Good and Bad PR: Rowse Honey, Dolly Parton and Oxford University help to make the world a better place

Good PR

Rowse Honey
During the last 100 years, it’s estimated the UK has gone from having 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadows to just 26,000. This staggering decline is of course having a direct effect on the population of pollinators. As a result of this, the team at Rowse Honey added a new initiative to its existing Hives for Lives programme, titled ‘Feed The Bees’.

Feed the Bees aimed to raise awareness of the dwindling wildflower population of the UK, and called up the British public to set up a planter, patch or pot in their own gardens or outdoor space and help #FeedTheBees by signing for some free seed balls.

Thanks to a successful omni-channel campaign working with micro-influencers and educating audiences through informative video content, Rowse was able to reach more than 68k people with its messaging and grow its social media followers by 25%. What’s more, there was a 42% increase in sign-ups for those wanting future brand news, indicating a true passion for feeding the bees had been installed!

Well done Rowse!

Dolly Parton
I’ve no doubt said it before, but at this point of the year there is very little that could surprise me when it comes to news headlines for the duration of 2020.

That being said, the news that country music superstar and global icon Dolly Parton has something to do with one of the most promising vaccines for Covid-19 did stop me in my tracks earlier this week.

According to her ‘people’, Dolly is immensely proud that her $1million donation to her local hospital partly helped fund the research for the development of the vaccination that is hopefully going to help us return to a life of relative normality in the coming months.

The Dolly Parton Covid fund was set up by the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center in Nashville, Tennessee (Dolly’s hometown) and the money has helped to create the recent vaccine candidate from Moderna, which is reportedly boasting a 95% success rate at protection against the virus. According to data from Moderna, the vaccine is proving highly effective in stopping people getting ill and works across all different age groups.

Never underestimate the power of Dolly Parton!

Oxford University
A fantastic move for Oxford University this week in the fight to lower the impact of meat on climate emissions.

The students union at the world-famous establishment have passed a motion that could mean beef and lamb dishes are no longer served at the canteens used by students and faculty members. Although the union is unable to change policy itself, its entire premise is to be able to represent students in decision making, and currently boasts more than 22,000 members. A two-third majority in this vote means that union representatives will now lobby Oxford University to ban the meats being used in dishes within campus restaurants and takeaways.

If the policy is changed, then Oxford will be following in the footsteps of its main rival Cambridge, which has already banned beef from being served on campus, as well as Goldsmiths University in South-East London.

Bad PR

Lush
Lush – that store on the high street that you can always smell before you see – has been making some blunders down under after it emerged this week the cosmetics giant underpaid more than 3,000 Australian workers $4.4 million between 2010 and 2018.

Ooops.

An internal investigation into the scandal found that the Australian leg of the global brand underpaid more than 3,130 employees over an 8-year period, due to ‘inadequate’ workplace processes. The staff affected by the scandal included retail staff at the chain’s stores, as well as management and manufacturing workers in its Sydney factory, where the brands iconic bath bombs are handmade. Lush has since agreed to pay back the money, alongside a $60,000 contrition payment in order to apologise for its actions.

For a company that prides itself on its ethical business practices, this is a seriously bad example of bad PR, especially when you take into consideration the fact that it breached minimum wage rates, provided a lack of training for its managers, implemented a manual payroll system and lacked an HR department despite being a rapidly growing business.

To give some credit to the Lush Australia team, sources report that it has been co-operating fully with the investigation, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to rectifying all underpayments. A good place to start!

Instagram
As an avid Instagram user (find me over at @growingoutandup 😊) there is a little hesitance in adding the social platform to the bad PR column this week, but the overwhelming negativity I’ve seen from others regarding its latest update and changes meant it had to be done.

Social media fans around the world have come together in outrage at the fact the new update has moved notifications around, leaving users confused and questioning the motives behind the move. The newly rolled out update prioritizes ‘reels’, designed as a competitor to TikTok, and has also given a focal spot to the recently expanded Instagram shopping features. This sly move indicates Instagram’s urgency to push its users towards its ecommerce platform, showing where its true priorities lie (in making lots of money!).

With so many calling on Instagram to revert to its previous form, only time will tell if the noise made so far will be enough to make decision makers stand up and listen.

Strictly Come Dancing
Remember in previous years when the media would inevitably refer to the notorious ‘Stictly curse’ whenever it looked like a celebrity contestant was getting a little too close to their dance partners?

Well this year, the threat of contestants being unfaithful to their partners has been replaced with the threat of catching Covod-19 and being immediately eliminated from the BBC competition. Already this year, singer HRVY and actress Maisie Smith have had to isolate due to developing the virus in the lead up to the season opener; but now female boxer Nicola Adams and her dance partner Katya Jones have had to say a premature goodbye to the show after Jones somehow contracted the virus.

With the strictly stars all reportedly living in bubbles and under tough restrictions, one can’t help but question just how the producers of the show allowed this to happen. Although knowing what we all know about just how easily and quickly it can spread, we can’t put too much of a blame on them. Hopefully there will still be enough dancers to enjoy the final next month!

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


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