10 Yetis PR News
Hello All! Emma here with today's Good and Bad PR...
Don't you just hate it when you call an automated phone line, and have to spend (and pay for!) approximately 10 minutes of pressing numbers to get through to the right person? Well, suffer no more, thanks to today's Good PR winner!
IT Manager Nigel Clarke has taken the time to trawl through hundreds of different automated call centre phone numbers, noting exactly what number sequences are needed to get through to the person you're after. Listed on the site www.pleasepress1.com, people can simply go on to find the best shortcut to who they need to speak to at organisations including Sainsbury's, HMRC and Sky.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the site has got some great PR today- and has undoubtedly come to the rescue of many consumers at the end of their tether with automated call centres. What a ruddy bloody good idea, Nigel; well done you.
Not a good day for everyone's favourite (or not, according to this research) high street newsagent, WH Smith, which has been branded 'Britain's Worst Shop.'
According to a Which? Consumer survey, shoppers voted WH Smith in bottom place in the list of the high street's top 100 retailers; with shoppers commenting that the shop is 'messy' and 'expensive'. This comes as a blow for the newsagent after Mary Portas, "Queen of the High Street", called the store a 'dump' and claimed to hate visiting there. Tough words for the chain to take on board; let's just hope it's no reflection of times to come.
Bad times for WH Smith
|Emma Kent posted on 17/05/2013|
The PR machine that is Ryanair is at it again and this time an announcement from the airline has generated a fair bit of positive media coverage.
Ryan Irwin, aged 19, completed an intensive 18-month course at the Oxford Aviation Academy and, within weeks of completing it, received two job offers. He landed the job as a pilot with Ryanair and will become one of the UK's youngest ever commercial pilots once he completes his training in September.
The teenager, who attended Wirral Grammar School, said "It sounds clichéd, but it's what I've wanted to do ever since I can remember, as young as four or five."
It's a nice positive story and I've already seen it on The Sun and Daily Mail. However, it seems it wasn't quite a strong enough story to bury a slightly more negative one. A Ryanair flight to Kefalonia was diverted to an airport 200 miles away because the pilot said it was "too dark" to land. As you can imagine, this story hasn't had the most positive pieces of coverage.
The Italian restaurant chain launched by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been fined £8,000 after a woman who told staff at the restaurant three times that she was allergic to gluten was served wheat pasta; you know, the thing that people allergic to gluten can't have. Oops!
38-year-old Kristy Richardson visited Jamie's Italian in Portsmouth with her husband, Kevin, for a wedding anniversary meal. Having been diagnosed as a coealic suffer when she was 19, Kristy Richardson is unable to digest wheat and told 3 different members of staff that she'd require a gluten-free pasta dish.
However, when staff served her food, it was normal wheat pasta and it made her sick for 5 hours afterwards. Apparently, she'd spoken to the maitre d' and was told that gluten free pasta could be provided. However, a phone call to the restaurant a few hours after her visit when she was suffering from nausea and vomiting confirmed that it was normal pasta she'd eaten.
This was all back in November 2011 and an investigation was launched by environmental health experts. The waitress serving Mrs Richardson was said to have thought her customer had ordered a vegetarian dish, not a gluten-free option. Anyway, the case it wrapped up now and Jamie's Italian has to cough up £8,000. Ouch.
|Shannon posted on 16/05/2013|
Hello All, here is your midweek does of good and bad PR!
We are all guilty of becoming addicted to particular games and apps that we download on our phones and tablets. However, the latest craze that has hit us all called 'Candy Crush Saga' has overtaken Angry Birds as the world's most popular game.
This is quite an amazing achievement. Angry birds have stormed the mobile app charts since its release in 2011. Since their success angry birds have also released their own merchandise.
So what does this mean for candy crush? Will we be able to buy candy merchandise? Will candy crush release their own candy? There are just so many unanswered questions!
I can't imagine this news will do anything but make the angry birds increasingly angrier. However, in the mean time I am content with being one of the many addicts to candy crush saga.
Oh goodness... this is a definite face palm moment. A couple, who own of Amy's Bistro restaurant, engaged in a social media melt down after Gordon Ramsay walked off their episode of Kitchen Nightmares.
The episode showed the couple clash with Gordon Ramsey over extreme issues with the restaurant including; slow service, keeping staff's tips and being rude to customers who complained. After it aired the couple took to facebook to take on the mass of haters.
Here are some of the posts from the couple:
The torrent of angry status updates rolled on for days until coming to an abrupt halt with the following status post on Tuesday:
Maybe they got hacked or maybe they just came to their senses and needed an excuse to cover up the messy situation they created. Who knows. But, what we do know is the show alone was bad PR for the couple, who were the first restaurant owners Gordon Ramsey had ever walked out on.
|Hannah Pritchard posted on 15/05/2013|
Hello All, here is today's good and bad PR. Enjoy!
Amazon have launched their own currency called Amazon Coins. One Amazon coin is worth one US penny. Just a side note here, these are virtual coins and not real, which I did in fact think initially (but that would be amazing).
The coins can only currently be applied to purchase apps and games, however there are plans to make them available to be used on the company's retail website. It has not been confirmed when the coins will be available outside of the US or if they will be available for non-kindle owners.
The best thing about the coins it they offer a 10% discount on your purchase when you pay with Amazon Coins.
Amazon have said their coins will make it easier for customers to pay, as they can buy and store their coins in their account. It is also a brilliant way for parents to monitor how much children spend if they have a credit card attached to the account.
This is brilliant PR for Amazon who are continuing to expand their ever growing company.
So apparently the devil wears Prada, Primark and also works there! Luxury brand Prada have been given the same customer service rating as budget fashion store Primark... and it isn't that great!
The two stores were awarded just 2 out of 5 for customer service from an independent guide to London shops. The two stores couldn't be further apart money wise, the average handbag from Prada costs around £700 and handbags at Primark start at £7.
With Prada, being such a high end luxury brand, you would expect the customer service to be as high as the prices. However, the designer store got a much worse customer service review than Primark. Tracy Rose, who visited Prada, said: 'Once there, it seemed that the sales assistant had problems with person recognition, or maybe that she had come off a trance training course.' Whereas, she commented on the service she received at the Oxford Street Primark, from the staff at the till, stating it was 'actually very friendly', which led to the service rating being doubled.
You kind of expect the bad service from Primark, but for being such a high end brand you would have thought Prada would invest in some decent customer service training!
Well I shall just be taking my £700 to spend on my designer handbag elsewhere!
|Hannah Pritchard posted on 14/05/2013|
The end of the football season is nigh. This coming weekend sees the final fixture of the Premier League calendar and whether you're a football fan or not, it's hard to avoid football related news. You might not take sport seriously, but the money it generates means that it can't be overlooked from a business perspective.
And as with all businesses, PR is an important part of the industry.
From a public relations point of view, football has faced a difficult year. Following the sporting success of last summer's London Olympics was always going to be a tall order. Riding high on the crest of a wave of silver and gold medals, the British media was keen to bash the overpaid prima donnas of the Premier League and put the hardworking, underfunded Olympians on a pedestal. It would take an exceptional season of unparalleled entertainment and virtuous behaviour on and off the field to even come close. Unfortunately (but predictably) that hasn't been the case.
Last season the spectre of racism reared its head, with former England captain John Terry and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez both banned. This was a major PR blow for the game and one that was poorly handled. In fairness to the English FA, their punishments for racism are far better than UEFA , whose paltry £65,000 fine for Serbian fans' racist chanting was pathetic when compared to the £80,000 fine given to Nicklas Bendtner for wearing Paddy Power pants, but there is still a lot to do in English football. There are few things more abhorrent then racism, so it needs to be combated with a firm and consistent hand.
The public perception of football has seen a massive improvement over the years as steps have been made to clamp down on hooliganism and to kick out racism. But is that progress in danger of derailment? Hooliganism has seen a return to the terraces this season with a mass brawl amongst Millwall supporters in the FA Cup semi-final and then outside the ground at Newcastle with 29 arrests following the Tyne-Wear derby. I don't believe that we're returning to the dark days of the 70's and 80's but headlines such as these aren't reassuring for families contemplating a day out at the football.
Then there was the Suarez biting incident. Another PR fail for football as one of the stars of the season and a nominee for Player of the Year fell foul of his own volatility. The FA took the 'come down hard' stance and banned him for ten games. Two games more than for his previous ban for racism. The fact that Jermaine Defoe received nothing more than a yellow card for biting in a previous season only cemented the sense of disproportion and 'playing it by ear' that seems to sum up high profile decisions from the upper echelons of the FA.
Suarez's club Liverpool also did a poor job of handling the situation, further fuelling the media fire. Not wanting to upset their most valuable asset, they did a half-hearted job of disciplining him, which was quite clearly reluctant. Whilst there's no doubting his fantastic talent, maybe cashing in on him over the summer is the best course of action for Liverpool to try and redress some of the damage to the club's image.
And let's not forget Man City fans returning tickets at Arsenal in protest at the extortionate prices. Traditional football fans often feel hard done by, as ticket and shirt prices continue to rise season after season. Changing the kit every year increases pressures on parents to provide football mad children with the latest offering. It seems to be profits first, people second so I applaud City fans for taking a stance. But once again it was a negative football-related headline.
The image of the game has also suffered from less than savoury marketing deals, such as with Wonga, a pay-day loan company (or shark if you prefer) securing a deal to be Newcastle United's shirt sponsor. Whilst a great coup for Wonga, it's not great that a football club is promoting a company which targets the hard-up with astronomical interest rates.
There is tremendous PR potential in football, which some brands are quick to seize upon. The Capital One Cup has created fantastic opportunities for the sponsors. In one notable case Capital One covered the cost of travel for Middlesbrough fans to Swansea after they had been drawn as the away team in the previous twelve ties. With football clubs often being the focal point for local communities, it allows the possibility for wider community engagement. Instances such as this help to generate goodwill for savvy companies.
Football is an enormous money generator, but it needs to evolve to keep up its level of success. Whilst individual companies look to cash in through sponsorship deals and marketing opportunities, the big brand is football itself. Football needs to keep selling itself and poor decisions or negative incidents on and off the pitch affect its wider appeal.
It was helped last season by a fantastic end, as Manchester City's breathless last minute winner at QPR left everyone flushed with inspiration. This season, the title was wrapped up early doors by Manchester United, which whilst satisfying for United fans, meant that the season has lacked the excitement of its predecessor.
So for me, the announcement of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement came just at the right time. His furiously chomping, rosy cheeked jowls have been synonymous with the Old Trafford pitch side for practically my entire life. His decision to take a step back into an ambassadorial role has left a huge hole in the football world. Share prices for Manchester United fluctuated wildly on the day of the announcement, demonstrating just how much weight was put on his steady hand being at the helm.
His retirement has made the 2012/2013 season a memorable one. And the headlines from the last few days have all been a positive reflection on an extraordinary career. Being a Liverpool fan I might dislike the old goat for his 'no one's bigger than the club and when I say club, I mean me' approach, but there's no denying his effectiveness. And for football in general, it's helped the wider world remember what the beautiful game is about. Good PR to you Alex Ferguson.
|Lloyd posted on 13/05/2013|