How to turn an amazing PR coup into a reputation liability

How to turn an amazing PR coup into a reputation liability

Claire Walker

Claire Walker

During the week I read all my news online. At weekends, I indulge myself reading a selection of Sunday papers, turning every crinkly page and relishing every minute of intellectual infusion.

This weekend I saw something on a Style shopping page that I had to have. No delayed gratification for me when it comes to THE dress I want; conspicuous consumption rules and I want it NOW! I had the description, the price, the retail chain and the sub-brand. I immediately went to my PC - not a moment to waste to get this item, I need it for an event in two weeks’ time and they might sell out.

But no – my hopes are dashed! The retailer web site was no help, in fact it infuriated me. The product wasn’t listed even though it had been published in The Sunday Times. I couldn’t get into the brand section – the connection didn’t load. The selection of items didn’t load – it was stuck on the first of five pages. I couldn’t even find the product searching through the retailer’s home page, or Google images.

This is a classic example of where a stunning result from the PR team (congrats!) is thoroughly let down as the different parts of the retailer’s marketing campaigns are not joined up. Shame on you, M&S. That dress, being featured in a major national Sunday paper, should have been so easily found and if it was, M&S would have had £150 from me.

It’s too late now. I’ve turned right off M&S and I can’t bear to look at the web site anymore; I’ve wasted too much time on it today (secretly, I still want the emerald green maxidress).

Maybe I’ll see you at the CIPR Awards dinner? I might be wearing emerald green or I might be wearing something black.

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