Why Rich Leigh is bristling with enthusiasm for Movember, but is switching off from the X Factor

Good PR

Remember, remember to get involved with Movember

Every November since 1999, Movember has captivated millions around the world, making us all look like sex offenders in the name of raising money for and awareness of men’s health.

This year is no different, with thousands of media mentions and hundreds of thousands of individual tweets since the beginning of the month promoting the event.  There have been some brilliant brand efforts to get involved, including previously clean-shaven American cleaning product character Mr Clean, who has taken to Facebook with a brilliantly conceived ‘Moustache-O’-Meter’.  The campaign continues to grow in popularity year on year, testament no doubt to the hard work and joined-up thinking of its development, PR and marketing teams.

Give As You Live

There’s been some brilliant PR work going into an initiative called Give As You Live, in association with Vogue Online Fashion Week – a site that earns commission every time you purchase through an online store (presumably through affiliate marketing), 90% of which goes to a charity of your choosing. More than £2.2m has been donated so far thanks to site users.

Thanks to Firefly's Sharmee Mavadia for tweeting me with the site!

Bad PR

X Factor PR nightmare

It may seem too obvious; lazy even, to give the X Factor this week’s bad PR nod, but in truth, the last few weeks have been a lesson in how even the greatest of PR teams can wobble.

As I inferred above, I really do believe that in the last few years, the X Factor PR team has been brilliant. They’ve been consistently creative, delivering results other in-house teams and agencies could only dream of. The proof is in the incredible viewing figures the show has always achieved – averaging 14.1m last series and 13m in 2009, beating the BBC’s talent show rival Strictly Come Dancing week on week.

If you can sense a ‘but’ coming, you’re right.

The PR team has been fantastic in recent years. BUT, this year, battling with: an almost wholly changed judging panel, media pressure for apparently exploiting the mentally fragile, tales of bullying – which may or may not have been contrived, but still didn’t particularly work out well for them, reinstating eliminated contestants (three times in this guy’s case, a joke if there ever was one) and now dealing with the departure of Frankie Cocozza (a particularly untalented ‘singer’ they tried to mould into some sort of mane-haired, boyslag-reprobate, who, if reports are to be believed, has been forced out for drug use), the team has had a particularly torrid time of it.

And the viewing figures this year reflect this. A couple of Saturdays ago Strictly averaged more viewers than the ITV cash-cow (dubbed the Ad Fac[tor] by Heat Magazine), 10.2m to the X Factor’s 9.6m. As the Guardian reports, ‘On the equivalent November Saturday last year, the X Factor had 12.2 million and Strictly 10.3 million.’ If that isn’t a sign that the show is having a bad time PR-wise, with two and a half million people switching off, I don’t know how else it can be measured.

Add all this to the fact that judge Kelly Rowland found out about Frankie’s removal while in an interview with ITN’s Showbiz 411 in a horrendous example of internal communications (watch the clip below, it’s brilliantly painful viewing) and it’s not a stretch to say that this week has been one of the worst for the X Factor PR team in memory.

Have you seen any Good or Bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing rich@10yetis.co.uk throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.

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