humour pr

When is a joke not funny? When it’s pointed at you

You’ve surely seen the story of the musician with a beef against United Airlines for damaging his guitar. Being dissatisfied with their response to the incident, he wrote a song lampooning the airline and it’s become a monster hit on YouTube.

Very funny, but not unique. There are many examples of nimble Davids embarrassing organisational Goliaths by savvy use of the web. And how we all love to see things evened out and the big guy look a bit stoopid.

So, say you’re United – this is not good PR. What do you do? How do you respond when someone launches a satirical strike? My advice would include:

1. Be nice
There is no mileage in getting heavy. Be humble, generous, transparent and responsive. Give the guy a guitar!

2. Play along

There is no advantage in looking po-faced and corporate. The joke is on you and the only way out is to be a good sport. Perhaps in this instance, they could have made their own video response: a shoddy karaoke version of the same song with edited lyrics.

We’re sorry about the guitar, and we’re even more sorry about our singing

3 replies on “When is a joke not funny? When it’s pointed at you”

The problem of moving your blog is now I can’t see any updates in my RSS.

It’s effort to look for your feed and er… I haven’t done it yet.

Please just come back to your old URL so I don’t have to fiddle with tech. CHEERS!

Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I know it’s a drag when people change their URLs. And I’ve done it twice! I won’t do it again.

Sorry about that. Truth is that I thought contrarymarketing was a touch petulant and I kept coming back to the thought that talkability and likeability were essential to making a splash in this era of constant change.

The new RSS feed is at, or feedburner

Thanks again


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