Saturday, May 14, 2011

Facebook Hires Mark Penn('s PR Firm), Faces PR Disaster

If you've heard the story about Facebook getting in trouble for trying to plant anti-Google stories in the news, you might not be surprised to learn that the PR firm they hired was none other than Burson-Marsteller, which has disastrous Hillary Clinton adviser Mark Penn as CEO. If you weren't in the game three years ago and you missed it, here's the classic story:
Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified — and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories.
I prefer Google to Facebook, just as I preferred Obama to Hillary (though in the non-Penn-involving phases of her career, Hillary has been pretty awesome.) So I guess I'm happy to see Mark Penn backfire again.
Post a Comment