Don’t Panic …I’m not even there!

December 5th, 2008 by Rob Brown

Conference image 

There was a Manchester based sports reporter for The Mirror who wrote Grand Prix reviews when he hadn’t even been at the races.  He watched them on the TV and filed the copy from the comfort of his living room.  Legend has it he was rumbled when after a major crash the editor dispatched him to conduct an interview with the injured driver at his hospital bed some several hundred miles from where, let’s call him Ted, was sitting.

I feel a little bit like that reporter, writing a piece on the Don’t Panic Guide to Social Media seminar in Manchester today when I didn’t go to it and at the time of writing this piece the conference hasn’t even finished.  It’s not live TV material so what’s the sketch?  Well it is a social media event so it is live tweet material.   There are at least six people posting micro blogs right now on Twitter with observations and snippets from the event.  The list includes @robin1966, @michaelcooper, @Sarah_Hartley, @craigmcginty,  @stuartbruce, and @stedavies.   So far there are over over 100 ‘tweets’ all search-able via the hashtag #dontpanic .  That’s a lot of information about Pradvertising, 3DPR, the decline of e-mail and the revelation that the first speaker up Tom Murphy doesn’t like Twitter. 

There is a danger when we tweet (or blog) about twittering that this becomes navel contemplation but it is an interesting phenomenon nevertheless.  There is also the discovery that new communications channels bring new and unexpected challenges.  Two of the Twitter correspondents have had to abandon their live reports because their phone batteries died.  Well at least they were there.

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).

One Response to “Don’t Panic …I’m not even there!”


  1. Jon Says:

    I never liked going out much, so Twitter is a revelation for getting a (slightly potted) view of what’s going on out there in the wide world. I even had the brass neck to tweet @sarah_hartley with a request to blog what she’d heard from Marshall Manson of Edelman UK as her live tweets were so interesting. This is somewhat reminiscent of my son’s request last night for me to fetch him something from the kitchen while he watched TV.

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