Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Integrating social media into PR campaigns

May 13, 2010

Another great CIPR NW event at UCLAN’s Media Factory last night. Robin Wilson from McCann Erickson took us through ways of integrating social media into PR campaigns.

Background bits

News now happens in real time (Hudson river crash was tweeted 1st) / There’s been a DECLINE in TRUST – in organisations, politics, etc / There’s a need for 24-7 real time reputation management / There are more grandparents than high school children on Facebook (UK)

Managing online reputations


Which available assets can be used as content?

What is the story you want to create?


LISTEN all the time and track what is being said about the brand

ASSESS whether you should get involved in the conversation

INTERACT with people, engage in two-way conversation

Planning social media strategies

Watch this video – clever AND funny (in a #prgeek kind of way)

It’s all about two-way dialogue – as PRs, we always talk about third party endorsement being more powerful than advertising. This is even more obvious and important now.

When planning a PR campaign, think about what assets you have to share and remember to be human (not overly corporate/unnatural)

Blogger engagement

Read the blog / look at the style and work out how the blogger likes to work / email them to introduce yourself, commenting on something they have posted and offering more information on something that your client is doing which could be of real interest to them. Simples.


Tips for successful online PR:

1 – monitor all online conversations (who’s saying what when?)

2 – develop processes

3 – respond in real time

4 – integrate and develop (work with the other agencies and understand what they do)

Key words: listen, respond, be human, be authentic, be honest, be transparent, engage in dialogue

Recommended reading: Groundswell (free copy for the best 140-character summary of this post)


The First Leaders Debate

April 16, 2010

It was 90 minutes that made British, media and political history. Can it also make the Lib Dems an almost equal contender for winning the General Election?

Nick Clegg came out on top after an engaging, unprecedented live TV debate. The set was dated, but maybe it helped to keep the focus on the three men standing at podiums auditioning for the Britain’s Got Politics/The Vote Factor/Voter’s Den. For a split-second, I actually expected a phone number to pop up on screen during the closing statements. And, quite importantly, I actually wanted to grab the phone and vote. I never do that – unless it’s the final of X-Factor. And we know how much that grips the nation. (So does David Cameron)

With [a peak of] 9.9 million people tuning in, it will be interesting to see if voter numbers are up this year. But then a BBC poll found that first-time voters probably won’t bother.

My verdict on the three leaders

Gordon Brown:

tired, grey, dull, statesmanlike, experienced, clinging on desperately, knows his sh#t on the economy

David Cameron:

clearly a former PR man, shiny, relaxed, arrogant, aiming for mass appeal, clever use of ‘immigrants don’t want immigrants either, so you can’t call us racist’

Nick Clegg:

framed (and totally owned) the final part of the debate by asking for consensus on the welfare of old people (nice move), refreshing, different, transparent, in tune, likeable, needs to prove himself

PR #Fails and #Stars

March 27, 2010

PR #fails

Haringey council

First Baby P scandal, now 29 child asylum seekers have gone missing from the council in the past 3 years. Not just a PR fail, but obviously an operations fail. Good news stories needed a.s.a.p.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti

Her new play Behud (meaning ‘without limits’/’beyond belief’), about the protests caused by her last play Behzti, is opening in London during Vaisakhi (13/14 April), one of the most important dates of the Sikh calendar, raising fears of more ‘riots’. Surely she could have picked any other day of the year.

PR #stars

Hammersmith and Fulham council

Named best council in Britain for reducing council tax four years in a row and improving services. Congrats. Take note Haringey council.


2010 Power Book covered in London Evening Standard’s Business section – good chunk of coverage about the book and the launch event.

Jargonbuster: ‘Augmented reality’

January 9, 2010

Wtf is ‘Augmented Reality’?

A number of media experts mentioned it as something that will be big(ger) in 2010. It sounds a bit sci-fi, but it’s probably quite useful to know what it means.

Here are a few definitions I found online:

Wikipedia Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery – creating a mixed reality. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally usable.

Hmm… not sure that really helps. Something about mixed reality and football scores.

HowStuffWorksOn the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.

Okay. So we can use technology to get information/images/etc that’s relevant to our actual location. That’s quite cool. Foursquare’s probably the best example of this in use so far.

To find out more, here’s a Guardian article on how journalists can use augmented reality. It explains the whole concept quite simply –

“Journalism gathers information about the world around us. Thanks to augmented reality, this information can be displayed where it got picked up – which is especially interesting for event reporting.”

Now I’m starting to get it and can see how and why it would work. I’ll quit while I’m ahead – I’m sure we’ll hear more about augmented reality this year. Plus 3D is going to be big apparently, so need to save a bit of brainspace.

Finally, here’s a very cool, early-adopter use of augmented reality by adidas:

Trainers with a code embedded in the tongue – hold it up to a webcam on the website – use trainer as a controller to make it a 3D world – WHOA

Names to watch in 2010

January 1, 2010

Some of the big names of 2009 were up-and-coming talent few people had heard of this time last year. The Red Pages predicted Lady Gaga and Robert Pattinson (alongside 98 others) would make it big in their annual Hot 100 list (2008).You’ve probably never heard of most of them, but the ones that made it are now household names.

Justin Bieber

The latest list is worth a read if you’re looking for talent to front a campaign, collaborate with or if you just want to know who we’ll seeing, hearing, watching, talking, blogging and tweeting about in 2010:

Ellie Gellard

The Independent’s ‘Pandora’s People to Watch in 2010‘ focuses more on the ‘comeback kings and queens’.

The agents and publicists will be doing everything they can to make 2010 their client’s big year.

Another great post from 10 Yetis – Winners and Losers of 2009 picks out the stars who have generated buzz (in a positive way) and got the public’s support, as well as those who wish 2009 never happened (such as golf’s golden boy, Tiger Woods).

Tinie Tempah

On a final note, things could go either way for this year’s Celebrity Big Brother contestants – will we forget the has-beens desperate for a ‘comeback’ after the winner is announced, or will it give us the most talked about TV moment of 2010 and resurrect someone’s career? Will anyone be watching?

Just think of what a few days together in the Big Brother house did to the reputations of Jade Goody, Shilpa Shetty, Jermaine Jackson and Danielle Lloyd.

As well as ‘the next big things’ predicted by the lists above, there’ll also be the ones that come from nowhere. The ones that no-one has heard of and there’s no way of predicting. Think Susan Boyle. Can’t wait!

Happy New Year!