Posts Tagged ‘How-Do’

Global Village Idiot

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 by Rob Brown

Marshall McLuhan was the Canadian philosopher who coined the phrase ‘global village’ in the early sixties in his book ‘The Gutenburg Galaxy’.   Even with his extraordinary prescience he could not possibly have foreseen the extent to which this would come true.

A few months ago I started using Twitter, the site where users post 140 character microblogs.  Around lunchtime every day I see a flurry of tweets wishing me a good morning.  The same thing happens at around 5pm when the dudes on the US west coast are switching on their Macs and iPhones – just at the time many of us UK folk are starting to wonder what we’re going to have for dinner.   

Last week I had a slightly bizarre experience when I was interviewed for the North West media and marketing web-site How-Do .  The interview was done via MSN by a journalist based in Beijing.  The editor who posted the story to the site is based in Oslo in Norway …and this remember for a site that serves a region of the UK .

Why does this matter?  Well it doesn’t really, except that we need to remember that the rise of the social web potentially puts much of what we communicate on a global stage.   If you screw up your message or make a fool of yourself online, remember two things – your audience might come from anywhere and the old saying is still true, every village has one.  

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).

Wyth a little bit of luck, and PR

Friday, November 7th, 2008 by Jon Clements

For anyone growing up in south Manchester who wasn’t a resident of the Garden City of Wythenshawe, the place has always come with some considerable baggage.

The local website for Wythenshawe – a place once dubbed the biggest housing estate in Europe – even devotes a special section to its colourful past. This includes tales of “wanton damage by vandals and hooligans” dating back to the 1930s, a demand from neighbouring residents of “posh” suburb Gatley for a Cold War style “barrier” to keep the hordes out, along with endless reports of arson, vandalism and deprivation; leading a local churchman in the late 80s to call the place “the opposite of a community”.

If there was ever a challenge on this planet, redrawing the image of Wythenshawe is it.

And so a modestly-(by marketing standards) budgeted project called “Real Lives Wythenshawe” has begun to do just that. But, as noted by the typically wry north west media news site, How-Do, you can’t call the initiative a “re-brand”; it’s an image campaign.

What comes across from the campaign so far is the great pride the area’s people have for the place and the long overdue need for it to be released from its positioning as neighbourhood pariah. For many people who’ve moved to Wythenshawe from elsewhere – without the pre-conceptions shared by nearby communities – the question seems to be “what’s the big deal?”

But not everyone is impressed with “outsiders” getting involved in Wythenshawe’s business. Forum comments on the local Wythit website suggest “shooting all the fancy consultants”, which doesn’t do much for the stereotype the suburb is trying to shift.

Other local commentators seem to welcome the revamp of Wythenshawe’s image as a good thing, though one adds, ironically, “a few extra police might help!”

As a 10-year-old playing on a park near to Wythenshawe, I got duffed up and had my new leather gloves nicked by some local hardnuts. Maybe, as part of the image refresh, I’ll get my gloves back.

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 ''