Prohibition blog

February 2012

Viewing posts from February , 2012

Prohibition PR’s Leeds client receives random social mention

As always the team and I have been slogging away in the Prohibition PR caves to make sure that our clients get mentions and gets talked about online. Our job is to find the right people to talk about our products and get their expert feedback rather than a scattergun approach. It’s all about the targetting if you want to make an effective splash, so imagine my surpise when I stumbled across this video.

One of our clients is Audio-Technica and received a mention in the video below. I found this on Google+ from a good online friend of mine called Shel Holtz, I have never met Shel but I listen and read his and Neville’s podcasts and blogs religiously as they are liked minded forward thinking PR people. I am hoping that one day I can be a guest on the show and give a Northerner’s opinion on the ever changing world of communications as maybe we have a different perspective.

This video is a bit random and if I am honest I don’t think apple will be making any of these on a mass scale anytime soon but have a look and see what you think. It did amuse me and he built it in a video which is just two minutes which is something we always recommend to our PR clients when using their YouTube Channels.

British Boxing Blow-Up in a PR disaster for UK Sport

British boxing has taken another beating after the actions of former World Heavyweight Champion David Haye and Dereck Chisora brought the sport in to disrepute. Haye, who retired after losing the title to Vitali Klitschko, was looking to restart his boxing career by demanding a title rematch during the post-match press conference between Chisora and Klitschko, a video which has quickly spread across social networks.

However, Chisora took offence to Haye’s tactics and the two squared off in an impromptu brawl, with Haye’s trainer Adam Booth receiving a nasty cut on the head from a smashed bottle. Both men may now face jail time with Haye, accused of causing grievous bodily harm, facing the possibility of spending six months to ten years in prison if found guilty. Chisora stands accused of malicious injury and a threat which combined could lead to a six year prison sentence.

The saga must have been an embarrassment to World Champion Klitschko who was looking on from behind the microphones. He said, “I’m totally disappointed, it went a little too far, the sport of boxing shouldn’t be like that.” Having faced both men, he must have been relieved at the thought of possibly not having to face them again.

Both men are also facing the prospect of lifetime bans from the British Boxing Board of Control. The whole weekend of the fight has seen them face an onslaught of bad publicity due to the behaviour of the two. In the pre-match press conference, Chisora slapped Klitschko in what was seen as a complete lack of respect towards the champion which to him having part of the fight purse suspended.

The irony of all this is that it would be a stupid move for the BBBofC to ban the two fighters. Although having shown no respect towards their own sport and acted in an embarrassing manner, Haye returning to boxing to fight Chisora has the potential to be a high drawing match. Chisora will likely face a form of punishment from the Governing body, while the only way the BBBofC could deal with Haye would be to ban him for life as he is no longer licenced unless they were to broker a deal if he returned to the sport. Promoter of the Chisora vs. Klitschko bout Frank Warren has even hinted that the two fight each other and the winner receives another shot at the World Heavyweight Title. Now how much of a punishment is that?

The Top 5 Disasters Even PR Couldn’t Fix

As a past Costa Cruises customer I recently received a letter regarding the Concordia running aground. Any disaster such as this becomes a mission in saving face as there is very little any public relations campaign can do to repair their image in the short term. Costa, much like the White Star Line a century before, will face a backlash that can last for years. Although the Concordia and the Titanic weren’t on the same levels, both did great damage to their reputations, damage that may not be repairable. So here are the top five PR disasters:

5. Andy Gilchrist’s £800 Indian – In 2003 Fire Fighter’s Union leader Andy Gilchrist spent over £800 using the Union’s credit card. Between himself and his three guests they spent over £200 on food and close to £500 on alcohol including, “four bottles of Chateau Chasse-Spleen 1995, a full-bodied vintage Bordeaux, priced at £85 each.” This came at the height of a five month pay dispute which saw fire-fighters striking and being force to accept food and cash hand-outs.

4. Mirror Fake Photos – In May 2004 Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was sacked after printing hoax pictures of British servicemen beating an Iraqi prisoner. Their statement read, “The Daily Mirror published in good faith photographs which it absolutely believed were genuine images of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner. However there is now sufficient evidence to suggest that these pictures are fakes and that the Daily Mirror has been the subject of a calculated and malicious hoax.” In the following month saw a decline in sales.

3. Hoover’s Free Flights – Never before, or since, has a plan to shift old stock gone so wrong. In August 1992 Hoover decided that to get rid of their stock that they would offer 2 return flights to a variety of destinations, initially to Europe, and later to the USA. Travel agents found themselves bombarded with applications for flights to Europe, which became much worse once they began to promote flights to US. This lead to a larger amount of takers than they had initially expected and only got worse once the press began to look into it further, which also reminded customers to apply. Around 220,000 eventually flew and cost the company £48 million.

2. Purer than Pure Water – As one of the world’s largest companies, Coca-Cola has a very strong reputation which many thought was untouchable. Then they decided to launch the Dasani Bottled water brand in the UK in 2004. Dasani was different from most brands off bottled water. Most of the big brands market their water as being from mountain springs, but not Dasani. Dasani was essentially just tap water. Admittedly it did undergo purification and had added mineral salts but it was still tap water. Its source was revealed in trade magazines and picked up by Press Association, which found it splashed across newspapers the day after its release. Coca-Cola persisted until it was faced with another, much bigger issue. They were forced to withdraw all 500,000 bottles after an accident at the plant that potentially contaminated the water. Within five weeks of its release Dasani was taken off the market.

1. Selling Crap – Gerald Ratner was the world’s biggest jeweller. He took over the family business and made £121 million in profits. But in 1991, during a speech at the Institute of Directors, he threw all that away. He said, “We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, “How can you sell this for such a low price?” I say, “because it’s total crap.” The comment was seen as mocking his customers and they responded by staying away. A company worth £500m had soon become worthless.

The Top Ten Facebook Pages in the UK

I found this infographic doing the rounds this morning from Social Bakers. They have analysed the top ten Facebook pages with some interesting results.

Personally I was pretty shocked to see that National Geographic head the tables for the media pages – it just shows we don’t know everything. I also find it a tad depressing that Simon Cowell manages to take the top two spots for most watched YouTube channels.

What do you think surprising results?



VIDEO REVIEW: One of the UK’s top Mummy Bloggers tests our client’s device the BabyCam Car out

We do a lot of journalist and blogger outreach for our clients and so we thought this was worth sharing on the Prohibition blog.

For a recent client campaign we sent Sinead from, The Breast Feeding Mums Guide to Family Life, one of our client’s BabyCam Cars to test with her little one. In the video below you can see what she thought. This device and Storage Option’s KidCam are both of interest to me as I have a little one arriving in just over three weeks time.

You can read her full blog post here or simply watch the video assessment below.

Three useful sites for PRs looking to evaluate online sites

This week I have been doing quite a bit of analysis and research into bloggers and online influencers. This has become part of my day job reading, researching and engaging and I am often asked by other PR professionals to give recommendations on some of the tools that I use. So I thought a quick post on a few might help.

1. Searchmetrics Essentials

Now today I received an approach (from a friend of mine) for this blog to cover an SEO website analysis tool called Searchmetrics Essentials. Basically, you enter the URL and you get key metricsimage including the site’s visibility on social networks ( Facebook, Twitter and Google+) as well as data about its organic and paid search visibility. The example you are given is that if you type into the site, you can see that the BBC web site is estimated to have 68,007,133 Facebook likes, shares, and comments which link to its pages and 35,706,182 links shared on Twitter. Apparently and I quote:

“it is powered by the largest, fastest databases available for search and social media giving instant access to competitive intelligence in organic, paid and universal search, as well as visibility on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +1, Delicious and StumbleUpon.”

imageSo do I like it? Yes I do this is by far the best of the three with only one downside. The downside is the fact that the free element shows you some metrics but not everything, you have to upgrade to see the really useful social media metrics. This is clearly its USP and where it feels it can make the money and you can’t blame them for that.

Personally, I like tools that provide you with a lot of information and then charge you for reporting etc. I think I would like to trial the product out for a while with full access before I can give my wholehearted opinion though.


A nice and easy free option is URL Spy this is a nifty plain looking site that you simply punch in your imageURL/website address and out of the other end it delivers a number of statistics. To make this test fair I have used a local theme park that my family and I like to visit called Flamingo Land as I thought it would be a bit more fun that the usual corporate stuff.

As you can see on the right URL Spy reveals that the site gets 35,154 monthly visits and is worth an estimated £12,000. The most interesting part of any analysis for me is usually the amount of links. As the more links something has the better the authority it has. There are a huge amount of other factors but that is a good start. I have linked up the image so you can see what else this application provides.

3. Statmyweb

This site didn’t really start very well as you can see I kept getting a not found message but I persevered and then it kept breaking imageand I gave up. I did use it the other day and it gave me some useful statistics but nothing as good as URL Spy so for now I would stick to using that one.image

Finally, if you have some real money to throw into this area the best site of all is <This costs $99 a month but it is the best software of all for tracking rankings, keywords and links.