Top PR marks this week go to Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, two retired footballers better known for their skills on the football pitch rather than their PR genius.
In addition to their ongoing football managerial (Giggs) and presenting (Neville) careers, the duo also dabble in the field of property development and the pair hit the headlines this week when it was revealed that one of their properties, currently being renovated as a plush hotel has in fact been taken over by homeless squatters.
No-one would have been surprised if the aspiring property developers had decided to evict the squatters, but instead they have allowed their uninvited guests to stay put over the winter months on the proviso that they take care of the building.
It has also recently been reported that Gary Neville has asked his tradesmen to install lighting, toilets and showers so that the building is habitable for his temporary guests over the winter.
Now, we don’t know if this move was their idea or their very smart PR team’s suggestion, but it just goes to show how you can turn what could be regarded by many as negative situation into a positive PR exercise.
The plight of the homeless is a big issue in most cities, and Manchester is no exception, so to see two Manchester United legends make such a kind gesture is a fabulous PR move and as a Manchester B2B PR consultancy, we’ve seen first-hand how this story has got the region talking and how high up the news agenda it has been both nationally and regional. It’s also helped promote the issue of homelessness as the squatters have proven themselves to be very grateful of this kind gesture and willing to prove that they will look after the building. Manchester City Council has even pledged to do more to help the city’s rough sleepers on the back of Giggs & Neville’s shrewd move. All in all a top PR move for the duo and helping a good cause to boot.
Fiona Whyatt has worked in B2B PR for many years. She loves blogging!