Bad move sends Food Network star scrambling for crisis management
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is heralded as a fine organization, and celebrities and athletes are more than happy to spend some time making dreams come true. Well, most of them are. Apparently Ina Garten, star of the Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” doesn’t have much care for the wishes of a dying child or her own reputation, because she has twice denied the request of one boy and now the press has gotten ahold of the story. A quote, from PR Daily:
The boy, whose name is Enzo, suffers with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and he wanted to meet the celebrity chef after watching her while he was sick in bed. But a rep for Garten said, “As much as [Garten] would like to, it’s absolutely impossible for her to grant every request she receives.”
Really? She has that many request from sick 6-year-olds?
The public outrage toward Garten was so intense—after Enzo’s mom wrote about in the family’s blog—that she finally relented, saying through a spokesperson:
“Ina became aware of Enzo’s story this weekend and will be calling him today. She looks forward to inviting him to spend some time with her at the Food Network studios.”
Regardless of her eventual acquiescence, no amount of backpedaling will remove the stain that the initial denial has put on Garten’s reputation. The only guaranteed way to improve her image now is to publicly display her willingness to help others through unforced volunteer or charity work.
For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
[Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]