The Good and The Bad From Today’s PR in Scotland

by Laura Berry

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Thumbs Up!

A dinner party with a difference has stood out in today’s news as a PR stunt that is worthy of our seal of approval.  The Wobbly Banquet fundraiser was given a jelly – tastic promotion yesterday at George Square in Glasgow – giving passers by a teaser of the unorthodox dinner party which serves nothing but jelly.

The brainchild of Parkinson sufferer Bryn Williams, the Wobbly Banquets take place throughout the year and raise funds and awareness for the Wobbly Williams charity, which supports sufferers of the dehabilitating Parkinsons disease, as well as funding research.

The charity takes a light-hearted approach to the disease and the jelly themed dinner – in reference to the shaking symptoms of the condition – is an example of the black humour that the charity uses as part of its fund raising and promotional tactics.

And it seems that this approach works,  providing a far from wobbly series of PR coverage in both the Herald and The Scotsman –  two of Scotland’s most popular daily papers.  Even celebrities are backing this worthwhile cause with Micheal Parkinson commending Williams for “using laughter and a positive attitude to tackle coping with this awful disease.”

This campaign really does show that laughter is the best medicine – at least as far as PR stunts go!


Thumbs Down!

You’d think by now that politicians would be more careful of what they when in the public eye – especially after Gordon Brown’s faux pas comment against Rochdale resident Gillian Duffy – but it seems that they are still making the same mistakes.

Tory MP Simon Burns has caused outrage by calling a fellow commons speaker John Bercow a “stupid sanctimonious dwarf”.  Although the off the hand comment was probably not intended to cause malice, it has resulted a back lash of bad publicity and a series of comments from the Walking with Giants Foundation which blasts the comments as: “derogatory and deeply offensive to people affected by Dwarfism.”

With the country still divided on how they feel about a coalition government, this comment couldn’t have come at a worse time.  When will politicians learn to be more careful about what they say, they may think they are speaking in private but they can never be too sure who is there to listen.  It would be best practice to remember that every action they undertake will be scrutinised and should handle every situation with the greatest of care and thought in order to prevent PR disasters such as this. 




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