Good & Bad PR 4 minute read
Good PR of the week
Wren Studio, a Los Angeles clothing company, is getting the good PR nod this week, as a video produced for its autumn range has met with spectacular success on social networks, as well as getting some fantastic media coverage. In one day it racked up nearly 20 million YouTube views. Not bad!
The video, created by an LA-based filmmaker saw 20 strangers who'd never met before (hence the stranger label) kiss. This wasn't some voyeuristic footage. It was artfully done and succeeded in capturing the awkward body language and small talk leading up to the moment when their lips actually locked.
I'm sure if they'd all been lubricated with a few shandies the results might have been somewhat different, but as it stands the result was actually quite a touching video, which certainly seemed to strike a chord with its audience as it's only gone and done the proverbial “viral” thing and flown all around the world. Cue wild applause!
Not being a fashionista I'd never heard of Wren Studio, but now I have. Job done then! Admittedly, I'm probably not Wren Studio's chic target market, but the clothing featured in the video was very nice, so I'd probably recommend them. Good PR to them.
Bad PR of the week
There's always controversy surrounding horse racing and it tends to reach fever pitch whenever one of the big race meetings is on. This week it's the Cheltenham Festival, which means horse racing is high on the news agenda.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of horse racing and (being a country yokel) the Cheltenham Festival in particular. Mainly it's the copious amounts of Guinness and sense of occasion that d
raws me in, but I'm also partial to the odd bet. And when I say odd bet, that's generally in a “why the hell did you back that?” kind of odd. I'm a terrible gambler so don't do it very often.
But despite me being an exponent, horse racing has many opponents. And I can see why. It's a sad fact that horses pushed to their limits and encouraged
to jump fences are likely to fall foul of injury. Unfortunately for horses, those injuries can often be fatal. This week at Cheltenham a horse called Our Conor injured its back during a fall and as a result had to be put down.
Understandably, this provoked the ire of horse racing critics who pointed out that if the horse hadn't been forced to jump a fence, then it would still be alive today.
I'm not going to undertake a long diatribe defending horse racing as I respect the fact it's a divisive subject and provokes considerable passion. But something else I'm also not going to defend are the comments of one of Britain's top jump jockeys, Ruby Walsh, following the death of Our Conor. Walsh was quoted as saying the following:
"Horses are horses. You can replace a horse. It's sad, but horses are animals, outside your back door. Humans are humans. They are inside your back door. You can replace a horse. You can't replace a human being. That's my feeling on it."
This incited wrath from animal lovers who labelled the comments as "disgraceful". It's hard to disagree.
I am also an animal lover. I shall use the analogy of film to point out that I'm rarely moved by the demise of an onscreen human but when it's the death of an animal, the strings of my hard heart are well and truly tugged. I've never watched the film Marley and Me, gruffly refusing to entertain the idea on the grounds of “it's not my kind of film”. In reality, it's not the genre that puts me off, but the fact that I'd probably end up a blubbering wreck and completely destroy my stiff-upper-lip persona. So bearing this in mind, you might think it's hard to marry up my love of horse racing with a love of animals. Sometimes this is true, particularly in this case.
Horse racing's cause is done no favours by such callous disregard from one of its poster boys if even fans like me are given serious pause for thought. I genuinely don't believe jockeys don't care about their mounts. The tears shed by Our Conor's jockey, Danny Mullins, following the death of the horse should help to counterbalance the view that they don't care about the animals that provide them with a career.
But Ruby Walsh's comments display a staggering lack of sentiment, which only helps to stoke the fires of passion in the bellies of the anti-horse racing lobby. Bad PR to you Ruby and bad PR to horse racing.
Lloyd Hughes of 10 Yetis PR agency cracked the whip at this week's good and bad PR column. Give me a follow @lloydhughes13 if you like.