I’m a sucker (pardon the pun) for a good PR movement, and the reduction of straws in major restaurant chains is a certain exemplar of one.
Bye-bye to plastic straws
This year has seen many big names in the industry waving goodbye to plastic straws in a bid to end the ‘plastic tide’ of waste that is polluting our oceans.
The straw-snubbing phenomenon comes just a year after parliament faced growing pressures to tax straws in a bid to reduce the consumption of them, though nothing was finalised – it would seem brands have taken it upon themselves to step up and help the environment.
The latest to announce the switch was McDonalds, who declared that they would be trialing paper straws in their restaurants in a bid to join the movement; it is likely that other big fast food chains will follow shortly after. McDonalds are having a prolific PR season, with the recent launch of their ever successful Monopoly campaign, and now this; it can be said that many of their competitors are going to be fighting for the chance to match their reputation. (Right, KFC?)
Other brands who are boycotting paper straws include Costa, Nandos, Wetherspoons, Iceland, All Bar One, Pizza Express, Wagamamas and many more.
The PR domino effect
This chain of events perfectly evidences the ‘PR’ domino effect. A term made up by yours truly.
The domino effect is the cumulative effect of when one thing prompts a whole chain of events, I just added PR to the start of it (works though, right?)
When one big brand follows, others are bound to follow suit.
The first brand to make such a movement effectively becomes a leader, and is praised profoundly for their initiative and bold statement made. Brands who copy these kinds of actions are unlikely to receive such praise, this is because it becomes almost expected of them to mirror the actions and attitudes of another. You can literally imagine one saying: “well McDonalds are doing it, so why aren’t KFC?”. When one company pushes for change, others must follow shortly thereafter in their footsteps, hence, the PR domino effect.
Basically, by heeding the PR domino effect, your brand isn’t likely to see a PR miracle in return, but it certainly will help to avoid any backlash for being ‘behind the times’.
As well as this, being environmentally conscious is a big thumbs up for any brand. i’m ever the advocate of that. So, in this case the domino effect is set to work very much in favor of the brands who are encompassing it and I can’t wait to see more brands follow suit.
Though it was only a term made up by myself, the ‘effect’ makes sense. In this day and age PR is often a game of cat and mouse. Brands chase one and other to try and be the best, always striving to go above and beyond their competitors – because, to be honest, that’s just how business works. The domino effect, whilst overall being good for a business as it means they do not get left behind; is also something brands should work towards in trying to place themselves at the top of the spectrum, to become the leader. If you can be the first organisation to release a groundbreaking campaign, and if others then begin to follow in your footsteps then frankly, this is going to be a PR dream for your business; it’s all about being creative and daring.