It’s that time of the week again! The honor of highlighting the high and low PR points this week goes to James and Suzanne.
PR faux pas this week has to go to Prime Minister David Cameron.
No sooner had ‘Dave’ called for a No Fly Zone over strife-torn Libya as a way of putting further pressure on loopy dictator Colonel Gadaffi to step down, than other prominent nations were poo-pooing the idea.
The US, China and Russia all cautioned that the move could aggravate the situation, leaving Cam with international egg on his face.
Worse still for the ex-PR man, newspapers on Wednesday were ridiculing his call as meaningless sabre rattling.
Many accused the PM of trying to show he was doing something useful after the shambolic evacuation of British nationals in Libya.
Others suggested he was trying to bury bad news on the same day Army, Navy and RAF personnel cuts were announced by the MoD.
If that was indeed the ploy, it backfired spectacularly, with journos only too keen to point out the irony of Britain calling for planes flying over Libya to be shot down when the country is rapidly running out of pilots to do the shooting.
The fiasco highlights the difficult job Cameron will have presentationally squaring what are described as ‘necessary’ military cuts with maintaining Britain’s world role.
This week’s PR success has to go to the borough of Essex. Famed in the pseudo-reality show The Only Way is Essex, the region has seen an upsurge in visitors of 140% according to hotels.com.
There were fears when the show was launched late last year that the region was being unfairly tarnished by the group of young party people it followed in a variety of ‘staged reality’ situations. The Only Way is Essex takes the stereotypical image of an Essex boy (flash car and designer clothes) and Essex girl (fake tan and short skirts) to a new level with glamour girls getting drunk and partying with their club owner boyfriends, spending days getting tanned and ‘Vajazzled’.
However, it seems to be attracting a whole new audience keen to catch a glimpse of the show’s Mark, Amy or Kirk at Sugar Hut or Deuces.
Enquiries for hotels in Brentwood, where the series is filmed, have risen by over 100%in the past year, according hotels.com. Searches for breaks in Chelmsford rose by 211% and inquiries about Clacton-on-Sea have shot up by 170%.
This is good news for Essex and a clever way for hotels.com to cash in on the show’s infamy by using its data to reach out to a wide demographic of tabloid and online readers with articles featured on the sites of the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sun and the travel pages of aol which will undoubtedly lead to a further increase in bookings on hotels.com.