Tag Archives: James Heale

“Men can form intense friendships with each other!” says film about famous male duo

When I give lectures on Bad PR, I often highlight that the statistics shown in PR surveys are rarely if ever the point of the story, they’re merely the detail that serves as a delivery mechanism for the main commercial message.

One of the ways you can test whether that’s true of any given story is to ask whether, if the figures and findings in the story were entirely reversed, it would appreciably change the main thrust of the story. Take, for example:

More than half of men say they would rather spend time with their best friend than their wives or girlfriends

It is the flashpoint for countless domestic rows – and now a survey has shown just how many men would rather be with their pals than their partners.

Of 1,500 men, more than half – 54 per cent – said they would prefer to spend time with their friends than their wives or girlfriends.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, 44 per cent of men have argued with their other halves about the amount of time they spend with their mates.

Source: Daily Mail, 8th June 2019

This story about friendships between men is brought to you by the DVD release of a film about two men who formed a close double-act:

The study was released to mark the DVD release of the Steve Coogan film Stan & Ollie, about the friendship between Laurel and Hardy.

It’s therefore not a surprise to see that the story supports the premise that men form close friendships. In this story, the claim is that 56% of men said they preferred to spend time with their friend rather than their partner (note: that’s just over half of men, in a question that was 50-50). But if the finding was that 2 in 3 men had that preference, would that change the reporting of the story?

In fact, what if the data had said the opposite – that men preferred the company of their partners to their friends – would this be an issue for this particular story? Or would the headline “1 in 3 men say they prefer their friends” or even “20% of men prefer their friends” just as easily support the narrative of the article?

“You are definitely not sleeping well enough!” says bed retailer

How well are you sleeping these days? According to the latest research, almost certainly not well enough:

Hitting the snooze button is ‘costing sleepy British workers up to six DAYS a year in lost time’

  • Sales-people hit the alarm snooze button 18 times a week on average, study says
  • They lose a whole five days over the course of a year, according to researchers
  • Marketing, advertising and PR types go to bed at an average time of just 8.48pm 

Hitting the snooze button is costing sleepy British workers up to six days a year in lost time, according to researchers.

A study reveals that sales-people are the worst offenders, hitting the snooze button 18 times a week on average, which works out at dozing for five days and 22 hours over a year.

Daily Mail, 2nd December 2018

It’s fascinating, as a night-owl who has worked in marketing and PR for over a decade, to find that my colleagues are heading to bed before 9pm – while I’m here at midnight tapping out blogs and juggling project updates. It’s almost as if this whole story was generated by a company with a commercial interest in making you question the quality of your sleep…

The survey of 4,000 Britons – commissioned by Bensons for Beds – also looked at bedtimes.

Mmhmm.