Posts Tagged ‘PR Media Blog’

Social media cafe Manchester – smc_mcr – logging out

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 by Jon Clements

Social Media Cafe Manchester – or smc-mcr as it morphed into – came along at the right time to meet a ravenous appetite for digital communications.

But now, it’s no more.

I’m grateful to Tom Mason for bringing the news to my attention and for his affectionate “eulogy” to this rather modest and yet highly influential fixture in Manchester’s calendar of digital creativity. For the definitive insight into why smc_mcr is logging out, check out co-founder, Martin Bryant’s post on the smc_mcr website itself.

So, what made it special?

In the digital sector – one that has now become big business for learning seminars, training courses, day-long conferences, etc – smc_mcr offered collective insight from real-life practitioners (often early adopters of digital technologies and communications platforms) at no cost to the participants whatsoever. All those great brains in one room, willing to pass on their knowledge because, well, they were passionate about their subject and the sharing ethos seemed to meld well with the social media milieu.

At times, smc_mcr was unapologetically and hilariously shambolic in its structure and organisation. But that was more than compensated for by the wealth of interesting people and topics you could expect to encounter over a couple of hours on a Tuesday night, once a month.

On a simplistic level, it was networking with people you also had a relationship with online; but it was really so much more than that.

And, it supplied a regular flow of great material for PR Media Blog which, at the time, was itself trying to make sense of the ever-quickening revolution in digital communications.

Normally, an institution coming to an end is a sad affair. But smc_mcr has done its job, if ever it had a “job description”. It wasn’t its style to have some sort of “manifesto”; that would be far too bloody organised.


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 ''

Social media – the haters and the lovers

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 by Jon Clements


Recent blog posts on social media here at PR Media Blog seem to have had people reaching for the boxing gloves.

Whether it be the use of social media in politics or in business, there seems to be sharp divide between those who think it’s the earthly paradise of Shangri-la and those who feel, like in the old days of the witch hunt, it deserves to be strapped in the ducking stool to see if it floats or sinks.

Not wishing to see people fall out about it, I did the conciliatory thing and started an argument on LinkedIn where, naturally, people are known for their reasoned responses.

And it raised some interesting points.   

Simultaneously, another LinkedIn question was asking: “When you run into someone that tells you that Social Media is going to rule the world…what’s your funniest response?”

Social media ruling the world? Be careful what you wish for…

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 ''

Publish and be damned careful

Thursday, March 5th, 2009 by Jon Clements

There’s a great line in Al Pacino film, Carlito’s Way, when his eponymous ex-mobster character delivers a stark lesson to corrupt lawyer, David Kleinfeld, played by Sean Penn. After Penn has killed the head of an Italian-American crime family with a tyre iron around the head, Pacino recommends he keep a loaded pistol close at hand because: “You a gangster now, Dave”.

This makes me think of the shift one makes when having the power to press “publish” on your blogging software and bring your carefully crafted thoughts to the world. To paraphrase Pacino, “You a publisher now!”

And in the new dawn of social media, that’s something PR Media Blog is encouraging companies to do, alongside a chorus of others persuading them that the customer (consumer, B2B or public sector) is no longer expecting the internet to consist of well-designed but static websites of one-way communication, but a dynamic stream of compelling content and mutually beneficial conversation. Hence, whatever line of work you’re in, publishing such material online – that demonstrates your expertise and creates a dialogue – should make good business sense.

But while we urge you to press “publish”, we also urge you to beware. One of the critical lessons learned at journalism college is about the laws of libel and slander. They are there to protect those whose reputation has been unfairly sullied by the written word, though they are also used unfairly by powerful, vested interests to scare away journalists willing to probe and uncover wrongdoing.

But publishers are used to this and have lawyers well-versed in libel law on standby. That’s the nature of the game; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But if YOUR business has launched a blog, has a Twitter feed, populates a Facebook page or contributes to online forums, regardless of whether you make concrete mixers, cable ties or cola, that makes you a publisher too.

This week at the High Court, several newspapers and a broadcaster have agreed to pay “substantial damages” to a mother who felt she was wrongly accused of poor parental supervision, after the party her daughter organised through a social network ended up with some minor damage, but not the destruction the newspapers had alleged.

A pertinent element of this publishing saga is the fact that comments added to the newspapers’ online versions of the story (n.b. people should be able to add comments to your blog posts too) turned out to be false, which doesn’t help your case if you’re defending your right to publish and be damned in the High Court.

The likelihood is that most of what you’d ever want to say online will be, in the eyes of the law, “fair comment”. The same goes for those who decide to comment on your blog posts or interact with you elsewhere in the world of social networks and forums. But there’s substance in the old proverb that “the pen is mightier than the sword”; so seek good advice from those accustomed to publishing material online and just pray that David Kleinfeld doesn’t end up your lawyer.

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 ''