Here I am again, back with the latest hits and misses from the land of public relations. A weird one this week. Demonstrating the true power of this very column, two of the stories mentioned in the last 12 months have now come back around. We speak, people clearly listen, but more on that later.
Starting with Good PR and another week, another tech boss makes Congress people look like tech luddites. This week it was the turn of ChatGPT boss Sam Altman, think of him as appearing like a hybrid of Musk and Zuckerberg.
He got grilled by members of the Congress, made entirely sensible noises about the good and not so good areas of the technology and then the politicians set about trying to mug him off. They failed. When will Congress get proper briefing reports ahead of these sessions, so they don’t appear worryingly foolish to the millions watching around the globe?
Sticking with Good PR and how can I not include Eurovision? Historically, I have not been a big fan but with it being in my hometown of Liverpool this year, I thought I would give it a watch.
Let’s gloss over how Great Britain did in the actual competition and instead just focus on the spectacle of the event itself. Wow! Even my notoriously fickle children stayed glued to the drama, neon colours and dodgy warbling. A huge win for the global brand.
Having said that, Good and Bad PR's data partners (and friends of the show) Meltwater have been in touch to put some data behind our Eurovision fandom and it turns out that, in a way, us Brits did win it! The UK was the top-ranking country when it came to Eurovision with 482K social mentions. Now if that doesn't put a spring in your step for the sunny weekend ahead - what will?
Between 8 - 15 May, Eurovision achieved 4.47 million mentions with a daily average of 559k.
Top-ranking countries talking about Eurovision:
Data supplied by Good & Bad PR's data and insights partner Meltwater.
Just a few short weeks after I lauded the Government for having had a good week on the comms front, along came Jacob Rees-Mogg and ruined it. I am amazed that this story did not trigger massive public protests from the muggles.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted the introduction of mandatory Voter ID was a deliberate attempt to manipulate electoral outcomes in favour of the Tories.— Dawn Butler MP✊🏾💙 (@DawnButlerBrent) May 16, 2023
This means ministers lied about their intentions!
So, should I report this to the Standards Commissioner - or to the police?👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/wVQ1v3U2A8
Rees-Mogg admitted that the Conservative Party had brought in the need for voter ID to be shown at local elections for the first time just to try and boost its election chances.
As he said himself, it clearly didn’t work, and the people most adversely affected were the elderly Tory voters themselves. A spectacular own goal that deserves more scrutiny.
Another Bad PR vote goes the Government’s way thanks to our old friend; Brexit. Vauxhall’s parent company has said that unless parts of the Brexit deal are renegotiated, it will have to pull parts of its manufacturing businesses out of the UK.
This is an absolute hammer blow to Dishy Rishy, especially at a time where the green shoots of recovery were maybe starting to show. The business and trade Secretary has now been dispatched with haste to the EU re-negotiation table to try and appease Vauxhall, but it is not looking good, especially with an election on the horizon.
Speaking of negotiation, ITV is locked in crisis talks over the latest This Morning drama concerning Holly and Phil. It is such a severe situation that your own, very brave, columnist right here, was invited to speak on local BBC radio about this very topic.
Pholly have fallen out. One of them clearly needs to go and ITV needs to make a decision. The longer it rumbles on, the lower the viewing numbers are falling and this will then start to affect the share price and shareholders.
ITV is in a bit of a mess and you know you must be in trouble when even Eamon Holmes can start scoring bonus points for lobbing grenades at you.
Good and Bad Returners
Let’s turn now to returning Good and PR brands and see what has happened. First up, Center Parcs UK owner has had enough and is putting the brand up for sale.
Center Parcs owner Brookfield puts holiday chain up for sale https://t.co/UyyMBhJagR— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 15, 2023
Could the private equity company that owns it have decided that all the furore over its mistakes during the Queen’s funeral was enough? Or maybe it was because it had to pull out of a deal to build a new park because the home-made-clothes-brigade found rare animals and wildlife on the desired plot of land?
Could it just be that it decided to cash in on the brand that it bought for £2.4bn in 2015 and is now said to be worth £5bn? No, surely not, it has to be related to its previous mentions in this column.
Another brand that has appeared here in recent times is Greggs. A UK business success story. The last mention was because Westminster Council had tried to block its move to open its first 24-hour store at Leicester Square.
🚨| NEW: Greggs has WON the legal battle against Westminster council which wanted to ban its Leicester Square store serving sausage rolls after 11pm over fears it would "increase crime"— Politics UK (@PolitlcsUK) May 16, 2023
It will now be allowed to stay open until 2am!
The council said it would become a congregation point for wrong-uns, but has now backed down, because Greggs has instead said it will only open until 2am. Wrong-uns will now have to congregate elsewhere. A nice victory for Greggs.
Last, but not least
Finally, Lord Clarkson of Farming gets a positive mention for his further service to the farming community. Dishy Rishy announced this week, at an agricultural event attended by the Robin to Clarkson’s Batman, Kaleb Cooper, that he was going to make it easier for farms to diversify and set up their own shops.
🚜🌾 This really is great news. If we want our farmers to diversify and survive we need a serious review of red tape. Lots more to do but I think this is a step in the right direction… https://t.co/b0BEz3EUne— Cllr Liam Walker 🇬🇧🇺🇦 (@_LiamWalker_) May 16, 2023
This plight has been the main crux of Clarkson’s Farm for both series so far and whilst the Government was keen to stress it was not stepping on the toes of the local council holding him back, it did actually reference Diddly Squat farm in the speech. Another great win for Clarkson.
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
Eurovision image courtesy of: PHOTOGRAPHER/EBU Sarah Louise Bennett
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: