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Good and Bad PR: Beer, kebabs, Clarkson and the Garrick Club all make appearances in a very male oriented week in PR

How has everyone’s four-day week been so far then? It finally feels like

Spring has finally sprung and we now enter the food-poisoning-heavy time of BBQ season.

Enough of this mindless small talk though, what has caught my eye from the world of the media and who wins this week’s Good and Bad PR. Read on dear reader and I shall reveal all.

Heineken reaches communities other beers cannot reach

Bank Holiday Monday can be a quiet day for news but Heineken started the week off with a bang. It announced a £39m investment in its UK pub network.

The brewing giant will be re-opening 69 of its pubs that had been closed due to Covid, refurbishing over 600 of its existing pub network and creating over 1000 new jobs.

The announcement came after a tricky week for the brand after it was accused of “environmental vandalism” by the beardy people of CAMRA.

Heineken sold a swathe of no-longer-needed historic orchard land due to the downturn in cider sales. As part of that sale, they needed to remove the apple trees, ready for the land to be used to grow something else.

Pictures were captured of the felled trees and the locals of Monmouthshire were not happy. CAMRA stepped in to get a soundbite or too and Heineken were, undeservedly in my opinion dear reader, on the back foot.

Few can question the brand’s positive community impact though, especially when you look at what they have now invested in its UK pub network.

People sometimes forget the role played by pubs in a community, and I don’t just mean the drinking. They are the hub for many community groups and public interest meetings and, against a backdrop of soaring costs, Heineken deserves this week’s first Good PR for its bold move.

Germans doner want their kebab prices to rise

What follows every good night out in a Heineken pub? A trip to the kebab shop. This is therefore the perfect follow up story.

Over in the land of sausage-munching and operational-efficiency, the Die Linke political party has put forward a manifesto proposal to cap the price of the nation’s favourite food, the doner kebab. You read that right.

Die Linke is a left-wing political party and with an election coming up they spotted a media opportunity that has landed globally. I did not know until this week that kebabs were the number one dish in Germany. Similar to the same cost-of-living crisis that we are facing in the UK, the price of kebabs are soaring in Germany.

The greasy, nannas-leg-lookalike snacks have now reached nearly £8.00 and Die Linke want them capped at £6.50 for adults and £2.10 for kids. The story has well and truly landed.

Great PR for kebab shop owners in Germany and no doubt the Tory’s will be keen to add a fish and chip price cap into their own manifesto to try and win a vote.

Clarkson’s annual celebration of the most hated county in the world

Clarkson’s farm is back on our screens via Amazon. There is no doubt that it has been the runaway success that no one could have ever predicted for the now reformed, once-environmental-basher.

The light it has shone on the ridiculous rules that UK farmers have to abide by has shocked the world. West Oxford District Council will soon be in the territory of needing a re-brand if the TV show continues to highlight its pettiness.

This week though it tried a fight back of some sorts, in the form of an interview with a former councillor from the region who claims he has been sent death threats and hate mail because of the show. The councillor has now quite his role and moved to another area.

We all know the show is planned and semi-scripted in the same way that Made in Chelsea is not really a reality show. We also all know that the council in question are tied in what they can and cannot say, but they don’t really help themselves do they.

There are plenty of light-hearted activations that they could be doing to get their point across and to those who say that councils of any size can’t do that, I say; you are wrong.

I would urge you to look at the likes of Cheltenham Borough Council who, when faced with hordes of men wee-ing in the streets (and not just at night but when families and kids are about) during Cheltenham Race Week, came up with a fun, risky and engaging campaign that helped to solve the issue.

West Oxford District Council need to re-think their relationship with the TV company and Clarkson in order to get their point across and cancel out their current “computer says no” reputation.

Stubborn Garrick finally moves into the modern era

Thinking about this for a moment, allowing females to join their club doesn’t move the Garrick into the modern era, it brings them into 1980, with a long way yet to go. I never really got this whole story and just saw it as a last dying example of British high-society being massively out of touch.

The Garrick Club has voted to accept women into their clan and the positive media write-ups came in thick and fast. Being a lad from Bootle, I had never come across the Garrick Club until the media storm originally broke and I can’t say I am particularly fussed about visiting.

People often say that these kinds of smoke-filled back-room establishments are where decisions concerning the country are really made. At least now, with the recent vote to allow female members, there may finally be a bit of common sense applied to some of the decision making process.

Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Got it right or wrong? Be sure to let me know. @10Yetis on the Twitter. 

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