Radiohead’s foray into publishing hits the right note, but a certain author strikes the wrong chord

Good PR of the week

Radiohead go out on a limb

Despite the still-heavy media climate, there have been a number of great PR efforts, including one worldwide stunt employed by band Radiohead, to mark the launch of the new album, The King of Limbs.

In short, the band launched a free collectable newspaper, The Universal Sigh, and had it distributed by street teams around the world, starting in New Zealand and continuing into Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, Canada and the US – to widespread media attention.

Having flicked through an online PDF here of the newspaper, it’s not what I was expecting, but the mere fact of its existence – with frontman Thom Yorke handing out copies in London – has been enough to make millions aware of the new album and for that, the band should consider it a good job, well done.

Also, don’t miss staff at The Guardian turning its hand to Radiohead classic Creep.

Thanks to Chris White at GameCity for Tweeting me with this.

Bad PR of the Week

Blog off

I’m going to tell you a story ... a story of PR and how the viral nature of the web cannot be underestimated. It goes like this.

One bright spring day, a largely unknown author woke up to a  blogged review of her new work of fiction, The Greek Seaman – a suspense-laden tale of smugglers, ships, adjectives, other words and ... (alright, I’ll admit it, I haven’t read the book).

Disagreeing in main with the two-star review and politely critical tone, Jacqueline Howett made the decision to comment – and essentially tell the reviewer – BigAL – just how wrong he was about his criticism of her poor sentence structure. “My Amazon readers/reviewers give it five stars and four stars and they say they really enjoyed 'The Greek Seaman' and thought it was well written”, blurted Jacqueline boastfully, as she failed to comprehend the viral nature of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention.

Defending his right to review, AL wrote a considered response, providing examples from the novel.

But our heroine wasn’t content with AL’s tone. “Look AL, I'm not in the mood for playing snake with you”, Jacqueline retorted. “My writing is just fine! You’re the target not me! Now get this review off here!”

Twitter and author forums were suddenly awash with awe-struck web-users sharing the comment-section career suicide as it happened.

“This ‘author’ is very unprofessional”, one anonymous commenter offered.

“F**k off!” Jacqueline intelligibly replied to naysayers – twice, unaware that in just 24 hours, the bit.ly link alone would achieve more than 3,000 Tweets, gaining the blogger – a prolific reviewer with a relatively small but fond following – a larger slice of the elusive market share of independently-authored Kindle-published novel review visits.

Hundreds of comments urged Jacqueline to stop – and stop she did – seven hours too late and before she was consigned to the archives of internet history as somebody who just didn’t understand that these are exactly the reasons PROs ask clients not to engage with negativity online on a whim.

It remains to be seen whether or not a Google search for Jacqueline’s name will forever have BigAL’s review blog etched against it – but in likelihood it will.

The End

Thanks to David Woodward of director.co.uk, Steff Lewis-Sabey at Petersen Creative and Simon Kinnear at the McConells Group for flagging it up this week.

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


Creative Moment Awards 2020