Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

The social media world of football

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 by Jo Rosenberg


90% of football fans have decided who their favourite football club is by the age of 10.

No question then that football fans are fiercely loyal and, unlike the average consumer in most other walks of life, they want to know everything about the club’s supply chain and voice opinions about decisions, whether it’s an on or off the pitch matter.

Yet despite the fact that social media provides a global forum in which a club can engage with every single fan and as a result, improve and develop club fan relationships, it is still, in many cases, practised with caution, and rightly so.

Fans don’t want to be talked at via social media channels, or fed useless, second hand information. They want exclusives, they want debate and interaction with the club and its players and if there’s an opportunity to win money-can’t-buy, club-related prizes then all the better.

To design and host an effective social media platform requires time and effort; yet once a resource is in place and a strategy agreed, the benefits to both the fans and the club can be considerable.

Content is king, relevance is critical and the tone must be friendly and engaging and appear to be opening the door of the club to its fans. It must also provide a two-way conversation, hence a designated role should be created to ensure the content is well-managed and well-timed.

Like many industries, the use of social media in football goes way beyond being simply a communication vehicle; it can also provide revenue driving opportunities. Big sponsorship deals can only be justified if the club reaches a bigger audience and this means international markets which are not easily reached by traditional media.

And when social media is well established, there are potential opportunities via affiliate marketing by adding value to sponsorship deals, cross promotional activity with sponsors, or through direct sales of official kit or unsold tickets.

And let’s not forget how instrumental social media can be in a crisis situation by providing the club with the opportunity to set the record straight.  It might be a player scandal or a controversial boardroom decision. Either way it’s an instantaneous channel to fans which can’t be obscured by journalists.

Manchester City FC is one of the most proactive clubs when it comes to social networking, utilising the obvious Facebook and Twitter networks along with Flickr, in which they encourage fans to share photography, which the club admits has helped inspire new PR and retail campaigns.

But a football club can’t just dip in and out of social media. Fans will feel cheated and will quickly retort. A key and critical point to including social media within a marcomms strategy is to build virtual relationships with fans which must then be maintained. New fans must feel welcome and existing fans must feel valued. – The Shrek Effect

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 by Hannah Newbould

This week saw the notorious website, accidently let 30,000 ‘ugly’ people onto its web dating social networking site.

The website, known for brutally only accepting people it thinks are beautiful contracted a virus allowing 30,000 not-so-beautiful people to use the site. But not to fear….They have now been booted off at a financial cost of $100,000 to the site operators.

The Virus that the site contracted was named ‘Shrek’- after the well-known film that has a key message that ‘looks should not matter’.

People who were axed from the site have now been offered counselling in the hope that they are not permanently distressed with the decision that they are not pretty enough for the website. Hopefully the site’s actions will not leave too much permanent damage.

In saying this, who actually agrees with this website anyway? It only seems fair that it should contract a virus that gives equal opportunities to all people.  In a report by the Guardian it was stated the website claims that Irish people are the ugliest in the world and Swedes the most beautiful with only 20% of Irish women and 70% of Swedish women being accepted. And, who says that people who have been accepted to the website haven’t enhanced their photographs via Photoshop or even further, if the image they upload is even of them?

It appears that the virus was installed by a former employee at the company.

Greg Hodge, Managing Director of the website said: “it was like planting an evil Easter egg – It was a very embarrassing day.” Well Greg, think how you make people feel when you reject them on a daily basis.



Pope gives social media his blessing

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 by Patrick Chester


Well, that’s a relief.

Demonstrating once again that the Catholic Church has its finger firmly on the pulse of modern life, the pope has issued his guidelines for using social networking. Social media is going to be the next big thing, apparently.   

The pope is described as having “little direct personal experience with the internet”, which makes the internet sound like a complicated and obscure mechanical tool, rather than something which is instantly accessible through almost any desktop computer in the world.

I understand he’s 83 years old, but keep in mind that the oldest Facebook user is 103 years old (and she updates from an iPad!). The Daily Mail calls her “iGran”.

Despite obvious misgivings, it’s actually not half bad advice for social media enthusiasts to take on board.

In easy-to-digest points, here are the highlights:

1) Be aware of the one-sidedness of online interaction. The pontiff said there is a “tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world” and a “risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence.”

2) Don’t use social networking too much. The pope said it is negative to “enclose oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or have excessive exposure to the virtual world”.

3) Don’t create dodgy online profiles. Pope: “In the search for sharing, for ‘friends,’ there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself.”

4) Be polite throughout any interactions with people in the digital world. The pope said online communication needs to be “honest and open, responsible and respectful of others.”

No more angry YouTube comments, then.

5) Don’t try and pander to popularity. “We must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its ‘popularity’ or from the amount of attention it receives.”

Replace “truth” in this line with “video of the cat doing the funny thing”, and it becomes real-world applicable.

Please visit the pope’s official website at and click on the “Digital Christmas Video” if you would like to see a witty re-imagining of the Story of the Nativity, complete with Google Mail and Twitter.

Mary even checks into Foursquare to see if there is any room at the local Bethlehem inns.

About Patrick Chester

Patrick is an account executive at Staniforth. He also runs a book review site at

Making social media networking work

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 by Jon Clements


How effective is social media for building your essential network?

Sceptics would probably say that there’s no substitute for “pressing the flesh” and clinking the wine glass. But how often do you manage to get – physically – in front of the people you really want to talk to and build a connection with?

At last night’s meeting of Social Media Cafe Manchester (#smc_mcr for hash tag followers) PR Media Blog spoke to Justine Potter, ex-BBC drama producer and now narrative content producer and CEO of Savvy Productions, about how social media has helped her do exactly that – and with a direct benefit to her business.


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 ''

Lily Is Logging Off

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 by Jo Rosenberg


So Lily Allen is officially a neo-Luddite.

She’s quit Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and email, ditched her Macbook and BlackBerry and apparently, according to numerous newspaper reports, her only means of communication with the outside world is a home phone and an old mobile.

Putting aside for a moment the underlying message that Lily Allen is to become a recluse, her reason behind such a decision could well be deeper than we’re led to believe.

We all know that the Internet made Lily Allen (in a very real sense) but as a notoriously outspoken and sometimes angry user of social networking sites, has she laid herself bare, torn down every personal barrier and let the world see her for exactly what she is and what she believes in?

In celebrity world this can surely be dangerous. We all love a sense of mystery but with Lily, we’ve seen it, heard it and she’s probably worn a T shirt with it emblazoned across it.

But it works both ways. She’s encouraged opinion and some of it will have undoubtedly been hard to swallow. Random strangers calling you fat, ugly, brattish, vulgar must surely instil a sense of fear… which is likely to lead to silence.

Reports suggest that her boyfriend asked her to choose between him or Twitter, but could this in fact be a shrewd move by her management: “Ditch Twitter, keep your opinions to yourself for a while, be seen to disappear into obscurity, oh and let’s get a press release out …”

As for the effects this may have on her personal life, she’s hardly going to become a recluse. With A-list friends like Kate Moss and Agyness Dean, whilst gigging at some of London’s coolest venues, I very much doubt that her decision to log off will leave her short of party invites.

The spy who loved Facebook

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 by Jo Rosenberg

Last year MI6 was using Facebook to recruit the next generation of spies. This year it appears, indirectly, to be using the social networking site as a family photo album. As the wife of Sir John Sawers, the next head of MI6, put family details on Facebook, diplomats and civil servants are being warned of the danger of putting family and career information on social networking websites.

Lady Sawers disclosed the location of their London flat, the whereabouts of their children and the couple’s friendship with senior diplomats and actors without putting any privacy protection on her account. She also uploaded over 40 photographs from beach holidays to family parties and publicly congratulated her husband on his new and very secret job. Facebook has more than 200 million active users, 100 million of which log on to Facebook at least once a day. With this in mind, one could assume that Lady Sawers has made one huge security blunder.

That said, could this “blunder” in fact be a sign of the times? According to IT security firm, NCC Group, UK intelligence agencies are concerned that social networking sites are ruining the spy industry. Finding recruits who have no online presence will become nearly impossible, and with the ability to take photos on a mobile phone and upload to the internet, the days of locking away incriminating photos and files are long gone.

The brutal fact is however that Lady Sawers and her “Facebook frivolity” has left the Ministry of Defence with a security headache which will cost the tax payer. Relocation costs and extra security don’t come cheap and in today’s economy, it doesn’t bode well.

Social media is child’s play

Monday, January 19th, 2009 by Jon Clements


For those companies and organisations still asking “if” they should be developing their social media nouse, they should now – if not sooner – be asking “when”. Why? Just ask your children.

Annual research from ChildWise shows that the social media “future” is taking place now, and kids are at the forefront of it. Findings reveal that 30% of children have their own blog and more than 60% are involved with social networking sites such as Facebook, with the researchers commenting: “This year has seen a major boost to the intensity and the independence with which children approach online activities.”

Meanwhile, the survey says children reading books for pleasure has declined by 10% in the past two years. What the implication of that is we can’t yet know, but what we can say is that the Internet is increasingly the younger generation’s preferred mode of communication. Where other generations may include the Internet among a range of activities, for today’s children – and tomorrow’s consumers, activists, workers and bosses – the Internet is, increasingly, their activity. 

If corporate entities want to influence this new breed of digital natives, they need to realise that it’s less about the technology but the language of communicating in these arenas they need to learn.

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 ''

Selling in social media is not social

Friday, January 16th, 2009 by Jon Clements

Social media provides a conundrum for advertising.

Some advertising campaigns have talkability, but rarely – if ever – fit comfortably into a social environment. Ads sell, they do not socialise.

Hence the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has commissioned a report into how the advertising industry needs to adapt its way of working in light of the social media explosion, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The FT’s digital media correspondent, Tim Bradshaw, fingers the problem precisely when he notes that users of social media sites “are logging in for communication rather than commerce”. The traditional advertising model – even adapted for the web as banner ads and click-throughs – is considered intrusive in social media. My colleague, Mark Hanson, refers to it as “like sticking a billboard in someone’s front room while they’re watching TV”.

Where advertising’s “telling and selling” struggles in social networking, PR should flourish for a number of reasons: firstly, it’s about creating content that’s useful, portable and shareable. Also, there should be a better appreciation of the need for two-way communication and an understanding of what goes and what doesn’t go in a particular social situation online. From our own experience at Staniforth, a PR-led approach is also good for persuading senior executives to get involved directly when there’s a crisis in customer confidence being played out online.

That said, Todd Defren over at PR Squared has rightly questioned the dubious practices that some PR people are bringing to social media, and this blog has also visited the topic recently, but seeing more encouraging signs that PR is cleaning up its act in time to claim a worthy place in the social media sphere.

Companies and brands will continue to advertise, but in thinking about how to unwrap the riddle of marketing to people who are pre-programmed to resist your advances, a closer collaboration with PR is essential.

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 ''

2009 under the media microscope

Monday, January 5th, 2009 by Jon Clements


Hello again and Happy New Year!

After a short hiatus, PR Media Blog is back on the beat.

And what better place to start than today’s Media Guardian, whch gives a pretty exhaustive forecast of the new world facing the media in 2009.

Here is a sample of the most interesting views from the massed media commentators. Have they got it right? PR Media Blog will be keeping an eye on things as the media circus rolls on into another year.

“Leading web thinker” Clay Shirky with his media forecast for 2009: “Newspapers are going to get more and less elitist…a small, niche publication that says: ‘We’re only opening our mouths when what we say is demonstrably superior to anything else on the subject.’ The populist model is: ‘We’re going to take all the news pieces we get and have an enormous amount of commentary. It’s whatever the readers want to talk about.”

Gareth McClean on TV programmes: “As money becomes scarce, ratings will become more important…drama finds itself under siege from light entertainment – and factual entertainment and anything else that’s cheaper, which is basically everything – like never before.”

John Plunkett on Radio: “If ever there was a time for commercial radio to strike back in the ratings war, then surely this is it…expect more commercial stations to go to the wall, expect BBC radio to be less sure of itself, expect uncertainty over DAB to continue – expect a bloody battle.”

Roy Greenslade on newspapers: “The importance of online journalism cannot be stressed too often. It is foolish to call it the future because the future is now…the fight that counts in 2009 is the one for online eyeballs seeking news and informed comment, not for the passive audience handed a freesheet with the minimum of journalistic merit or public benefit.”

Peter Wilby on journalism: “Mass market journalism – short, snappy news items alongside gossip, glamour and articulate prejudice – is by definition doomed…serious journalism will triumph by default.”

Oliver Luft on magazines: “Business publishers may look at greater innovation online to find revenue that goes beyond the blunt approach of either subscription or open access…consumer titles will focus on ways to deliver more audience to print advertisers they want to bring over to the web.”

Danny Rogers on PR: “PR helps organisations create ongoing dialogue with their audiences. The growth of blogs, social networking and Google made this essential if today’s companies, products, governments, celebrities and charities were to impress and thrive. And despite the current recession, this underlying trend remains.”

Jemima Kiss on Digital media: “One of the most powerful technology trends of 2008 was the shift from sites as destinations to open, sharing platforms…Big media needs to start thinking like this…it’s about being resourceful and flexible in order to survive.”

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 ''

Slugs and snails for brains?

Monday, September 8th, 2008 by Jon Clements

Our friends at TBWA\ have shared with us the latest data on social media usage, showing a growth in social networks as an online destination. About 70% of “silver surfers” (that’s people over 50, not a lonely, Marvel comic character hanging out in the galaxy) log on daily to social networking sites while teens and tweens are the main consumers and content creators. 

One stat – showing that 35% of teenage girls blog compared with 20% of teenage boys, while boys are twice as likely to post video online than girls (19% vs 10%) – throws an interesting light on the girls vs boys intelligence debate. Are girls simply more literate and better at stringing together sentences than boys? Do boys like the ape-like simplicity of going “video – good! – upload”?

All I can say, ladies, is “one picture tells a thousand words”, rather like what the one above says about men.

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 ''