Here we are again, romping through this week’s hits and misses from the world of public relations. I write this from the foyer of a London hotel having attended the British Business Excellence Awards the night before.
Whilst the event was packed with the kinds of talent that would make a LinkedIn networker giddy with delight, the real surprise of the night was Jeremy Hunt who gave a fantastic surprise guest speech.
“It’s a pleasure to be anywhere the day after a reshuffle” - Jeremy Hunt makes a surprise appearance at the Lloyds British Business Excellence Awards pic.twitter.com/lC1OI82vhF— Dougal Shaw (@dougalshawBBC) November 14, 2023
It is fair to say it has possibly been one of the more stressful weeks in politics for the Chancellor. Despite the recent headaches and the room also being packed with directors and owners from some of the biggest businesses in the UK, he was incredibly relaxed, quite candid about the re-shuffle the day before and… very funny.
He talked about some of his business failings earlier in his life and his admiration for the award winners. Dare I say it, he came across as incredibly likeable. I am ready for your abuse on this, and I don’t care!
As I write this, the news breaks that inflation has dropped once again and you can start to understand his sense of relief, knowing that good news was landing just hours after he delivered his speech. He wins my first Good PR of the week.
Sticking with Good PR and a big well done goes to… Ding Dong, Avon Calling! The famous door-to-door make-up brand had to pivot during Covid as its natural sales channels became lock-down-outlawed.
It partnered with Superdrug to sell via its shops as well as having over 100 stores in Turkey and it is now bucking the high street trend and opening up a chain of shops.
Avon to open physical shops in the UK for the first time https://t.co/IrlePhvY6f— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 13, 2023
The full number has not been announced yet and the brand has said it will look for spaces in “communities” which is what its consumers want. The pivot is clearly doing well as 80% of its sales are now via retailers, so the store opening announcement is clearly the next logical step. A great resurgence by this famous brand.
Whilst COVID may have tried to put a spanner in the works of Avon, NASA accidentally put a spanner, a hammer and whole toolbox into space. Two of its astronauts were carrying out repairs to the International Space Station when they got so embroiled in the task that they completely forgot about gravity.
This resulted in their toolbox floating away, never to be seen again. I have everything crossed it does not clonk into a passing alien aircraft and be considered an intergalactic act of war.
NASA has declared it as official “space debris” and added it to the other 99,999 items that are said to be floating around space as a result of humans-in-space Tom Foolery.
Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats
Delivery app brands, Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats all get a collective bad PR nod this week. All three companies were mentioned by the Home Office with regards to needing to reform their delivery driver app policies.
Children Working For Food Delivery Apps— London Traffic Watch (@LondonTrafficW1) November 14, 2023
The Home Office is urging Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats to reform policies that let riders lend accounts to others, known as "substitution".
It turns out that once a delivery driver for one of these companies has gone through the rigorous process of getting signed up to work for them, they can then “lend” their app to mates to take a shift for them.
A BBC investigation found that this had led to a growing underground market in people renting their account to others. In some instances, kids under the age of 18 were renting the accounts which is not allowed by any of the companies. This has resulted in at least one death and the companies are being urged to change their policies to prevent further deaths.
More Good PR
Let’s end on something far jollier. I am told that Booths is a high-end supermarket of The North. Despite my originally hailing from this region, we had none that I remember in Bootle. One TwitterX user told me they were like “Waitrose on acid”. High praise.
The supermarket chain #Booths - ‘Waitrose of the North’ - is the first to go back to fully-staffed checkouts after axing self-service🙏— Mr Pål Christiansen (@TheNorskaPaul) November 10, 2023
They’ve realised the ‘personal touch’ is more appealing & I find the machines at Windermere malfunction & I like talking to the till ladies😊 pic.twitter.com/lIE7tJ4uJK
Anyway, in a move that we can only hope is going to be adopted across the entire retail industry, Booths has announced that it is going to listen to customer feedback and can-off all the self-service checkouts across its shops.
Booths say, and rightly in my mind, that customers have a much better experience when they are served face to face on the checkout. With the exception of those German discount supermarkets where the checkout staff fire your shopping at you, faster than a ping pong show in the red-light district in Amsterdam, a face-to-face experience is better for society I say.
Copthorne Tara London
Which reminds me, a personal Good PR goes to the Millennium Hotels owned Copthorne Tara Hotel in London. I arrived to take occupancy in its fine establishment for the afore mentioned awards and the reception team were truly amazing. Very chatty, welcoming and a beautiful opening experience to my stay.
I happened to comment on how nice they all were and the next thing I know, I am being given a very cute teddy bear. It made this 46-year-old columnist and grumpy PR man smile. What lovely people and what a lovely gesture on the week where we celebrated National Be Kind Day.
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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