Some Simple PR Advice

The Daily Telegraph (a leading British newspaper) recently published a list of the top company PR blunders which makes for quite an entertaining read. Clearly inspired by the recent fiasco at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, the article includes a fantastic example of when a single executive can create havoc through bad publicity.

Formerly head of Ratners, one of the biggest high street jewellers in the UK, Gerald Ratner once famously criticised his own products during a speech at the Institute of Directors. It was picked up by all the major newspapers in the UK who either took his quote out of context, or quoted him as saying all his products were “total crap”. I believe one tabloid’s headline was actually “crapners”! This essentially rocked his business, costing it over £500m (yes roughly $1bn) and of course his job.

I don’t want to copy any of the article’s excellent examples and steel the thunder of a nice bit of writing, so head over the the Telegraph to read the full article. But for a simple bit of very good PR advice, follow the words of an old boss of mine:

if you aren’t happy seeing what you’ve said on the front page of a newspaper, then don’t say it.

Very nice advice too if you ask me.

  • http://www.kango.com/things_to_do/sacramento_ca_vacations_195409774.html UptakeInOH

    I am familiar with Signet and had no idea it was Ratner’s renamed. And I am not sure how Terminal 5 is going to make the needed changes. It seems as if all they do only intensifies the existing problems.

  • http://www.RakeBackCelebPoker.com John Glenn

    I have learned a lot about PR thanks a lot.

  • http://www.pokerindex.org Poker Rakeback

    I learn something about PR today. Thank you

  • http://www.a-zof.co.uk franchise opportunity

    Thanks for the advices. Most of us know that but many of us forget to do as they think.

  • http://www.meskos.com Forum Development Blog

    This is one great entry, the title caught my attention so i kept on reading. I’ll subscribe soon.

  • http://www.meskos.com Forum Development Blog

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  • http://blog.aditech.info adi

    Heya….I have been a avid reader of your site and i must say like all other posts this too was awesome…Keep it Up :)

  • http://games.myth-games.com Great Games

    Thanks! Post was Good! :)

  • http://www.findlocalbanks.com/texas-banks/ Banks, Bill

    Very nice quote. I have already read that the best way to do PR is to develop relationships with journalists, in-house. And also using a press-release service, seems a good way to go. Its a great advice too.

  • http://hotelnewyorks.com Guy Workman

    well done like you guys r reading my thoughts with this last one :)

  • http://alloffmp3.org dev

    very good quote

  • http://www.bettingonlinebetting.com Daniel

    damn good quote, but dong a PR job either by yourself or with someone’s help is like juggling a double-edged sword. things can go either way.

  • http://braincharger.net/blog Kostas Panagias

    Nice Quote!!! :) Great advice and true enough!

  • http://www.eshop600.com john

    nobody does cock-up’s like us brits, take comfort in that!

  • http://www.thechildrenswearoutlet.com Clothing Girl

    Great advice!

  • http://www.marketingblagger.com Andy Bargery

    I don’t necessarily agree the best way to do PR is all by yourself, but if you don’t have very much money, you can certainly try. You will probably do an OK job at first, but a PR professional will bring a lot to the table and really help you to make an impact.

    At the most basic level, a pro will bring a good understanding of the media landscape, an understanding of what makes a good story, the knowledge of when and how to pitch stories to journalists and of course exceptional media contacts. If you can afford to employ a professional and you brief them well, you will probably never look back.

    Managing a reputation online is essential in this day and age, but often very difficult, especially with all the blogs and social media activity at the moment. Keep youro keyboard well under control..

  • http://sarahpaine.org Sarah

    One slip of the tongue or the keyboard can really make a mess for you these days. When it comes to online business I think that many take for granted how valuable a reputation can be. People want to buy products from businesses they trust and if you say something that tarnishes your image it can be costly.

  • http://www.tigertom.com/personal-loans-uk.shtml TT LoanShark

    I read elsewhere recently that the best way to do PR is to develop relationships with journalists yourself, in-house. That, plus using a press-release service, seems a good way to go.