The Dictator and Royal Mail win this week's good PR
Date: 09 August 2012 09:28
Hey, hey kids, it’s been a while. Two weeks without me, in fact. I’ve been planning a wedding (mine, that is. If I was to moonlight as anything, it most definitely wouldn’t be as a wedding planner – I’d prefer to press my bare face against a spinning tyre of barbed metal while simultaneously being forced to listen to the Backstreet Boys’ Greatest Hits, or an industry podcast about the pros and cons of AVE, on loop).
A lot has happened in the world of PR, most of it related to the CENSORED, happening right now in CENSORED. Doesn’t it make you feel proud to work in marketing?
Thinly veiled sarcasm aside, here are my picks of the week:
Good PR of the week
Full marks to The Dictator
To promote the launch of The Dictator on DVD and Blu-Ray, Shine Comms sent journalists the following letter and cash bribe from title character Admiral General Aladeen, thanking them in advance for their “5 out of 4 star” reviews of the movie:
It’s incredibly simple, yet entirely appropriate PR at its best in my opinion, gauging and replicating the tone of the movie in a way that is likely to impress the media and, as has happened, lead to the journalists sharing the pitch with their social networks.
Pure gold from Royal Mail
Although Her Majesty’s postal service isn’t something you’d normally associate with good PR, given the amount it cocks up and is publicly exposed for doing so, you’ve got to hand it to whoever came up with this first-class (geddit?) idea.
Not only is Royal Mail immortalising each gold medal winning Briton by featuring them on first- class stamps, which will undoubtedly bring in revenue – read more here, it has also been paying tribute to Britain’s Olympic gold medallists throughout the games by painting its iconic red post boxes gold in the athletes’ hometowns – the first time since 1874 that Royal Mail has altered the colour of its mail boxes.
This is a brilliantly British PR effort, can’t cost much to action and has been mentioned in almost all of the press I’ve read about individual gold medal winners.
Bad PR of the week
Restaurant encourages prejudice
Chick-fil-A is a restaurant chain in the States. Its CEO Dan Cathy recently said he was “guilty” as charged for not supporting gay marriage and for his donations to groups opposing same-sex marriage.
Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee saw boycotts of the chain by gay marriage activists as an opportunity to score points against gay marriage, creating a “Chick-fil-A appreciation day“, which simply involved showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, 1 August. The executive vice president of marketing for the firm said, although it was an event it had no part in the creation of, it had a “record” day in terms of sales. As mentioned by JG Hanks here, many of the company’s 1,600 restaurants had to close early or send customers to other locations, with 600,000 committing on Facebook to eating at one of their restaurants.
Although my definition of bad PR is likely entirely different to those of Chick-fil-A’s management team – and indeed, many in the States – this sort of thing in a political society that wasn’t dragged down by religion just wouldn’t fly. Increase in sales or not, the company’s line is clear and divisive.
More than 9,000 people committed to go to a Chick-fil-A location on Friday evening for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Same-Sex Kiss Day.
Have you seen any good or bad PR?
Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing email@example.com throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.
Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.