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Good and Bad PR: Synapse and Google are the tech heroes, but Apple doesn’t look too hot

Here we are again and what a week it has been. We have had our own, typical, dramas over in PR land, and then the usual media glitter on top.

Good PR

Synapse

Let’s start with Synapse, a new media tool, winning the first Good PR of the week, even if it was by accident. The whole industry has been chatting about Synapse, the media database dressed up as a “stories market place” (sigh) courtesy of a few Reach PLC journalists talking it up.

As the story goes, a few Reach journos told PRs that they now only take pitches via the platform and no longer by email. This was (quite rightly) Tweeted/X’d and the industry went bonkers. Link bait blogs were written, outraged Xs were posted and the PR world started declaring “the death of email pitches” on LinkedIn and alike.

I was out of the office all day, delivering crisis comms media training to an amazing charity. When I finally got phone signal my phone had gone mad. Industry magazines wanted my thoughts, industry worldies were chatting away in the all the PR gossip groups I am in and it took me 30 mins to twig what was going on.

When I did understand it, I called two senior people from the central Reach PLC team to check it was true, and it wasn’t. Done.

In the same way that journos who we have annoyed tell us that it is company policy to not put a live link into any articles, I suspect this was a few journos just having a lol with an agency staffer who was pestering them.

If Synapse helps get more stories out there, as it has already done for us, brilliant, but it won’t replace email pitches. The first time that a journo misses a big story that goes on to be a click-bait, like and share dream that they were not part of and I suspect words will be had at a senior level and the norm will be re-adopted.

Now, let’s all get back to worshipping Neil Shaw (I have “INSWT” tattooed somewhere upon my person) and leave the drama to the SEO community.

Google

Talking of SEO drama, let’s all take a moment to celebrate my second Good PR of the week and the very reason why we have so many of the “it depends” crew in jobs across the world, Google.

The search giant turned 25 this week. What a staggering achievement and what a truly magnificent beast of a business. I don’t think anyone other than the founders could have foretold what a positive difference the piece of software would have on the world.

Bad PR

Apple

Another business that has changed the world, in my mind, for the good is Apple. It has had a tough PR week though which is very unusual for the slick comms machine.

There have been rumours (nothing more than that) on tech forums that its new iPhone 15 Pro is prone to overheating. These unfounded rumours and allegation have come from respected enough sources that the likes of Forbes felt it had enough to stack up the story and write a negative article.

What is very unusual from a comms perspective is that Apple has not shut down this story. And, believe me, it usually doesn’t mess about when issues like this are floating around, not least after seeing what happened to Samsung and its overheating phones.

This makes me think either there is a potential issue, or that the comms team were simply having a day off after its recent big launch event. A rare Bad PR for Apple.

Good PR

Hollywood

Hopping back over to the world of Good PR and it is great to see that the Hollywood strike is over after a whopping 150 days. All parties have so far welcomed the news and trotted out quite positive soundbites.

AI was a massive part of the dispute alongside pay and working conditions so it will be interesting to see how everything smooths its way out. The studios will be keen to envelop more AI tech into its movie and TV making process which will offer a significant cost saving opportunity and I think this debate is going to rumble on and blow up on a fairly frequent basis.

What the industry needs is for one of its leading lights to step up and become a beacon for common sense. With so many of the big name stars having a vested interest in the behind-the-scenes commercial side of the showbiz industry now, I am not sure that this is going to happen.

Is it good or is it bad PR?

David Walliams

Sticking with showbiz and David Walliams of part-cancelled fame has come out firing at the production company behind Britain’s Got Talent. I have to be honest and say that I have not been across this story.

Walliams allegedly got caught saying something horrid about a contestant and the BGT staff appear to have leaked it and this seems to be the crux of the court case, dressed up a data breach. My opinion of David Walliams is best described as low to mixed, but the same can’t be said for my kids who adore his children’s books. It will be interesting to see how far this case goes.

It has a very real chance of showing a side of Walliams that he won’t be happy with and could lose him fans, but it is also clear that he must be seething that his reputation got tarnished by the leak.

I would suspect, as with the majority of crisis comms cases, there is a disgruntled employee at the route of the leak. It will be an interesting one to watch and as yet, I am not sure who is the Good and Bad of this PR story.

Got it right or wrong? You know where to find me.

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

Thanks to Meltwater, Good and Bad PR's data and insights supplier.


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