Apple and Facebook egg-freezing offer goes down a (media) storm

Good PR

Eggcelent idea

Some people may view this news as negative PR for the companies involved, but I’d be inclined to disagree. Apple and Facebook have both announced a new perk for its female employees; the opportunity to have their eggs frozen, for non-medical reasons, with the bill picked up by their employer.

Nope, I’m not talking about eggs of the chocolate or chicken variety; rather, the fertility, baby-making kind. What’s your immediate reaction to this? Are you sat, mouth agape, wondering how Apple and Facebook could possibly lure women into long, childless careers with them in such a way?

Or are you thinking what a great idea it is? After all, Silicon Valley companies are still very much male-dominated in terms of employee demographic. So will this encourage more talented women to pursue a longer career with Facebook or Apple and put motherhood on the back burner in favour of progression, knowing that their eggs are safe on ice somewhere to use later in life? Perhaps.

Bearing in mind this could cost the companies up to $20,000 for each woman who opts to take them up on the offer, it’s a bold move. However, I have an inkling; which is, not many women will take Facebook and Apple up on this offer, but the announcement has resulted in loads of media coverage (largely positive or neutral). So, was it all in the name of PR?

If the idea of this was to generate some media attention, it has worked. Oh, and Mark Zuckerberg has just donated $25 million to help fight Ebola, so that’s another nice bit of PR for the Facebook founder (and a very generous move at that).

Disney dress

From one type of freezing to another frosty phenomenon, Disney has also had an influx of international media coverage after unveiling the latest addition to its bridal gown collection by design house, Alfred Angelo. The first glimpse of the dress, inspired by Disney’s film Frozen, was offered during New York Bridal Week and is based on Elsa’s dress in the animated movie.

Bad PR

Critical pizza

Somewhere (Singapore) in a fast food chain branch (Pizza Hut), someone is surely getting the sack, or at least one huge slap on the wrist. A customer named Aili Si ordered two pizzas in the Bukit Merah branch and when she was handed her bill at the end of the meal she got more than she bargained for; a blatant insult.

On the bottom of her receipt, the member of staff serving her had written “Pink Fat Lady”. Whether that was meant as a means of identifying her, a prank or just a complete lack of tact is by the by; it was offensive and she quite rightly was not impressed.

She took to Facebook, where she posted a photo of the receipt, and said that she hoped “to be treated with basic respect deserved by any others” and that she wanted an apology from Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut dealt with the situation well and issued an apology quickly, saying, “That should not have happened at all and we feel that we cannot begin to appropriately apologise to you at this point, but we are, indeed, sorry for this.”

Unfortunately for Pizza Hut though, the alleged actions of one member of staff have still caused the company a right headache. The picture was shared hundreds of times on social media, if not more times by now. The story appeared on the Metro, Daily Mirror and Daily Star websites, along with pieces written up by various other media outlets.

Disloyal Sainsbury’s

Something else I’ve just caught wind of is the fact Sainsbury’s has halved the value of Nectar points and customers are not happy.

Next year, from 11 April, the supermarket giant (which is the third biggest in the UK) will only be offering customers one loyalty point for each pound they spend, instead of two. What’s more, Sainsbury’s will also be scrapping its green incentive, which sees customers rewarded with Nectar points when they re-use bags instead of getting new ones every time.

It claims that the loyalty points reduction will be counteracted with more “bonus” events and that customers will still get one Nectar point per litre of fuel when filling up at a Sainsbury’s petrol station.

Still, shoppers were outraged and took to Twitter to get their complaints out in the open. After the recent negative press the supermarket chain got surrounding the “50p” scandal, where photos leaked of posters that were meant to encourage staff to get customers to spend a little more, perhaps this little announcement could have waited a little while longer.

Shannon Haigh, 10 Yetis, @ShazzaYeti on Twitter

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

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