CONTEXT: All good PR campaigns need to be filtered around context. Ideas shouldn’t be dreamt up in an office and then expected to be rolled out in the way they were designed as context, public perception and the media agenda will often have a huge impact on how a campaign is received.
Recently, the Police Service of Northern Ireland ran a campaign for International Women’s Day in which it asked female officers to nominate male colleagues who had who had supported them in their career. This was wide of the mark and simply missed the context and sentiment of IWD2020. Had this campaign been more inclusive in terms of celebrating female and male colleagues who had helped female officers in their careers or perhaps been launched on a different day, it could have worked. But, in the context of IWD2020, it lead to a public backlash and many column inches for the wrong reasons.
Likewise, confectionery brand Snickers recently came under fire when mocking the welsh language. As a brand….just don’t go there! Cultural identity is a minefield and it takes a very savvy campaign with context and an expert reading of the zeitgeist to get this just right.
The brand compared the welsh language to someone sitting on a key board on a twitter post. Quite rightly, advocates for the welsh language took great offense at this comparison and suggested mockery of their language. A misjudged piece of social content that didn’t quite hit the mark.
In the current climate, brands and organisations, and / or their PR teams, must be aware of the media agenda. A huge volume of news stories are now being filtered via the largest news story across the globe – the Coronavirus. Before this, BREXIT was the main talking point for several years. From school events to business announcements and everything in-between, the context of today’s #coronavirus should be considered before all communications.
CONTEXT - be aware, it’s hugely important and can help everyone to avoid #PRfails (another excellent tip is to ensure you’ve a PR team on board who live and breathe the media agenda and can be your check and balance for all comms)