Thursday, September 15, 2011

Good Cop, Bad Kipp

One of the least vulgar Urban Dictionary definition's of "comcastic" is "something that is not merely horribly bad, but actively offensive in some universal way." Recently, Comcast Regional VP of Communications Steve Kipp was comcastic times xfinity.

The cable exec's swan dive onto the hard slab of public condemnation was prompted by a tweet that expressed appropriate (and, as it turns out, pretty much universal) disgust that the FCC Commissioner who voted to approve the $30 billion Comcast/NBC merger "is now lving FCC for A JOB AT COMCAST?!?" (sic) Much to Kipp's chagrin, the tweeter was Reel Grrls, a non-profit that teaches media production to young women, and which is funded in part by Comcast.

Tweaked by the tweet, Kipp fired off this email:
"Given the fact that Comcast has been a major supporter of Reel Grrls for several years now, I am frankly shocked that your organization is slamming us on Twitter. ... I cannot in good conscience continue to provide you with funding ... I respect your position on freedom of the press. However ... I cannot continue to ask [my bosses] to approve funding for Reel Grrls, knowing that the digital footprint your organization has created about Comcast is a negative one."

For his digital tantrum, Kipp received the global condemnation he seemed to have begged for. But he also gave us the opportunity to review a couple of basic PR commandments:

1. Don't cite the First Amendment when you're punishing someone for exercising their First Amendment rights.
2. If you're a multi-billion-dollar corporation with a reputation so compromised that your marketing slogans become popular insults, don't threaten charitable non-profits.
3. If you don't want to see it on Drudge, don't send the email.

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