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Bolton’s ‘Poundbakery’ PR Balloon Blunder

Did you hear the one about Poundbakery, who thought it would be a fab idea to potentially maim and kill wildlife, whilst wantonly littering the Greater Manchester area?

Probably not.

It is quite possible however that you read about the bakery releasing 500 helium balloons, containing free sandwich vouchers in Bolton, as a PR stunt.

Poundbakery, Bolton Bakery, mass balloon release, Keely Palin, young-horse-panicked-by-helium-balloon-suffers-broken-neck, environmental littering, MCS, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

“The sky is the limit with this campaign and we can’t wait to see where the balloons end up.” Keely Palin, Marketing Manager, Poundbakery Bolton

This ill conceived stunt, along with Poundbakery’s Marketing Manager, Keely Palin, certainly both deserve an entry in this year’s PR Hall of Shame.

Barely 20 days ago, on 20th March, Horse and Hound reported that a young horse ran through a gate, broke two of her legs and then her neck after choking on a helium balloon that had landed in her field.

Keely Palin told The Bolton News on 7th March 2017, “The sky is the limit with this campaign and we can’t wait to see where the balloons end up.”

Whilst Bolton and Greater Manchester are not known for their turtle population, it is a shame that Ms Palin seems to have not yet grasped that the environment needs to be positively accounted for when planning and executing every piece of PR.

At present the Marine Conservation Society is urging the public to back the banning of all balloon releases.

Currently over 50 UK local authorities including Cornwall County, Durham, Monmouthshire, Worcestershire etc, have agreed to implement a ban on balloon and lantern releases on their land.

Poundbakery, Bolton Bakery, mass balloon release, Keely Palin, young-horse-panicked-by-helium-balloon-suffers-broken-neck, environmental littering, MCS, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Richard Gilbert, dead guillemot

A dead Guillemot entangled in a fence by a balloon

After releasing the 500 balloons, Poundbakery proudly posted the following statement on their Facebook page.

“As promised, here’s the video of the balloon release…we can confirm that the balloons (complete with FREE LUNCH vouchers) headed South East, towards Yorkshire and Manchester. However, with the British weather, they could be anywhere by now. Keep a lookout and post any pictures of the balloons in the sky…happy hunting!”

Poundbakery is encouraging everyone to tweet a photo of themselves with their Poundbakery voucher to @poundbakery with the hashtag #FreeLunch and #GoLarge. Alternatively you could always email Poundbakery with your views on balloon releases.

The hashtags for the campaign to stop balloon releases include #Pollution, #Litter, #BalloonsBlow, #Wildlife and #DontLetGo

So Ms Keely Palin. Here’s a piece of advice. A bad publicity stunt is memorable for all the wrong reasons, so here is a chance to make it right.

  • Organise a Poundbakery sponsored beach clean
  • Donate funds to the Marine Conservation Society to help them educate others who don’t understand just how damaging balloon releases can be
  • Sign the MCS’s pledge to help the charity ban balloon releases
  • And how about feeding 500 homeless people? One for every balloon you released!

Now has anyone got Bolton Council’s telephone number to get them to ban balloon releases?

Overcome 3 common sales objections by Geoffrey James

These three classic sales scripts will help you to handle most sales objections.

Overcoming sales objections, Geoffrey James, how to sell, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, TUMC

 

Here’s some really basic sales techniques, right from the mouth of one of the world’s true greats in sales training, the inimitable Tom Hopkins.  (Check out the great video on his home page!)

I’ll give the objections and responses exactly how he gave them to me, followed by my own observations about customizing the scripts to make them work for YOU.

1. “I can get it cheaper elsewhere.”

Your response: “In today’s world we can almost always get something cheaper. I’ve found that when smart people invest their money they look for three things: the finest quality, the best service and lowest price. However, it’s an undeniable truth no company can consistently offer all three. Two maybe, but not all three. Which two of those three things–quality, price, or service–do you think will most important for your long term plans?”

2. “I have a friend in the business.”

Your response: “Hey, so do I! (Smile). But you know, there’s an old saying – I don’t know how true it is – that sometimes friendship and business don’t mix. If you bought from a friend you might not want to say anything if you weren’t happy with the purchase because it might damage the friendship. With me you can get on my case until you get exactly what you want.”

3. “I did business with your company in the past and they were unprofessional.”

Your response: “I can really appreciate that. I really hate it when that kind of thing happens to me. Suppose the shoe were on the other foot and it was your company that had acted unprofessionally. You’d probably fire the person responsible. That’s probably what we had to do, and now it’s my job to make certain that you’re treated the right way from now on.”

There’s a reason that these are classics: they really do work. However, to make them work for you, you can’t just memorize them and repeat them by rote.

Instead, understand the logic and intent behind each of the responses and craft a response that uses words and a tone that’s natural for you.

For example, let’s suppose you’re in your mid-twenties, selling extreme sporting equipment wholesale to a buyer in his early thirties. Your version of response No.3 might be more like this:

“Yeah, I hear you. When I joined the firm there were rumors about some screw-ups. All I can say now is, as far as I can tell, the problems have been fixed and the screw-ups have left the company. My job is to make sure you get a great price on gear that people want and that it gets here right when you need it.”

Just think about what you’re trying to communicate and and that you are talking to a friend over a beer. It’s really that simple.