Some good’ish PR from Lloyds and Apple but it’s all about flapjackgate

Morning comms fans. I write for you this morning having seen two major PR operations being launched this week.

Apple goes “global”

The first is Apple. It had a stab at a global launch of a new version of the iPhone. When I say global, I mean in two cities at the same time – California and Beijing. Global, pah.

It speaks volumes about the company’s fear of the public reaction to the new iPhones that Apple felt the need to push the fact it was the first time it had done a global launch (two cities, did I mention that?) in its history.

As for the phones, I will leave a far more intelligent PRO to give you their thoughts on the tech capabilities, but I did like one wag’s comment that the fingerprint scanning means that Apple will have the biggest fingerprint database in the world. Oh hang on, that goes against the privacy upgrades it had been talking up, so I’d better be quiet.

I think we can all agree that there is absolutely NSA way, sorry, I meant, absolutely no way anyone could get the fingerprints from Apple.

OMG, I have started sounding like Mel Gibson off the Conspiracy Theory.

Hats off to Lloyds

Moving on to the second big-time PR story this week, hats off to Lloyds that announced the re-launch of banking brand TSB.

Having worked in (and fairly roughly ejected from) the personal-finance sector, I think I am qualified to say that the message did not get through in terms of how the bank is splitting its customer database.

I “think” that any customer who was with Lloyds before it bought TSB gets to stay with the Lloyds brand and obviously, the TSB lot went back to TSB.

I am sure there is no truth in the rumours that Lloyds cherry-picked the better-scoring customers to stay with its brand and everyone else got pushed over.

Being entirely serious (to stop legal action), I am 100 per cent sure that this was not the case, but the communications were a bit hit and miss which I think has contributed to the confusion.

I would like to add one big “well done” though and this is to the team that co-ordinated the Lloyds rebrand and marketing materials being “in-branch” on the day of the announcement. As I know from my own experience of that sector, this is a really, really tough job and not an easy one to complete (largely due to the “human factor”, ie, branch staff) so kudos Lloyds, very slick indeed.

Nuts over Costa

I am going to end on my own piece of investigative journalism. This story would have Erin Brokovich tipping her hat to me. It’s a real gob-stopper. I am just going to break it to you gently: we operate in a three-coffee-standards state.

Let me explain. My coffee shop of choice is Costa. Starbucks’ milk does something bad to my inner machinery that I don’t care to elaborate further on.

This week I travelled to the North of the UK, Birmingham. I stopped at my favourite service station. Frankley, I was stunned, delighted and excited that it sold Costa Nut Flapjacks. I have never tried one before and, it was dreamy. I mean, totally dreamy.

On my drive into work the next day I returned to my local Costa, ready to get my new favourite snack, only to be told it would NEVER be selling them again.

I switched from mild-mannered PRO into “angry-dad-about-to-tell-off-his-kids” mode and demanded immediate answers to this travesty.

It turns out there are Bronze, Silver and Gold Costa Coffee outlets people. Three tiers, and although my local one is a GOLD, only the Bronze and Silvers get the nut flapjacks.

Its like my local Costa is being punished for being so good while those gosh-darned Silver and Bronze splitters are rewarded for being a bit rubbish.

I feel that my column is the best place to break this story in the hope that the Costa Coffee team see it and fix the problem. Let’s be honest, this is up there with Watergate and the Profumo affair and it cannot go on.

“Using my column to air personal injustices” you say? I say screw you, the truth is out there.

Got anything good or bad that you want to share? or @10yetis on Twitter.

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