As 2019 comes to a close, Boyd PR brings you the good, the bad and the ugly of all things social media, PR and comms this year.
The World Record Egg
In only nine days, a picture of an egg became Instagram’s most liked photo – surpassing Kylie Jenner’s post of newborn baby Stormi who previously held the record with 18.7 million likes.
The purpose of the egg post remained unknown until over the month of February it was joined by five other egg posts that showed it slowly becoming more and more cracked.
The gradual tearing down of the egg simulated how fame is not for everyone, as it struggled to cope with the pressures of being an Instagram star. Eventually with over 24.5 million likes, the world’s most famous egg cracked in a video urging others with social media anxiety to seek help.
Greta Thunberg trolling Trump on Twitter
One day after Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg was announced as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, President Donald Trump mocked the 16-year-old on Twitter, telling her to “work on her Anger Management problem”.
“So ridiculous,” tweeted Trump. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old-fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
Thunberg, who has been the target of angry Trump tweets in the past, did not respond to the president, but simply changed her Twitter bio shortly after.
Her quiet but classy move was widely praised on Twitter.
College admissions cheating scandal
In a celebrity parenting scandal, well-known actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman became the faces of a huge college admissions cheating case. Huffman pleaded guilty to paying a $15k bribe and Loughlin has been accused of dropping $500k to get her daughters into USC.
As a result, Hallmark immediately dropped Loughlin from its stable of actors and the Full House reboot went back into production without her – not to mention they both face a very real chance of jail time.
Elon Musk’s (not) bullet-proof Tesla
It’s hard to forget the moment when Elon Musk announced the new Tesla Cybertruck with its “bulletproof” windows, only for those windows to be shattered by a steel ball during a live demo.
This PR disaster caused Tesla’s stock to drop by more than 6% after the event, although some speculated whether this was just another Elon Musk prank.
Prince Andrew’s Interview
Nothing quite takes the cake for PR blunder of the year like Prince Andrew’s interview with BBC.
The royal agreed to sit down and finally answer questions about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and to deny accusations that he slept with then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre Roberts.
Several things made this interview a PR disaster, including a lack of sympathy for the many victims of Epstein, strange alibis such as a Pizza Party, and the statement “Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes”.