The Best of the Worst: 2017’s PR Disasters – #2: United Airlines and the “Re-Accomodation” Debacle

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As 2017’s terrible, no good, very bad headlines continue to unfurl, so too does my look back at some of year’s worst PR disasters and the lessons that can be gleaned from the mishandlings of others. And speaking of mishandling, our case today is one that started with, quite literally, that, by United Airlines.

The whole catastrophe began in early April, coincidentally right as competing airline Delta coming out of its own crisis following a snowballing series of bungled operations that left many passengers and at least one corpse stranded on tarmacs. In an incident that perhaps had Delta’s C-suite breathing a sigh of relief, a video shot with a mobile device on a still-boarding United flight revealed one unlucky, randomly-chosen ticket-holder getting violently dragged off of the aircraft by airport security. As the saying goes, if it bleeds it leads, and in little time, the clip was viewed millions of times all over the world.

That’s bad enough. But United managed to make it worse, giving a woefully inadequate response and earning their reputation its own dragging, this one through the mud.

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The Best of the Worst: 2017’s PR Disasters – #2: United Airlines and the “Re-Accomodation” Debacle

Campaign Focus: Bolt Mobility – driving the electric revolution through Europe

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Account Exec Luke McDowell on Clarity’s campaign for Bolt Mobility

I joined Clarity in June after four years working across television production; that included drama, entertainment and local news, and in that time I’ve dealt with a lot of subject matters regarding how we get from A to B.

PreviewThe future of transport is a big question at the moment; with lots of people getting very excited about developments such as autonomous cars and Tesla’s proposed Hyperloop. There seems to be several solutions emerging which will eventually deliver a viable alternative to  petrol and diesel powered trains.

Bolt Mobility are an emerging Dutch company who have created an electric scooter. Interestingly, a petrol scooter or moped can actually be more polluting than a lorry or delivery van. This is due to the use of older style engines found in a wide range of these vehicles on our roads today. Bolt’s AppScooter will be able to travel 400km on a single charge, an actual comparable alternative to a petrol engine’s range.

As Clarity’s resident petrolhead, I was very excited to work this account. I think that electric-powered transport is the future, especially after Tesla managed to change everyone’s opinions with cars and make electric sexy. Bolt are doing the same thing but in a different way. Their AppScooter isn’t just efficient, it’s good looking and something that people will want to drive!

We worked with Bolt on a pan-European campaign that was centered around their fundraise on Seedrs and it proved incredibly successful. They finished with over 200% of their initial target, raising €3,225,551!

Working with our Berlin team we were able to spread the word about Bolt’s successful funding across the continent. Coverage was secured in the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France and Germany. Large, national publications also covered Bolt across Europe including; The Independent, La Vanguardia, Il Sole 24 Ore, Jornal Economica and MSN Deutschland.

In the end the campaign secured 116 pieces of coverage against a target of 15, with several major hits like Yahoo! and Gründerszene. The best part of a campaign like this though is that the company ethos and their product is innovative and something that can actually make a difference, so watch this space when Bolt AppScooters hit the road in 2018.

Words Luke McDowell

 

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Campaign Focus: Bolt Mobility – driving the electric revolution through Europe

The Best of the Worst: 2017’s PR Disasters – #1: Pepsi “Live for Now”

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As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the year it has been, a year that just seemed to start low and then test the limits of how low low can go. And as we’re currently inundated with a continuing stream of awful stories about the misdeeds and sometimes crimes of high profile men, I thought a bit of reflection on the PR disasters of a more innocent time might remind people that it’s not that hard to stay out of trouble in the first place.

So, with that, here is the first in a series of posts that explore some of the most reputation-busting stories from 2017, looking at what exactly went wrong and how it could have been avoided in the first place.

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The Best of the Worst: 2017’s PR Disasters – #1: Pepsi “Live for Now”

Samsung Vs Apple – or how do you gain market cut-through when it seems the whole world is caught up in the bubble?

329201783846PM_635_samsung_galaxy_s8When the video went live early this month, social media went wild, YouTube lit up. “Growing Up,” Samsung’s ad mocking rival iPhone deficiencies, is a big hit.

In it, we see a young iPhone owner become increasingly forlorn as, despite repeatedly buying Apple’s latest handset, he sees it quickly run out of storage, get killed by water damage and underperform Samsung Galaxy features like handwriting recognition.

In the final scene, finally undone by having to insert a dongle just to use his headphones, our hero – now older, wiser – switches to a Galaxy note device.

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Samsung Vs Apple – or how do you gain market cut-through when it seems the whole world is caught up in the bubble?

Six ways your brand can cash in on Black Friday

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There was a time when Black Friday was mainly an American phenomenon. The day after Thanksgiving traditionally signalled the start of the shopping season that climaxed at Christmas. However the growth of online shopping has taken the concept global . So given that Britons spent nearly £6 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year – of which £2.8 billion was online shopping and Americans spent ten times that figure – it’s critical that brands take steps to maximise their efforts to reconnect with existing customers and grow their consumer base.

Below are six tips to ensure brands make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. How many are you already implementing?

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Six ways your brand can cash in on Black Friday

Top Five Companies To Meet At Web Summit 2017

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The Web Summit might just be the premier technology event in the calendar globally. Started in 2009 by Irish entrepreneur Paddy Cosgrave, last year it was held in Lisbon for the first time attracting an astonishing 53,000 attendees.

If you’re attending the event this week, we’ve cherry picked five must-meet tech companies at the event:

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Top Five Companies To Meet At Web Summit 2017