5 Brands Who Turned Bad PR Into A PR Win!

by Sarah Quinn on 24 April 2014

5mistakes-C5E7F8We've all heard the saying 'there's no such thing as bad PR' but how far would you go to get publicity? When mistakes are made in the public eye, the best thing you can do is to turn it into a great PR story and hope for the best.

Check out 5 great examples of businesses that turned big mistakes, into great PR....

#5 Go Compare

Go Compare is a UK based company that compares insurance for a number of things including car, home and pets. If you are familiar with Go Compare, then you can probably already picture the really iritating opera singer, who up until 2012, used to prance around our television screens singing the words Go Compare on repeat.

The company finally decided to wise up and realise that this was turning customers off their services. So what did they do? Well they 'killed' him off of course! They tried to blow him up in adverts and they even defaced their own billboards in an attempt to let Britain know, they were 'saving the nation' from this terrible singer.

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#4 Coca Cola

Way back in 1985, Coca Cola decided to change the taste of their drink to a sweeter version. They branded the drink as 'New Cola' and sent it out into the world. Well, it took just three months for them to realise that they had made the biggest mistake of their drink-making career.

They received thousands of phone calls, over 40,000 letters of complaints and a ridiculous amount of bad press, so they decided to revert back to the original taste and branded it as Coca-cola Classic. It got so much attention that TV show General Hospital, was even interrupted so that they could announce the news, and sales for the much-missed fizzy drink soared through the roof!

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#3 US Airlines

Yes this has only just happened, but it was so shocking that it had to get a mention on the list. We'll probably never get to the bottom of whether it was intentional or not, but it's not something we would advise upon doing, as it has gone down as the most offensive brand tweet in history!

Just in case you've been living under a rock, the company replied to a customer complaint on Twitter with an extremely pornographic image. The tweet was on their profile for an hour before it was removed, so just enough time to get 476 retweets. But the most surprising thing about this big blunder by US Airlines is that it has actually increased their followers by 14,000. Not bad hey?

We decided not to show the image below...

#2 Susan Boyle

It was back in 2012 and Susan Boyle was getting ready to release her album, Standing Ovation. The PR team for Susan were clearly eager to get this trending on Twitter, and boy did they succeed – but perhaps not in the way they intended. They decided to promote an album launch party by getting fans to retweet the hashtag - #susanalbumparty.

This may have left Susan red-faced, but it turned into one of the most retweeted posts that year, and she soon became a trending topic worldwide! The sales of the album even went Platinum in several countries. PR fail, or PR genius? We'll let you decide!

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#1 Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile have chosen to be slightly unconventional in their replies back to customers, or anyone for that matter. Many businesses may question whether this a big mistake on their part, but we think it's a stroke of genius – so that's why we've made them our number one!

Experts recommend that you interact with your followers and Tesco Mobile have certainly taken this to the next level. They take negative comments from disgruntled people and turn them into humorous tweets and we love them for it. In fact, it's worked out so well that they've got well over 60k followers. Good for you Tesco Mobile!

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What do you think?

So there you have it – Wyzowl's top 5 examples of great PR. Would you ever risk your reputation in the hope that you'll gain more exposure? We'd love to hear what you think, in the comments below! And if you like this article, don't forget to share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Content Marketing

Sarah Quinn

Written by Sarah Quinn

I eat, sleep and breathe great content so it kinda works out for me that I get to do this as a job. But waaaaait, I'm not one dimensional..... I also LOVE peanut butter, odd socks, running, daydreaming about time and space, corgis in top hats, afternoon tea and Chandler Bing.