Tag Archives: daily mail reporter

“Nobody ever knows what to buy their Dad as a present!” says experience day company

Dad news now, with the report in the Mail that many fathers went without presents on Father’s Day simply because nobody knew what to buy them:

Dads are being denied decent Father’s Day gifts because their children are CLUELESS on what to buy them

Dads are being denied a decent Father’s Day because their grown-up children are clueless about what to buy them, a new study has found. 

With just two days until Father’s Day, the UK’s pioneer of gift experiences Virgin Experience Days reveals the nation’s spending habits. 

Source: Daily Mail, 14th June 2019

This is one of those Bad PR stories where the commercial hook is so clear and visible that there’s little else to be said about it.

That said, Virgin Experience Days (who even had the Mail Online link to their website directly) felt it worth underscoring their PR angle even further, highlighting their new “Father’s Day Panic Button”:

In response to the ultimate stress purchase, Virgin Experience Days has created a Father’s Day Panic Button. 

In response to the ultimate stress purchase, Virgin Experience Days has created a Father's Day Panic Button

And, of course, there was the standard quote from a spokesperson to make the hook even more explicit:

Dan Pearce, Marketing Director, Virgin Experience Days, said: ‘Clearly people find Father’s Day a tricky one and we hope our Panic Button can help them out even at the 11th hour. We think people should trust their judgement – most dads would just enjoy more time with their kids – and there are tons of experience that can be shared, and memories to be made that will last longer than a bottle of wine or a pair of socks.’

“You should change your bedding more often!” says bed company

Hygiene news now, with the revelation that the average bedsheet is dirtier than the bed of a chimpanzee:

Our beds are filthier than those kept by chimpanzees in treetops, as a quarter of Britons change their sheets only once a month, study finds

A quarter of us change our bedsheets only once a month, leaving them covered in bacteria, the poll of 2,000 Britons discovered.

Scientists took samples from some of the sheets and compared them to those taken from beds used by chimps, our closest living relatives.

They found that sheets left unwashed for four weeks were a ‘breeding ground for microbes’ and contained more bacteria than that found in chimp beds.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th June 2019

If it seems a surprise to hear that the average person’s bed is dirtier than that of a chimpanzee (who, it’s worth bearing in mind, live essentially in their own excrement), it probably won’t come as surprise to hear that this story is not so much a scientific or anthropology study as it is an advert for beds:

The bacteria on the bedsheets included bacteroidales, which can cause pneumonia, and fusobacteriales, a culprit for skin ulcers, the study from bedroom firm Time4Sleep found.

“Keeping track of unreliable workers is hard!” says timekeeping software, twice

We all like to get value for money, and this is no less true in the PR world, where it can be all about getting maximum exposure for your core commercial message, for minimal outlay. That’s where the global nature of online news platforms can come in handy, where the savvy PR can get one company to take two bites of the same cherry.

Take, by way of example, an article which made headlines in the Australia arm of the Mail Online:

Revealed: Millennials are Australia’s LEAST reliable workers – but even the most dependable generation rarely start their shift on time

Millennials are the country’s least reliable workers while Baby Boomers are the most dependable – but not by much. 

Millennial employees, born from 1981 to 1995, are more likely to be late than any other generation, including the younger Generation Z.

A whopping 73 per cent of millennial men and 70 per cent of millennial women were late to work at least once from March 2018 to March 2019. 

Source: Daily Mail, 31st May 2019

We see some of the classic hallmarks of modern-day Bad PR here: the audience-pandering dismissal of the millennial generation, the splitting of a PR message by generations to data-mine for headlines, the ascribing of generational differences to the better habits and upbringing of the older generations. It’s classic stuff. Plus there’s the convenient secondary message that all workers can be unreliable and need to be closely monitored, which fits perfectly with the commercial drivers of the company behind the ‘research’:

The patterns of over 290,000 Australian shift workers were uncovered in a Late to Work Report by rostering software company Deputy…

‘The majority of reasons why probation fails is because of their [millennial’s] own habits and lack of engagement,’ human resources expert Greg Weiss told Daily Mail Australia. 

So far, so standard Bad PR. However, a few days later, a strangely similar story was published in the UK wing of the Daily Mail, by the ever-so-prolific “Daily Mail Reporter”:

Older women are the most punctual at work, but survey finds THREE-QUARTERS of men in their 20s and 30s cannot be trusted to turn up on time

Older women employees are the least likely to be late for work, according to a survey published yesterday.

But men in their twenties and thirties are the ones to watch for bosses worried about staff punctuality, it said.

The survey by timekeeping software company Deputy analysed data from company records on the punctuality of hourly-paid workers.

Source: Daily Mail, 3rd June 2019

The same story, with the same demographic breakdown, from the same commercially-incentivised source, appearing twice on the same news platform. Perhaps whichever staffer was playing the role of ‘Daily Mail Reporter’ that day got into the office late, and didn’t have time to check if they were repeating themselves. Someone should track their hours, maybe.

“People need help buying their first home!” says mortgage provider

House buying news now, with the report in the Mirror and the Daily Mail that the younger generation are increasingly taking loans from their grandparents to try to get deposits together as they aim to get on the property ladder:

The bank of gran and grandad helps first-time buyers: One in ten rely on their relatives to help them get onto the property ladder

  • Some eight per cent of first-time buyers rely on cash from their grandparents
  • Compares with 13 per cent of existing home owners asked family to help
  • On average people planning to buy first home expect it will take them five years

Nearly one in 10 aspiring first-time buyers are turning to the ‘bank of gran and grandad’ to help fund their deposit, a survey has found.

Source: Daily Mail, 6th March 2017

Record levels of first time buyers asking grandparents for help – 4 schemes to get you there alone

As well as saving parents thousands on childcare, retirees are also helping today’s generation make it on the ladder by contributing thousands to their first home deposit

Forget mum and dad, one in 10 aspiring first-time buyers are turning to the “bank of gran and grandad” to help raise their deposit, Santander research has found.

Source: Mirror, 6th March 2017

Admittedly, the Mirror’s coverage tips its hand a little, running the name of the company behind the story in the first paragraph after the headlines: Santander bank.

Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages, Santander UK said: “Despite having to use alternative income streams over and above their salary – such as relying on the bank of gran and grandad – today’s first-time buyers are demonstrating resilience and determination to achieve their home ownership goals.”

While it’s almost certainly the case that millennials are having to borrow money from their elders – whose mortgages were more aligned to their income – it’s also the case that this story is just a way for Santander to advertise their services to first-time buyers.

“Paying for children’s parties can send you into your overdraft!” says current account

Children’s birthday parties cost families £218: Half of parents admit blowing their original budget with £77 on a venue and £33 on food

The average child’s birthday party now costs over £200, as parents come under pressure from ‘pester power’ as well as trying to out-do other families, research suggests.

Nationwide Current Accounts, which commissioned the survey, said the findings suggest that inviting a few friends round for jelly and ice cream and a game of pass the parcel no longer seems to ‘cut it’.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th November 2016

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Keeping kids happy around their birthday is a pricey affair, and can far exceed the budget set aside by parents, according to this article from the Daily Mail… an article that was sourced from a press release by a building society. What might their angle be?

One in 25 (4%) parents had received contributions from relatives to help with their party costs, while one in six (15%) had used a credit card to fund the occasion and one in 20 (5%) had dipped into their overdraft.

If you’re going to have to dip into your overdraft to make ends meet, you’re going to need a current account with a good and flexible overdraft, right?

Phil Smith, Nationwide Building Society’s head of current accounts, said: ‘For kids, the best parties are often more about spending time with their friends, rather than a lavish event, so parents shouldn’t feel under pressure to over-deliver.’

Parents shouldn’t feel under pressure to over-deliver, says a press release from a company telling parents they are under pressure to over-deliver.

“It’s hard to limit your kids’ internet usage!” says internet usage limiting device

Gadgets ’cause eight million rows a day’ as two thirds admit they struggle to make their children put devices down

The nation’s families are having a combined eight million arguments a day over digital gadgets, a survey shows.

The biggest source of strife is parents feeling children are too absorbed by computers or tablets to communicate properly.

Two thirds admit they struggle to make their children put their devices down while nine out of ten youngsters are using smartphones or tablets before they turn eight.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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Children these days are digital devils, with even the sternest of parent falling foul of their child’s incessant internetting. Try to impose limits and you risk real wrath – what is a parent to do? Well, the company behind this particular piece of PR has a few ideas:

Research by HomeHalo, a parental internet control system, revealed one of the biggest causes of irritation was parents being ignored by their children when they’re online.

In case you’ve not heard of HomeHalo – and you won’t have done, because their PR has only stretched so far as yet – they sell products that parents can use to digitally restrict their kids’ internet usage:

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It’s pretty clear what HomeHalo are doing here: bigging up the size of the problem that their product is on hand to solve.

Louise Philips, of HomeHalo, added: ‘Although we can all see teenagers glued to their phones and tablets, the addiction begins much earlier.

‘It’s staggering that parents seem to understand the dangers – and are rightfully concerned – yet we appear powerless in addressing the issues.

‘It is a problem that is increasing and drawing in much younger children.’

Interesting to see talk of technology ‘addiction’ in an article featuring a psychologist, and it’s no surprise that it’s not the psychologist raising the phantom of tech addiction. There’s a good reason for that. Still, why let science get in the way of your PR scaremongering?

If only there was a device that limited PR people’s time on the internet…

“You should improve your home!” says home improvement company

Our dream house? It needs a wet room and a home cinema: Nearly half would opt for these improvements if they could add to their property

There was a time when crazy paving and avocado bathroom suites were seen as the must-have additions for your dream house.

But today’s homeowners are yearning for some rather more modern home improvements, with home cinemas and wet rooms now high on the wish-list, a study has found.

When asked what they would add to their house if they could, 44 per cent opted for a state-of-the-art entertainment zone with supersize screen and games consoles, just ahead of a wet room at 43 per cent.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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No longer is our home complete with a mere picket fence, conservatory and fractional children, now we can’t rest until our abodes are crammed with niche features like cinemas and wet rooms. How our ambition has grown! But with the ambitious home improvement plans we all definitely 100% absolutely have, we’ll need the support of a PR-spouting home improvement company, I’d imagine:

The survey of over 2,000 homeowners, commissioned by Anglian Home Improvements, looked at how our tastes in home improvements and the way in which we use our homes have changed over the past 50 years.

Anglian Home Improvements are just the company I’m thinking of, I guess. We know this, because they’re company who placed this particular piece of PR into the national news.

Melanie McDonald at Anglian Home Improvements, said: ‘It is interesting to observe just how much our tastes and preferences have changed in a relatively short amount of time. One thing is for sure — the desire to improve our homes has increased over the years as homeowners seek to make their homes warmer, more comfortable and more energy efficient.’

If there’s one thing that’s for sure it’s that Anglian’s desire for improvements stops at home, as they clearly have no concern for the degrading state of the national press while they use newspapers to publicise their adverts.

“People don’t know how to pronounce things they’ve read but not heard!” says audiobook company

Half of us don’t know how to say Don Quixote: Character tops list of literary names we struggle to pronounce correctly

Don Quixote, Daenerys Targaryen and Oedipus have topped a poll of literary names people struggle to say correctly.

The study follows Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s recent disclosure that Voldemort is actually pronounced ‘Vol-De-Mor’ with a silent T.

Source: Daily Mail, 12th October 2015

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People struggle to pronounce words from books if they’ve only ever seen them written down and never heard them pronounced aloud. If only there were a way for us to hear books read out to us, so we can avoid this potentially-embarrassing situation…

A survey of 2,000 people aged 18-65, conducted by digital audiobook retailer Audible, found that 39 per cent have pronounced the names of literary characters incorrectly.

Sometimes picking apart PR stories in the press is almost too easy – few stories are as blatant and transparent as this one. And that’s before you factor in the obligatory quote from the company spokesperson to really ram the point home:

Laurence Howell, director of Audible UK, said: ‘Book series such as Game of Thrones include some incredibly tricky names, which readers often get wrong for a number of reasons.

‘Listening to the audiobook performed by a professional narrator gives you the advantage of hearing the names as the author intended.’

Thank you for stating the hook of this PR piece so clearly, Laurence. The only way you could make the angle any clearer is if you came around to my house and read the article aloud…

 

“You’ll regret not travelling more while you’re young!” says young persons railcard company

A few regrets: Most of us would change our past

SIXTY per cent of us would change the way we have lived our lives, research has revealed.

Choices made in school, work and relationships are some of the many regrets people share.

Source: Daily Express, 16th September 2015

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Any regrets? Half of us want to change our lives…

A SURVEY has revealed the top 50 things people would change if they could live again include saving more, finding a better job and being nicer.

According to a new study, 60% of us would alter major decisions.

But most people have four things in their lives they wish they had done differently.

The biggest regret was not saving enough money (35%), while 31% said they wished they had made more of an effort to keep fit, according to the research.

Source: Daily Star, 15th September 2015

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We all harbour huge regrets about how our lives turned out, according to this story from dailies Express and Star, as well as in the Daily Mail, Mirror, ITV News, Blackpool Gazette and Click Liverpool.

Our biggest missed opportunities relating to such crucial things as not having saved enough money in our lives, and not having traveled enough… which is an astonishing coincidence, given that the story was commissioned by a company which looks to save you money on your travel while you’re young:

Andrew Robertson, from 16-25 Railcard which commissioned the study of 1,500 adults of all ages, said: “Many of us have things that we might do differently in our lives, whether it’s travelling and exploring more, making an effort to keep fit, or being more careful with money.”

“The findings go to show how important it is to make the most of our time and live life to the full.”

Good to see that 16-25 Railcard managed to save money on advertising by using this PR story as a glorified advert for their services. Plus, with the coverage they got in four national newspapers and a handful of other media outlets, it’s fair to say their PR is well-traveled too. I’m sure they have no regrets.

“People have back pain!” says chiropractors: experts in hurting backs

Decade of back pain for millions: Seven in ten Britons admit living with twinges for more than 10 years

Seven in ten Britons have lived with neck pains or back twinges for more than a decade, a survey has found.

Back pain forced just under three in ten to take time off work with the number of sick days jumping 29 per cent last year to 9.9million days, the figures show.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th September 2015

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People are just coping with back pain and failing to get it treated? That sounds like a terrible idea. If only there were a group out there who use back pain as a gateway to claiming to treat all manner of unrelated symptoms such as colic and deafness, perhaps a group willing to pay for PR like this to appear in the news…

Yet two fifths have never done anything to protect their back actively, according to the British Chiropractic Association.

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to actively protect your back is to not allow a chiropractor anywhere near it, given that the disproven pseudoscience has been shown repeatedly to offer no reliable benefit and yet cause all manner of side effects.

Chiropractor Rishi Loatey said: ‘As modern lifestyles put increasing amounts of strain on our backs and necks it’s becoming even more important for people to take proactive measures to protect their back health.

‘Yet, we are seeing more and more people who have been struggling with back pain for longer periods of time.

It’s untrue that people should proactively seek pseudomedical treatment to avoid developing back pain, and it’s even less true that chiropractors are a body people should turn to for health advice. It’s very likely true, at least, that chiropractors see people struggling for long periods of time, although that might be due to their insistence that most ailments take a lengthy course of treatment to fix…

‘Prevention is always better than cure and it’s encouraging to see that some people told us they are taking steps to maintain a healthy posture, including limiting the amount of time they spend on laptops.

‘However, there are a number of other simple processes that people can incorporate into their daily routine to reduce the effect that back and neck pain can have on their everyday lives.

‘For example, people are often surprised at the positive impact that simply ensuring you take regular breaks when sitting for long periods of time, or walking regularly can have on your back.’

Here, I can agree with the chiropractor – taking regular breaks from your laptop or desk can help avoid developing bad posture or increasing your chances of getting aches and pains. However, that’s as far as the chiropractic advice goes – when, in fact, this story is in the newspapers to reputationally link common sense advice on back pain with the chiropractic industry, in order to stimulate interest in the public. Fortunately, most newspapers by now are well aware that there is not a jot of evidence in favour of chiropractic – just as there is often not a jot of truth behind the figures and statistics trotted out in headline-grabbing PR stories.