Welcome back the wonderful world of Good and Bad Public Relations. Are we all refreshed from the break and ready to march onwards towards the grand marketing period of Christmas? I thought so. Let’s take a goosey gander through the media hits and misses of the last week.
University of California
We will start on a positive for all the mumbling men out there. The University of California decreed that its own research shows that mumblers are seen as being more attractive to the opposite sex and, in fact, more masculine.
This story has gone truly global and could also in fact explain why BoJo is such a surprise hit with the Great British electorate. His mumbling ways have clearly been his secret weapon in wooing the masses, but will Keir now try it and steal his thunder? We shall have to wait and see.
Good and Bad PR
Orange Tree pub in Hereford
Moving on from one form of use of the English language to another and the chavs of Hereford picked up some diary pieces across the UK this week as a pub landlord went to war on them, or specifically their clothes.
The landlord of the Orange Tree in Hereford has banned people from coming in if they wear; bum-bags, Stone Island branded clothes, tracksuits, hoodies, or in fact, any kind of sportswear. Given I am sat here writing this in a not-so-elegant grey hoody, doubled by the fact that Herefordshire is just a stone’s throw away from where I live, I and many others are worried that this new 80s-esque dress code could ruin our drinking efforts.
No defensive comment was offered up by the leaders of the chav community, maybe I should have offered my services.
Bad PR for chavs, great PR for Herefordshire landlords.
Back to Good PR
On to something far more important and KPMG, the firm of very serious suits and large consultancy bills fame, got all the city headlines this week thanks to its CEO Outlook Survey. In case you didn’t know, KPMG regularly asks 1,300 or thereabouts, global CEOs for their thoughts on “business” and whatnot.
KPMG got all the headlines this time around because of the dramatic shift in CEO opinion towards office space over the last 12 months. During the peak pandemic moments of last year, 69% of CEOs said they planned to downsize their offices, but in the newly-buoyant City recovery of 2021, 86% are now saying they actually plan to retain their office space and instead try and get it to adapt to meet the needs of the modern-day work force.
This does mirror the dramatic changes we are seeing across the PR industry right now, where it looked like many of the bigger agencies were planning to operate a fully flexible WFH gig, and hired staff remotely to service this, only to have changed their minds a few months on and are now left with a workforce scattered across the UK and even wider.
I am no master-futurist but this does echo my own, until now, very private belief that WFH in its current flexi-form will be dead within the next three years and we will all be back in offices. The government needs the high street economy to pick up, because this, in turn, drives wider investment in local communities and economies so I would not be surprised to see a tax incentive or sweetener chucked to business owners to eventually get their work forces back full time. Don’t forget though, I am wrong about many things, most of the time. To read what others in the PR industry think about WFH right now read the latest PRinsight here.
Botanic Gardens Conservation International
After all that corporate waffle, let’s get back to the nicer side of PR and over we go to the tree-huggers. Until yesterday I had never even heard of the “Botanic Gardens Conservation International” but it chucked out a “State of World Trees” report (presumably electronically to save the, erm, trees) and its worrying headline stats got the attention of the world’s media straight away.
Apparently, one in three types of trees could face extinction. What a worrying statistic. Before David Bellamy had performed just one rotation in his grave, the great and good of the tree-bothering world came out to condemn the cause of the situation that we have all created - 142 types of trees are already extinct with a further 442 down to their last 50.
The coverage for the report was spectacular, the issue it has shone a light on is devastating. I am off to buy a Patagonia cap and find a tree donation charity to get involved with. If you know one, hit me up - I am not kidding.
Back over to Team-Anti-Social-Media and Instagram made all the headlines this week because of its move to make sure everyone on its platform enters a date of birth before being able to use it. Great praise was lavished to the platform of choice for pouters and influencers.
Looking behind the scenes though, you can see that Insta did this just one day before the date expired on the Information Commissioners Office Age-Appropriate-Design-Code edict that said Insta and other social channels should comply with its 15 Standards - designed to better protect kids using these platforms.
This is an amazing move by Face-tagram if it does go on to protect and save kids, but you can’t help feel it could have been actioned a long time ago. Still, a media win is a media win nowadays.
Whether I have got it right or wrong, brickbats and praise accepted equally over on Twitter, as is industry tittle-tattle via DM and kept in total confidence.
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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