Congratulations and commiserations to Samsung, while Heinz wins nothing but praise

Good PR of the week

Good Samsung

In May, Canadian Shane Bennett (here on Twitter) posted this message (and drawing of a cartoon dragon) on Samsung Canada’s Facebook account:

Samsung’s online community manager, Drew Bomhof  replied with a polite “no“, and replied with a drawing of his own:

Bennett posted the exchange on Reddit, attracting the interest of a few journalists.

To thank Bennett for the free PR, Samsung sent him a free customised Galaxy S III last week, complete with his drawing!

Don’t get too excited, though. This might be a nice story with ultra-shareable content, but Samsung’s been in the news for other reasons recently – more about that in a minute.

Beans of personality

A Facebook campaign was launched by Heinz and We Are Social to celebrate the brand’s new five-bean variety, Five Beanz.

The Facebook campaign ran for 12 days through to the end of August.

The contest included a “Bean Personality” quiz that helped fans determine what kind of bean they were – which, although I like the campaign overall, feels like one of those weird “which band member are you” quizzes Smash Hits used to revert to when news was light. (The worst thing about that sentence is definitely my admission that I, for a short period of time, used to read Smash Hits).

Those who took the quiz were entered into a draw to receive a bean engraved with their name. Every hour, Heinz picked a winner from each bean category, meaning there were up to 1,440 personalised beans available.

Bad PR of the week
Bad Samsung

Fluffy, personalised PR aside, Samsung has been very naughty since my last good and bad PR update a few weeks ago.

The Korean company runs a scheme called Mobilers. It rewards bloggers with points for writing posts, and doles prizes out accordingly.

Two Indian bloggers, Clinton Jeff and another, unnamed blogger, were invited to attend a conference in Berlin by Samsung. They were told their flights, accommodation and expenses would be paid.

The pair were given the option to attend the show as promoters or reporters. Both said they’d only attend as reporters.

When they arrived, Jeff and Mr X were given Samsung uniform and as good as told to promote products at booths to conference guests. Understandably, the pair declined and stated their original plan to report from the conference.

Samsung took offence and the pair’s return flights were cancelled, effectively leaving them stranded in Berlin. Some news reports have implied that the pair were “taken hostage”, which sounds nice in a headline, but perhaps isn’t as truthful as it should be.

As stated here by Mic Wright, Nokia stepped in and paid for the pair’s hotels and flights in a promotion-motivated but undoubtedly helpful PR move.

This is another in a long list of examples of brands underestimating bloggers. You have to wonder if Samsung would have treated journalists in this way.
If you’d like to read more about it, here’s (what I think was the original piece) on The Next Web. Samsung has since apologised for causing “undue hardship“, but the damage has already been done, further compounding the issues it has had in court recently with Apple.

Have you seen any good or bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.

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