By now we have all heard how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended for six months after he apologized for “misremembering” a military incident while reporting overseas several years ago. The reason it upsets viewers so much is that we expect news anchors to be credible and provide the facts, not stretch the truth. We don’t know if Williams’ career will bounce back from this blunder, yet we do know that there were several PR misses that could have helped him reestablish his credibility.
Timing is really important and why it took Williams and NBC so long to comment on this story is a question mark and mistake. After “the incident” the Internet went crazy and no one could escape the story, yet it still took Williams more than four days to publicly respond on air. While Williams has a Twitter account, he has not used it to make mention of the “the incident” once. He could have used the power of social media to apologize to his fans in a timely, humanized, and personalized way. Instead he chose to go on air, which for many came off cold and forced.
Marvin Williams states that ”There is no better test of a man’s integrity than his behavior when he is wrong.” Brian Williams did not own his mistakes and made excuses of “misremembering” the events in Iraq. No one is perfect and there is a charm in knowing celebrities have flaws. Williams missed out on a great opportunity to admit his mistake and imperfections and now the Internet will not let him forget. #BrianWilliamsMisremembers is trending all over social media and Internet, as viewers are getting a big laugh at his expense and questioning his personal “news” coverage.
In the end many celebs bounce back from WAY worse scandals, yet the lesson is to try look as down to earth as possible while going down. Brian Williams failed this time around.