The Spouting Whale Gets Harpooned

With his high profile arrest and perp walk this morning, Martin Shkreli has a massive public relations problem on his hands.  As the photo demonstrates, the full force of the law is lined up against him.

Mr. Shkreli is the hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical entrepreneur who provoked outrage when his Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of cancer and AIDS drug Daraprim by 5000%

I would offer his current problem with the media has its roots in a poor public relations strategy right out of the gate.   Sometimes blunting exposure is more important than gaining exposure.  Better to lay low and gauge sentiment than arrive on the scene with guns blazing.  His 5000% price increase might have ultimately faded from view if he stayed out of the spotlight.  And what he learned from the reaction of a smaller more manageable audience might have given him clues how to manage a larger national audience.

As I like to tell clients: The spouting whale gets harpooned.  There’s a corollary that often applies too:  Today a peacock, tomorrow a feather duster.

PS: Since this posing Mr. Shkreli told the Wall Street Journal he was targeted by the FBI because of the price hike of Daraprim.  Most likely true in my view.  Less spouting, less harpooning.

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