Reputation management is at the core of PR, influencing how people perceive a company, person or brand. Good or bad corporate communications is the difference between make or break. Done well and a PR campaign can catapult you, your company or product into the limelight, building up trust and your reputation. Done badly and it can completely ruin an organisation or individual.
We have picked out some examples of good and bad corporate communications from the last 12 months.
Examples of good corporate communications
Morrison’s corporate PR team has been quick off the mark when it comes to PR during the pandemic, from announcing that the organisation has introduced an approximate 9% pay increase for nearly 96,000 of its employees to modifying its delivery offering to keep up with demand and introducing food waste reduction initiatives. They have no doubt worked closely with management teams to ensure activity is well-timed and representative of its customers.
Lloyds Bank and Grayling successfully rolled out a campaign to raise awareness of banking fraud, while working within the confinements of the pandemic. Its A Shave Too Close campaign set out to educate people on how to spot banking fraud, as well as the risks. Working closely with the bank’s fraud team and an independent barber’s shop, they tested customers’ knowledge of fraud and how public their personal information was. Despite having to adapt the campaign due to pandemic restrictions it still helped to highlight the issue, securing significant PR and social media results. The project was also followed up by post-campaign analysis to evaluate its impact on changing people’s attitudes to fraud.
Examples of bad corporate communications
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely turned everyone’s world upside down. What made matter worse, however, was how the Government communicated its messages leading to confusion across the nation. Promoting the message ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives’ made sense until the Prime Minister’s chief aide headed up North to Barnard Castle to check his eyesight. And let’s not get started when the complicated tiered systems were introduced!
Gordon Beattie didn’t choose his words wisely when he attempted to raise awareness of his organisation’s attitude to diversity. The chairman of long-standing PR and corporate communications agency, Beattie Communications, opened his tweet with ‘we don’t hire blacks, gays or Catholics’ and caused backlash among anti-racism campaigners for his inappropriate choice of words. The uproar forced him to step down from his role, having set up the company over 40 years ago.
Taking on the NHS
Another Government faux pas was taking on the NHS during the global pandemic by giving nurses and healthcare workers a 1% pay rise in the Spring budget. While the nation started to feel uplifted with the roll out of the vaccines, it was quickly dampened by this revelation, after months of showing our united support for those on the frontline during these unprecedented times.
Sad news to come out of the pandemic was the downfall of the Arcadia Group, parent company to top retail brands, Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins and Burton. Following a drop in trade and high costs, the long-standing retail giant went into administration at the end of 2020, leaving tens of thousands out of jobs, and millions of pounds owed to suppliers and pension schemes. All of this kicked off while its now former chairman Sir Philip Green was taking a holiday on his private yacht.