Good and Bad PR: We congratulate England’s Lionesses, but have no good words for Shell and Centrica

Airport chaos dependent, I hope that by the time this column goes live, I shall be reading it in a warm foreign climate. Enough of my travels though, we are all refreshed from the PRmoment summer break and I am back again with the latest Good and Bad PR of recent times.

Good PR

England Women’s football team

This week is an easy one. The England Women’s football team winning Euro 22 gave the UK the (albeit temporary) lift that we all needed. It is fair to say that the UK is gripped in the middle of an absolute shit show. Higher energy prices, higher fuel costs, higher food prices, higher temperatures caused by climate change, airport chaos, strikes all over the shop and the Government still rudderless and seemingly giving up, I really felt that civil unrest was on the way (it may still be).

Step forward our amazing Lionesses to give us a glimmer of hope that our nation could be restored to some form of glory and what’s more, at the expense of our old sporting (and other things) foe, zee Germans.

I have said elsewhere that the goal is not for women’s football to continually be compared with men’s football, but instead be considered as an iconic sporting spectacle in its own right, and this is what the England team has done. Each squad member more than deserves the fame, adulation and increased commercial prowess that they now have. What’s more, they deserve medals and honours for giving the UK a moment’s distraction from our situation.

Yard Digital

Sticking with the plaudits for Great PR, step forward Yard Digital which newsjacked on the back of the Kardashian piss-take private jet story to have a look at which celebs have the worst carbon emissions courtesy of their private plane usage. Taylor Swift came out worst and in the surest sign of a release doing well globally, the digital PR industry started eating itself to try and debunk the story. Absolute piffle and nonsense.

If this story gets just one less plane taking off it will be doing greater things for the environment than all the huffle-puffle brigade moaning about the story itself it have ever done. The vitriol aimed at the people behind the story was to be expected given The Swifties are well practiced in taking umbrage at anyone who is considered to be knocking her, but they will soon move on to the next perceived slight.

Waitrose

Sticking to the environment theme and Waitrose won some juicy headlines this week by announcing that it was scrapping Best Before dates on 500 products from its fresh food range. The posh supermarket giant is now asking its customers to judge the food for themselves meaning a whole new demographic will be asking “have you sniffed it?”.

It turns out that it was not the first supermarket to do this and the likes of Tesco, Morrisons and M&S have all launched similar moves in recent times. Great PR for all the brands involved and certainly not a campaign to be sniffed at.

Bad PR

Shell and Centrica

Talking about things going off, Shell and Centrica left a very nasty smell in the air when they announced a combined $11bn profit and payments to shareholders of around $6.5bn. Against a backdrop of consumers paying the highest prices ever for the ability to heat and run their home, the “optics” behind this were terrible.

I feel that this also comes back to one of the points I made earlier in this article about the Government being truly ineffective. There is nowhere for consumers to focus their appeals around areas like this because Boris is in supply-teacher mode and there appears to be a clear lack of awareness of the plight of UK consumers from the political party that is currently in power. It is too busy choosing its new pope instead of serving its electorate.

This is just one of the reasons why I feel civil unrest is only a few more bad Government decisions away. No one is listening to consumers and sooner or later there will be a trigger point where people will have had enough and take matters into their own hands. Unless action is taken I feel this could well happen when energy prices go up again in August.

What a gloriously depressing note to end on. I am off to go watch the Lionesses highlights to cheer myself up!

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

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.

Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.


ESG Awards Winners The intersection of Data, Insight and PR Planning SUBSCRIBE NOW PRCA Apprenticeship PRmoment Awards CIPR