Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Friday, April 13, 2007

PR round up of the week: the good, the bad and the ugly

The Good: Once again Knut, Berlin Zoo's media star makes it into the feature.

The media savvy bear has attracted 300,000 visitors to the zoo over the Easter weekend, the usual is 30,000. The zoo's shares have also rocketed, doubling in a week owing to the interest the bear has generated and resulting in the zoo registering Knut as a trademark. What the bear's cut of the profits is has not been made public.

The zoo's PR has been clever. Even though Knut will not be interested in going out with lady polar bears until he is 4, the search for a mate has "begun." Or at least it will keep the media interested as he loses a little of his appeal as he becomes a big bear.

A rather different story of how a zoo animal boosted visitor numbers comes from China. A man eating crocodile bit off a vet's arm after he thought it had been anaesthetised. The vet with a regrettable sense of judgment has had his arm sewn back on. The result: curious visitors want to see the crocodile involved. Was it all a staged publicity stunt? What dedication to your employer.

The Bad: James Beresford. He is Britain's highest paid lawyer. He made an incredible £16.8 million profit in one year by processing miners' claims for compensation for chronic respiratory diseases and a disabling hand condition called vibration white finger.

While Mr Beresford was making over £45,000 per day his "clients" had their claims settled for less than £2,000, with some miners receiving less than £200. Some even got less as, against government wishes, Beresford's firm subtracted from the amount awarded. He apparently handed back hundred of thousands of pounds after receiving substantial criticism.

Many claims - Beresford handled 90,000 - were handed to the practise by the Union of Democratic Miners. They are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

The Ugly: Ever thought of organising a party on MYSpace? No? Well, a 17 year old girl in County Durham apparently did. Instead of 50 people turning up 200 arrived, many of whom had traveled hundred of miles to get there according to police.

Her parents house was trashed, money and jewelry stolen. The girl in question is believed to be staying with friends.


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