Virgin and McDonald’s showcase excellent PR, but Boners BBQ sucks

Good PR of the week

Virgin launches bank with 3D stunt

As I’ve said in these here pages before, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin just get what makes a great marketing story. So when I was Tweeted a link to a 3D projection the company had created to promote its new Virgin Money bank, I was all anticipation.

If you liked Nokia’s light-show in London recently (one of my good PR nods here), you’ll love this. At the risk of sounding like my mum, it is incredible what bright people can do with technology these days.

Thanks to Gordon Maw of MAW Communications and Jo Dring for Tweeting with this.

McDonald’s gives books away

I’d love to know who’s been behind PR and marketing at McDonald’s in the last few years – laziness prevents me from Googling. The restaurant’s public perception is still by no means entirely positive, but by communicating its various initiatives, such as becoming more transparent with calories, providing healthier options and developing headline-grabbing apprenticeship schemes, the PR team – and whoever’s driving these changes - deserve to be commended.

The latest in the growing line of great ideas is the fact that McDonald’s will, for a month, give out more than 9 million children’s books instead of toys with Happy Meals. The move is supported by the Literacy Trust, which was paid to say (I must at this point tell you that I am joking, for legal reasons): “We are very supportive of McDonald’s decision to give families access to popular books, as its size and scale will be a huge leap towards encouraging more families to read together.”

In all seriousness, I love the idea and think it’ll get more kids reading. It will only improve how people view the fast-food chain, which just a few years ago was hit by negativity following Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me - a ridiculous yet entertaining documentary, where one man set out to prove just how unhealthy eating fast food every day could be, as if we were all wondering.

Thanks to Razorfish’s Sharon Chan and Emily Wong for emailing and Tweeting this, respectively.

Bad PR of the week

Boners BBQ faces stiff criticism 

There are some pretty detailed descriptions of this particular balls-up here on Unmarketing and here on The Drum, but in short:

1. An American woman posted a negative review after eating at a restaurant amazingly called Boners BBQ

2. The company posted a picture of her on its Facebook page and slagged her off, calling her a bitch in the process.

3. It wasn’t sorry.

4. It said it was sorry.

There's a CBS round-up if you’d prefer this display of social media idiocy delivered to you in the form of moving pictures.

Thanks to Zac Coffman, Steff Lewis-Sabey and Sara Benwell for getting in touch with this one this week, it’s hugely appreciated.

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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