Black Friday is one of the busiest dates in the retail calendar, and it offered a real time to shine for Clarity client PCA Predict (a GBG company). However it’s also one of the most saturated with many companies competing to be heard. It was our challenge, therefore, to cut through the noise and gain media exposure for PCA Predict in a very competitive space.

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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.

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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.

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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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When 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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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.

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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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Unless you’re a West Ham fan like me, or perhaps a fan of Bristol City, you may well have been oblivious to what was going on on Twitter on the afternoon of Thursday 26th October 2017. It was a brand horror story appropriate for the time of year, played out in a very public forum, the like of which will cause nightmares for years to come.

The EFL Cup, otherwise known as the Carabao Cup, is far from being the most illustrious football competition in the UK. The Premier League has become so powerful in recent years that even the FA Cup has lost its magic, leaving little passion remaining for what has previously been known as the Milk Cup, the Rumbelows Cup, the Coca-Cola Cup and the Carling Cup.

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Twitter has been getting a bad rap recently. In response, it has said it will be taking a more aggressive stance against abuse on its platform, as well as a crackdown on hateful images and pornography.

Now I remember first writing about this particular social network when working on the news desk of a tech magazine back in the mid noughties. Gleefully describing it as a ‘micro-blogging service’ (and probably equally gleefully contending that it would never catch on, something I also said about the iPhone), could I – or anyone else – have predicted what a hell site it would turn into?

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“When is the best time to send my email?” In marketing, there is a host of analysis, best practice and science behind answering that thorny question.

In public relations, not so much. This is an industry that has long relied on qualitative tactics and gut instinct.

Until now. Because data can, in fact, validate whether key press strategies can work for a brand.

Take the case of Ryanair. No stranger to publicity, Ryanair is usually keen to generate as many headlines as possible. But, when it was forced to cancel around 1,900 flights due to administrative errors last month, the airline resorted to a common industry tactic – minimising attention by sneaking the announcement out late on a Friday afternoon.

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