Merry New Year to one and all. I hope your baubles remained intact and your festive spirits stayed topped up. As we all aim to stride positively into the new year I think I am okay to break with the tradition of this column and ignore all the Bad PR of the week (and there has already been lots of social media drama and shenanigans) and instead focus exclusively on the Good side of the world of Public Relations.
Without further delay, let’s get amongst it.
Motivational PR of the week goes to British Army Captain Preet Chandi. The BBC, amongst many other outlets, this week reported she became become the first woman of colour to trek solo across Antarctica. The 40-day, 700-mile expedition is a huge feat in its own right, but the resulting media coverage was nothing short of spectacular.
The words she chose to celebrate her achievement were very motivational and no doubt helped with her huge media appeal. She is the feel-good factor that the UK needs to kick off the new year, against a backdrop of Covid uncertainty.
Whilst we all face uncertainty in our day-to-day lives, one brand is continuing to excel and that is Apple. The tech giant passed the $3tn valuation milestone, albeit briefly before falling slightly back again, on Tuesday.
This is not only great PR for the company itself but also for CEO Tim Cook who took over from Steve Jobs in 2011 and who many analysts felt could struggle to keep Jobs legacy not just alive, but thriving. Apple shows no signs of slowing down and unlike many of its nearest valuation rivals, keeps itself, relatively speaking, out of the Bad PR headlines. A massive achievement and a brand that shows no signs of slowing down.
Sony took all the headlines on day one of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) thanks to the unveiling of its second ever all-electric concept car. Sony is demonstrating how serious it is taking this market by also announcing the launch of Sony Mobility Inc, a standalone division that will focus entirely on its electronic car offering.
Some in the automotive industry believe that we can expect to start seeing Sony cars on the roads from as early as 2023 and whilst many of the finer details such as battery life, and if it is driven using a PlayStation controller, are still missing, Sony has created a real buzz across the industry. The announcement gave a double whammy of Good PR, in that it also gave a shot in the arm to the CES that has had a tough few years thanks to the pandemic.
The DVLA, best known for unwanted driving licence graffiti, gained a lorry-load of Good PR headlines this week thanks to its annual list of the most stolen cars in the UK. Ford Fiestas topped the list and, depending on your viewpoint, it was a good day for Ford’s overall popularity as the brand featured seven times in the Top 10.
The DVLA was on the ball in terms of tapping into the future and declared the Mitsubishi Phev the most stolen electric car, which was a huge surprise to me given the number of Prius cars on the street, but then again, maybe car-jackers have taste as well. I am not sure that either the Phev, a Tesla or a Prius will soon be seen in the next Fast and Furious.
Netflix hit Don’t Look Up was a special Christmas treat for us all, not least because it was released whilst the digital PR brigade was enjoying their mince pies. This meant we were not subject to any spin off PR campaigns such as The Top 10 Places You Could Hide to Survive an Asteroid Attack and The 27 Places on Instagram Where You Can Best Watch an Asteroid Hitting The Earth From… I jest.
Anyway, the cheeky scamps behind the film had a scene with a support group phone number in and, knowing what the muggles are like, thought it would be funny to use the number of an American sex-line. Hey presto, a second wave of social media love landed for the film as people started sharing what happened when they rang the number.
Well done to the writers, great move!
And that, as they say, is that for this week. If you spot anything good or bad that is PR related, give me the nod via @10Yetis on The Twitter, or call me on 0800 (oh, you are never gonna fall for that!).
Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? Abuse and contradictory points welcomed over on The Twitter @10Yetis or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email
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