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, 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!“.  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.”


Cage Against The Machine For Xmas No1

13 12 2010

Applause Machine (Signal Green)

It’s one of the joys of the Social Web that people now and then, through social networks, are able to overcome the ambitions of media barons.  It sickened me when Simon Cowell and his acolytes for years dominated the nation’s Christmas music fayre.

I was  foursquare behind the struggle to have Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s climactic masterpiece Hallelujah on the top spot ahead of the X-Factor version, but the public was split and that allowed the Burke cover to prevail.  Last year it was different we were united in our Rage Against the Machine.

This year the crowd may face another split.  The obvious choice is the original Biffy Clyro version of Matt Cardle’s anodyne exhortation of the sanitized and renamed ‘Many of Horror’.  I’m fan of Biffy Clyro (really, I’ve seen them four times including once in Pontypridd), although I’d take ‘Blackened Sky’ or ‘The Vertigo of Bliss’ over ‘Only Revolutions’ every time.

There has also been a groundswell behind Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen, a slightly grating ditty popularised by Family Guy.   However if we are going to do it again there is a clear front-runner,  John Cage’s 4’33.  Composed in 1952 the musical score instructs the performer(s) not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece.

A Facebook page is in place to promote a new recording of 4’33 by Cage Against the Machine which includes Suggs and Imogen Heap amongst others.  Let’s make December 25 a silent night.  Join the group and more importantly, buy the single.

If you’ve had to sit through the X Factor this year I’m sure that you’ll agree; silence is golden.

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