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Good & Bad PR: Election campaigns, underground WiFi and OJ are all on the menu in PR this week

Well, here we are, one week into a 6-week general election campaign and don’t know about you but, I have had enough already. Good job I am here to distract you from it all with another dollop of Good and Bad PR.

That being said, let’s begin with a bit of political analysis. Ooh, get me and my highbrow delusions of grandeur.

Nothing dishy about Rishi as his election campaign gets washed out

About an hour after filing last week’s Good and Bad PR column, Rishi went and announced the date of the next election. It has been a campaign of PR disasters for all parties ever since. It is probably worth taking a slightly deeper-than-usual look into why it has been a bad PR week for all the main parties.

Being the gobby PR pro that you all know and love, you can imagine how many people have come to me to ask for my thoughts on the main party’s campaigns. So far, though, it doesn’t take a communications genius to work out the lay of the land.

Your Andy Barr30 style election analysis in 30 seconds:

Rishi needs a miracle turnaround. The Lib-Dems are like the awkward uncle at the party; just happy to be there. Labour has the most to lose.

Right now, Labour just have to not balls up, and basically keep very quiet, and they will walk it.

Kier No-Charmer was announcing little, if any, policy of substance and was quietly tiptoeing towards Downing St. The Lib Dems were literally falling overboard, well, their leader was on a paddle board in Lake Windermere.

Jeremy Hunt used social media to mock his leader getting soaked during the election announcement. Rishi ignored the infighting and pulled any old policy rabbit out of the hat.

He went with re-introducing National Service, which might land very well with the old white people but has not done so well with the young people it would most likely affect.

So far, so good for Labour. And then, well, Diane Abbott reappeared from the fog of political exile and set the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons.

She claimed she was allowed back into the Labour Party after an investigation had ended into her, quite frankly bonkers IMHO, comments and opinions around the racism faced by Jewish communities, Irish communities and Travellers. Fresh from her return, she then lobbed a hand grenade at her party by claiming she had been blocked from standing in the upcoming election.

Labour’s unsuspecting Shadow Cabinet, who were being hawked around the morning press on the day of Abbott-Gate for what they assumed would be mundane election chat, were all of a sudden on the back foot. It took over 6 hours for someone of substance to come out from the Labour Party and declare that, as far as they were aware, that was not the case and that she could stand.

At the time of writing, no one knows if she will or won’t stand or if the party will allow her to stand in their colours. Kier and his advisors will be steaming with rage. They have six weeks to hold on to their considerable lead, but they need no more situations like this to chip away at the target.

I fear this is going to be a campaign of nothingness. The Tories know they are stuffed, Labour knows the best thing they can do is keep quiet, and the Lib-Dems know they have little to no real say or impact. 

Which just leaves Farage and Reform...and as even the most passionate Brexiters have now surely realised, the first thing nasty Nige asks as he gets out of bed in the morning is: "How can I get on the telly today?"

Brazilians taking the pith out of our orange juice

From politicians taking the mickey, we now jump over to Brazil, who are really taking the pith. The world’s largest orange juice makers have begun lobbying the global food standards police to try and make the rules around what actually goes into orange juice, a bit more, erm, flexible.

The campaign is really landing because I have read multiple stories this week about what is going on in Brazil. An extremely dry season in Brazil has resulted in a 24% reduction in the orange harvest.

This means that the companies that make orange juice need to find a way to make the product. They have come up with a genius plan of lobbying for it to be okay if orange juice is padded out with “other citrus fruits” and, if they get really desperate, mangoes. The global food standard police have yet to make a final decision, but I think we can all guess that it will be signed off.

So, if your breakfast OJ is starting to taste a bit more like a BJ (banana juice, you filth bags!), then we all know who to blame.

Transport for London is questioned about the drop in its evening standards

You have to feel for Transport for London. Their comms team were probably just getting ready to have the kind of mini-break that comes from a general election reducing their politicised workload, when all of a sudden they face some serious media allegations that gets the phones ringing.

Somehow TFL have got themselves embroiled in the very sad announcement that the Evening Standard will be moved to a weekly, instead of daily, paper. The owners of London’s finest print news media cited all the same reasons as its wider regional counterparts, with one exception.

People getting their news off the web and social media (tick), the reduction in advertising revenue (tick), falling readership numbers (tick) and also… the success of TFL in getting WiFi reach across The Tube.

That’s right, TFL has done such a good job at getting the WiFi to work across its tube network that it is now facing some of the blame for the end of the daily edition of the Evening Standard. Seems a bit harsh to me.

Bad PR by default of having done a great job with their internet connectivity project. Further evidence that the world is going mad. Very sad news about the Evening Standard though.

Apologies for the political ramble at the start, but do feel free to get in touch and tell me how wrong I was. See you next week!

Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital, reach out over on 10 Yetis: or @10Yetis on Twitter

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