Another jam-packed week in the world of public relations so join me as I take a stroll through the Good the Bad and Ugly of PR.
Michael Gove appears to have been handed the “try and appear terrible to make Boris look better” baton by Tory HQ this week as he went on BBC Breakfast News to talk loosely about the cost of living crisis. As he tried to duck questions about the need for an emergency budget he went full David Brent courtesy of adopting a range of “comedy” accents.
First up was “calm down” delivered in the accent from my own homeland of Liverpool before then developing some form of Deep South (my own speculation), American accent whilst using the words “emergency budget”. In a week where political games were at their peak courtesy of Starmer vs BoJo and party-gates it just feels like our whole political system is descending into a farce and we as a nation are once again the butt of global mockery.
Speaking of globally mocked figures, it looks like Donald to the Trump is going to be getting a reprieve over on Twitter courtesy of Electric Elon. In his first serious interview since having his offer accepted to take over the Tweeting masses, Musk has announced that Big D will be getting his account back.
This is Good PR for Twitter in that there is no doubt that the Trump rants breathed new life into a platform that was struggling to reach new highs as people logged in each morning to see what the mad-as-a-box-of-frogs leader was shouting about now. The media reaction to Elon’s announcement was unusually subdued, most probably because of the sheer volume of stories that can generated from a Trump Tweet.
Let’s move away from the slimy world of politics and move over to the far more upmarket world of corporate business. Aviva Chairman George Culmer won plaudits and my second Good PR of the week for the way that he dealt with some unsavoury and inappropriate comments aimed at the female members of the board of the insurance giant during its AGM.
Having worked in the financial services industry (banking and insurance, get me!) I have seen first-hand how outdated some of the industry participants can be, so it is brilliant to see that Culmer did what was right and politely told the baddies to wind their necks in (in far better terms than I would have used). The fact that conversations like this are still going on in today’s day and age shows how far the industry still needs to shift before it catches up with the rest of modern society. Nice one G to the C.
Jaguar Land Rover
Regular readers will remember that I gave Jaguar Land Rover a subtle prod a few weeks ago after it was discovered that it had not registered or protected the original design of its iconic and original Defender model and how this had let a lesser brand slip in and rip off the shape and look. Well, there is nothing but praise for the automotive giant in this week’s column as it unveiled its new Range Rover Sport to glorious fanfare and huge media support.
Whilst the first fully electric version of this model is still nearly two years away, the hybrid versions will be hitting the streets from September of this year, and they will no doubt be another huge success for the 4x4 dream team.
There are very few brands out there who command the kind of respect and gravitas that Land Rover does when it launches a new vehicle and it once again demonstrated why it is one of the pioneers of the modern communications era. Great PR.
Speaking of iconic brands and their PR tactics, Apple always ranks very highly in these kinds of things and even the announcement of the withdrawal of one of its most ground-breaking gadgets, the iPod, got them the level of coverage you would expect from a launch rather than a removal.
iPod was a pocket-sized revolution that transformed the music industry and brought happiness to millions – and the spirit of iPod is still with us today. It was truly a team effort to bring it to life and we are honored to play a part in Apple’s history. https://t.co/sgl3FCdg3p— Greg Joswiak (@gregjoz) May 10, 2022
The irony of the media reception to the announcement (many years after rivals had done the same, but to nowhere near the fanfare) was not lost on me, when you consider it was not first to market with a gadget that enabled you to store music files on a device, but it certainly made it sexy and went on to storm and eventually take over the industry.
As we see time and time again, when people like Microsoft try and withdraw a product from the marketplace it conjures up negative headlines and detractors, yet somehow Apple does exactly the same, but in a really cool way and leaving people wanting more.
Just imagine if Apple and Land Rover partnered up!
Last Bad PR
Finally, let’s end on Bad PR and it must go to the Wagatha Christie trial, with Rebekah Vardy coming across terribly. Whilst there is no question that Rooney is now just as media savvy, I get the impression that she had the spotlight thrust upon her because of her husband’s rise to prominence whereas Vardy has always craved and fought for her rise to fame.
Peter Andre certainly won’t be sending a thank you card to Vardy and it will have all the gossip columns packed with content for months to come.
Got it right or wrong? You know what to do, I can be berated over on The Soon To be Re-Donald’d Twitter, @10Yetis
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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