Good and Bad PR: Jamie is our hero, our villain is Airbnb
12th September 2018
Good morning and welcome to Friday. Andy Barr, 41, Capricorn, checking in with this week’s good-and-bad PR.
I am going to lead with the good of the public relations world and this week I am giving the first shout-out to everyone’s favourite school-dinner-lady botherer, Jamie Oliver. I am guessing he has changed his PR provider because he has had a rare good week of strong and positive stories.
Early in the week he received praise for chasing and restraining a burglar who tried to get into his home. Second-up he revealed a rather new, far more svelte, figure, and finally, he announced a big-bucks partnership with Tesco.
It is fair to say that Mr Oliver has had a torrid time in the media over the last few years (restaurant fails being the main cause of his issues) so it is nice to see the mockney, whisk warrior, back in the game.
The next positive story will offend some people, but, sadly, I am not really that bothered. Wetherspoons, I salute you and your dog decision. I don’t like dogs, there I said it. I admitted this recently on The Twitter and was roundly savaged by all and sundry. I can only think that Wetherspoons released the dog story because of another story it wanted to hush away. Alternatively, I really want to know what incident happened in one of its pubs that caused this ban to come into place.
I have only been into a Wetherspoons pub twice and, being completely honest, the dogs were the least of the problem clientele. With this in mind, I am just going to assume that this was a calculated story that the company knew would travel well across both social and traditional media. Kudos all round.
Over to bad PR and you have to feel a bit sorry for Airbnb as it is at the mercy of its (sometimes) deviant landlords and as such can’t control everything that goes on in its network of holiday-rental properties. This week the comm’s team were probably sat there thinking how cool their life was when all of a sudden a press-office call came in about a spy camera being hidden in an alarm clock, and their afternoon will have gone to shit.
A Scottish holiday goer felt “uneasy” in his Toronto Airbnb and then discovered the secret camera in the alarm clock. The company was quick to boot the property off its platform and offer all the support it could to those involved, but you have to feel, this is the kind of issue that aggregator businesses cannot really control.
One final thing about this story; we are brainwashed by the Canadian tourist board and Ryan Reynolds into thinking the country is a safe haven and a bastion for high standards and a great way of life… this is going to set the country back a few years.
Speaking about territories with a reputational problem, let’s get back to my own home area of the South West. A BBC expose has found out that a number of unscrupulous residential landlords in the South West are offering free rent in return for sexual favours.
There are no words for this other than, WTAF. People, come on now. I live by the fairly simple adage of “don’t be a dick” and these people are, in my opinion, not actually a PR-fail, more of a human-fail. Send them to the island and leave them there.