Potted meat and Mastercard Public Relations own goals

08 Jun


impacting heavily on at least one of them, I have been kept very busy all week.

The world continues to be amazed, dismayed and confused with the communication strategies of Trump and the Brexit team – a loosely used term if ever there was one. However, they are not the only ones to have suffered from some bad PR of late. Mastercard and its sponsorship of international football stars Neymar Jr. and Messi to score goals, which in turn would raise funds for the World Food Programme, has really fallen under the negative spotlight.

At first glance, the campaign seems to have credit – each time either player scores a goal, 10,000 meals would be donated to feed hungry children in the Caribbean and Latin America. What’s wrong with that? So, Mastercard is willing to feed hungry children and has the cash waiting, but only if a ball hits the back of the net. Well, what happens when either misses a penalty or an open goal? And what about the negative impact on opposing players? Imagine the goalkeeper who saves a penalty from one of the players – how will he live with the fact that he just took food from the mouths of hungry children? What’s more, how are they going to deploy an exit strategy from this plan? How do you change or walk away from a promise to feed 10,000 hungry children when you got the planning wrong? Someone did not do enough blue-sky thinking, and yes, they really did score a PR own goal.

So the week progresses and I find myself talking potted meat with my printer client who has handed me three volumes of the history of St. Marie’s Cathedral and Parish to read in preparation for a new campaign – life is nothing if not varied in this job.

Good connections last. They must do, because this week I got an email from a journalist I had not been in touch with for years but who remembered a story I sent her and asked if the contact named in the press release would be willing to comment on a new story she was writing. I put the two together and then pitched the related client’s up and coming new product launch to her – it is now earmarked for her attention when we go to the media later this year.

And finally, to end this blog, as much as I have doubts about the use of some social media in PR and marketing, it was nice to be able to stick to my belief in networking as a giving not receiving platform. When I spotted a journalist looking for contacts in Data Analysis, I could have ignored it, as that’s not my bag or one of my clients’ – but I do have a friend and fellow birdwatcher that specialises in just that sort of thing. They are now in touch and talking, it should be interesting to see what comes of that connection.

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