In an emergency, food giant Tesco takes to the power of advertisements

Image Credit: AdamKR

PR gives you valuable third party endorsements, but when there is none to be had anywhere, you really do have to take to direct contact with your audience, so advertising, direct mail, video blogs but NOT social media, come into their own – as UK supermarket giant Tesco found out.
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How to counter your critics – one simple lesson from Beyoncé

Not just a great Diva, but a clever one too!

As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Beyoncé is certainly the mistress of her own image.

Having sold over 75 million records worldwide, won 16 Grammy awards, launched her own fashion line, married one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, and recently given birth to their first child (for which the couple lost their bid to trademark, yes, trademark her name) surely nothing can go wrong for Queen B? Continue reading

Lance Armstrong’s confessional on the Oprah Winfrey ‘couch’

Oprah at her 50th birthday party

Image Credit: Alan Light

A tale of two PR Agendas

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is the latest celebrity to sit down with Oprah Winfrey, America’s de facto confessor, for a “no-holds-barred” two-part confessional. The two-part interview in which Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing substances during his heralded career after he had steadfastly denied doping allegations, was aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications. Continue reading

EasyJet – a six part lesson in social media and how to contain bad news

Photo by Christopher Doyle

Photo by Christopher Doyle

So here’s the situation: it’s Christmas Eve, and you know that you are going to cancel all your flights that day to and from a particular location. Cue hundreds of unhappy passengers. As you as an airline don’t fly anywhere on Christmas Day, these passengers have to spend Christmas in an airport hotel and travel on the 26th – not the Christmas present anyone wanted.

EasyJet, a top European budget airline, had just this problem when it cancelled all flights to and from Madeira, the Portuguese island, this Christmas Eve, disappointing hundreds of hopeful passengers – families escaping for a break in search of the sun, Portuguese families going home for the festive break. Everyone had their own personal story to tell.

All corporate clients have things go wrong. So how did EasyJet cope?

It put in place a well oiled communications control process, made one bad public relations mistake, and then got the next bit right – sort of… Continue reading

A New Year’s Resolution: Promise not to promise anymore

Photo by Carmello Fernando

Photo by Carmello Fernando

New Year is, traditionally, a time when we commit to diets, teetotalism, fitness regimes or generally being more laudable people in a promise – to ourselves more than anyone else – to be ‘better’ somehow. And, traditionally, we tend to break those promises after (and this is, admittedly, a wild approximation) a month. But while a cheeky glass of Chenin or going a fortnight without Zumba may be a New Year’s promise broken they are not, generally speaking, fatal – either literally or metaphorically.

But rash promises made to others – particularly to the media – really can be fatal to one’s reputation, especially when they are unambiguous, cast-iron pledges. Here are some examples of those who learnt the hard way: Continue reading

Hacked off with Hugh Grant? Well Jon Stewart is!

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant speaking a at Hacked Off Event
Credit: The Liberal Democrat Party

So Jon Stewart, many in the media thank you for daring to say to Hugh Grant what a lot of the UK media has wanted to say for sometime – that he is “a big pain in the ass”! But Hugh Grant has been waging his own war against the media – so he’s had some delicate handling by the hacks.
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