On the morning of August 12, 2018 racist and fat shaming tweets surfaced on Twitter belonging to beauty blogger, Laura Lee. In a series of poor actions, the YouTuber, who had amassed over 5 million subscribers, deactivated her Twitter, posted a regularly scheduled video without addressing the situation, and after backlash, uploaded a four-minute apology video.
The apology was not received well by her audience. Her subscriber count dwindled by the minute, with a total loss of over 600,000 followers. Major brands associated with the influencer, including Ulta Beauty, Morphe, Boxycharm, and more, severed ties.
In her apology video, the 29-year-old, who is an Alabama native, blamed the “so vile and disgusting” 2012 tweets on lack of knowledge, despite being 23 at the time of publication. She also claimed that they had been retweeted, when screen shots proved that they were in fact written by her. The backlash was obvious. Viewers did not believe crying for four-minutes on camera was the most effective way to acknowledge the situation. It resonated more with her feeling sorry for being caught, rather than accepting the blame of her mistake.
The infamous apology video received more than 671,000 thumbs down, earning a spot on the top 10 most disliked YouTube videos before being removed from her channel due to her believing “it doesn’t represent me well" as explained in a new video posted on September 25.
Today’s age of social media makes communication more prevalent than ever. One tweet can reach millions of people in a matter of days. Poor communication can have serious repercussions, as evident in Laura Lee’s case. By ignoring the outcry, her reputation was damaged. Now, her image will always be associated with her insensitive tweets and inability to own up to them.
On the morning of September 1, 2018, it was publicly announced that the Chicago Bears had acquired Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders via trade. During the three years that Mack spent in Oakland since entering the league he won numerous awards and built one of the more impressive resumés in football. Around the league, Mack had made himself known as one of the premiere defensive talents of this generation.
The Chicago Bears currently have one loss and one win on the season and seem to be picking up steam as the defense has been dominant. As an organization, they have already seen return on their investment. The Bears, after two weeks of NFL football lead the league with 10.5 sacks. According to Bleacher Report’s Winners and Losers from the Blockbuster, Khalil Mack Trade by Gary Davenport, the move to add Mack to the roster was bold but intelligent. As Davenport says, “General manager Ryan Pace demonstrated that he believes the Bears are close enough to contending that he's willing to sacrifice the future for the present.”
Behind strictly the business of the sport, it is evident that this trade was necessary to resurrect a sense of pride in the Chicago fan base. Since the Bears’ last playoff trip in 2010, Chicago has only enjoyed a singular winning season. Furthermore, since the 2013 season, the Bears only have 19 wins compared to 45 losses. In the article mentioned above, Davenport even referred to Bears fans as “beleaguered,” stating that “Over the past decade-plus, fans of the Chicago Bears have taken a beating.”
The upper management of the Chicago Bears organization have suffered a loss of support from its fan base due to a losing culture brewing in Chicago, and decided they needed to stop the bleeding. I think that with this trade, the organization had more than just on-field concerns in mind. Adding Khalil Mack to the roster was a Public Relations stunt between the franchise and its fans with a goal to reconcile the relationship between the two. As we have seen, it has already been a success. The Bears and their fans have enjoyed a win against a quality opposing team and fans have been coming out of the woodwork to show pride in the “Monsters of the Midway.” The team working to produce a revival in Chicago have seen glimpses of success as social media has been buzzing and the Bears are once again the talk of the league.
By: Ryan Musleh
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.