Category: Real Response

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…

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…

He also got the opportunity to get in a sales pitch: “It’s coastal lamb. They are browsing grasses, herbs and clovers and shrubs and native bushes. So there is a flavour profile that is more complex and deeper than any other lamb”. If your business was criticised for its mode of operation, can you make…

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…

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%)….

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…