Good & Bad PR 4 minute read
Good PR of the week
French dating website AdopteUnMec.com (AdoptAGuy.com) has just opened a travelling shop, showcasing single men by putting them on display inside human-sized toy boxes.
The shop will be open in Paris for the next ten days before going to Brussels, Lausanne, Toulouse and Lyon.
The boxes include toy-sounding names for each guy, including “Mr Muscle” and “The Rocker“.
Considering the outrage this would cause if it were women in the boxes, you can expect some short-lived outrage from men (and some women, no doubt). Personally, I think it’s a fun, simple stunt that relates very well to the business it’s trying to promote.
Thanks to Diffusion PR’s Christopher Charnley for Tweeting with this.
Boobs on the tube
Some will hate me saying it, but often ads cross over into PR territory – see this beard-growing billboard – and vice versa.
This ad, commissioned by the Scottish Government, is the first to show naked breasts in order to encourage people to get checked for breast cancer.
It will only show after 9pm on Scottish TV (and is actually age-restricted on YouTube). It stars actress Elaine C Smith, who lost her own mother to cancer.
Although as I say, it is clearly advertising, the PR ramifications warrant its inclusion, as the surprising content was always going to encourage the media to pick up on it as a news story in its own right. The call-to-action element is also something that will get people talking.
Here’s the video – obviously, as I say, it shows boobs. If you don’t want to see boobs, don’t watch boobs.
Bad PR of the week
PRO goes bad
Not every bad-PR inclusion is the result of bad actions by a PR person. Most are just company-issues that blow up for a short period of time, to be forgotten about by all but the saddest (me) or people who should probably not let things get them down quite so much.
This example is the result of a PR person’s bad work though, or perhaps more fairly, the pressure put on her to act badly.
In short, a theatre critic, Amy Taylor, went to a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She didn’t much like it, and her review reflected that. She didn’t think it funny and, as critics are wont to do, she criticised it. Now, I know artists are traditionally sensitive people, but the issue escalated beyond reason.
The review, which Taylor didn’t link to, is here. As I say, standard fare as far as I’m concerned. She stated that she thought the show was an “unauthorised’” tribute to a well-known TV comedy, something that seems to be the key issue.
The PR person, who Taylor declined to name, was “very polite, helpful and friendly at the beginning“, but quickly turned sour when the review went live and Amy sent her a link.
You can read the full account here, entitled “Trash and The Libel Case Or, How to Piss Off a Theatre Critic“, but the gist is, the PR person got nasty, and claimed that the review was “lies” and was therefore libellous. She demanded that the review was taken down immediately or they “would take legal action“.
As I say, I’m sure the PRO’s boss was on her case about this, so it may just be that she was the mouthpiece here, but it’s our job to push back when we think our client’s reputation may be damaged by certain actions. I personally wouldn’t dream of speaking to a journalist or blogger like that and, this will sound cynical, but I’m surprised she decided to do so by email rather than the less-provable method of picking up the phone.
Taylor wrote that the “the intimidation, bullying and harassment of journalists simply because someone disagrees with what they have written, is immoral, unethical and odious” and I can’t disagree.
As I say, her blog about the issue is worth reading. To any aspiring PR people (or journalists) out there, don’t think this is the way issues are dealt with. I was told within days of working in PR that journalists and bloggers will say things you won’t like, but kicking off about it will always worsen the issue. Further reading: The Streisand Effect.
Have you seen any good or bad PR?
Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.
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