Industry Roundup: PRing in the cost of living crisis

It’s been a busy week for all of the PR’s out there. But have a couple of brands just got it completely wrong in the midst of the cost of living crisis? We’ve got two examples of misguided communication and messaging right here, so grab a cuppa and sit back. 

This week, Klarna announced their latest collaboration with food delivery service Deliveroo. While many were jumping for joy at the thought of their favourite Chinese being slightly more accessible, there have been more critics of the collab. 

Klarna x Deliveroo - A Foodie Fail? 

As part of our job in PR, we must always be aware of the social, political, and economic environments that are at play at the time we release our announcements or pitch ideas to journalists. This, it seems, may have been slightly overlooked by the Klarna and Deliveroo teams. 

In a time where most are crunching numbers in a bid to save some cash due to the cost of living crisis, a ‘buy now pay later’ firm is encouraging consumers to spend. 

While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, £20 for a takeaway here and there, it really promotes naughty spending habits. The Nation’s hero, Martin Lewis, (the Money Saving Expert) was not happy: 

Ofgem steps in for the Government 

After the government blocked a state-led information campaign to ration energy consumption, Ofgem decided to take this into their own hands.  

The government decided to not go ahead with the initiative amidst fears it would be perceived as the actions of a “nanny state”. but the Office of Gas and Electricity Market’s decision to announce the marketing drive a few days later felt like a discredit to the government. 

It's certainly wise to take a step back at times and ask if we have to participate in every conversation that grabs national attention. But, it’s equally important to have a PR strategy in place that protects our clients reputation when we decide to not go ahead with an announcement or initiative. 

Check out how brands are using human stories to sell their products here.


Industry Roundup: IKEA and Starbucks use human stories

This week's industry round up had a focus on storytelling and the brands bringing a human element to their campaigns. Overall, we can see that the brands are focusing on the consumer than the actual brand.

IKEA Life Collection 2022:

IKEA uses human stories for their Life Collection of recycled products

Firstly, the most recent piece was IKEA's Life Collection 2022 - this came in the form of a visual catalog of used furniture telling the stories behind the products  being resold at IKEA’s new second-hand stores in Norway.

IKEA uses human stories for their Life Collection of recycled products

Essentially, this looked at the life cycle of a piece of furniture and what it has seen, whether that be divorce, a bereavement, or perhaps just become redundant or unloved. The backing track, an accoustic version of ‘Don’t You Forget About Me' really brings the point of the campaign to the forefront - old furniture need not to be discarded and forgotten about.

Personally, I think it's so clever and emotion provoking as it brings more of a story to the object - something we can all relate to as an onlooker. The video encourages the viewer to look beyond IKEA's well-known branding and products, but actually to engage in the narratives that play out around each piece of furniture.

Starbucks' Every Table Has a Story

Starbucks' 'Every Table has a Story' is another great example.

It's a story of a woman who is trying to kick-start her career who works from a table in the cafe. Knock back after knock back she stays resilient, returning to the same table in the same Starbucks cafe.

The story ends, and the protagonist opens a magazine which features her work. The narrative brings to life the on-goings that Starbucks sees rather than the product itself.

Using human-led stories in PR

Using human stories in PR is a great way to humanise your brand. Whether it's drawing on your values and culture, or using your own experiences to join in industry conversations, a story your consumers can relate to is a surefire way to instigate brand awareness and even brand loyalty.


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