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Good and Bad PR: ‘Brekkie pie’ and Rolls-Royce warm our hearts

Good PR

It’s British Pie Week and there’s nothing quite like a good old piggybacking stunt to tie in with an awareness day/week. I’ve spotted one doing the rounds which is generating really good coverage, so is an excellent example of how effective piggybacking PR can be.

An Oxfordshire-based restaurant group called House of Jacob hit the headlines after unveiling its ‘brekkie pie’, which is basically all the ingredients of a full English breakfast... in a pie. Head chef Chris Kennedy has created three pie specials to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner at the four House of Jacob venues: Jacobs Inn, Jacobs and Field, Jacobs Brasserie and The Woodstock Arms.

The lunch offering is a steak and guinness pie, with a lemon meringue pie for dessert. The brekkie pie however, which is the one generating all the coverage, is the main attraction. Made using the House of Jacob’s vintage John Hunt pie press, it contains layers of tomato, baked beans, black pudding, bacon chop, fried egg and HP gravy, inside a buttery pastry.

The story is up on Mashable, the Metro, Good Housekeeping, the Mirror, ShortList and plenty of foodie trade titles too, so it’s certainly done the trick. I’m sure plenty of people in Oxfordshire, as a result of seeing the coverage, will be heading to one of the House of Jacob venues to taste this perfect pie creation for themselves.

On a Rolls
I couldn’t finish this week’s good PR write-up without mentioning something really lovely that luxury-car brand Rolls-Royce has done. Young patients heading into their procedures at St. Richard’s Hospital Paediatric Day Surgery Unit in West Sussex, the hometown of the car maker, had the chance to take their minds off their operations by travelling to theatre in style. Rolls-Royce donated a mini version of one of its vehicles to the hospital, calling it the Rolls-Royce SRH, for the kids to drive on their way to surgery. More than 400 hours went in to making the mini car, with 3D printing also helping to make it possible. This is a really positive PR story for both Rolls-Royce and the hospital.

Bad PR

DPD disaster
I have a couple of friends who work for the delivery firm DPD and I know it can be a tough old job; but imagine not being well enough to go into work and having to pay a fee if you couldn’t find someone to cover for you. Well, that’s what DPD drivers have been experiencing.  

In the news this week, it was revealed that DPD drivers face charges of up to £150 when they are too sick to work and can’t find someone to cover their shift. This was picked up by The Guardian, The Sun, Daily Mail and other titles, which I’m sure will do nothing for the brand’s next recruitment drive.

Many of the drivers for DPD are self-employed and can earn around £200 per day, so a sick day with no cover would lose them not only their day’s wage, but £150 on top. There are several reasons why this has got so much bad press, but the biggest issue I see with it is that making people feel like they have no choice, but to work when they are ill could be especially dangerous in a driving job.

DPD drivers deliver parcels for the likes of Amazon, ASOS, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and River Island, which have all been name-checked in the coverage. GeoPost, the international parcel group that owns DPD, has a turnover of £5bn and has attempted to defend these charges drivers sometimes face: “DPD franchisee drivers are not fined for being off work sick. Franchisees are contracted to provide a service – if they are unable to provide that service themselves they are required to provide a substitute driver. If they fail to do so, DPD have to fulfil that service and therefore reserve the right to charge the franchisee for the costs involved in doing so.”

I see the point, but it seems a little unfair and will surely put people off working for the courier firm if they know how much falling ill could cost them!

Written by Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis @ShazzaYeti on Twitter

Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or on email

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