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Good and Bad PR: Prince Andrew wins the highest grade of Bad PR possible

Welcome along to my jolly romp through the world of communications and in particular, Good and Bad PR.

Terrible PR

Prince Andrew and the Royals

Prince Andrew wins the highest grade of Bad PR possible this week. Not only has he had to buy his way out of trouble, but it’s emerging that his mum is potentially having to bail him out financially too.

This, combined with Prince Charles getting embroiled in a cash for peerages scandal, has capped off a torrid time for Queen & Associated Royals Ltd and has totally blown away the positive PR sentiment that was building following on from the “Camilla is to be Queen” announcement. I feel like Her Majesty needs to get Sir Alex of Ferguson in; round up the Royals and let him deliver the hairdryer treatment to get them all back on track.

Hot PR

Wood burners

Wood burners get the first Good PR of the week thanks to them being brought back “in from the cold” (I thank you) after years of accusations and abuse around the harm they potentially do to the environment. It turns out that all the wood burner PR teams had to do in order to repair their reputations was to hike up the cost of domestic gas and electricity.

As the price of heating the home has skyrocketed, so to has the appeal of the humble wood burner. The story triggered newsjacking opportunities for price comparison websites and a rare media outing for the Stove Industry Alliance. Great work everyone!

Bad PR

Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics, WADA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport all get a Gold Medal in Bad PR this week for their handling of the Russian athlete doping scandal. I am not going to name the athlete because they are only 15 and I think the pressure they must be under is going to be life destroying enough as it is.

I think most would agree that this Winter Olympics has been a flop. The British media have ignored pretty much every piece of action because we struggled to win any medals and the American media seem to have adopted its approach to the Ukraine vs Russia situation with its coverage of the young athlete involved.

Every piece of Winter Olympics coverage now references this scandal and if you presented the facts of what has gone on to a person who had no clue about the event, they would struggle to understand how the Court of Arbitration for Sport reached the decision that it did.

It leaves a nasty stain on all Olympic related sports, be that Winter or Summer.

Shimon Hayut

Sticking with Bad PR and dopes, and sadly ending this week on a low, Shimon Hayut, the real name of the Tinder Swindler guy, has basically carried on trying to reposition himself as a loveable rogue, rather than the absolute C-Unit that the world, quite rightly, thinks he is.

He now has a talent agent over in The Americas and is rumoured to be pitching TV show ideas.

PR 101 after a spectacular fall from grace, or in his case, prison sentence and convictions for fraud, would be to lay low for some time and then test the water by telling your side of the story via a tightly controlled interview. Not for old Hayut though, he has tried to come out fighting immediately, no doubt because someone has told him that he needs to try and capitalise on his current “fame”.

It would not surprise me if some ratings-chasing TV clickbait channel falls for it and he gets his own show. The long-term ramifications are worrying through. What message does this send to other muggles living on the edge and thinking of doing wrong who now see it as a long-game way to get fame?

Correction PR


A little while ago it now looks like I falsely accused SpaceX of being guilty of crashing one of its SpaceX machines into the Moon. Whilst I did not originate the story, I did amplify what had already been reported in the media.

It turns out that, like any good company going through a continual foot-in-mouth-CEO crisis, SpaceX has a rebuttal team and whilst it would never have been affected by my own words, it turns out it has gone after the scientist who launched the original story.

SpaceX did not launch the rocket that is crashing into the moon it is actually <TrumpMode> Chyna </TrumpMode>. It is unclear if China’s Chang'e 5-T1 rocket was outed as the Moon attacker by SpaceX, or if the scientist who outed SpaceX has had another guess. Either way, this is a great example of an organisation (SpaceX) deploying a crisis communications rebuttal team and I salute it. Note: I am formally apologising to no one.

Got it right or wrong, I am easy to chat to.

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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