Archive for the ‘PR’ Category

PR #Stars and #Fails

August 18, 2010

PR #Stars

Lots of PR agencies have launched Twitter measurement/analysis tools, but most seem to be gimmicks and some don’t  actually work.

Tweetminster, the political tweet feed (and website as I’ve just discovered), has had some fantastic coverage after analysing over 5 million tweets and publishing its results in time for the coalition government’s first 100 days in power. It found that ‘David Cameron’ was the most discussed political topic on the microblogging site – not sure how newsworthy or surprising this is, but coverage includes BBC, Channel 4 and the Guardian.

Tony Blair? The former prime minister announced that he’s going to give the profits from his memoirs to the Royal British Legion. The press and the PR community has been fairly critical about the move, but it’s helped his book jump from below 50 to number 7 in Amazon’s bestsellers list. All helping to raise money for charity, so he’s hovering  just above the middle of the barometer.


PR #Fails

My hometown, Preston (unfortunately), is the worst place in the country for road accidents involving children. Kids in England’s newest city face a 1 in 206 chance of being in a road collision, according to research by the Road Safety Analysis group. Hopefully, the widespread news coverage will help to raise awareness of the issue, especially during the summer holidays. If you’re a child in Preston, just don’t try and cross the road. Live on one side of the street – it’s much safer!

Holiday firms keep going bust, ruining thousands of people’s holiday plans. On top of BAA strikes and volcanic ash clouds, it’s (almost) enough to put you off going on holiday.


Silly season: successful survey story summary

August 13, 2010

Silly season: throughout August, there is relatively little ‘hard’ news with Parliament in recess (and many people on summer holidays). This leaves plenty of space to fill in terms of newspaper pages and broadcast hours.

Silly season is clearly in full swing in the British media with quirky/light-hearted survey stories getting great national pickup across tabloids and broadsheets. The best ones create ‘watercooler’ talking points and are picked up by broadcast media, too.

Here’s what we’ve found out in the last two weeks:

£40 million is down the back of Britain’s sofas according to Halifax

Men are buying bikes, rather than fast cars, during mid-life crises (Mintel)

Women are better than men at hiding infidelity (

Workers prefer male bosses (

Women spend two and a half years of their lives cooking according to Breville

Men do more than their share of housework (LSE)

Let me know if you spot (or issue) a good silly season story.

McPensioner #PRhit

June 4, 2010

Positive coverage for McDonald’s in the nationals today. Bill Dudley, 85, is Britain’s oldest McDonald’s worker. There’s a picture of Bill laughing, with the caption “Bill enjoys his job”.

Key messages:
– Change in perception – a step away from the McJobs label
– Staff feel like ‘family’
– McD’s looks after its staff

PR hit.

Elephant parade

May 31, 2010

A great experiential campaign/exhibition in London (organised by Elephant Family), raising awareness of the plight of elephants

I didn’t really give a @!?# about elephants before, but the brilliant display of decorated elephants has made me do a quick search to find out what it’s all about. In terms of raising awareness, this is likely to be a massively successful campaign. The organisers estimate a reach of 25 million people. When you consider the sheer number of people visiting/working in central London who will talk about it (as well as mention it online) and take/share photos throughout the campaign period (May to July), it seems an achievable figure.

I didn’t have enough time in London to find and take photos of all the elephants (which would be a pretty cool day out), but here are the ones I got this Bank Holiday weekend.

Click on each image to see it more clearly.

Send me your elephant photos! I want the full collection.

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)