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Posts from July 2012

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Why are there so many empty seats at The Olympics?



Since the Opening Ceremony on Friday night, there’s not really much else to talk about apart from The Olympics. The BBC coverage starts before I wake up and finishes after I go to bed, so if that’s all the BBC is reporting on, then obviously that’s all that’s going on in the world.

I love the Olympics. Even though I don’t live in London or have tickets to any events, it’s great to get into the spirit of the games and I watch as many events as I can. It’s pretty ironic how the biggest sporting event in the world turns everyone bar the athletes into couch potatoes for a fortnight. My boyfriend and I spent a good half day watching the men’s cycling road race on his 21st birthday, rather than maybe going out and doing some cycling of our own.

But of course, with every Olympic Games, there are always problems which grab headlines, and London’s already had its fair share. Firstly, G4S failed to provide enough security staff for the games and had to be bailed out by British troops to make up for the thousands of security guards that were needed. Massive fail.

Then, there was the threat of border staff strikes the day before the Olympic Ceremony, which was condemned by David Cameron. Apart from evoking a ‘tut tut’ from US Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, the threat didn’t seem to amount to anything.

To many people’s surprise (especially mine), the Opening Ceremony itself seemed to go swimmingly – although I think the whole world was extremely disappointed that The Queen didn’t actually jump out of the helicopter. To be honest, I didn’t really have great expectations for the Opening Ceremony or for the London Olympics in general; we British have a unique ability to muck things up at the last possible minute. Needless to say, I’m impressed so far.

Although, there’s one thing that’s really getting on my nerves: the empty seats. Even though I don’t have any tickets, doesn’t mean I didn’t apply for any; I did. I just didn’t get any. Back in March, when the tickets first went on sale, there was a fiasco about there being only a limited amount of tickets available to the public, with a staggering amount being given to sponsors, Olympic Committee members and corporate members. Now, the Olympics are here, they’re not even turning up; ridiculous!

The Guardian reported that on Sunday morning there were an estimated 2,000 empty seats at the basketball match between Nigeria and Tunisia. Out of those 2,000 empty seats, 70% were allocated to sponsors and Olympic officials. Furthermore, over 300 seats at the morning's gymnastics were unfilled and around 2,500 were empty during the heats at the Aquatics Centre.

The empty seats are not only an annoyance for the millions of Brits who are sat at home watching the games on their TVs, when they could actually be experiencing the action for themselves; it's also a massive embarrassment for the UK. As the Games are broadcasted all over the world, so are the empty seats, much to Lord Coe's dismay.

Why are there so many empty seats? My best bet would've been that the thousands of sponsors and members of the press were ridiculously hung-over from the Opening Ceremony...maybe not. The BBC has reported that the sponsors have confirmed that the empty seats are not their responsibility (surpirse, surprise). Companies such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola put out statements yesterday saying that they're filling their places with competition winners, partners, customers and employees.

What's the solution?

Well, Lord Coe is going to tell off the naughty "Olympic Family" members who haven't turned up when they said they would. In the meantime, soldiers and local London students have been ushered in to fill the seats before a real solution is found. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to give the tickets to real sports fans who actually want to go to the events. If you want true British Olympics spirit Lord Coe, you know what you've got to do.

If you want to get people talking about you, contact our Manchester PR Agency on 0161 212 1695.

Tagged with: Empty Seats, Lord Coe, Opening Ceremony, Public Relations, Refresh PR, The Olympics

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The fruits of a sustained trade PR campaign come together



We’ve been working hard with construction and built environment journalists to secure some great coverage for client Spectus Window Systems.  A series of specifier-focused case studies have been produced, spanning the education, social housing and healthcare sectors, and we’re excited to be rolling these out in a planned calendar of exclusives with key magazines.  Building Products reported on Spectus' work at Campus House, Bradford this month, and Local Government News is running with another exciting project in its August issue.

All this translates to great PR coverage across the glass and glazing trade press, showing Spectus’ fabricators and installers the sheer range of applications of the PVC-U window profiles.  Along with some new product launches, it's been a busy few months.

Tagged with: Built Environment, Construction, Manchester, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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Refresh PR makes prestigious CIPR shortlist



 PR Agency Manchester CIPR PRide Awards North West Outstanding Small Consultancy

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s esteemed CIPR PRide Awards.

 

Refresh PR will be battling it out with five other notable North West PR agencies to win the coveted title of Outstanding Small Consultancy of the Year.

 

The ceremony, which will be held at Gorton Monastery on the 29th November, will celebrate the region’s best PR talent. Companies, as well as their campaigns, will be put under the spotlight as they vie for the top prize – a prestigious PRide Award gong!

 

We are thrilled with such an influential nomination and would like to extend thanks to our clients for supporting us and making this nomination possible.

 

Fingers crossed we can bring the award home to Refresh HQ! 

 

 

Tagged with: CIPR , Manchester, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, PRide Awards 2012, Public Relations, Public Relations North West

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Jimmy's Tax Carr Crash



Nearly two weeks ago, I was on holiday somewhere hot and sunny, with no access to the internet or communication to the outside world, bliss. When I got back, I was informed that it wasn’t just England’s typical rainy ‘summer’ weather that I had missed out on; there had been a media storm generated by the unlikely suspect - Jimmy Carr.

Carr had been sheltering his £3.3 million fortune in a Jersey based tax avoidance scheme. Tut tut Jimmy. Despite being completely legal, it has caused a huge uproar in the press and instigated comments from the Prime Minister who declared Carr’s actions as “morally wrong”.

The controversy that has risen out of the matter and the political issues regarding tax evasion that have ensued are only one side of the coin, however. Carr did not respond to the matter in the traditional way of via press release, through his spokesperson or any of his ‘people’. He did it directly, through Twitter, and has therefore somewhat altered the purpose of the social media giant.

Last week, through Twitter, Carr issued an apology and stated that it was ‘obviously a serious matter’ and that he was ‘no longer involved in it and will in the future conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly’. These words would have popped up not only on the homepage of his 2 million plus followers, but the no doubt millions of other ‘Tweeters’ who would have been carefully watching his page for his response to the whole fiasco.

Is a public apology via social media more effective than via a press release? Well, in my opinion, it somewhat downplays the severity of the matter; it’s a much more informal setting and what he wanted to say was able to go directly to the audience without having to go through the press. So, yes, in this case, I think it has been.

Since its launch, Twitter has been an important tool in putting the everyday person and celebrities on a level playing field and easing communication between the two parties. For the most part it has enabled fame hungry celebs such as Lady Gaga to tweet half naked pictures of themselves every other day, but as shown by Carr, social media has a lot more potential than this. I wonder what else it will hold for us in the future…

Tagged with: Twitter