GoodandBadPR: Chris Evans takes his foot off the pedal
6th July 2016
It's been a pretty shocking week for TV presenter Chris Evans. After just one series (that's six episodes) of taking the Top Gear reigns, he this week announced that he was throwing in the towel and quitting the show. Since Jeremy Clarkson was sacked and Hammond and May then promptly left, the Top Gear return has been a bit cursed.
The ratings and reviews have been poor and there were even rumours that Evans' co-presenter Matt le Blanc was threatening to leave the show unless the ex-Big Breakfast presenter quit. Apparently, the actor - famous for his role as Joey in Friends - said he was concerned about Chris Evans' rudeness to other crew members and also that he was frustrating to film with.
To add more drama to his situation, police have confirmed that Chris Evans is being investigated over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in the 1990s. Of course, there are now people suggesting that he quit because of the police probe, but it seems to me there are multiple reasons for his decision to step down.
From the outside looking in, it looks as though this was probably a 'jump or be pushed' scenario; with Evans choosing to quit instead of being sacked.
Of course, Chris Evans' high profile has meant that this news has featured just about everywhere possible. Although he still has his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show (the BBC are standing by him amidst the police investigations) and numerous other pursuits, the events this week haven't been great for the Chris Evans brand.
Sometimes, good PR is just a survey away. Data-driven stories tend to perform very well in terms of generating coverage and, for the SEO-minded folk out there, links. This week, the Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) was covered widely in the media after releasing some really interesting statistics off the back of a poll of parents with kids aged one to four. The research surrounded portion sizes and, in short, revealed that most parents feed their children way too much food.
The story was a fantastic example of a highly effective cross-platform campaign, incorporating the survey results, a video, an infographic and a dedicated hub on the ITF website showing a guide for the recommended portion sizes for one-to-four year olds for different food types.
The coverage has been brilliant, with the story having featured on the likes of the Mail Online, Sky News, Mirror, The Independent, Yahoo! and plenty of parenting titles, as you can imagine.
By the looks of things, this has been a hugely successful campaign for the ITF; raising awareness of a key health issue and tying into childhood obesity. The content targeted the very people that the ITF obviously considers to be its key demographic (mums and dads of little ones) and, not only was the information incredibly useful to them, but it was also highly sharable and had the shock factor needed to make people take note.
It's an excellent example of just how good research-based stories can be when used as part of a public relations campaign, so it definitely gets my good PR vote this week.
Written by Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis, @ShazzaYeti on Twitter