As the end of the year draws near, we begin to reflect on the triumphs and tragedies of the year gone by. The team at Indigo has collated just a few of the ups, downs and more forgettable PR moments of 2010. In part one we focus on The Good…
The most uplifting experience of the year had to be the Chilean miners, whose 69 day ordeal captured hearts around the world. But the biggest effect of the positive PR was on President Pinera’s reputation. In July, his approval ratings were just 46%, the lowest approval rating of any new president since South America returned to democracy two decades ago. In October, after his successful rescue management, his rating shot up to 63% and remained up (despite a Nazi gaffe in Germany that same month). Whatever he does for his remaining time in office, President Pinera will always be the President who was seen to save the miners and for that, against all odds, he’s likely to be re-elected.
On the sporting front, the World Cup was an unexpected PR triumph, despite concerns about it being held in Africa. It went off without major incident and the pictures of sunshine and good natured fans were exactly what the sporting authorities wanted us to see. And we added a new word to our vocabulary – vuvuzela.
In the world of celebrity, it’s been a positive year for Russell Brand, whose wedding to Katy Perry has firmly put him in the celebrity elite. Peter Andre has emerged from a messy marriage more of a heart throb than ever and Kerry Katona appears to have transformed her life (with the help of the management and PR team Pete Andre uses) and could be the darling of frozen foods once again.
But the award for the biggest transformation in terms of public perception goes to Ann Widdicombe. It was a high risk strategy to take part in Strictly Come Dancing (think of the public’s reaction to Gillian McKeith on I’m a Celebrity…) but her game approach won over all but the political hardliners. She literally threw herself into the competition and while we knew she wasn’t a dancer, we admired the fact that she was entertaining.
The first Royal Engagement in 30 years could have featured in “The Bad” (and there is still the opportunity that it will appear in 2011) but at each turn where there was the potential for a PR disaster, the young Prince and his team managed to keep to their agenda and keep the story positive. Cynical media commentators were even reduced to saying that the official engagement pictures were of a couple truly in love.
Scotland’s other national drink, Irn Bru had a great year in 2010 with successful brand movement into England and Wales. The brand revenue for the half year rose by 8%, which the company has put down to increased distribution and marketing, especially in the north of England. Using innovative marketing campaigns including a world record can-can attempt and a breeding programme between Brazilians and Scots to enhance the Scottish footballing gene pool, Irn-Bru is slowly but surely making an impression south of the border.
It’s only after reviewing the low points that we can appreciate the highs, so stay tuned for part two… The Bad!
Delyse is the webmaster, researcher and general support provider at Indigo. She makes a mean cup of tea too.