Social media brings out the best in O2, but the worst in Mind

Good PR of the week

O2 speaks in kind

Personable responses to genuine customer queries and complaints are roundly appreciated when it comes to social media. The open channel is clearly one of the biggest benefits to brands and there have been many examples of good practice. A brand that gets it right regularly is O2. In the face of network problems back in July, responses to especially rude Tweets made headlines. Such as:

This week, when a customer decided to complain in forced ebonics, O2 responded in kind:

So, though the mobile phone operator has been praised for its approach, some seemingly took offence (offence is, after all, something taken, not given) on behalf of the customer and said they thought O2 was out of order and actually mocking him. I think it's just a great example of a brand using Twitter well.

Pub chain steaks claim

Putting faces on food never goes out of fashion. The press just eat it up.

To promote pub chain Flaming Grill and the launch of its Steak Festival, WPR has branded the faces of potential Sports Personality of the Year candidates on slabs of steak:


Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and others can now count “face on bit of meat’” as a personal achievement that will likely rank up there with their gold medals.

WPR worked with food artist Prudence Staite to create the faces. It’s unclear whether or not Jess-steak-a Ennis, Sir-Loin Chris Hoy and Flaming Mo Farah can be bought from Flaming Grill pubs or if this is a stand-alone stunt, but either way, it’s not done badly coverage-wise.

Bad PR of the week

Celebrity dirt

Although I tend to try to keep this column relatively light, it’s hard to ignore the undoubtedly big bad news stories of the week concerning TV presenters: Justin Lee Collins’ harassment of his former partner, and the allegations against Jimmy Savile.

The BBC has come in for a hell of a lot of flak, with people questioning just how it could have all happened without the organisation’s knowledge. The rumours were also apparently common knowledge amongst journalists, with the editor of children’s newspaper First News tweeting:

“There can't have been a newspaper in Britain which hadn't heard Savile rumours which is why @First_News chose not to report his death.”

Mind’s mindless Tweet

India Knight wrote a column about depression, or rather, the declaration of suffering from depression in celebrity autobiographies. You can read it here on Alastair Campbell’s blog if you don’t pay for The Times.

Mental health charity Mind Tweeted to its followers about the article, saying:

“Today we ask #whatsstigma in response to @indiaknight and her distasteful article on depression being money spinning 'misery lit' Join us!”

The Tweet sparked a deluge of angry comments to Knight, and Mind deleted the Tweet, something I’d never recommend. Apologise, by all means, but don’t Tweet a statement with no balance – a link to the article, perhaps – that riles followers up who have no intention of understanding both sides before sharpening their pitchforks.

There are well-written articles about this whole issue here, looking at the social media implications, and here on The World of Mentalists, so those who want more than a passing “nobody came out of this well, BAD PR FOR ALL” declaration should probably have a read of those.

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