Oscar’s envelope blunder: PRs – keep on your toes, it’s vital
At Sunday’s Oscars, La La Land was mistakenly called out for best picture, when the real winner was Moonlight. Awkward chaos ensued. All live for us to watch, tweet, share and have a laugh at. The Oscars blunder was not meant to happen, and as one La La Land Producer declared mid speech, “it was not a joke”.
PwC has been counting votes and providing the envelopes for the Academy for the last 83 years. In the lead up to the Oscars one of the two counters, Martha Ruiz, gave an interview with the BBC, explaining the complex counting and envelope system. Apparently there are two sets of envelopes, so each counter has a set at each wing to personally hand out the correct envelope, all whilst being watched by the LAPD. Clearly even LAPD can’t ensure this system is fool proof. The mistake could have been human error, a stage management mishap, or a combination of both. Ironically, it was the two sets of envelopes that caused the confusion. But what’s clear is it could have been prevented if another check happened before the envelope was handed to Warren Beatty, or if Warren had trusted his suspicions.
So here’s where the lesson lies for PRs: no matter how long you have been doing something, or how long you have been working with a client, treating it like the first time is vitally important. It prevents something seemingly simple and repetitive going wrong, and ensures that if it does go wrong, you’re ready. Having a plan B doesn’t demonstrate a lack of faith in yourself to your client, but gives you more control if something unplanned were to happen.
Although the actors and actresses all somewhat gracefully accepted the mistake, it could have been over sooner if there had been a plan for this situation. It took almost ten minutes to manage the blunder and, half an acceptance speech later, both the stars and crew could not contain their on-stage (and very public) humiliation.
The statement given by PwC was honest and shows their remorse, but now they’re in crisis meetings with the Academy. They are taking action by way of investigation, ultimately accepting fault for the time being until anything comes to light.
We’ve all had our Oscar moments (the mishap not the Award), but when we do, acting fast is what PRs need to do for the show to go on.
Is making the ‘right’ choice becoming unaffordable?￼
There is no shortage of evidence out there demonstrating that citizens are more likely...More information
Going beyond B Corp￼
In the 18 months it has taken to achieve B Corporation status our thinking...More information
Reflecting on the British Energy Security Strategy
Following weeks of speculation, leaks, and story-trailing, the UK Government released its long-awaited British...More information
Harnessing your superpower
I was diagnosed with ADHD in January 2021, whilst I was in the middle...More information
Why we’re introducing a 9-day fortnight
We believe that we work to live, not live to work, and that a...More information
So… has the pandemic set us back or propelled us forward?
Last week, just days after the restrictions in England were lifted, we hosted our...More information
Wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all approach
It’s safe to say that being plunged into multiple lockdowns across the past 18...More information
Covid-19 has given us a harsh lesson in education inequality
Although ‘Freedom Day’ is here, Covid’s effects will, as we hear all too often,...More information
The pandemic of inequalities
Last week, the Health Foundation’s Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery report made headlines, revealing that...More information
Has the pandemic set us back 50 years, or will it propel us forward?
At its onset, Covid-19 was described as the great leveller. But the pandemic has...More information