Communication Gone Wrong with Adidas

Photo: Flickr

Hello friends! About every other day, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) sends out news to its members. It usually contains issues and trends going on in the public relations/communication industry.

No matter the time, I always keep these emails from PRSA in my email until I have a minute to look at them. Sometimes it is just a little glance or sometimes I spend minutes reading the news they offer. I find it all so interesting and I feel as if, I am not able to read this type of news elsewhere.

In my Public Relations course at Indiana State, I was asked to discuss a crisis communication situation that has recently happened. One that recently interested me in PRSA’s news was one posted by TIME. Adidas sponsored the 2017 Boston Marathon and what went wrong was the message that they sent out to the participants after the race was over. 

The message that the Boston Marathon finishers received from Adidas was, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” Finishers were confused and questioning how Adidas did not realize the connotations of the message after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

With the backlash, Adidas had a spokesman apologize for the email. A statement that TIME released from Adidas said, “We are incredibly sorry. Clearly, there was not thought given to the insensitive subject email line we sent Tuesday.” Adidas goes on to share their deepest apology.

My issue with this is that Adidas has sponsored the Boston Marathon in years past. I feel as if they should have been very cautious when writing their email and watching the words they use to congratulate the finishers.  I believe they should of throughly proof-read their email before sending it out. Even if it was, it obviously was not enough or by different audiences. Although what was sent out with not okay, Adidas did their best to share their sincere apology with the finishers. They immediately reacted to what happened and that is what a lot of people want to hear.

This is just one of my crisis communication situations that happens everyday. One little message can take a negative 360 turn. It is crucial for a business and organizations to have a crisis communication plan. Planning for the worst is always going to benefit the company in the end.

That is all for now,




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