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Good and Bad PR: Eon's socks versus the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch

The Good and Bad of the Public Relations world has not slowed down this week, so take a moment to join me in celebrating the baddies and goodies of the industry. It goes without saying that once again, Boris dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but I feel I covered that one off in last week’s column, so we should move on.

Bad PR


Last week, we also covered off energy company marketing teams going rogue courtesy of Ovo and its “hug your cat” temperature tips. Just days after that story broke, Eon decided it wanted in on the tone-deaf-marketing action and sent out some socks to a load of its customers triggering another wave of hate and bad publicity for the energy sector.

Similar to the Ovo situation, the Bad PR was not caused by the comms team itself and I have nothing but praise for the crisis communications plan that was rolled out in order to fix the issues caused by the marketing team. What a few weeks it has been for the gas and electricity industry giants.

Good PR


Let’s move on to something far more twee and thankfully, far more positive, The Big Garden Bird Watch. The annual bothering of our feathery friends happens very shortly, and the coverage received is nothing short of amazing courtesy of the wise PR owls over at the RSPB. It is a syndicated content journalists dream and is more than worthy a winner of this week’s first Good PR.


The main voice-piece of the Big Bird Watch is the BBC and this week it got embroiled in a spot of political subterfuge courtesy of Nadine Dorries and her assault upon its licence fee. The top bods at the Beeb, in the main, dealt with it hugely well and Dorries was even forced to apologise for making the policy announcements first via Twitter, what a world we live in, instead of in parliament.

It just so happened that Dorries tweeted her licence fee decisions at one of the highest points of anti-Boris media sentiment which cause the conspiracy theorists out there to accuse her of doing it purely to turn the media spotlight away from him and his partying/not partying shenanigans.

Well done and great PR for the BBC for handling the whole thing so well. In the end, talk of the licence fee being entirely scrapped by 2028 was reigned in which counts as a huge win for the world’s favourite and most trusted news outlet (imho!).

I think we can all agree that this next story segue is dreamy, stand by.


From a group of people playing a metaphorical game over to a company playing real games and the next Good PR goes to Microsoft and its bold decision to buy Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68bn.

This monumental acquisition has been a double win for the ex-Bill-Gates-ran Blue Screen of Death specialists. The double win comes courtesy of Sony’s share price tanking when the news broke, and the fact that Microsoft will now have a stronger grasp of the entire gaming market.

Steven Cravotta

Continuing with the gaming theme and the final Good PR of the day goes to Steven Cravotta, the creator of Wordle 1.0. We have all seen our social media timelines flooded with Josh Wardle’s Wordle 2.0 green, yellow and black grids thanks to his addictive five letter word game taking off.

You see, some people were getting confused and buying Cravotta’s Wordle which was not the real, Wardle’s Wordle and as such Cravotta was, accidentally, making some serious money. Rather than trouser the dosh and sail off to sunnier climates, Cravotta donated the money to a charity that focuses on literacy for youths.

Praise in the form of global media adulation followed and as such, Cravotta wins my very own Good PR, something I am sure he is delighted about.

Got it right or wrong? Hit me up over on The Twitter, @10Yetis.

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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