Good and Bad PR: Eat your heart out! Delicious PR from Quality Street, McDonald’s and Pret a Manger

I risked a week off last week, and what a relaxing week it was. Now though, I am back and excited to report that the industry has survived and is in fact, going strong.

Hold my hand as I guide you through some of my favourite and not-so-favourite campaigns of the week.

Good PR

Netflix

First up on the Good PR front is Netflix and Roald Dahl. There are rumours aplenty that the streaming giant is in the late stages of agreeing a deal to buy the entire back catalogue of the writing genius’s work. It is rumoured to be the largest ever acquisition in Netflix history and will be a great way to ensure that his work lives on for years to come. A beautiful story to start the week.

Bad PR

Russia

Them pesky Russians get the first Bad PR of the week thanks to the very rare move by the International Energy Agency of publicly rebuking Russia for not supplying more gas to Europe. To give some context, the IEA was set up in 1973 in the wake of the oil crisis so they can, in theory, spot a shortage related storm coming from a mile off and despite Boris assuring us that all will be ok, fuel wise, this Christmas, the IEA is not so sure.

Russia, of course, doesn’t care what anyone says and both refused to comment or even act to fix the situation. This is going to be a PR battle that will heat up, so to speak, on the run up to Christmas and I can’t see Russia blinking once to be honest.

Delicious PR

Quality Street

Diabetes fans (like me) turn away for the next bit; Quality Street got some great PR this week with the official launch of this year’s range of Christmas-sugary-wonderfulness. For me, I am Quality Street over Roses every day of the week (happy to send my address if anyone from Nestle is reading) but I love this campaign because it will also help push the annual-whiners about the size reduction further down in Google and on The Social Medias.

The PR move was simple but hugely effective. 1. Announce a new flavour (white chocolate, boom) and 2. Announce a revamped partnership with a national treasure (John Lewis). Before you could even say the word “affiliate link” the regional media lapped up the opportunity to write about a brand guaranteed to get social shares whilst also generating revenue by linking to the “buy online” section of John Lewis.

These affiliate-link-opportunity stories are at the forefront of the modern digital PR campaign. The obvious flaw being that an affiliate link carries no SEO value to the brand, but let’s gloss over that and give a big cheer to everyone involved.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s is a brand that I love, not just for its food (in moderation please everyone), but also because it always has a classy approach to its PR. For example, it was one of very few brands to emerge unscathed by the horse-meat scandal and it also tackles any operational issues or public perceptions head on (eg, McJobs campaign was genius, as was its approach to Chicken Nuggets myths).

That’s why I feel it gets “Meh PR” and not “Bad PR” for the reaction to the news that it is ditching plastic in its Happy Meals. I for one assumed the brand had done this a while back so I was a bit surprised when the announcement came, but, as a consumer, I thought “nice one”.

Then the lefty-Patagonia-clad brigade put the boot into the McBrand for not doing it sooner and even trying the kind of japes that cardigan-wearing eco-warriors can only try such as accusing the brand of “nibbling round the edges” in its reactive quote. Sigh, you can only imagine the team lols that came with that quote from them over at the Centre for Biological Diversity.

McDonald’s, great move, great campaign, ignore the knockers!

Pret a Manger

And finally, let’s end on another high from the world of fast food. Pret got a triple whammy of Good PR this week thanks to announcing 200 new stores, 3,000 new staff and a report on the busiest days of the weeks, post Covid, in the City.

The report that Tues, Weds and Thurs are the busiest days of the week for the coffee-magicians is no great surprise, but, it was the first big brand to really go official with it, so it deserves the praise and mentions.

The store and staff announcement was also given a nice touch by adding that the original founder of Pret was putting his own money in too. Against a backdrop of dire news such as fuel shortages, stock shortages, potential lock-downs and annoying the Chinese with our new security pact with Australia and the US, this Pret story gave me the smiles.

Got it right or wrong? Hit me up on The Twitter @10Yetis.

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