November’s PR Hero and PR Fail

The nature of this blog dictates that I must find a PR Fail each month, but I do find myself hoping that, one month, the PR industry will not have let itself down.

And so, before I began my research, I asked myself whether this month of November 2017 would finally be the one where PR kept a clean sheet.

Not quite.

This month’s PR Fail is a joint prize awarded to Krispy Kreme and UberEats. The two companies teamed together for a London-centric stunt (already I’m prejudiced against it).

The bright idea was for Krispy Kreme to give away 36,000 of its doughnuts to Londoners who ordered through the UberEats app from 2pm. It had all the hallmarks of a good stunt – free food, free delivery and each customer could order up to 12 doughnuts!

A whole load of app downloads later, 2pm rolled around and UberEats found itself inundated with requests for Krispy Kreme’s deliciously free doughnuts. So much so that the UberEats app got stage-fright and crashed, like it was a new iPhone at an Apple convention.

It appears that nobody got their free doughnuts (poor Londoners) and it has proved a rather spectacular own-goal for UberEats. Given that the whole purpose of the campaign was to promote their new app (something which should sell itself in this day and age) they have only managed to expose it as unreliable and technologically flawed.

Krispy Kreme has come out of the episode somewhat lighter, and is probably enjoying those 36,000 undelivered doughnuts.

On the flipside, the PR Hero of November brought a smile to the nation and reminded us all what it truly means to be British.

I am of course talking about Doncaster Council and its social media competition to name the town’s new snow gritters.

The Doncaster Council twitter account introduced the #DoncasterGrittingWorldCup to enlist the public’s help in choosing names for two new gritters joining their fleet. Names of the established gritters include Subzero Hero and Usain Salt.

The voting was tense, with many hilarious names not quite making it. But the two victorious handles were Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney and David Plowie.

In the meantime, Doncaster Council had received coverage from the BBC and Sky News for its silly but engaging social media campaign.

A total PR win, and a reminder of the good in all of us. Take that, London.

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Joseph Scott

Account Executive
After many years studying the English language, Joseph now enjoys playing and crafting with it as he begins a career in PR. But he’ll still usually be found with his head in a book and learning new tricks.

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