PR in the press: The Thatcher bandwagon and more…

Some more interesting stories popped onto our radar yesterday during a brief respite from the B2B PR consultancy mill! To recap, these ‘PR in the press’ posts are discussions around news items that say something to us about our specialist subject of PR. These are from yesterday’s Times so if you don’t have a subscription you might not be able to access the full stories, unless you are still an old fashioned ‘page turner’…

The Thatcher bandwagon

Margaret Thatcher may have cancelled the milk wagon in her time but her death has certainly launched a huge bandwagon. As divisive a figure as she was I question whether many more pages of coverage or air time are needed on the subject (after all, aren’t we meant to look forward in this life?). Its peculiar how someone can be alive but in the background of the news agenda for many years, but then the end of their life sparks new interest and indeed fury. Whether an intentional jump on the PR bandwagon or not, Nigel Farage got the front page slot yesterday with the clever angle that UKIP would not exist if Thatcher had stayed in power two more years and Britain hadn’t signed the Maastricht Treaty creating the EU. If a PR person tried to sell a similar story based on a 20 year old ‘if’ and ‘but’ angle it would probably be spiked after the first sentence!

This week’s teen PR gaffe… I’m a belieber

Justin Bieber may have helped divert the ‘youth of today’ news attention away from Paris Brown this week by his public gaffe which saw him writing in the Anne Frank house guestbook that “hopefully she would have been a belieber.” OK, maybe a harmless mistake and not meant to cause any damage, but doesn’t someone like Bieber – with a pretty big music company PR machine behind him – have training on what to say and write publicly? It may not have been a direct media interview or social media post but a good example of engaging your brain before opening your mouth (or putting pen to paper, finger on send etc…), which let’s face it is a life lesson not just a PR one. At least Paris Brown had the excuse of innocence on her side having been plucked from obscurity into the limelight only to have her past indiscretions as a minor revealed.

Survey of the week

Ah the power of data to create a story. Surveys have to be the most commonly used (and abused) tactics in all branches of media relations. Data itself is not the problem. The issue is surveys that are constructed around an existing story idea and only really there to validate it. We’re not sure if this story about schoolchildren cheating in sport is one of these but one would hope that the page five lead of a national paper had some real validity. Just 1,002 young people were polled about their attitude to and experiences of cheating in sports and parents were asked what they think encourages children to cheat. The story aligns nicely into the recent string of sports cheating allegations but beyond that there is no particular hook. OK, it backs a valid cause so we’ll let if off, but we think the use of data and surveys in stories should be tempered, both by the PR world and the media we feed stories to. There is no real replacement for ‘real data’ that is produced and collected as part of doing business, where the sample is decently significant, the results less engineered to lead to a desired conclusion and PR is the by-product rather than the driver.

Rob Skinner

Browse more blog posts

Posted on
byClaire James
Chris Linsell left university with a degree in Economics and Finance but knew that this was not where his true interests lay. In 2004 he joined an independent creative advertising agency called Mustoes and has not looked back since. Q: Tell me a little bit about your background before joining Pirtek as Marketing Director Chris. A: As a graduate I...
Posted on
byLaaraib Khan
Why was PR your chosen career? I have always loved writing and all things creative. I remember in year 4 gathering a few people together and starting the school newspaper! Having dabbled in social media, digital marketing and music journalism, I fell into PR and have loved every second of it! If you hadn’t chosen a career in PR, what would...
Posted on
bySkout team
Why was PR your chosen career? It wasn’t! I have always been slightly obsessed with the media though. Since reading the news in the mocked-up news studio at Bradford’s National Media Museum as a child, the addiction has stuck. I worked in TV and broadcast media in Beijing for four years (which was an eye-opener) before coming back to the...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
On Sunday 31st July, England’s Lionesses ended 56 years of hurt by overcoming the goliath task of beating Germany 2-1 in the European Championship final to finally bring football home. It was fantastic to watch the team storm the post-match press conference to celebrate their well-deserved victory.  This got me thinking, how does one of the greatest sporting achievements for...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, promoting your brand and engaging with your audience through social media is marketing 101. It’s fast, free, and effective! Not only can you post updates about your company and employees to showcase the successes and personality of your brand but it’s an excellent way of sharing valuable content with key audiences. It’s no surprise that...
Posted on
byJames Weaver
London is often considered the epicentre for many of the UK’s varying sectors from entertainment to finance. But, when it comes to the tech sector, the North West stronghold of Manchester is arguably a hotbed for talent, startups and established tech firms. In 2019, £181 million of investment was pumped into the city’s tech sector, establishing Manchester as one of...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
We chat with Lizzie Berwick, director and co-owner at media buying agency, MacCormack Media, about her varied role, all things media buying, and what makes a brilliant business relationship.
Posted on
byClaire James
By Claire James, head of client services and built environment specialist, Skout The construction industry is about to go through its most transformative phase for decades with the introduction of the Building Safety Act. These changes are driven by the still unfolding story of Grenfell, the public outcry, and the substandard building materials and practices used on this structure that...
Posted on
byRebecca Brown
More than half of B2B marketing budgets are devoted to building and maintaining relationships with new customers, but only a quarter of B2B marketers say their relationships are akin to a happy marriage.
Posted on
byRob
When you’ve worked in a B2B PR agency for over 25 years, it’s easy to forget that the ‘turbulence’ we experience daily isn’t the norm for many. This is because every agency day is different, you never fully know what to expect, and deadlines can be ludicrously short.  Growing agencies like us deal with a lot of uncertainty. The biggest...