Corporate & Institutional Communications / English

Turning a negative into a positive, aka, spin.

Snow-globeThis is probably one of the hardest tasks for any Public Relations professional and more often than not the result will fall flat, ruining the credibility of the organization. There are many examples of this and the one that immediately springs to mind is BP’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon old spill ( it is even often referred to as the “BP oil spill” or the “BP oil disaster”) of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven men died and it is probably the largest oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry (for those who would like to refresh their memories, there is a Guardian article on the PR fiasco here  ).  BP’s response triggered a plethora of parodies, of which this one on Youtube is probably the best known.

However, this is not what leads me to write this post.  A couple of weeks ago we were looking at the case of Marmite in class, and their “love/hate” campaign which basically turned the fact that many people find the yeast-based spread unpalatable into part of the brand’s identity. There’s an interesting case study film which discusses this, and how they were able to update the product while keeping their loyal consumers here

Yet again, that is not what I wanted to focus on.  Those travelling to London over the winter holidays will see the ingenius way in which the problem of vandalism of an iconic statue has been solved this year (and  for the years to come).  We’ve all shaken a snow globe, many of us have even received them as gifts or given them to others; whether seriously or as a joke.  A snow globe is a kitsch, humorous device which, like so many things at this time of year, cannot fail to make one smile.  We remember them from our childhood, they conjure up memories of holidays to beautiful cities or simply the joy of seeing snow.  Of course, London rarely sees real snow at Christmas and, if it did, you would no doubt be stranded in a Eurostar or unheated airport lounge, but there’ll be a little of the artificial stuff blowing around Eros, if you can see it above the glare of LED video-screen advertising…  Read more about it here