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Good and Bad PR: Enough of the Conservative Party mess, let’s hear it for NASA!

Hello there public relations fans and welcome to another week in the Good and Bad PR Danger Zone. Whilst temperatures have soared across the UK it has got even hotter in the pit of vipers better known as Conservative Party HQ.

Bad PR

Conservative Party

No surprise to see the Tory party heading up the Bad PR once again this week. BloJo/BoJo has, kind of, gone and this has unleashed the can of worms that is the race to become the next leader and prime minister.

Given this is, arguably one of the most respected and important jobs in the world it is no surprise that it has descended into a farce that is playing out terribly in the media. No one is really surprised from a comms perspective that Rishi bought a few domains in case he decided to stand, sound judgement to be honest.

Everyone is, maybe, surprised that names such as Dominic Cummings and Lynton Crosby appear to be slowly reappearing from back around the u-bend like a stubborn triple flusher and who are said to be having some role in the “optics” of some of the candidates. It very much feels like it is going to be more of the same and the fresh start that we all hoped for and demanded is going to have to wait for the next General Election.

Good PR


Come on though, let’s try and brighten this column up, it has been doom and gloom for far too long. I am giving the first Good PR of the week to NASA. I am going to be honest, I understand less than 5% of what was discussed when the James Webb telescope pics were released. I don’t understand how we can see shizzle from 13.5bn years ago, but if the space-botherers are happy, it makes me happy too.

NASA managed to get Biden to do a teaser campaign for its big reveal, and in PR terms, it probably doesn’t get bigger than the US president talking up your achievements. What does it all mean though? Not a clue; I need someone to Reddit style “explain like I’m five”. For instance, there is lots of talk of finding planets “like” earth but I am guessing that is from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years ago, so what state will they be in now?

I have so many questions, but I am simply not intelligent enough to understand the answers. Anyway, well done NASA for bringing the World a glimpse of something a little more positive.

Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic

Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic win the next dollop of Good PR for their headline grabbing report into the state of plastic recycling in the UK. They tracked the recycling habits of 100,000 households in the UK and discovered that the average British household throws away 66 items of plastic every week and this adds up to 96m a year across the whole country.

Worryingly, 46% of that plastic is incinerated, 25% goes to landfill with just 12% being recycled here in the UK and then 17% is shipped off overseas for “processing”. Supermarkets were lucky to dodge any negative PR bullets as it was revealed that fruit and veg packaging was the most commonly found plastics in the recycling research.

Competition and Markets Authority

I am going to end the week with a very low-key but high-potential-impact Good PR and that goes to the Competition and Markets Authority for its well-publicised investigation and report into the reasons behind the price of fuel remaining high, despite the cost of crude oil dropping.

The investigation was announced by the Government as diesel and petrol rocketed up in price and the petrol pump retailers were suspected of not passing on the 5p fuel duty cut given by Rishi and keeping prices artificially high.

It turns out that the pump retailers are not the main issue. The people keeping the prices high are the six oil refineries we have in the UK which are not passing on the decrease in crude oil prices when they turn the black stuff into the car fuel stuff.

This has taken the heat off the retailers, but raised a few bigger issues such as allegations of price collusion by the refineries. The Government is going to take a deeper look into this. This doesn’t help us, the end users, right now but it could speed up a pricing decrease.

The other revelation was that the 5p cut by the (now former) chancellor was actually quite small compared to other European countries, but hey, we could have guessed that couldn’t we.

Got it right or wrong, you know what to do.

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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