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Good and Bad PR: Bad PR this week goes to… PR! And Boris and the BBC too

Well hello there you cheeky bunch of public relations legends. Back once again (like the Renegade Master) with the latest goings on in the world of Good and Bad PR.

Bad PR


The PR industry itself is back in the spotlight, sadly for all the wrong reasons around employment practices and mental wellbeing in the workplace. I am neither qualified or informed enough to pass judgement or comment on others so I shall be saying very little on the matter.

Judging from the calls I have had this week from the national business media asking for my opinion on the situation (for once I have remained quiet), there needs to be better dialogue and communication channels (ironic, given what we do) for people to express how they feel and get the support and help they need in order to address the challenges and issues that they face in their jobs. This is, however, not an issue that just one agency or company faces, it is one that we all face, so chucking brickbats at single individuals or companies does nothing but leave a bad taste in the mouth. Let’s hope that the industry conversation that is now going on helps to address the issues.

For more on this issue, see the latest PRinsight which focuses on mental health in PR.


On a far lighter Bad PR note (he only runs the country after all) Boris has had a right shitter* of a week. His speech to the CBI was littered with errors, pure nonsense and general bewilderment. Instead of fronting up and maybe citing tiredness brought on by having a small child and quite a challenging workload, he continued in his usual approach of trying to style it out and getting members of his cabinet to publicly big him up.

It did feel as though the charming veneer is not cutting it quite as well as it once did with both the public and his fellow Tories but I am sure that another feel-good-but-not-really-that-good announcement will soon be made that will deflect from his latest faux pas. You can listen to PRmoment's analysis of the The Boris Phenomenon in this latest PRmoment Podcast.

*PR slang


Speaking of high-level Bad PR moments, the BBC is embroiled in a right royal row with Team Megxit and Team William. The two Royal houses have, with no hint of irony, come together to complain about a BBC documentary that talks about them not getting on. The BBC is trying to position the show as more of an investigation into journalism, the Royals are not having it.

It is all a far cry from the days where the Royal mantra of “never complain, never explain” was used and caps a torrid year for the BBC which has struggled to find the balance when it comes to covering The Royals. Neither parties come out of the latest spat looking great, but on balance, I think the BBC is losing the PR battle right now.

Good PR


Moving on to a much brighter story, hats off to Rightmove and its associated PR agency for the “happiest places to live” story that went out this week. For the records, Hexham came out on top, the media lapped the story up, and everyone went home with a bucket full of follow links and smile on their face. Nice work Rightmove.

The City

The London Stock Exchange and Hambro Perks bring us a rare Good PR win from The City this week courtesy of Hambro placing the first listing of its kind. Stick with me; in short, Hambro Perks is going to place a “Special Purpose Acquisition Company” (SPAC) on the stock exchange with its sole aim being to raise funds for them to go off and acquire (so far unnamed) other companies.

In layman’s terms this is like you buying a large golden wallet to hold the money that you have not yet won, and might not even win, by playing the lottery, and better still, convincing a load of mates to help you fund the buying of that wallet. Poorly explained I know, and my old maths teacher will be scratching his head, but, it works for me. Great PR and I hear next week the Emperor of Hambro Perks will be walking around the Square Mile in his new clothes.

A quick aside…

I am going to end by having a very rare, personal moan. The long-suffering Daney, the editor of the magnificent PRmoment  must wait for my waffle to land every week and this week it is made later than ever because I am writing it on a train journey for work, from The Shire to London Paddington.

No big drama you say but the train wifi is painfully slow and it is taking an absolute age to properly research (no really, I research every mention) the stories that I wish to write about.


This brings me nicely on to my last Good PR story. NASA and its collective of global brains that have gone into not just creating a space rocket, but creating a space rocket that can accurately pinpoint and “nudge” an asteroid off course should maybe better spend their time getting the basics right, down here on Earth, by creating a bloody wifi network on a train, in the UK, that works.

As my kids often tell me, a lack of internet is now a human rights issue. Rant over, good luck you space loving loons.

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 on email

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