Exploitative, excessive, expensive, error-prone…
Some reputations make generating positive coverage an even greater PR challenge
Changing reputations and generating positive coverage in this changing media landscape is an increasingly tough challenge even for those whose brands are liked and have good news to share.
So what must life be like for those faced with working day after day with brands and companies in markets that are high on the public ‘hate’ list?
How do the PR teams at businesses that have a terrible reputation for incompetence, overcharging, inflexibility, dubious ethics or poor customer service feel, or those who have major obstacles placed before them by the attitudes of the media?
The team here had a brief discussion and brainstorm to compile a list of PR teams, in-house and within agencies, whose brands present them with a challenging life.
We are up for any challenge and would be happy to work with such companies, but here is our list of those for who we have sympathy at the moment.
· Ryanair – is currently trying to change and ‘be nice to customers’. Voted the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the British market by readers of consumer magazine Which? and the subject of a many a joke. There’s a long way to go.
· The High Street banks – reluctant to lend money but still paying out huge bonuses to senior staff already on high salaries, even though many are still making losses; very difficult to justify to the already angry public and hostile press.
· The utility companies – energy, water, telecoms: high prices, high profits and poor customer service; hard to explain to anyone
· The Environment Agency – hundreds of householders in the West Country and Thames Valley are, no doubt, cursing their lack of spending on dredging and flood defences as they clear up the wreckage from their homes now that the waters have subsided.
· Companies trying to start ‘fracking’ – we want the fuel, please, but ‘NIMBY’ – that’s the message from villages all over the country.
· The Malaysian Government and Airline- the waves of emotion about the airline tragedy mean that their efforts to find it would be highly criticised and harshly judged even if they had not confirmed the loss to relatives by text!
· London Live! – launching on Monday 31st;owned by the Evening Standard and competing with all the other London area broadcasters; apart from trade press, none of the other media seem to be mentioning – not surprisingly.
So while some PR managers are handing out invitations to film premieres and major sporting events, and being pursued for interviews, let’s spare a thought for those whose employers are forever criticised by the public and media.