Good & Bad PR 4 minute read
Andy Barr, reporting in for this week’s dollop of good and bad public relations. This week feels far livelier than the last one and all kinds of good and bad PR shit have hit the fan.
Ryanair is still struggling to cope with its holiday scheduling error. The brand is lucky that the news agenda has been dominated by stronger stories or it could have faced a far more turbulent few weeks (see what I did there?). The announcement of further cancellations affecting around 400,000 passengers has been somewhat squashed by the level of vouchers being given out to those who have suffered.
The company seems to have branded this as a winter-break, like in a sporting season, and it’s working. Don’t get me wrong, still bad PR, but far better than at the same time last week!
Sainsbury’s has accidentally been causing harm to man’s best friend via a direct mail door-drop that saw it send promotional chocolate bars to households. As everyone, apart from Sainsbury’s HQ staffers apparently, knows, chocolate does very bad things to dogs and is in fact poisonous. This was such a serious issue that it even made BBC Radio 5 Live. The Birmingham Mail took such issue with the situation that it was forced to write, “vets have branded the situation an ‘emergency’”. Maybe it is time for the Sainsbury’s strap to be changed to “Live less or unwell”.
Uber has had a rollercoaster of a week. The down of losing its London licence was nearly turned around by a huge petition calling for it to be reinstated, only to slump back down again when many started highlighting that Uber was exploiting migrant workers through low salaries.
The story has started to die off now and this could be a nail in the Uber PR coffin unless it can find a way to keep the story in the limelight. I expect a ceasefire from Uber in the PR war against TFL and imagine that behind the scenes talks are ongoing. It will be one to keep an eye on.
We smell a rat!
More frequent readers will remember that I have been keeping one eye on nature in terms of generating bad PR. Once again, she has been generating negative coverage and this time it is due to a new type of “super-rat” being found in the Solomon Islands.
This rat is four times larger than a normal rat and weighs over a kilogram. This rat is stealth though! It was first sighted in 2010 but was not captured until 2015 and didn’t get into the (must read) Journal of Mammalogy until this week! Be careful when putting your bins out people!
Time to take a look at the world of good PR and once again, there has been a lot to choose from.
The man who put the sexy into vacuum cleaning, James Dyson, has dominated the papers via his amazing PR team and the announcement that he is investing £2.5bn into a ‘radically different’ electric car. Now I don’t know about you but this really excites me. Dyson creates cool stuff and if he is going to make a car, he is going to make a cool one!
Apparently 400 engineers have been beavering away on this car at his factory in Wiltshire. In my head I picture something like the Oompah-Loompah’s (sorry, I don’t know the PC term to address them?) but cleaner and with no child cruelty. I can’t wait to see this car!
Finally, step forward Poundland and its new range of sexy-time weaponry. The range is called Nooky and EVERYTHING, costs just one pound! One of the range looks like an angry thimble. Remember them; the rubber gadget that Nans and people who worked in postrooms used to use to thumb through sheets of paper? Regardless of my immature nature, the brand has raised quite a few (column) inches and will have really hit home with its target demographic.
I am not sure just how many people will go for Poundland’s own brand Viagra, something that it has called “vitality supplement” for legal reasons. I tried Viagra* once, didn’t swallow it properly and had a stiff neck for a week! Moving on, the wider message that Poundland is trying to get over is that people should just consider these things when doing their regular shop. Sure. Gives a whole new meaning to the name “Pound”land.
* A shamelessly stolen joke from someone far funnier!