The last few weeks have seen several high profile programmes giving an insight into businesses and their staff with starkly different results. Which of the programmes have delivered positive results for their featured stars and which should never have made it past the pitch?
Pimlico Plumbers was the company at the very centre of Channel 4’s Show Me Your Money broadcast. We watched a millionaire and boss Charlie Mullins publicly reorganise the pay scale at his London-based plumbing firm. Along with heavy promotion running on Channel 4, the programme drummed up a couple of newspaper splashes, due to relatively sensational nature of the revelations.
If the programme and newspaper coverage showed us anything it was the greed and condescension from senior staff members and an insight into a seriously flawed management team. Channel 4 delivered a great show allowing Charlie, his son, an overpaid call centre manager and PR man Karl enough rope to hang themselves.
Lots for Channel 4, no doubt delivering audience numbers. But Pimlico Plumbers have done nothing to add to their image. The programme and resulting news print just provoked anger towards a boss who’s made millions in spite of himself.
The beleaguered taxi firm had an awful lot to gain, given that the last few months have seen mishap after mishap. The week, however started brightly; Addison Lee secured the perfect coverage in exactly the paper they will have charged Ogilvy PR with reaching. The article is full of sentimental, ‘we’re a great family-oriented company’ quotes from Managing Director Liam Griffin, (the Chairman, John Griffin, much-maligned for comments about cyclists doesn’t appear in the programme).
It’s difficult to truly understand how much is down to luck and how much is planning, given the lead times for a programme like this, but the attention has come at a good time, given the hugely negative publicity around the firm, and while wider features on the firm in the Telegraph are great and hit the right audience a deeper look at the news suggests many journalists called this programme for exactly what it was; a thinly veiled attempt at improving the company’s image, not a genuine attempt to improve the lives of its employees.
Bank Of Dave
Complete with positive outlook, regional accent and rags to riches story David Fishwick scored a PR hit with Bank of Dave. The minibus salesman has been everywhere championing his crusade to deliver a better bank. Cursing bankers, offering community-focused initiatives and giving plenty of himself, Dave hasn’t been off our tellies in the last fortnight.
Yes. By reaching millions of people and showing himself in a hugely positive light, Dave may have just secured the couple of sales he needs to make a great return on investment, but of course the secret of his success is that this campaign isn’t for his own PR. His own marketing is wrapped up in a genuine cause.
We’re often approached by production companies keen to feature our clients on TV, but not every opportunity is going to help tell our clients story. We work closely with all of our clients so that when these opportunities come up, we can make the right choices.