Mario Balotelli wins this weeks good PR award, while the film Anonymous gets some hot publicity from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Good PR of the week

Balotelli fires one back at the press

If you heard about Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli’s recent firework mishap – where his £3m rented house was set ablaze when fireworks were set off in his bathroom – you’ll appreciate this one.

News reports pointed the finger at Balotelli, claiming that he was the one to set the fireworks off, The Guardian immediately chalking it up as "the latest moment of madness in his chequered career".

But despite this, Balotelli is now fronting a new firework safety campaign, claiming that the papers "got the story wrong about me". He says it was a friend (who has, kindly since apologised – that’s what matters) who caused the damage and in a smart and quick-fire move by the player and firework safety campaign TREACLE, Mario has lent his weight to promoting firework safety.

This is a great PR opportunity that benefits both parties. TREACLE, launched in Manchester, has enjoyed much, much higher media prominence than it would otherwise have with the topical addition of Balotelli as the face of it, giving him the chance to have his say on the matter in a way that will improve his public image. I’m not sure who would have brokered the advocacy, but whoever it was: nice work.

Thanks to Kindred PR Director Lorna Gozzard for Tweeting me with it!

Bad PR of the week

Anonymous? Not anymore.

The age-old literary debate as to the actual authorship of William Shakespeare’s works has reared its head again, this time due to a new film, Anonymous.

The film, which I knew little about until a couple of days ago, portrays Bill as a drunk who can barely read, let alone pen his puns. Do you know the reason I know more about it now than I may have done, and as a Shakespeare fan (if you can be a fan?) will probably pay to watch it?

In an act removed from the intelligence attributed to The Bard’s works, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust decided that it would be a good idea to remove mentions of the playwright from pub and road signs in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, apparently in some sort of protest at the film’s central conspiracy theory theme.

And guess what happened then?

Every bit of media coverage mentioned the film. And who stars in it. And when it is out in cinemas.

In fact, I even wondered whether or not it was in some way a stunt to promote the film, the publicity so positively teeming with references, but apparently not. The Trust, naively, seems to be chuffed with all the media mentions, a quick read of its Twitter account shows us.

The real winner here is the film. If I was given the brief to promote a movie with a controversial theme, that’s exactly what I’d lean on – but the PR team needn’t even bother now, as The Trust seems to be doing a good enough job all by itself.

Thanks to Warwickshire-based PR Paul Coxon, who, as a poet and writer from the area was quick to point the story out!

Have you seen any good or bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing 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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