Good and Bad PR: Plenty on this week’s agenda, from Handforth Parish Council, to Weetabix, to Elon Musk, to NHS Comms

Morning public relations fans and what a “Weet” it has been. Whilst the Covid machine rolls on, there have been a few uplifting moments for us all to celebrate. Take my hand as we wander through the week’s hits. No bad PR this week, enough bad news out there as it is.

Good PR

Weetabix

There can only be one winner this week and it has to be agency Frank and its Weetabix social media post. This was a picture of Weetabix covered in baked beans, suggesting this is a feasible breakfast suggestion. It resulted in the kind of brand-pile on that both muggles and us in media-land love to watch, commentate on and share. It was “safe” content for brands to get involved with; no risk, no rudeness and no chance to offend. The perfect piece of social content. I fully expect this to become the UK’s version of the Oreo Superbowl case study. I mean, even GCHQ got involved.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk once again demonstrated what a powerhouse he is in terms of his ability to affect a market. Shortly after announcing that he/Tesla had invested $1.5bn in the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, it reached a new market high. At the time of writing, it was still flying high and showed little if no signs of slumping, but as has been the case with cryptocurrencies to date, that may well change very soon.

Handforth Parish Council

Handforth Parish Council demonstrated exactly why parish councils get a good ribbing from the majority of the parishioners they serve. As the video of December’s meeting began to spread, you could hear the most famous quotes slowly slipping into the everyday Zoom meetings that we all love and enjoy. It has now reached the stage where 88%* of the video meetings I attend now have some cheeky japester asking if we have read the Standing Orders. Sigh.

*scientific and factual.

Full Fact

I am going to give a random, but very important, shout out to FullFact.org for doing great work, especially around Covid. It deserves Good PR because of the work it does fact checking the ridiculous statements and fake news pumped out on various social media accounts and sometimes swallowed by the media. I will keep this example top line, for fear of getting it wrong and adding to the general confusion.

This week, there was a post that apparently originated on Instagram which falsely claimed there were more deaths in 2019 (pre-Covid) than there were in the same time period of 2020. Basically, more Covid deniers, but it was done in such a way that it gained some level of traction in traditional and online media. FullFact.org (now with its very own snazzy box on Google News) quickly and efficiently went about its business and the truth was outed.

At a time when any old Joe can spout their own version of a “fact”, this service is essential. Kudos to all involved in it.

NHS comms

Finally, whilst no one can doubt the efforts, skills and sheer awesomeness of the NHS front-line workers, let’s take a moment to also celebrate the NHS comms folk. They have come in for a fair bit of stick since Lockdown 1 began, and sometimes even from others within their own organisation. They have diligently cracked on though and helped to steer the messaging in as clear and concise a way as possible, despite obvious and continued political meddling.

This week, they had a massive success. Not only did they get the message out about Saturday being dubbed “Super Saturday” because of the sheer volume of vaccines being given out, but they also had an A-List celeb campaign to take off the hands of the advertising team and dish-out to the masses, and it worked.

Helped by Sirs Elton John and Michael Caine, the spoof NHS advert for the vaccine really delivered both in terms of messaging, reach and shareability. I always feel the truly successful campaigns are the ones that cross over the pond and the two A-Listers gave it that global appeal.

NHS comms people, we salute you!

Got it wrong? Missed your amazing campaign? Let me know!

Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? Abuse and contradictory points welcomed over on The Twitter @10Yetis or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email


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