Friday 13th – deja vu?

I’ve just spotted the press release: Will Friday 13th be unlucky for you? from Green Flag (a vehicle breakdown service that is now part of Royal Bank of Scotland).

This gave me a sense of deja vu – not least because I wrote a blog post on the topic in April 2007 – when Norwich Union issued a press release on the same story.

For me the story is much older as in about 1992, I worked for National Breakdown Recovery Club, which was later rebranded as Green Flag, and Friday 13th was one of the stories that I wrote.  I’m sure it wasn’t original then.

I still have my press release and cuttings it generated (including national newspaper coverage).  However, my story was the exact reverse of this one which claims that breakdowns on Friday 13th are below average.

It seems to me to be more of a story to show that breakdowns were higher on Friday 13th since this fits with the perception of the day as being unlucky.  Is it a story to say there motorists are not experiencing bad luck on this day?

I wonder if Green Flag will receive the negative feedback I recall from those who objected to propagation of the superstition over paraskavedekatriaphobia (fear of Friday 13th) – which apparently is a sub-set of   triskaidekaphobia (phobia of the number thirteen).

Wikipedia has some interesting insight into this phobia which is says is a very modern phenomenon, saying:

the superstition is rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common

Rather like Friday 13th breakdown stories then.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

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