Full disclosure: I was the the director of public affairs for a time in my government career. I worked for an agency with many worldwide missions and also with a huge number of employees, numbering in the thousands. We were dealing with sensitive matters, so we theoretically had no public affairs, but I never let that stop me from being the director.
One thing that was abundantly clear -- when a story breaks you can either be the story or mold the story in public opinion parlance. Thus, the objective of PA, as we called it, is to be out front: blunt the criticism, place the public and media focus on your side of the story, and keep it there.
With the recent degradation in points values that will occur in May, it seems to me that Marriott has lost the chance to make this story less damaging to the loyal public. Bloggers and article writers are taking Marriott (and other chains) to task over this event. The cognoscenti have made up their minds, and it's not that favorable to Marriott Rewards.
I wish Marriott would respond to this kerfuffle, albeit a tad late. We've heard little since the first announcement that categories were changing and required points with them.