Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

Publish and be socially damned?

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 by Jon Clements


Does PR have a role to play in social media?

Sorry, was that a chorus of PR agencies and professionals I heard screaming in unison “Duh, of course it does!”?

Well, people, you might be right. But – more often than not – it’s good to stop and think.

That’s what I was asking a group of nominated company spokespeople to do during media training this week. For while engaging with the media is an opportunity, it’s also a risk. And whether you’re a CEO, engineer or on the shop floor, opening your mouth on the company’s behalf means you are entering new territory; you’re now in the business of public relations and reputation management.

Which is why media training shouldn’t be about soundbites or spin, but taking a carefully considered and methodical approach to the impact of what you say in a public domain.

Which brings us neatly back to social media.

Blogging technology has torn down the barriers to publishing and this is a good thing for both PR agencies and their clients, so long beholden to the media’s permission for their story to be heard. The turnout at a CIPR social media learning event in Preston last night suggests there’s an insatiable appetite for PR consultants to get involved in the brave new(ish) world online.

But as anyone who’s been through journalistic training will tell you, the privilege of publishing also comes with a high degree of responsibility. Get it wrong and you could end up in court facing the full force of the law. British defamation law may leave something to be desired, but for now it remains the law. Which is why the checks and balances of an editorial hierarchy are essential.

PR agencies and their clients are neither professional publishers nor editors. And yet the button marked “publish” on the blogging software enables them to be so. Which takes us back to “stop and think”.

One of the lazy, get-out clauses of making an editorial mistake in the bygone days of print-only publishing was that today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper. But this is not so online. Not only does your online content or comment not end up wrapping fast food, it is potentially one click away from Google’s homepage.

Knowing how to respond in the event of a client’s potential reputation meltdown should be the meat and drink for PR practitioners. But even better is working to ensure it doesn’t happen at all.

That’s why the passion to publish online needs, sometimes, to take a cold shower first.

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 ''

Apple Conference Core Strategy

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 by Rob Brown

A famous global PR company used to give clients three pieces of advice on press conferences…”don’t do them, don’t do them and don’t do them”.  They are hard to get right, open to risk and in the digital age what is the point of a press conference? Well, it is the same as it always was – to fuel the buzz.  I don’t think anyone today does it better than Apple.In fact Apple, which has a conference scheduled for tomorrow, 9 September, has achieved what most companies can only dream of, a flood of coverage before they have announced a thing.  They can do this because they have great products and a charismatic head honcho in Steve Jobs.  They also succeed in creating drama and intrigue.  So what is the buzz about this time?  There is so much speculation that it hurts but here is a quick summary of the hum on the wires:

  • Will Steve Jobs host?  He is recovering from a liver transplant but back at work. Will tech’s greatest showman be hosting the show?
  • Is the much talked about tablet ready to roll? The keyboard free netbook, the love child of the iphone and the macbook is hotly tipped.
  • The Beatles are going on iTunes.  Spotify has seized all the headlines lately and Apple must be keen to get its download service back in the spotlight.
  • Time for a new Touch?  The iPod touch is set for a facelift but it has the capacity to be big news.  If as is rumored there is a microphone on board plus an app for VOIP phone calls the big phone operators might finally start to flinch in the face of web based calls.

Whatever is waiting in the wings one thing is certain; the press conference is a core part of the Apple PR strategy and it will be rewarded with a media deluge.

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).

Right Measures

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by Jon Clements


Don Bartholomew’s blog offers a refreshing take on the measurement and evaluation of PR, both for the old and new media worlds. He offers terminology and techniques that could be grasped by, well, anyone – which should be the sign of good public relations, right?

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 ''