PRmoment Leaders PA Mediapoint PA Assignments PRCA PRmoment Awards Winners North Creative Moment Awards 2024 PR Masterclass: AI in PR

Good and Bad PR: Spotify is the villain, the good guys include Google and the Gender Pay Gap Bot

This week’s good and bad PR was probably the hardest I have ever had to write in terms of trying to find non-war-related news stories. If you do spot any good or bad news stories, holla at me. Let’s plough on.

Good PR

Gender Pay Gap Bot

Everyone was talking about the Gender Pay Gap Bot that was running on Twitter this week. For those who missed it, when companies made social media crowing posts about International Women’s Day the bot RT’d it with the gender pay gap of that brand or organisation.

Lots of brands and organisations got hammered by the bot such as Boots, Missguided and seemingly every higher education institution in the UK. What made things worse, and what the majority of the media picked up on, is the fact some organisations then deleted the tweets that triggered the bot and tried to reissue them without the offending hashtags.

Fortunately, the bot picked this up and retweeted it again. I think it is safe to say that it has been one of the most successful social media activations deployed in the last few years and I tip my hat to the Manchester based  inventors Francesca Lawson and Alastair Fensome.


Sticking with Good PR and Google gets a well done courtesy of its $5.5bn acquisition of cybersecurity threat intelligence company, Mandiant. The purchase adds a major industry-trusted tool to its Google Cloud suite of services and comes at a time where cybersecurity is rising to the top of the mainstream news agenda and is no longer just the mainstay of the trade press.

The Register's story on this was my favourite write up of all the media thanks to its caveat of Twitter reactions to the story that described the social platform as “not known for hosting large numbers of positive thinkers”. Entirely accurate in my experience. Overall, Google got the good headlines though and stepped up its mission to prove how seriously it takes cyber-security.

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust gets a big nod for Good PR after it discovered Sir Ernest Shackleton’s shipwreck, Endurance, that was lost some 107 years ago in the Weddell Sea. Not only did the big ticket UK press pick up on the story, it actually travelled around the globe.

What is most remarkable is that the boat is still pretty much intact and it was found just four miles away from where the original captain said it went down. Great PR for brand Shackleton and the exploration team.


The final Good PR of the Week goes to ASDA although I believe it had nothing to do with this story being released, but benefited greatly. As part of Operation Hike the Cost of Electricity, all of the UK media have been writing stories about heating your home hacks.

One of the most consistent hacks to be written about is putting sheets of foil behind your radiator to better reflect the heat and warmth back into the room. Screwfix got honourable mentions for having pre-prepared sheets of aluminium to go behind the radiator, but ASDA got a mention out of nowhere for having the cheapest own-brand tin foil at 65p per carton that does the same job at a fraction of the cost.

No affiliate link was used and ASDA came out as the clear winner. Great earned PR. Nice one ASDA.

Bad PR


Moving to the dark side of PR and the baddie of the week is Spotify which suffered a global outage on Tuesday afternoon. The reasons behind the outage are vague and nothing official was announced which also contributes to its winning Bad PR.

The other contributing factor was the fact millions of people around the globe were forced to default back to the music platform they used pre-Spotify (circa 2011 and in my case was iTunes/Apple Music) and this triggered some questionable tastes in music from back then.

Luckily, Spotify was up again within a few hours and the musical norm was restored!

Got it right or wrong, let me know over on the Twitter.

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

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for free to our twice weekly editorial alert.

We have six email alerts in total - covering ESG, internal comms, PR jobs and events. Enter your email address below to find out more: