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Good and Bad PR: We offer support to King Charles this week, but have no words for Rishi Sunak

Here we go again then. Another week of PR hits and misses. Most of the stories I have found myself, some have been passed on to me, and a few I can’t mention because they are just scurrilous industry rumours (always the best kind of DM).

Good PR

King Charles

Let’s start with the biggest news of the week, King Charles having been diagnosed with cancer. I believe it deserves Good PR for the amount of good the news will do to help charities raise funds.

Whilst many are moaning that the message was light on detail, it was actually far more informative than you would expect from the Royal Family. Only a few years ago we would have probably never known that our King was diagnosed, let alone it being revealed to be cancer. It shows how much our Royal Family has evolved.

I would suggest that the nation is also hoping for positive news about it healing the rift between certain members of the royal household too.

The majority of the UK is right behind King Charles in his battle with cancer and we do know that he has always shown the kind of strength of mind that is needed to defeat this horrible disease.

Bad PR

Rishi Sunak

Moving on to the complete opposite end of the positivity spectrum, and my first Bad PR of the week. Having worked in and around the media for nearly 30 years now, and having also worked on some absolutely horrid stories, you will hopefully realise just how bad a headline must be if it makes me physically cringe in disgust.

Rishi and Piers and that £1k bet. Wow.


Rishi’s team has since come out and said he was ambushed, but that makes it worse for me. It shows what kind of character our Prime Minister has in that he was ambushed, but still did not have the strength of mind to stand up and say “no, that is in very poor taste”.

I am in no way qualified to talk in any depth about the legalities of the Rwanda flights situation. All I do know is that it affects real people’s lives, and for the leader of our country to be so flippant about it, and so keen to pander to the right-wing vote that he would do something like this, really saddens me. This is more than the comms looking terrible, it reinforces the global opinion that the UK has become a joke. This is an opinion that anyone who has travelled or worked abroad since Brexit, as I have, will have experienced when talking to none UK citizens.

Right, rant over. Back to it.

Good PR

Electric cars

My next Good PR goes to electric cars. Let’s have a hip, hip, hoorah for the leccy car brigade. This is what the House of Lords wants anyway. The wig-clad afternoon-napping brigade wants the Government to do more to counter misinformation being spread in the media about electric cars.

An enquiry carried out by a House of Lords team found that over the last 14 months there appears to have been a campaign of misinformation about the safety of electric cars in the UK media. The enquiry doesn’t name any publications or specific stories, but it does reference coverage of electric car fires and breakdowns.

If they had asked me, I would have also added in that weird “my electric car kidnapped me” story that I gave Bad PR too in 2023. It appears dear reader that I too am part of the problem. Darn it.

The news came on the week that, to very little fanfare, it was announced that electric car sales had passed the 1m mark. I do wonder what industry could be behind the bringing to prominence of electric car fails?

Oh hey there petrol and diesel engine company makers, how are you on this fine day? Interesting to note that one of the big car manufacturers pulled out of a leccy car joint venture this week! Connected and convenient timing? I really need to be less cynical.

Bad PR

Overeating

I am going to end the week on another Bad PR. This time for, erm, us and our excessive eating. A few coroner’s offices across the UK, including my nearby home city of Gloucestershire have announced that they are running out of freezer space for dead bodies.

It turns out that it is not just the quantity of freezers that are lacking, but especially those that cater for the larger dead body.

Body freezer designers are saying that our coroner offices were largely designed at a time when the average UK body size was a smidge thinner. Fast forward to now, and all that beige food munching is leading to a freezer shortage. The comms has actually landed really well, but the message is surely bad for us all and should serve as a bit of a wake-up call for many of us, myself included. 

Got it right or wrong? I don’t really care. Do let me know anyway and if you have a good story, give me a shout.

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 andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

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