What a Tangled Web the Web Weaves

Bad PR for Reddit, Taylor Swift

PR crisis are often self-induced.

Many in tech land are well aware of the chaos that has befallen Reddit. If not, here’s a pretty good summary. “Summary” is actually a bad word because there is so much drama behind it that it can’t just be summarized. The PR battle isn’t over either…

The debacle at Reddit proves that so far, only one company has demonstrated it can get away with possibly blaming its users. But, clearly the dynamics of Reddit’s situation isn’t the same as the other. Reddit’s PR crisis is a good crisis communications case study that is actually still in development. The only thing that has happened so far is that the fire was discovered. It still needs to be put under control and extinguished so rebuilding can start.

Taylor Swift
Speaking of tangled webs, Taylor Swift recently found herself in one too. In June, the musician very publicly took on Apple. She threatened to keep an album off the company’s subscription service because, apparently, Apple didn’t want to pay artists during a trial offer to customers. According to US News, Swift wrote:

“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing,” she said on Tumblr. “I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.”

Swift actually got Apple to change course. She then went on to experience a similar wrath herself almost exactly a month later. According to several media reports, the artist had a very controlling contract with photographers, one that even threatened to break their gear if they didn’t comply with her rules. Some argued that the contract very much limited their compensation for their work – much the same complaint Swift made against Apple.

Then, the backlash began. Fortunately, Swift appears to have come around with a new more photographer-friendly agreement. It’s a good thing she was able to Shake It Off so quickly. The Bad Blood with photographers could have turned into a much bigger PR crisis. It could have left a Blank Space in media coverage for her concerts.

Sorry – had to do it.