Good & Bad PR 5 minute read
Tinder has taken the dating scene by storm over the last few years; leading to strings of whirlwind romances (if you can call them that). The app doesn’t exactly need much in the way of PR activity, as everyone who’s anyone knows what Tinder is these days.
However, the app has been in the spotlight this week after a couple’s hilarious string of DMs came to light. Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas, students from the US, were messaging on Tinder for three years, but never once met up. Three years sounds like a long time, over which period a meaningful relationship could form, but in reality the pair only messaged a handful of times.
Only 11 messages have been exchanged since Josh and Michelle matched in September 2014, with the two having great banter about the delays in responses to each one. Josh was the first to make a move, sending the message “Hey Michelle” on 20/09/14. Michelle didn’t respond until a couple of months later, when she replied with “Hey sorry my phone died!”. Josh, finding this pretty hilarious, then said the next day (which, trust me, is a quick reply for this couple) “Wow you found that pretty fast. It usually takes me about five months to find my charger.” Michelle replied to that one pretty quickly too, but then Josh waited until January to send her a message back.
This toing and froing continued and Josh shared the string of messages on his Twitter account eventually, tweeting “Hahahaha one day I’m going to meet this girl and it’s going to be epic. Look at the dates of our tinder texts” with screenshots of their 11 message conversation.
Michelle replied to his tweet, saying “sorry I’d reply but I need to give it a few months”. Well, this story gained loads of media exposure for Tinder, but now Tinder has pulled an absolute blinder to get more mileage from the couple’s exchange.
A post on the official Tinder Twitter account read “It’s time you got together IRL. You have 24 hrs to decide the city you want to have your first date in and we’ll send you there! @mch_rnd”
The two decided on Maui in Hawaii (probably expecting that to be way too far out for them to get a free holiday to) but Tinder didn’t bat an eyelid at their choice of destination and replied simply with “Aloha! We're sending you to Maui but you can't take two years to pack your bags!”
How amazing is that? Tinder’s posts on Twitter got thousands of engagements from people following the story, so this has been a great decision by the brand.
I can’t finish this week’s good PR write up without giving a mention to Southern Rail, who let a 15-year-old boy named Eddie who was in the head office for work experience take over its Twitter account. He introduced himself to 161,000 followers on Tuesday afternoon (my birthday, FYI) and people soon jumped at the chance to ask young Eddie a series of pretty hilarious (and nothing to do with rail) questions, like “Would you rather have rollerblades for feet or chopsticks for hands for the rest of your life?” Eddie’s responses were always witty and the hashtag #AskEddie soon started trended on Twitter. Loads of national and regional media covered the story, with the Daily Mail even opting for the headline “The only decent thing Southern Rail has done in two years #askeddie…” So, ya know, that’s nice.
Shame on Winnie!
Winnie Harlow, a top model with the condition vitiligo (which causes pale white patches to appear on the skin) has been criticised in the press this week for body shaming. Whilst holidaying somewhere sunny, the 22-year-old posted a series of videos on Instagram, one of which showed an older male laid on his back in yellow shorts with his stomach protruding upwards. The model captioned this part of the video “Sexy views… you’re welcome.”
It turns out the man in question was the uncle of Lewis Hamilton (Winnie’s rumoured boyfriend) and the video and comments were all part of a “joke”. The thing is, the model is famous for being an advocate of body positivity and has spoken publicly about her condition and how people should stand up to those who direct cruel comments there way.
So what’s the difference between body shaming a young woman and an older man? Nothing. It’s just as nasty and even if Lewis Hamilton’s uncle found it funny, people reading the news about Winnie’s comments probably didn’t.
The model displayed double standards and the media was quick to pick up on this, with titles like TMZ and Mail Online running the story. Winnie jumped to defend herself, saying "That 'random passenger on the boat' is like my uncle and was a family joke. He was actually poking out his tummy for the photo." She then called the media "the real bullies for not fact-checking before slandering my name." The guy from the photo also tweeted “Family jokes, relax people.” However, the story is out there now and it’ll take people a little while to forget it.