|August 24, 2010|
|Memo to IPR: Lose the 'Science' Claims|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|We are disappointed that the Institute for PR's new web design uses the words "science" and "scientific rigor."|
IPR talks about "the science beneath the art of PR” and IPR’s mission of "bridging the scientific rigor of academic leaders" with business use.
PR is an art like politics but we don’t see it living up to what is normally thought of as "scientific rigor."
We'd like to see evidence of this "scientific rigor."
Scientists devour any new information on a subject but PR profs and the IPR have ignored for months new information and opinions on J&J's handling of the Tylenol murders, PR's No. 1 success story. This includes the book called "The Tylenol Mafia" to be published shortly by Scott Bartz, nine-year employee of J&J. Large sections of it were published on this website in May. Bartz is convinced the murders in 1982 and 1986 were an inside job.
The Tylenol saga in PR reminds us of the Establishment's rejection of proofs obtained by Copernicus and Galileo. (Images: Wikimedia)
Australian Prof. Tony Jaques said in last winter’s PR Journal of PRSA that the Tylenol story is false because no attempt at full removal of Tylenol capsules was made until five days after the murders.
He also says the product should never have been marketed in the first place and definitely not after seven murders were committed using them because capsules were so easy to doctor.
J&J only offered a pitiful $100,000 for information on the murder of seven people with its product and did the same after another murder four years later, he pointed out. The Harvard Business Review’s extensive study of the murders does not mention this paltry reward, which was J&J's way of disclaiming responsibility.
Press Took a Dive
Sadly the press took a dive on all this including most recently Fortune magazine and The Economist. Tim Russert told the 2007 conference of PRSA that Tylenol was an "example of good PR" because J&J took "immediate and bold action" to remove the capsules.
It did no such thing.
This false description of Tylenol must come to a stop. The Institute should announce the start of an investigation of the new materials.
We have posted this blog to the “IPR Conversations” section of the new IPR website where opinions are not only accepted but needed. The last posting of any opinion was July 8.
Fernandez, Gonring Head IPR
Michael Fernandez, currently with State Farm Insurance but headed for Cargill in September, and Matthew Gonring of Pactiv Corp., are co-chairs of IPR.
Robert Grupp is president/CEO.
We're reminded of the Establishment's rejection of proofs obtained by Copernicus and Galileo that the earth went around the sun and not vice versa.
Galileo was confined to house arrest the rest of his life. We suppose pollsters at the time would have asked how many believed Galileo and Copernicus and how many believed the Church.
Real scientists would have looked at the evidence.
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