Good and Bad PR: Markle and Ryanair are this week’s low fliers

As we say our goodbyes to another working week and hello to the weekend, what better way to celebrate that Fri-yay feeling than with a round-up of the very best (and worst) examples from the crazy world of PR over the past seven days?

Here are my highlights…

Good PR

TFL

Those living in London or commuting to the capital for work will be breathing a sigh of relief this week after Transport For London (TFL) announced it will begin to implement 4G phone signal.

Whilst free WiFi is offered in more than 260 Underground stations across London, the signal on offer is notoriously unreliable, as is the 3G and 4G signal that we’re already *technically* able to access in some above-ground areas of tube lines.

Admittedly, only those travelling on the Jubilee line will initially benefit from the ‘full mobile connectivity’ when introduced in March next year, but this is certainly positive news for those of us sick of poor signal (or none at all!) on the tube. Just imagine it; being able to check your travel information, stream from Spotify, check your Instagram stories and respond to your work and personal emails whilst on the morning commute. Dreamy!

Pretty Little Thing

As a seriously clumsy individual, particularly after a few alcoholic beverages, I don’t think I’ve ever related quite so emotionally with a story than with this excellent PR for online clothing retailer Pretty Little Thing (PLT).

When Eleanor Walton from Leeds wore a brand new outfit from the site to the Ripon races last week, she spilt red wine down the white jumpsuit not long after arriving. Rather than letting the incident ruin her day out, she and her colleagues instead decided to totally soak the outfit with more glasses of red wine to create a pink tie-dye effect that looked totally authentic to anyone not in the know.

So impressed were the social media and marketing teams at Pretty Little Thing, it decided to recreate the unique look by adding its own £25 version of the outfit to the site for customers loving the look to buy themselves. Marketing geniuses.

Fortnite

I think a lot of us are still pretty clueless when it comes to the phenomenon that is Fortnite, but you probably wished you weren’t when reading the news that a 15-year-old boy from Essex has won half of a £1.8 MILLION prize after he and his Dutch gaming partner finished second at the World Cup Finals in New York last weekend.

Jaden Ashman is planning to buy his mum a house with his winnings (how cute is that?), and despite Fortnite being widely condemned in the past for causing video game addictions and other mental health issues in British youngsters, the teen and his Mother Lisa are praising it for introducing him to a whole new set of skills and ways of tackling problems that he never realised the video game helping him to develop.

If there was ever an incentive for parents to let their kids play video games in the evening rather than focus on their homework, surely the prospect of them gaining enough knowledge of the game to be able to earn millions in the future is it?

Bad PR

Ryanair

Not a great week for Ryanair this week, after the airline has announced it is to cut hundreds of jobs due to employing more staff than it currently needs.

Chief executive of the company, Michael O’Leary, decided to let his staff know that more than 900 staff are at risk of losing their jobs by filming a video message, letting them know that the unlucky individuals will learn their fate in the coming weeks.

Blaming the uncertain economic climate and increasing risk of a no-deal Brexit in 12 weeks’ time, O’Leary also threatened further jobs losses were likely to occur after Christmas due to a necessary cut in aircraft number for winter holidays.

With an already less than sterling reputation amongst the public and having announced a 21% decline in profit after tax just this week, we bet Ryanair islooking forward to a less eventful August!

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle has once again faced a barrage of criticism from the press this week, after being announced as the guest co-editor for the eagerly awaited September edition of fashion bible, British Vogue.

The new mother has been accused by authors of a 2016 book, to which she contributed, of plagiarising the front cover for her own attempt at entering the world of magazine publishing. The similarities between the Vogue cover, which features the faces of a number of various women that the Duchess of Sussex considers ‘Forces for Change’ in black and white boxes, are glaringly obvious even to her biggest supporters, and you better believe that her critics (I’m looking at you Piers Morgan!) have had a field day.

The authors of the bestselling book The Game Changers, Samantha Brett and Steph Adams, call the move ‘flattering, but disappointing’ and said that whilst they love that Meghan has ideas for change, it would’ve been more powerful for her to create a book and interview the same women featured in Vogue then donate all proceeds made to charity.

Written by Lauren Wilden, 10 Yetis. Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

PRmoment Awards 2020