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Good and Bad PR: Barbie gets Best PR Award (obvs) whilst Trump gets Bad (also obvs)

Did you miss me? I thought so. Welcome back to the first Good and Bad PR that has taken place in a few weeks.

What have you missed? Well, the same old villains have been all over the media, so let’s take a wander around the recent media wins and losses.

Bad PR

Donald Trump

The Trump is back in the headlines today and although it is for all the wrong reasons, you can’t but admire his PR machine in action. On Wednesday it was announced that he was going to face four charges around his trying to overturn the 2020 election result. This is clearly bad PR for him, there is no mistaking that.

If you look around at the Trump poling scores, his more recent rhetoric is clearly starting to “gain traction”. He made a speech around a week ago where he claimed, and I am paraphrasing, that none of these charges would be filed if he was not planning to run for president again. He followed it up with his further wisdom that it was a sign that he was doing so well in the polls that more charges were coming, to knock him down.

Looking at various opinion polls across America, more people disapprove of Trump compared with those who do approve of him, but in the last few weeks, the approve number has levelled off and actually started improving. His messaging is clearly starting to get through and this, combined with the Biden family drama, makes for a very interesting communications battle over in America.

Elon Musk

Sticking with people accused of being villains and over we go to Musk. It is interesting that he timed the Twitter rebrand to occur whilst PRmoment was on its summer break! That is the clear influence that Good and Bad PR has.

The rebrand has been a poorly executed mish-mash of communications. So bad that I can only think that he was forced to go early with the comms, but I guess we will never really know the truth.

The latest climb down relates to the giant flashing X that was installed on the HQ building. The residents complained, the local authority acted and now it is gone. Musk can’t catch a PR break right now.

Good PR

Electrical Safety First

We need some good news and for this we go over the Electrical Safety First and the results of its latest PR campaign about e-bike battery safety. I think it is safe to say that pretty much every media outlet, print, broadcast, online, etc, ran the story about the safety warnings.

One of the reasons it did so well was because the comms team over there packaged the story up so well, have amazing contacts and also used great soundbites such as the great line “an e-bike battery fire is the same power as six hand grenades going off”. Kudos to Joshua and the Electrical Safety First team, a brilliant campaign that will no-doubt win awards.

Barbie film

I end this week’s column with not so much a “Good PR” but more of an “OMFG that’s amazing PR” for the Barbie film. I have seen it, obviously, and it’s a jolly romp. I read a really interesting Q&A with the president of worldwide marketing from Warner Bros in The Guardian this week where he revealed the marketing budget for the film was £140/£150m. Staggering, but when you think of the global reach, you can see how it would stack up.

I would suggest that the film was also greatly helped by the fact that so many brands jumped on the Barbie launch as a theme for their own PR and social media content as another huge reason for its media domination.

Brands from Gymshark through to Google bought into the launch hype (type “Barbie” into Google for example!) and this took the awareness to new levels. Personally, my favourite execution was the @OneMinuteBriefs ad from one of its community, Ciaran McKeon, who created that HeineKEN ad that went everywhere on social media. Kudos Ciaran!


A few mentions in dispatches this week. Arielle Free showed the downside to doing an interview when steaming after she got suspended for saying she didn’t like a song that a fellow DJ was playing on popular yoof culture radio channel, Radio1. Not sure Free deserved the kicking she received in the media to be honest; I have done far worse when tipsy. Also, keep an eye out on the BP Pension troubles that are slowly starting to bubble to the surface, I have a feeling BP is going to face a backlash for its decisions.

Anyway, got it right or wrong? You know where to find me, mostly on X, rarely on Threads anymore… I mean, is anyone there other than the try-hard crew?

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

See this week’s PRinsight for more discussion on Threads and Twitter

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