totally different. This was an ordinary student who wanted to make a comment about public policy versus a very large, rich and public bully with a huge following who labels her her a slut and thinks she should post public videos about what she is doing with her contraceptives (sex videos right?).  That is vile and goes way beyond the acceptable range of freedom of expression.  His behaviour was bullying, hateful and most importantlycould actually put the student in harms way if one of her male colleagues actually agreed with him.  I don’t care how much he apologises in response to pressure and would only accept it if was truly sorry and had a genuine change of heart.  I hope they take him off the air.

    •  @ladylaff You see that is the excuse everyone has been making, the distinction of the roles of the women being maligned, when the REAL issue is,it shouldn’t matter. Regardless of who they are, they don’t deserve to be called names by men. It’s like in the business world, when a man is aggressive/assertive, he is a “leader” but a woman is called a “bitch.” Anytime a man wants to diminish a woman he goes to the derogatory name calling file. It is not acceptable on any lever, but in reality men generally get a pass on it since it’s a woman they called the name. I was in no way defending Rush, but pointing out the hypocrisy. Think on some of the women leaders in biz world where men freely call them a bitch. It’s time for women to stop acting like damsels in distress and start kicking butt and taking names. If you are going to boycott Rush then you should boycott all of them who do it and it is seen as acceptable in society.

      •  @delwilliams  @ladylaff what really upsets me is the same jerks like Roy Blunt and the ahole Senators/Congresspeople who say ‘I don’t want my tax money going to your recreational sex’ have no problem with Viagra being funded with their tax money. Funny because I bet half of them use it and it is paid for by their insurance.

      • ginidietrich

         @delwilliams Now THIS I agree with!

    • ginidietrich

       @ladylaff  Name calling, no matter what it refers to, is wrong. What happened to professional and civil discourse? I’m with you – I hope they take him off the air.

    • rustyspeidel

       @ladylaff  @delwilliams What happened to suing for slander and defamation?

  • AmyMccTobin

    @Soulati @ginidietrich Shocker really.

  • Look I am angry that we live in a world where people can use slut as a pejorative term. Once upon time boys like me had to rely upon sluts for a very valuable life lesson, but I won’t spell that out.
     
    I will say that I believe in the marketplace of ideas and I support Rush, Olbermann and Maher’s rights to say what they want within the limitations of free speech.
     
    I also support the right to respond with our wallets and or voices. If you want use your platform to look like a fool I’ll help you. Won’t help you promote racism or bigotry, but this didn’t fall into that class.
     
    And because I am a snob I will recommend that more people take the time educate themselves about the laws surrounding free speech because it is not unlimited and never has been. Go read about Gitlow v New York and the related cases.
     
    Go look up the Marketplace of Ideas and go do more than engage in knee jerk reactions because that is how this kind of nonsense starts anyway.

    • ginidietrich

       @TheJackB I have no problem with freedom of speech. I have no problem with debate or civil discourse. What I have a problem with is people calling one another names. He who lives in glass houses…

  • I’m so busy with preparations for saving the world that didn’t plan on commenting, but you’re just so provocative that I can’t resist. I’m even going to spew some rhetoric so this will be the best or worst comment ever.

    Rush Limbaugh and his disciples are holding this country back with their racist and sexist bigotry. I was raised conservative and went to private Catholic schools K thru 12. For all these conservative Christians all up in arms about the “morality” of this contraception law, I will be the first to tell you that your argument became crap as soon as Priests started molesting children and covering it up. Lets face it, we’re not in the 1920’s anymore – pre-marital sex is a fact of our times whether you want to admit it or not. The law isn’t forcing these women to go on the pill, it’s a choice. Furthermore, for any man to call a women a slut is a hypocrite. A slut is simply a woman with the promiscuity of a man so who are we to judge when most of us would jump on anything that moves if presented the opportunity. That’s all for now, back to fighting the good fight.

    But instead of giving Rush the Moron award, lets give him the Not So Genius award, much more PC 🙂

    • ginidietrich

       @SociallyGenius You know what’s weird? I’m reading a book about women’s freedom in the early 1900s. They were distributing pamphlets on family planning and the post office found out and refused to deliver that mail, stamping “ILLEGAL” across it. That was more than 100 years ago yet here we are…still talking about family planning as if it’s something new.
       
      Don’t get me started on how much it costs our country if there are unexpected children people can’t afford.
       
      But we were going to keep politics out of this. 🙂

  •  @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski @bdorman264 @Lisa Gerber @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @Shonali @JayDolan @TheJackB @ladylaff @delwilliams @rustyspeidel @Marcus_Sheridan @sociallygenius @DianaStrinatiBaur 
     
    I’m sorry

    • That apology was more sincere.. No buts! @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski @bdorman264 @Lisa Gerber @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing @Shonali @JayDolan @TheJackB @ladylaff @delwilliams @rustyspeidel @Marcus_Sheridan @sociallygenius @DianaStrinatiBaur

    • ginidietrich

       @HowieSPM  You are such a dork.

  • The reality is that politics is (and has always been) dirty business – and feeds on inflammatory language, vitriol and stereotypes on both sides of the aisle. Talking heads like Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, Olbermann are entertainers. Controversy like this drives ratings – and the real danger isn’t the talking head, but the throngs of adoring fans who swallow it hook, line and sinker.  
     
    Politics, marketing, PR – we like the idea of open dialogue and civil discourse, but that’s sometimes quite the tall order. 😉 

    • ginidietrich

       @jasonkonopinski I have no problem with controversy. Where I have a problem is in the name calling and throwing mud. Of course, these guys are perfect and never make mistakes so I guess it’s OK for them to do it.

      •  @ginidietrich Oh I hear you – loud and clear. I have some choice names with which to brand the blowhard, but I’ll refrain from posting them here because they’re not in good taste and, well, I respect this space too much to do something so rash.
         
        Douchecanoe isn’t nearly strong enough to express my disgust for everything that Rush stands for. 

        • @jasonkonopinski Wow, great compound word there with douchecanoe, I’ll have to try that on words with friends! @ginidietrich

  • ginidietrich

    @21law El Rushbo. LOL

  • Having run a few campaigns myself, I know a little about these issues.  The goal is always to get your people to show up and the other side to not show.  The strategy from the right for the last 30 years has always been to define the debate and make things nastier and dirtier by giving their people all the ammo – while demoralizing those who are more likely to see issues as complex.  It has worked very well for them.
    However, this depends heavily on controlling the message.  What we are seeing today is that the message cannot be controlled in social media.  Rush made a very stupid mistake by going off script, but more importantly his arrogance had a direct challenge that did not exist just a few years ago.  Things have indeed changed in politics – just as they have changed in PR.  Rush is no longer speaking just to a select audience – he can go out to the whole world, and they can fire back. 
    Everything you say about PR, Gini, goes for politics as well.  And it is a game-changer for those who get a handle on it, especially on the left.

    • ginidietrich

       @wabbitoid I don’t have a problem with Rush or his show. I don’t listen to it, but it’s not my cup of tea. What I have a problem with is an apology that isn’t really one. 

  • jaybaer

    @ginidietrich You could replace “Limbaugh” with just about any crisis and it would still be an accurate tweet.

    • ginidietrich

      @jaybaer Exactly!

  • KevinVandever

    Yes, it was mistake to use “but”, he should have used one of the more vogue methods: “with all due respect” or “no offense”
     
     

    • ginidietrich

       @KevinVandever LOL! Terrible.

  • baylorbfa

    @Narciso17 @ginidietrich It’s a shame such a logical and righteaous point got overlooked and misinterpreted because of name calling.

  • lovinglife_xoxo

    I happened to be listening to Rush during that time. I am a social liberal and believe in a woman’s right for reproduction freedom. In the 80s, in order to have my tube’s tied I actually had to get my husband’s signature. Of course if he would have had a vasectomy I wouldn’t have had to sign a thing. With that being said, I was so busy laughing at the absurdity of what Ms. Fluke was saying that Rush was an afterthought. I was actually saying to the radio – “OK, how much do you spend on your hair, cell phone, SHOES!!! But you can’t Woman up and afford your own birth control to protect yourself?” Was Rush out of line? Of course, but he is Rush. We didn’t clamor for those that attached Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, for getting “herself” knocked up fired.  I mean please Bristol Palin was a teenager and not a woman attending Grad school at one of the most prestigious schools in the world. Since you were smart enought to get into Georgetown, how about having a discussion with your partner about who is going to pay for birth control this time. My advise is “Woman UP” Ms. Fluke and decide what your priorities are. Put together your own budget, because frankly I don’t wish to pay for your birth control. 

    • ginidietrich

       @lovinglife_xoxo I don’t disagree, but there is a reason I wanted to keep the politics out of this. The issue really is that people, brands, businesses need to stop being defensive and really listen to what their stakeholders have to say. If advertisers are pulling out because you called another human being a name, for heaven’s sakes, say you’re sorry. Don’t get defensive. Don’t blame someone else. Say you’re sorry. It’s a lesson for all of us.

      • lovinglife_xoxo

         @ginidietrichI totally agree with that point. No matter how nice we would like to play together Gini, politics and religion are a part of this issue. Rush should have lost the ‘but,” but the truth of the matter is even if had lost the “but” people would still be demanding he be fired and that advertisers pull their products.  Nothing he could’ve done after the that would have made a bit of difference. Once this gets out into the Social Media biosphere their really isn’t a thing you can do except take cover til the storm passes, learn from your mistakes, or in this case make a large donation to the schools on campus clinic.    

  • thebrandbuilder

    @swagclubdaily Lots of people still defending him. What does that make them? (maybe that’s the real news.)

  • M_Koehler

    Agreed. The Sorry, but really is not an apolgy. I’d say more but it would veer way of course into an anti Rush rant. Which you already know my stance on.

    • ginidietrich

       @M_Koehler LOL! Yes. I do.

  • John_Trader1

    I’m sorry but “Rush Limbaugh” and humility will never go in the same sentence.
     
    I think it’s interesting to note that as an Ad Age article article pointed out earlier this week (http://adage.com/article/mediaworks/advertiser-boycott-rush-limbaugh-spell-end/233115/) that sometimes advertisers may pull their ads from the show but not the entire channel or any other entities owned by it (in this case Clear Channel Communications). I wonder if all of these advertisers are pulling all of their ads from Rush’s show and not Clear Channel completely? That’s a big leap if they decided to do that. If they didn’t, is that truly “speaking?” I’m not sure.

    • ginidietrich

       @John_Trader1 From what I can tell, they only pulled from his show. At least in the case of ProFlowers and a couple of the others. I would guess pulling from the channel completely wouldn’t be good for their businesses.

  • swagclubdaily

    @brandnutter @thebrandbuilder Rush=posterchild4 #kooziemongercorporateassclowndouchecanoecatalogcarpetbombingtrunkslammerstalkergladhandguys

  • alexandrakirsch

    @ginidietrich He is a walking PR crisis. As my people would say, “Oy vey.”

    • ginidietrich

      @alexandrakirsch Oy vey is right!

  • ginidietrich

    @SassyShenetta It makes my head hurt!

    • SassyShenetta

      @ginidietrich Oh, I know – don’t get me started!

      • ginidietrich

        @SassyShenetta I kind of want to get you started!

  • Three thoughts: 1) But he did say I’m sorry.  Well he implied it: “I’m sorry my advertisers are leaving me in droves;” 2) Any time we say, or even hint at “but,” the message is, ‘everything I said before “but”  is BS. and 3) Unless I missed it, no one in this thread, nor much of the TV coverage, mentioned the fact that he said “If we’re going to pay for her birth control, she should post her sex tapes on You Tube.”  WTF?!

    • ginidietrich

       @KensViews WTF is right, Ken. WTF.

      •  @ginidietrich  Like Lisa Gerber  I love me some initials!

  • pocojuan

    @ginidietrich Core concept: “self inflicted” pathological impotent rage of misogyny & racism. Untreatable, Requires a cranial transplant …

    • ginidietrich

      @pocojuan Now that’s not a bad idea!

      • pocojuan

        @ginidietrich There is a long waiting list for th procedure. th GOP is requiring patients to certify tht thy are not already brain-dead sigh

  • JulioRVarela

    AMEN. Social media is the great flattener and anyone who thinks they can “control” it with PR apologies doesn’t get it. Great post as always G!

    •  @JulioRVarela PR apologies?  Please don’t link what he did, or didn’t do, to PR.  It insults too many fine people in the PR field who are working  diligently to get their clients to do the right thing every day.  (I know you weren’t trying to insult anyone!)  And I certainly don’t want to re-open the “PR Definition” can-of-worms!

      • ginidietrich

         @KensViews  @JulioRVarela I don’t think Julio meant it as you took it, Ken. He just meant no amount of PR can fix this hot mess (who, BTW, has now lost 45 advertisers).

        •  @ginidietrich  @JulioRVarela  I hope I acknowledged that I realized that wasn’t Julio’s intent.  (At least that was my intent!)  I do believe a sincere apology would have gone far.  But that would have been impossible, because he believed what he did was right.  And that’s even more offensive!

  • stevecunningham

    @ginidietrich what works as an apology to your spouse…

    • ginidietrich

      @stevecunningham Turns out “I’m sorry” works with Mr. D

      • stevecunningham

        @ginidietrich doing the dishes and cleaning the house works for Mrs. C!

        • ginidietrich

          @stevecunningham That would work for me, too!

  • westtnyankee

    @afblair @webby2001 “If I offended anyone” always bugs me. “If” u didn’t offend = no need 4 apology. #PRFAIL

  • liekev

    @josgovaart Volg het nu een paar dagen en het is echt ongelofelijk dat er zulke mensen bestaan en daar openlijk voor uit durven te komen…

    • josgovaart

      @liekev Ik snap dat er een kleine culturele kloof is, maar dan nog..holyf**k

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to the Groundhog on His Impending PR Crisis()

  • DeeJHodges

    @Steveology :That was very interesting to read & all points good. His sorry was like “telling your wife of course you don’t look fat, but..”

    • Steveology

      @deejhodges I suspect he will just go on.

  • candicefrye1

    @sandrulee Is your job beating you down? Let me help you start a home business. You can do it I promise! thecashjournalblog .com

  • Pingback: Small Business PR Lessons | Understanding Marketing()

  • PLHolden

    I really don’t think it’s too far fetched to consider that Rush is simply trying to make himself look like as big of a pig as possible so Romney will be able to take on the role of the Republican “Saint”.
    I hope that people will do their research on Mitt instead of just selecting the lesser of two evils (even though he admittedly has a very impressive repetoire of songs, knows his stuff about Cheezzy Grits & has a Hollywood face).

178 Shares
Tweet69
Buffer
Share17
Share24
+118
Pin50
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]