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Good and Bad PR: Not a good week for EL James, but great headlines for a Suffolk museum

1st July 2015


Good PR

Jug juggling
A museum in Suffolk has received some rather nice coverage recently after announcing that staff there were attempting to track down a little boy who broke a historic jug that was on display at the venue. Last June, a little boy thought to be around five years old visited Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich with his family, where he accidentally knocked an 18th Century Delftware puzzle jug off of a low window ledge.

He was said to de "devastated" after it smashed into around 60 pieces and his family were thought to be just as upset following the accident. However, Christchurch Mansion's duty officer Carrie Willis took on the project to fix the jug as part of her conservation technician training. After 65 hours of repair work, the jug now looks almost as good as new.

The staff want to find the little boy and his family to let him see that all is well and that there are no hard feelings.

It's a nice feel good story that has managed to secure some decent profile for an otherwise relatively unknown museum (I'm sure it's a big deal in Ipswich, but I mean UK-wide), with the likes of BBC, Mirror.co.uk and Metro having picked up on it.

There's also the potential for a follow-up story if the young boy and his family do come forward and go to visit the museum again (however, if they want to see the jug they'll need to pop down the road to the High Street where it's now on display at Ipswich Art Museum).


Taking pride
In other news, a photography company in the US showed its support for LGBT Pride Month by changing its profile picture on Facebook to show two same-sex couples and a heterosexual couple who were all very much in love and having a good old smooch! Clinton Brentwood Lee of Brentwood Photography changed the business' profile picture on Facebook and used the rainbow overlay that you've no doubt seen a lot on your newsfeed lately. The caption “All we see is love” was a great show of support; however, not everyone was on-board.

When a couple took to the page to say how they were in support of “traditional marriage between a man and a woman'“ and would therefore no longer be using Brentwood Photography's services, the company's reaction was fantastic. After pointing out that they weren't entitled to their $1,500 deposit back as they had requested, as per their contract, Bentwood Lee then said that he had other plans for the money and would instead be donating it to GLAD, a group created to support gay rights. Simply brilliant.



Bad PR

50 Shades of red
EL James, who some of you filthy-minded lot (*jokes*) may know as the author of 50 Shades of Grey held a Twitter Q&A on Monday which ended up being an utter disaster.
A lot of people have taken issue with the storyline of the raunchy book series, claiming that Christian Grey is controlling and abusive towards the leading female character Anastasia Steele. So, people sharing these views were quick to hijack the Q&A and give the author a hard time.

Tweets saying things like "Are you as homophobic in real life as your books are?" and "My boss said no when I asked if I could kiss him and I did anyway because no means yes right? Things at work are awkward." Anyway, the hashtag feed for #AskELJames quickly began to fill up with similar, scathing messages directed at the author, as well as people having a dig about her writing and grammar, such as "does the E.L. Stand for ELiterate?" Ouch.

Some people did jump to the author's defence, but the overwhelming majority of tweets were negative (or just downright hilarious).
Given the bad press that 50 Shades of Grey has already received over the last six months, I'd have thought that someone should have advised against doing this Twitter Q&A. It was destined to go wrong from the start.

Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis, @ShazzaYeti on Twitter

Seen any good or bad PR recently, you know what to do, @10Yetis on Twitter or [email protected] on email.



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