With the New Year looming it seems appropriate that we look back at some of the PR highs and lows of 2015. There’s a lot to choose from but we’ve narrowed it down to just a few that stood out in terms of overall impact.
The Salvation Army #thedress:
The Salvation Army used the viral phenomenon #thedress to convey a serious message concerning domestic abuse. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, this hard-hitting campaign transformed the viral debate into something shocking and powerful.
National Blood Week #MissingType
The NHS’s #MissingType campaign saw a number of high-profile buildings and brands drop the A, O and B of their names to raise awareness for National Blood Week. The campaign triggered a great deal of social media activity and it worked! It saw 10,000 new donors in just four days.
Things just don’t seem to be getting better for SeaWorld. First came the powerful documentary ‘Blackfish’, then Harry Styles condemned the park in front of a packed stadium and their reputation all but hit rock bottom. This, along with some contradictory adverts, http://vhealthportal.com/product-category/blood-pressure/, socialmedia outcry and questionable PR techniques, makes it no surprise Seaworld’s profits are plummeting as we speak.
Volkswagen: The Emissions Scandal
This year, Volkswagen was publically outed for cheating on emission tests; an action which could potentially harm humans and the environment, not to mention their own reputation. Deemed by one newspaper “the most expensive act of stupidity in the history of the car industry”, this scandal has not only swayed public opinion but will cost Volkswagen dearly in fines and profit decline.
No doubt next year will provide us with even more inventive or, in some cases, catastrophic PR stunts and scandals. As for SeaWorld and Volkswagen, only time will tell if they will ever regain trust from their customers.