Category Archives: PR

It’ll take more than a hairdryer to get me playing sport

The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation have apparently cracked the dilemma of why women don’t play sport. The answer is: hairdryers.

Hmm, this smells to me like a spurious PR survey.

According to figures from a recent survey, cited in The Times, over half of those questioned said that they would do exercise if they could dry their hair afterwards.

I’m not sure it tops my (extensive) list of why I don’t play sport.

In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s nestling somewhere between:

 “Because I prefer sitting on the sofa eating biscuits (or, in fact, my own eyeballs) to panting my way round a hockey/netball/you name it pitch”


“Because I have as much grace as the love-child of Bambi and John Sergeant.”

For those of us who are rubbish at sport in all its forms, exercise is just one long, sweaty Hell (or ‘Sporture’, if you will) which even a cut and blow-dry from Nicky Clarke would not tempt me into.

A couple of paltry hairdryers certainly aren’t going to cut it (no pun intended). 

Survey highlights

Still, a quick glance at some other stats from this survey does make me think that it might not be entirely scientific.

Take this illuminating tidbit, for example:

“80% of women believe that sport should be more like shopping”


Doesn’t that mean ‘an activity which involves little or no physical exercise’?

Or are they envisaging attaching a pair of heavily reduced Jimmy Choos to the front of the running machine, just those few steps out of reach?

Or building a replica Saturday morning Primark experience with punchbags and hurdles?


Even more interesting is the revelation that:

“20% of women think that M&S would design the most female-friendly sports facility, followed by John Lewis and Boots”

M&S is not exactly the first name that springs to mind at the word ‘sports facility’.

Knickers, yes. Pseudo-pornographic food halls, also yes.

Olympic-quality sporting venues, probably not.

So I shall rest easy that I am unlikely to succumb to this particular magic-bullet for female laziness.

Now, if they can design a facility that removes all necessary skill and physical effort from sporting activities, you can count me in. 


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World Toilet Day: a PR stunt flushed with genius?

Courtesy of Water AidTomorrow is no ordinary day. Oh no, 19th November 2008 is…World Toilet Day.

Or so Water Aid would have it anyway.

Yes, lining up with such PR-powered additions to the festival calendar as National Sausage Week, is a whole day dedicated to the humble invention of Sir John Harrington.

 No, Fact-fans, it wasn’t Thomas Crapper.

One can only guess at what the slogan should be.


The aim of this event is to raise awareness of areas of the world which lack sanitation.

According to the charity, which works in the field of water and sanitary provision, 2.5 billion people do not have somewhere private, safe or hygenic in which to go to the toilet.

Disturbingly, it also says that just 1 gramme of faeces can contain 10 million viruses and one million bacteria.

That does shed a whole new light on the age-old urban myth about pub peanuts/restaurant mints. 

PR Crazy

The Water Aid PR team though appears to have gone slightly round the bend (sorry, couldn’t resist) with its strategies for World Toilet Day.

Firstly, there is the truly stomach-churning online game, Turdlywinks.

Players are challenged to flick digital faeces into one of six toilets, with misses making nasty brown splashes.

When you get really good, there’s even a ‘boss’ toilet to defeat.

It’s actually surprisingly tricky – try it for yourself.

Or if you prefer your games less virtual, there’s always Poopla.

As Water Aid themselves describe it (and no I’m not making this up):

Play Poopla with friends or colleagues. By getting people to throw fake poos into a life-size model loo you remind them of how lucky they are to have a toilet!

As a former PR person, I find myself lost in admiration.

Full marks for breath-takingly revolting creativity and chutzpah, Water Aid.

Even if you are making me feel slightly queasy.

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