Archive for September, 2010

Follow me, teases Twitter

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 by Julie Wilson

twitter-tights-2.jpg 

Twitter ‘follow me’ hosiery; a way to attract followers (and stalkers), or a clever way to promote the Twitter brand to a wider, consumer audience?

If it’s the latter, the social networking site has been effective. The above image featured in this week’s Grazia (in the going down section of the title’s of ups and downs column I hasten to add), achieving reach to over 569,000 fashion-savvy readers.

Intrigued by the innovative brand building exercise, I couldn’t resist running a search to find out more about this word of mouth, or is that word of leg campaign. The results were disappointing. The creative line of hosiery was actually launched back in 2009 and has, until now, generated only a ripple of conversation online.

This got me to question, is this actually a Twitter campaign or in fact one of an innovative online hosiery retailer – one that identified and realised the opportunity of the rising social networking site and its own ‘nylon billboards’ ahead of the big retail players?

I suspect it’s the latter. Either way, given that I’ve not seen them parading down the high street or lining the front row of London Fashion Week, it’s unlikely these tights are going to enjoy a tweeting fashion moment.

If you’re brave enough and looking to boost your followers however, why not give them a whirl.  It’s a nice creative idea if nothing else.

MMU’s digital marketing mavens make their mark

Monday, September 27th, 2010 by Jon Clements

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It’s back to school today for some of the digital and social media marketing mavens of the future.

And, at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), the students are embarking on digital projects that will plunge them into the world of the blog; stretching their online skills while keeping one eye on the real-life jobs they’ll eventually be occupying.

For the first time, MMU undergraduates – operating as virtual agencies – will have to submit their digital marketing strategy for a live project as a blog post on a platform of their choice. But the assessment doesn’t stop there – it also requires the use of key words, tags and a linking strategy that will affect their blog’s eventual search rankings.

If universities are going to beat the perennial employer complaint about graduates not having transferable skills, this is certainly the way to go about it.

Brendan Keegan, senior lecturer in digital marketing at MMU, tells PR Media Blog: “The digital marketing industry is demanding and the students need to be up-to-date on it.” That’s why he and David Edmundson-Bird, MMU’S principal lecturer in digital communications are constantly looking for ways to keep the digital marketing and communications course fresh and relevant to the demands of the world beyond the lecture theatre.

The fact that both Keegan and Edmundson-Bird have been part of that world has got to be a good thing for today’s student body.

Keegan, a full-time MMU lecturer since January this year, taught to high school level in Ireland and Manchester before getting involved in web design, media sales and viral marketing campaigns. His first foray into online community building came with a project to help UK-wide town managers share knowledge, which included a LinkedIn group and a ghost-written blog to maintain the flow of interaction among the group.

He says: “We wanted to inspire engagement, discussion and create a digital footprint that would encourage new members to join. The ultimate aim was to gain a ‘return on involvement’ for members and it did this by increasing activity and crossing over into offline events.”

The digital lessons he learned outside academia have influenced Keegan’s aspiration to dispatch MMU’s digital marketing students with real skills for the real world: “The specific roles are now out there and our graduates need to be not only highly aware of a rapidly changing sector but also highly employable.”

Active MMU initiatives such as Search School and ProDevDay are all about bringing students face to face with the job opportunities on offer from Manchester’s digital and marketing community.

So what next? Keegan: “Digital branding is more important than ever before and social media is consistently growing – I don’t think we’re going back; it’s evolutionary.”

*MMU and online marketing company, PushOn, have collaborated on a new piece of research, Digital Directions: How Business Decision Makers in the North West use the Internet. Download it free of charge.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Old and new media – parallel lives

Friday, September 24th, 2010 by Jon Clements

 

As the announcer used to say at the start of 70s Sitcom, Soap: “Confused? You won’t be after the next episode…”

I wish the same could be said of the Deloitte media research shared at this week’s Insider Business of Media event in Manchester.

What it suggests is a tale of two worlds colliding – or, rather, assumptions about the state of modern media behaviour being overturned like an overfilled wheelie bin.  

Where new developments in media have – naturally – attracted the lion’s share of commentators’ and marketers’ attention, what is interesting is the resilience of old media to predictions of its demise. But, then again, how long will it last?

According to the Deloitte research, 68% of US consumers read print media. However, the Indian subcontinent loves its print media, with a whopping 90% loyalty to hard copy. These are the reasons why – back in 2005 – the country’s “dead tree” readership was booming, although this report suggests those days are numbered.

Meanwhile, in the UK, we apparently watch 30 hours of television per week (though Lord only knows what we’re watching). And TV advertising “remains the form with the greatest perceived impact, even among the youngest”, says Ed Shedd, Deloitte’s technology media and telecommunications partner. He adds: “The belief that the young are not affected traditional media formats is not true. They are still ‘superusers” of them.”

And, harking back to the 2010 general election, Deloitte’s figures suggest that TV was the dominant news source as well as being the biggest influencer of voting choices.

As Shedd says, “The UK is fascinated by new forms of media consumption”. However, he opines, it doesn’t mean that successive shifts in media innovation cancel out what went before: “The more formats there are, the more people use to consume; it doesn’t mean that any get ditched.”

So what does this mean? Well, as you will know, PR Media Blog is the first to say that an understanding of social media for companies and brands is essential. However, it would be premature to dismiss the value and effectiveness of old media as a route to getting your message across.

The challenge is being able to integrate successfully your activities across the old and the new and be sufficiently creative to stand out in both.

Until the last person turns off the “old media” light and shuts the door, you’d better believe there are still people in there.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Twitter – 25 Billion Up

Monday, September 20th, 2010 by Rob Brown

green business graph

About 3 hours ago at approximately 05.00am UTC the 25 billionth tweet was posted.  It took three years and eight months to reach 10 billion, the second 10 billion took another four months.  The last five million posts took 50 days so the speed of growth is slowing and may even have peaked.

The author of the 25,000,000,000th micro blog posting was @zeusmad or Javier Lloréns from Madrid and for what it’s worth the posting was “@ML_Roselloyo sé qué es lo que no prefiere @piskel” or very roughly translated “I know what I like and what I don’t”.

There are now approximately on average over 1000 tweets posted every second and over 80 million a day.  Co-founder and current chairman Jack Dorsey published the first Twitter message on the 21st March 2006 it said “just setting up my twttr.”  Twittr was the original name of the service.  

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Staniforth Gets 5 Nominations for PRide

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 by Rob Brown

We don’t normally use PR Media Blog to talk about the agency but we’re feeling pretty pleased with this news so we’ve made an exception.

Staniforth has been shortlisted in five categories in the CIPR North West PRide Awards. The agency’s crisis work for Manchester based Chill Factore during the January snow storms is nominated as are campaigns for RAC, Nissan and John Smiths.  The agency also is nominationed for the prestigious Best Use of Media Relations category with a campaign for PZ Cussons Original Source.  Last year the agency picked up a Gold Awards for its work with Kellogg’s.

Staniforth\ MD Rob Brown said “The agency will be out in force and we always enjoy the PRide Awards win or lose.”

The PRide award winners will be announces at a black tie award presentation dinner which will be take place on Wednesday 24 November 2010 at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate Hotel.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Beware social media in the boardroom!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 by Jon Clements

Dilbert.com

(c/o Scott Adams’ Dilbert)

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Google Instant, YouTube Instant and now Twitter Instant

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 by Patrick Chester

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Following the launch of Google Instant, programmers are having a great time creating ‘Instant Search’ functions on their favourite social media. It can’t be long before someone creates a Facebook Instant to rival Kurrently.com.

For everyone tracking the Google Instant craze, you can check out YouTube Instant here, and now Twitter Instant (which the company may be officially launching later today).

About Patrick Chester

Patrick is an account executive at Staniforth. He also runs a book review site at www.Jungla.co.uk.

Facebook – an invasion of privacy?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 by Jon Clements

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, appears unperturbed by accusations surrounding his company’s attitude to the privacy of the online network’s 500 million active users.

Surely, that’s a lot of customers to risk upsetting?

Today’s Telegraph.co.uk quotes from Zuckerberg’s interview in the New Yorker magazine in which the Facebook CEO says: “A lot of people who are worried about privacy and those kinds of issues will take any minor mis-step that we make and turn it into as big a deal as possible.” His mission is apparently “trying to make the world a more open place”.

Ironically, as journalist Jose Antonio Vargas points out in his New Yorker interview, Zuckerberg “remains a wary and private person. He doesn’t like to speak to the press, and he does so rarely. He also doesn’t seem to enjoy the public appearances that are increasingly requested of him.”

On his own Facebook page, he comments in one update: “For those wondering, I set most of my content on my personal Facebook page to be open so people could see it. I set some of my content to be more private, but I didn’t see a need to limit visibility of pics with my friends, family or my teddy bear :)”  (note: smiley face is his, not mine)

So is privacy a movable feast for Facebook and its boss?

As the company strives to persuade its users and the world at large, Facebook privacy control is at your fingertips. But how can you be sure you understand the way privacy settings work? The functionality’s in-built “recommended” settings make some rather arbitrary assumptions about what should be visible and to whom. And how many users have delved even that far into managing their public profile? 

An interesting/disburbing post from David Iwanow, marketing director of The Lost Agency, suggests that Facebook is actively mining contact details from email accounts and representing them as possible “friends” to connect with via the Friend Finder function. This can mean it suggests anyone you may have ever had contact with via email.

Iwanow muses: “how much can you put up with Facebook using your own profile information for its internal marketing purposes?” It’s a fair question, but do users feel that allowing the network to go about its business of building a highly targeted, worldwide, consumer database is simply a fair exchange for the fun they get from sharing multimedia content and jokes with their friends?

It’s been said that at age 26, and despite the business behemoth he gave birth to, Zuckerberg doesn’t yet have the maturity to appreciate the nuances of personal privacy and why it’s important.

A final quote from the New Yorker piece: Danah Boyd, a social-media researcher at Microsoft Research New England, added, “This is a philosophical battle. Zuckerberg thinks the world would be a better place-and more honest, you’ll hear that word over and over again-if people were more open and transparent. My feeling is, it’s not worth the cost for a lot of individuals.”

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Who Killed the Press Release?

Monday, September 13th, 2010 by Rob Brown

According to a post in AdAge today, we have this summer witnessed the death of the press release.  In the piece entitled “RIP, the Press Release (1906-2010) — and Long Live the Tweet”  Simon Dumenco argues that in the world of showbiz at least, the off the cuff tweet has replaced the press release as the pre-cursor to a news story.  Apart from the fact that Simon hasn’t read Andrew Smith’s condemnation of ‘death of’ link bait, this story doesn’t nail the culprit. Twitter is an accessory, no more than that.

Tom Foremski ex Financial Times technology journalist is a much more likely suspect.  In May 2004 he became probably the first journalist from a leading newspaper to resign and become a full-time blogger,  creating a blog site called SiliconValleyWatcher an online business news magazine focused on the industry in Silicon Valley.  On February 27th 2006 he posted a blog entitled “Die! Press release! Die! Die! Die!”. It opened with the line “I’ve been telling the PR industry for some time now that things cannot go along as they are . . . business as usual while mainstream media goes to hell in a hand basket.” He went on to describe the press release as nearly useless and destined “to reach the digital and physical trash bins of tens of thousands of journalists. This madness has to end. It is wasted time and effort by hundreds of thousands of professionals.”

Todd Defren at Shift Communications weighed in with a sucker punch by creating the social media release, but not enough PR people caught on and the simple press release limped along.  There is no doubt that the humble blog is in the frame.  In fact, what is there to distinguish a press release posted on-line from a blog post?  A blog post can do the same job as a press release and so much more.

The truth is that there is that the press release is weak, ailing and not the force that it once was.  I’m with Foremski in regarding it as largely anachronistic but to paraphrase Mark Twain, news of its death is an exaggeration.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Interview: John Cass on social media

Friday, September 10th, 2010 by Jon Clements

Interviewing John Cass is akin to a rapid-fire social media masterclass.

Listen!

The head of digital marketing for Pace Communications in Greensboro, North Carolina – but a dual-nationality son of Manchester and Stockport – has been in the UK this week, catching up with the general direction of social and digital media travel in his birthplace.

A digital marketer immersed in the technology industry across the USA since 1992, and blogger for the past seven years, it seems natural that John would end up making his living in the digital world. Discussing a BBC radio broadcast aired last night about the (brief) heyday of the British computer industry, the programme described early PCs made by Amstrad, Sinclair and the BBC Micro from Acorn. John shrugged, recalling : “I think we probably had all of those”. 

The interview provides great insight into the way social media has evolved in the USA, how brands can work effectively with agencies, the lessons learned and where the digital journey may take us next. 

And for an in-depth summary of what John covered at this week’s Social Media Cafe Manchester presentation, check out Chi-chi Ekweozor’s blog post.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''