Category: Real Response

June 3, 2019

An online spat between two beauty vloggers over hair vitamins has shown one possible future of public discourse. It’s ugly. Millions of people have recently been fascinated by the two vloggers’ spiteful slanging match. It has been filled with long video blog counter-postings of personal invective, threats of self-harm, and tearful apologies. Followers freely switched…

June 3, 2019

The ideal of an “authentic” organisation persists because audiences respond best to expression and actions that lack artifice (that is, that appear to occur naturally, innately). But most organisations, and the professionals running them, are chronically incapable of acting in a manner that a typical person would regard as authentic. Consider, as a baseline for…

June 3, 2019

Widespread praise for the Government’s Wellbeing Budget shows the power of not leaving it to others to define your position or product. This Budget was named the “Wellbeing” Budget many months ago. The name and terminology was used by the Government as a label, an outcome, and a rationale for everything connected to it. The…

March 4, 2019

While firefighters battled the large wildfire that broke out in Pigeon Valley, on the outskirts of Richmond in the Tasman District, communications people – including BlacklandPR’s own Joss Debreceny – handled the heat of the public clamour for information. There was a lot at risk. The fire burned through more than 3000 hectares, including commercial…

December 9, 2018

The haste of organisations to avoid criticism has been spotted by journalists, who now use the PR industry’s thoughtless “apologise and dump” strategy to create even more public criticism. This appears to be what happened with the New Zealand Herald’s ‘sexist Santa’ story. The Auckland Santa parade organisers unceremoniously dumped their long-term Santa provider who…

November 4, 2018

Following the Jami-Lee Ross controversy, there was a lot of attention on the study by BPR’s Mark Blackham and academic Geoffrey Miller into the work experience and education of MPs. We studied the backgrounds of MPs for the same reason we examine the audiences of any client; to understand how they think and act. The…

November 4, 2018

  The corporate world can tie itself in unnecessary knots. Imagine a large business exporting meat that was criticised for killing them. How would it respond? The answer was simple for Roger Beattie, who lets a flock of 1500 Pitt Island sheep run wild on his Banks Peninsula property. He goes to the property on…

September 18, 2018

The reaction of pundits to Nike’s “believe in something” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick is so confused that it offers no lead for companies about the wisdom of doing something similar.   It’s common for PR experts to call any whiff of controversy a #PRfail, but some have claimed that the vitriolic US reaction against Nike…

September 3, 2018

A new study released by PR company BlacklandPR, shows that New Zealanders think Waikato is largely cows and a river, and it appears that locals think the same.   Unprompted, the one thousand participants were most likely to associate the Waikato with dairy or farming in general (16%), the Waikato river (10%) and Hamilton (8%)….

September 3, 2018

On RNZ’s Checkpoint this week, John Campbell ridiculed comments by Genesis Energy CEO Marc England on the basis that he “could hear the media training” in them.   Campbell meant that the England’s message about Genesis becoming an energy management company was boring and unnatural.   His frustration revealed that a lot of what CEOs…

August 3, 2018

Within minutes of a power outage in Wellington today, punters were speculating on the reasons.   Power began being restored after two hours, along with a reason for the outage – a substation equipment failure.   But rumours about the outage had already spread rapidly on the streets where office workers unshackled from dead computers…

July 9, 2017

If you insist on making an unpopular decision then at least have the courage to stick by it.   Sky TV broke into its coverage of the All Blacks test to play an advertisement after the haka. Within 24 hours of the resulting viewer criticism they backed down, promising the ads wont air in the…

May 15, 2017

Companies sponsoring stuff would have whistled with relief that they weren’t BNZ when a prominent rugby player taped over their logo on his shirt.   While rugby organisations did their usual stuck-in-headlights routine, the BNZ was left alone to say it was unfazed by the individual’s action and he was free to choose.   It…

October 17, 2016

The New Zealand Rugby Union did not need to enter the issue of a Wellington rugby player escaping conviction for street violence.   The appearance of CEO Steve Tew in interviews painted a target on the NZRU, inviting the professionally outraged to demand apologies for a “violent and sexist” rugby culture. Tew was bullied into…

September 19, 2016

Bürgen’s campaign to attract “Bürgen virgins” to try their bread in bed sparked a little negative feedback on their Facebook page. This formed the basis for stories on the Stuff and New Zealand Herald websites.   Bürgen did not appear to answer media inquiries, the story died, and the campaign continued. This is an interesting…

August 22, 2016

The writer of a “human interest” story on Stuff about safety box cutters got in touch with Foodstuffs to ask whether their staff used them. Foodstuffs would not confirm whether the staff used safety box cutters.   What they said:   “At Foodstuffs we adhere to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 across…

August 17, 2016

Most of the time organisations apologise in public, they either don’t need to, or they do it in a dreary, formulaic and saccharine manner.  The Birkenhead Brewing Company chose to withdraw and apologise when called out on some new Maori-influenced product branding. They did it thoroughly, and in a way unique to their style.   What they…

July 11, 2016

It was revealed that the Wellington Rugby Football Union faked a video depicting an uncover “sting” operation by Hurricane players of sideline abuse at junior rugby.   BlacklandPR commented on the issue because parents and players were depicted unfairly and inaccurately, it deceived the public in the interests of a “good cause”, and because a…

July 11, 2016

Complaints from vegan activists about “secret” animal ingredients are becoming a regular part of media diet.   Earlier this year complaints and a news story frightened Z Energy into stopping use of a feather-based pastry conditioner in vegan pies (fair enough), and reviewing its use in meat pies (what?).   This week people promoting their…