Daily Mail and Sky News Fail

3 10 2011

One of the promises of the social web was that we would get news as it happens, live from the scene of the action. Anyone with a phone and a twitter account can break news. The fact that non-journalists might screw up on the facts is balanced by trusted news brands; news organisations with a heritage in conventional media, who might be later to the punch, but will get the facts straight.

Sadly it isn’t turning out quite like that. With a really big news story, like the outcome of the Amanda Knox appeal, the critical factor is to be first. Why? Because Google likes it. I have first hand experience because as a lowly blogger I posted about Stephen Fry getting stuck in a lift, whilst he was still stuck (I saw him tweet about it). More than two years on my post is No.2 on Google for “Stephen Fry Lift” just behind the Telegraph and ahead of the Mail.

Tonight it looks suspiciously like both Sky News and the Mail in order to get out there first published the news before it actually happened. Both organisations were so sure what the outcome of the Knox appeal would be, that they pressed publish before they had confirmation.  It’s a risky play.  The audience won’t stay trusting for ever.

Abercombie and their PR Situation

18 08 2011

A clothing brand pays a celebrity NOT to wear their clothes.  It made the New York Times.  Surely that’s PR genius.

Abercrombie & Fitch Chief Executive Mike Jeffries set the story ablaze during a conference call with financial analysts when he asked “is no one going to ask about The Situation?”.  Thus prompted to pose the question, the analysts were told “last Friday … someone came up and said, ‘Mike, I have terrible, terrible news.  Last night on ‘Jersey Shore’ The Situation had A&F product on.”

For the uninitiated ‘The Situation’ is a “star” (in a Warhol sense) of faux reality US TV ratings phenomenon ‘Jersey Shore’.

A&F decided to pay the cast not to wear their product, Jeffries said.  We can deduce that the cast are not A&F’s target demographic.  “We’re having a lot of fun with it” Jeffries added.  He may as well have just said “it’s a stunt”.  What on the face of it is generating a lot of media mileage maybe be bad for the brand.

In the first instance generally most customers don’t like having the wool pulled.  Secondly what A&F has actually done is created a powerful association between their brand and ‘Jersey Shore’.  The 9% drop in the company’s share price may be as much to do with the CEO saying in the same briefing “into 2012, it is clear that we are entering a period of greater uncertainty”.  It could equally that what seemed to be a clever PR ploy was actually his Ratner moment.



Murdoch and the News agenda

7 07 2011

The shock closure of the ‘News of the World’ might be seen as a major PR offensive designed to bring the debate on the phone hacking scandal to a close but it could well be an opportunity for Murdoch junior to kill several birds with a single stone.

Those that think that twitter is one of the birds in question would be guilty of an oversimplification.

The closure certainly seizes the news agenda at least for a time.  It changes the direction of the media storm and perhaps is intended to give Rebekah Brooks some breathing space but dig a little deeper and there’s another angle.

It was reported well before the latest storm broke that the were management mergers at the top of the Times and the Sunday Times but also at The Sun and the News of the World.  Rebekah Brooks was on record saying “We will take a comprehensive look at where there is common ground across our titles …where there is common ground we will find ways of implementing efficiencies to editorial systems and processes and, where appropriate, we will find ways of introducing seven day working.”

Tellingly the web addresses sunonsunday.co.uk and .com were both registered two days ago by a UK individual using the name Mediaspring and who opted to have their address omitted from the registration.  Would it be too cynical to imagine that Murdoch has used the situation to cut costs at Wapping and retain an integrated Sunday red top tabloid using the Sun brand?

Longest ReTweet Gap Hits 5 Years

21 03 2011

The longest gap between a tweet being tweeted and then retweeted will shortly pass the five year mark, when someone sometime after 9.50pm PST will RT the first ever tweet from Jack Dorsey, or @jack,  Twitter Chairman and author of “just setting up my twttr”.  You saw right; in its early iteration twitter lacked vowels, and also sported a very natty logo IMHO. Most of the first tweets all said the same thing as they were automated tweets issued as the launch team all got their accounts up and running.

The very observant will note that the URL for the tweet is http://twitter.com/#!/jack/status/20 suggesting that there were 19 earlier tweets but as it appear that the @jack account was the first it’s more likely the URLs were used in testing.  The first real human generated tweet also from @Jack was “inviting coworkers”.

The first person to swear on Twitter was Head of Operations Jeremy LaTrasse who about 15 minutes after the first tweet was posted added “Oh shit I just twittered a little”.

BT Tower Sparks 500 Days to the Olympics

15 03 2011

A few minutes ago the sky lit up around the office and there was a barrage of explosive sounds.  There were one or two worried faces,  maybe due to the fact that we were evacuated in a real fire a few weeks ago from our Whitfield Street offices.

The offices are in the shadow of the BT Tower the source of the pyrotechnics.  They went off to celebrate 500 days until the London Olympic games.  I didn’t get to the right window in time to see very much but others did and here’s a selection of pics.

Some Comms – Manchester 3.10.11

2 03 2011

The excellent some comms awards took place in Manchester last December and the great and the good in social media communications travelled across Britain to celebrate the very best work in the sector.

There is still time (just) to book your tickets for the follow-up conference where the winners will be discussing the work (you can also phone or email the organisers Don’t Panic on 01706 828 855 or email ANDREW@DONTPANICPROJECTS.COM.  It is probably the first time in the UK that so many first hand case studies will be delivered in the same place at the same time.  I was one of the judging panel and trust me, this work is excellent.

Winner of Best Social Media Campaign & the Grand Prix Awards – FreshNetworks will there to talk about their celebrated Jimmy Choo Trainer Hunt.  The British Library will talk about the UK SoundMap project,  Stephen Waddington, MD of Speed will discuss the value of his business blog and there will be award-winning case studies from Twitition and Coventry City Council.  Seventy Seven Social will talk Nintendo and We Are Social will discuss the Marmarati campaign for Marmite.

It’s an awesome line-up and if you work in communications and are anywhere near Manchester tomorrow you ought to get along.

Social PR 2011 – Some Observations

1 03 2011

Here’s the final session from Social PR 2011, attended by 160 plus the many followers on Twitter and on the live stream. I was there for the latter part but from what I saw it was a great conference with plenty of insight and useful information.

Video streaming by Ustream

Here are a few things that I learned.

  1. There are a lot of tools out there for measuring individual influence.  The much maligned Klout has competition now from mpact, ecairns and peekyou.
  2. Evaluation and measurement is ‘the’ hot topic.
  3. The most popular device of choice for the Social PR practitioner is a MacBook.  There was a sea of them out there.
  4. There was a pretty even split between Blackberries,  iPhones and HTC Desires.
  5. If you don’t want to share your slides don’t present at a conference.  People aren’t waiting for Slideshare they’re taking pictures of the slides.
  6. A conference of 160 Social PR devotees is still not enough to get a ‘Swarm’ badge on Foursquare.

Great Line-Up for Social PR 2011

24 02 2011

Social PR 2011 is a one day conference taking place at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London this coming Monday 28th February and there’s a great line-up of speakers.

The conference will include presentations, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with some of the world’s leading social PR experts.

It will tackle some of the most pressing questions for PR and Communications professionals working with social media such as the convergence of Social PR and Marketing, how to identify influencers and how to measure and evaluate PR on the web.

Measurement and evaluation is perhaps the hottest topic in PR at the moment with the industry finally taking a stand on Advertising Value Equivalents and promoting the seven ‘ Barcelona Principles’:

  1. Goal setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any PR programmes.
  2. Media measurement requires quantity and quality – cuttings in themselves are not enough.
  3. Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs) do not measure the value of PR and do not inform future activity.
  4. Social media can and should be measured.
  5. Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results.
  6. Business results can and should be measured where possible.
  7. Transparency and Replicability are paramount to sound measurement.

The line-up for Social PR 2011 includes three of the world’s leading experts in PR measurement online.  New York based Marshall Sponder is the founder of webmetricsguru.com, an industry blog about Web analytics, social media and search marketing.  He will be joined at the conference by Philip Sheldrake who co-founded Fuse PR (which was acquired by W2 Group in 2006) and is now a Partner of Meanwhile, the venture marketers and author of the soon to be published ‘The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age’.   Joining by live video link will be Katie Delahaye Paine who heads up KDPaine & Partners, a leading communications research consultancy, and is the author of ‘Measuring Public Relationships, the data-driven communicators guide to measuring success’.

There will also be an Exhibition Area and the ticket price includes lunch, refreshments and a handbook for the day.  The conference will be streamed online, so if you can’t make it buy an online ticket and sit back.

UberTwitter Re-Instated as UberSocial

21 02 2011

News has arrived of the reinstatement of UberTwitter following the Twitter ban imposed on Friday.

“We’ve given the developers of twidroyd and UberSocial for Blackberry (formerly UberTwitter) access to the Twitter API again.  Our initial review indicates that steps have been taken to remedy the violations for these applications” said  the statement on Twitter Support.  In a statement they also said “We will review these applications on an ongoing basis for compliance”.

There has been speculation on this blog and elsewhere that the Twitter organisation sees UberMedia, the owner of both these applications as a commercial threat.  If so the suspension has done little to enhance the reputation of the official ‘Twitter for Blackberry’ app.   Thousands of users condemned the application over the weekend

On hearing the news about UberSocial, @ericvice tweeted; “Ahhh the sound of 2.5 million copies of Twitter for Blackberry being simultaneously deleted. The bird can sing!http://bit.ly/UberDL“.  It has been retweeted over 300 times in six hours.

New Deals for Facebook Places

31 01 2011

Today sees the UK launch of an incentive package for Facebook Places that will be a blow to Foursquare and Gowalla and pits Facebook against the growing might of Groupon in the consumer offer sector.    Facebook Deals rewards users who check-in to participating shops, restaurants, coffee bars and visitor attraction using the recently launched Facebook Places, location-based application.

Launch partners include Starbucks, Yo! Sushi, Argos, Debenhams, and Mazda.  Alton Towers is rumoured to be offering free tickets to users checking in via Facebook places on February 18th.  Facebook will use a golden ticket icon to identify locations where there are deals in place.  Joanna Shields from Facebook said: “Facebook Deals represents the power of word of mouth marketing …over 200 million people use Facebook on their mobile phone. We are now offering businesses the opportunity to connect with people in an entirely new way.”


%d bloggers like this: