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Good and Bad PR: The worst week ever for the UK Government? Much better for Nasa, Greggs and (red) squirrels!

Here we are again and boy has it been a turbulent week, not just in comms land, but across the board. Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first; my praise for Liz Truss last week has not aged well.

Bad PR

UK Government

The UK Government gets the collective Bad PR for the last seven days. And what a crazy seven days it has been. Ever since a crazily timed mini budget (late on a Friday) was released, the Government economists will have been sat with their fingers crossed for the world’s reaction when the markets opened on the following Monday and they opened with a bang.

At the time of writing, the UK’s economy is in tatters and we have become, once again, the laughing stock of the world. When the IMF feels the need to step in and advise the UK Government that it needs to re-think our economic policy, you know things have gone wrong. Every British client I have spoken to this week has referenced the mess and every client has spoken about how the current situation is killing them.

We are now facing a situation where the Bank of England has moved from its medium-term goal of trying to improve the economy to now actually trying to stop the economy from continuing its free-fall using immediate and drastic actions.

This all happened at the same time as the energy companies starting to mail out about the much-publicised Government price-cap not actually meaning prices would be capped, but more that they would still go up, just a lot less than originally stated.

Rumours that the dreaded Letters of No Confidence are back and being drafted by Conservative back benchers are now rife and Liz Truss must now be wondering what she has let herself in for. Could this be the shortest spell of any Prime Minister?

Good PR (for now)


Moving to some Good PR, that I suspect could one day lead to Bad PR, and NASA tried to take everyone’s mind off the global doom and gloom by announcing that it had successfully crashed one of its space rockets into an asteroid. The hope is that the asteroid will now have been moved away from its original course (this has yet to have been actually confirmed), but for now, we are just encouraged to be celebrating the crash happening.

Whilst the media coverage has been massive, I cannot help but feel that we should not be (as a species) messing around with altering the course of asteroids and other space masses. No mention has been made about maybe starting to find a way to clear up some of the manmade debris that is floating around up there and surely this is of more serious short-term risk to Planet Earth than trying to play space billiards. Mark my words, I fear this is going to come back to haunt us.

Good PR


On a far lighter note, Greggs of sausage-rolls fame got some unlikely Good PR courtesy of mother nature this week. A red squirrel got trapped in one of it Scottish stores and forced the pastry-loving retailer to close for three days.

Greggs was able to announce that it was eventually rescued and released and that, once a deep clean has taken place, it will re-open the store once again. All sounds a bit nuts I know, but the media coverage will be worth far more in the long term than the cost of the store having to close for three days. Nice one Greggs for the way it was handled.

More dubious PR


I am going to end on some dubious PR that once again sounds good, but I am just not convinced. Scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia must have woken up to full inboxes of thanks from the beer industry thanks to its study in to reducing the chances of suffering from dementia stating that drinking a beer may help.

I cannot believe that after years of being told how bad alcohol is for us, all of a sudden, beer is being heralded as a potential saviour for people suffering from this horrible illness.

Oh yeah, there is a smidge of small print to this report. The 24,000 people who took part in the research self-reported what they had drank and how much they had drank and as we all know, what muggles say, and what muggles actually do are two totally different things. I think we need some more research into this before we start celebrating the beer industry for its healing abilities.

Got it right, got it wrong? Let me know, I am easy to find online.

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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