10 Yetis PR News posted by Lloyd
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|
Wahey! Monday! Everybody loves Monday, cause that's my fun day, my I don't have to run day. Ahem. Here is today's example of good and bad PR...
Nokia have unveiled a budget phone for only £65. It offers 17 hours of talk time and 56 hours of music playback. The real selling point for me though is the 48 days of standby battery life. Currently I own an iPhone 4 and the thing spends more time on charge than in actual use.
It's aimed at the Indian and African markets, and especially for those who can't afford smartphones but want to get involved in the smartphone revolution. It's got many smartphone features and Nokia has worked with Facebook and Twitter to develop apps specifically for it.
From personal experience in Uganda everybody seemed to own a mobile phone even if living in poverty. There was mobile network provider advertising on roadside houses in vibrant colours in every village, which I assumed the homeowners agreed to for a fee. The prevalence of mobiles was something that I was perplexed by, but it's obvious that Nokia have seen the potential in the burgeoning African and Indian markets. And if there's widespread interest then who can blame them.
Good PR to them.
M&S are getting the bad PR nod today. Apparently a tech savvy grandmother, attempting to send a friend an e-card, was warned about profanity in the content of the message. After checking for any offence, of which (after close scrutiny) there appeared to be none, she wrote a letter to M&S asking why it was rejected. It turned out that it was the name of her friend that was the potential source of umbrage. Her friend's name was Dick - the shortened version of Richard.
Apparently the cards are censored in order to avoid people sending any harassment via the service. The response of M&S was that "We must ensure our system is robust to protect our content standards.'
As Mrs Levy, the customer in question stated, 'it should not be beyond the wit of man to have a system that knows Dick is a name.' Too true, Mrs Levy. Too true. Bad PR to you M&S.
|Lloyd posted on 13/05/2013|
Hey there folks, Lloyd here with Monday's good and bad PR. Enjoy!
The CD is rapidly becoming history as the online sale of music takes over. 'Now That's What I Call Music' albums have been around since its first release in 1983. With the advent of the digital age though and with the option to buy songs on their own via iTunes, it only seemed a matter of time before the format became obsolete.
However, according to sales figures, this simply isn't so. Sales of compilation albums have been soaring. By buying 'in bulk' as it were, consumers are getting a much better deal for individual tracks as you get about 40 tunes on one album for £10-12, which is much cheaper than buying them individually at around 99p each.
So, although it's mainly down to pricing strategy, it's good PR for compilation albums as, if people weren't aware of the financial benefits before, they are now.
Sometimes when you receive a package in the mail it can look a little dog-eared. Previously I've had an image of a Postman Pat lookalike tootling about in his van, whistling jauntily and being a generally all round good guy. I attribute any misshapen packages to an unfortunate incident where said postman trips over his feline companion in some sort of comical mishap, followed by him wearily shaking his head and trying to rectify the minimal damage caused to the parcel. That illusion has been shattered by the undercover footage of workers at UK Mail dropping and kicking packages in a huge warehouse with scant regard for what's inside.
Now I see some good-for-nothing, thoughtless layabout doing a job reluctantly and half heartedly with no consideration for other people's property. Cheers, UK Mail, you've ruined my quaint image of a sorting office akin to Mrs Goggins' counter. Bad PR to you.
|Lloyd posted on 29/04/2013|
Hey ho peeps, it's Friday o'clock! Keeleigh here with her (sadly) last good and bad PR post. Booooo.
Omgfashion.co.uk got a lot of coverage last year when It released a 99p party dress just in time for Christmas parties and, with everyone feeling the pinch, the fashion company have now released a new summer dress just in time for the hot weather...again at 99p.
The dress is a long black maxi with silver detail that is a classic addition to the summer wardrobe. It is a sensible summer buy with a classic shape and loosely ruched waist with a plunging sweet heart neckline. "With the great success last year with the 99p party dress we have decided to repeat this offer with a maxi dress for the summer,' said spokeswoman Hayley Mellor.
Last October's party dress sale saw 300 dresses sell out in 15 minutes after more than 100,000 people visited the website causing it to crash under heavy traffic. This time it has made 1,000 dresses available on their website ready to be sold at midnight tonight. The dress is a great marketing ploy. The dress is indeed 99p but the postage and packaging will cost you an extra £2, so why not make it worthwhile and buy a few extra things on the website, say some accessories for the dress. Still, with the rest of the items priced reasonably too, the purse-strings of a fashionista will not be stretched too far.
Omgfashion.co.uk knows exactly what they're doing and they are doing very well.
X-Factor have already faced the scandal of 'vote fixing' but when Zimbabwe native, Gamu Nhengu, was voted off in favour of Cher Lloyd and Katie Wassiel, both of whom forgot their lyrics, 250,000 people signed a petition demanding that she was reinstated. But in her most recent interview the now more mature singer slates the talent show.
When she was booted off, there was speculation that her family's visa had ran out. Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole both publicly reached out to her but Gamu says she never heard from them personally and hasn't since. She admits that she doesn't believe that the X-Factor allows artists to explore their own style compared to rival show The Voice. The singers are manufactured in the live shows says Gamu. The singer said that she is a big fan of The Voice because of their 'coaching techniques' not judging. Gamu has said that she was glad she was booted off because now she can be the singer that she wants to be. After her interview, X-Factor bosses quickly invited her back to an audition but Gamu refused. Trying to cover their backs it seems.
Gamu says she received offers from very major record companies after X-Factor. After signing with GSound, the Zimbabwean didn't want to be like other X-Factor puppets and was adamant about writing her own stuff. Before her audition, most of Gamu's experience had come from singing in church choirs. Gamu's new single, Shake the Room, will be released on May 6th.
It seems that the X-Factor needs to think about how it treats its acts; otherwise it could come back and haunt them when they publicly criticise their approach. Not good PR Mr Cowell.
|Lloyd posted on 26/04/2013|
Hi muchachos, Keeleigh off of work experience fame here with Tuesday's Good and Bad PR...
Not a lot of children care about the ocean apart from the huge waves and mysterious creatures but for freediver, Linden Wolbert, this wasn't good enough. Her 'water baby' childhood spurred her to inform today's young generation about the seas in quite an unorthodox way.
She didn't hold class assemblies, neither did she show young students a tedious video of the ocean. Linden Wolbert spent £10,000 on a 35lb mermaid tail! Along with Hollywood special effects artist, Allan Holt, the pair spent seven months working on a tail made from a glass fibre mould of Linden's body. It comprises a monofin inside high-quality silicone to make it hydro-dynamic and effective in the water. Thousands of scales were individually sculptured from clay then fibreglass models were made out of them. They were then injected with silicone.
Her company 'Mermaids in Motions' is a favourite at children's parties and she helps raise environmental funds for the oceans. Her Youtube channel hosts a children's show called 'Mermaid Minute' gives quick bursts of knowledge about the oceans. That's one way to get the 'hands on experience'.
Writer Samantha Brick is no stranger to controversy, even labelling herself 'The Most Beautiful Woman', but it seems she may have stepped a bit too far this time as she claims that 'fat women are a failure'.
If she wasn't a favourite with the female population before, she sure won't be now. In an interview, with a positive body campaigner, the outspoken blonde said "to be happy, every woman should be on a constant diet". It seems Samantha Brick has some serious issues if she believes no one can be happy unless they are thin.
Positive body campaigner, Natasha Devon, who has battled with eating disorders in the past said 'she feels sorry for Samantha'. Samantha's opinions didn't fit well with the general public's view as only 6% agreed with her after the debate. It seems her stint on Celebrity Big Brother didn't help her gain fans or maybe it is her absurd opinions. Later in the interview, Ms Brick, debated that being over-weight should be banned like smoking in public places. Is the woman mad?
She is known for her blunt opinions, which have seen here held in less than high regard, but it seems that she has diminished her reputation still further with these statements. Not good PR Samantha!
|Lloyd posted on 23/04/2013|