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Bieber looks stupid, but Tesco and Dr Christian Jessen look cool

19th March 2014


Good PR of the week

Supermarket tweets

Tesco Mobile is once again hitting headlines for savvy social media use this week. Its team has excelled with another witty one-liner in the midst of discussion around David Moyes’ uncertain future with the football team, Manchester United.

As followers jokingly tweeted Tesco Mobile asking if the United boss might be in with a chance of joining its team instead, the social media manager unexpectedly joined in the lively debate by firing off a quick “We’re award winners here … not sure he’d fit in“. Feel the burn!

This isn’t the first time that a huge retail brand has used Twitter in exactly the right way, with humour, timing and engagement at the core of its 140 characters. Twitter is not a tool for corporate messaging, but for two-sided communication and interaction – and the most successful social media campaigns adhere to this informal, chatty and participatory style to not only garner the attention of their audience but to portray a likeable, genuine brand personality which in turn creates relationships.

So although I’m sorry to promote your sting David, but it’s a yay for Tesco’s tweet team from me – great job!

Christian cure

Tuesday night’s Undercover Doctor, aired on Channel 4 at 10pm, has provided an impressive personal PR vehicle for the presenter, Dr Christian Jessen, as he explored a variety of “cures” for homosexuality, scoops the second good PR nomination for the week.

Dr Jessen is already a famous face owing to his involvement in the popular media show Embarassing Bodies. This show documented his mission to confront the extremists who implement a range of “corrective” gay “therapies“.

After undertaking a selection of these often barbaric and disgusting procedures, Dr Jessen confirmed he was still “as gay as they come” and that, as expected, the cures didn’t work for him and likely don’t work for any of the people who are subjected to them. They do, however, cause endless trauma and stress for innocent human beings who are shamelessly discriminated against in these circles.

Investigating this while publicly identifying himself as a successful, educated man whose sexuality is part of him, but is not shameful and does not define his character, has seen Dr Jessen gain a huge amount of support both from long-term fans and new-found followers.

Bad PR of the week

Bieber boobs

Oh Justin. Justin, Justin, Justin

Maybe you’re going for the bad-boy appeal. I think that’s what might have happened here. You think you’re untouchable, you’re the cute little boy who has grown up into a wild r’n’b stud, you’re like a male Miley Cyrus, right? Perhaps you’re surrounded by yes-men who convince you that you’re just too cool for school right now. You’re edgy, you’re sexy, you’re unpredictable.

Well, today, I’m going to break it to you; that’s not what’s happening. The deposition video was … I suppose the best descriptive term is … embarrassing. In spite of being 19 years old, you come across like a sulky child. The lawyers sound like they are trying very hard to resist putting you on the naughty step and at one point, you seem to be pulled out of the meeting for a little nap. That is just not conducive to the famed bad-boy image. What it could be conducive to, though, is cringe worthy GIFs and “pulling a Bieber” references, things your PR people surely want to avoid.

It seems Justin is going through some difficulties at the moment, with reports of drug raids and assaults left right and centre, and it can’t be easy to be a child star. This isn’t the first time a young and successful pop star has been manipulated and pushed down the wrong tracks. Let’s hope he’ll go to an exclusive rehab and come out with a come-back tour prepped and ready for him. He’d be all the better and richer for it. Because the alternative, as demonstrated by the likes of Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan among many other casualties of the Hollywood dream whose troubles are still ongoing, is not the outcome anybody wants for him.

Sex discrimination

I also have to mention the Gendermaker DIY “gender prediction test” which has now been banned from Amazon after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) dubbed it “not able” to predict the gender after six weeks of pregnancy, as it claims.

That’s a pretty flat face-palm moment. Imagine the moment this story hit the news. There’s nothing the company can do to contest this other than to actually prove the product’s accuracy, which is obviously impossible because unfortunately for it, and all the people who paid £15.99 for this rip off, it is not medically possible to do what it claims the kit can do. So the best strategy is to quietly shuffle away and wait until it all blows over.

Or it could get a spokesperson to say that the product does “not make any claims regarding the accuracy of the product“, perhaps while quite a lot of people are looking at pictures of the product packaging which clearly reads “accurate gender prediction results … determining the gender of your baby … will give you accurate results in just seconds“. Which is what it actually did.

Written by @PR_LeanneJayne, she Tweets often about PR, sometimes about peacocks, feel free to give her a friendly follow. Seen any good or bad PR recently, you know what to do, @10Yetis on The Twitter or andy@10yetis.co.uk on email.



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