Kara Swisher noted the challenges facing Facebook’s PR head Brandee Barker these days, suggesting she might have one of the most thankless jobs on the web, navigating as she must the frigid and hazardous storm water still swirling in the wake of Facebook’s many recent challenges.
First, Facebook launched “Beacon”, which they foolishly tauted as some sort of landmark in the history of advertising. Beacon turned out to be more a nasty stain mark as bloggers roundly criticized the approach, and then the New York Times and major advertisers like Coca Cola basically said they were lied to by Facebook.
As if that wasn’t enough bad news, Facebook managed to look like the ultimate hypocrite when they sued a news site for posting too much information about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. This from a site that had just started an ad campaign to capitalize on the profile information Facebookers provide at sign up, information Facebook had promised to respect and protect from prurient commercialization.
Of course they lost the court case, so now Facebook is maintaining a very high and negative news profile across the board for misleading Facebookers, misleading advertisers, and hypocritically wanting to be treated differently from the way they treat others.
So, hats off to Brandee Barker, PR director at Facebook. If you make it through this you deserve every penny of your Facebook options value, which hopefully won’t be the next big scandal.