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Tags: CIPR, Leeds, Max Clifford, Northern Conference
Categories : Uncategorized
Yesterday the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) announced that it was going to make its membership list public – with no opt out. At a stroke the importance of membership and the code of conduct that goes with it was elevated. On the same day publicist Max Clifford took the lectern as keynote speaker at The CIPR’s Northern Conference in Leeds. In building the reputation of the PR industry we scored an amazing goal then almost instantly put one into our own net.
My argument is simple. The reputation of PR as a profession is at best average. No individual has done more to shape the public’s impression of PR than Max Clifford, though Joanna Lumley and Jenifer Saunders have come close. Clifford trades in deceit, he says so himself. He also says that he spends most of his time keeping people out of the press. We’ve seen with Jimmy Savile how dangerous it can be when the media is deflected from scrutinising the abusive behaviour of powerful people. The media constantly calls on Max Clifford to speak on behalf of the PR industry. The chartered body tasked with promoting the PR profession needs to be challenging the idea that Max represents the industry – not promoting him as a keynote speaker at an annual conference.
Max is persuasive and charismatic, his media klout is phenomenal but he laughs at the idea that PR people should have ethics. It’s a very dangerous combination. Let’s find new voices to represent PR.
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Tags: Billion, Doesn't have, Facebook, Hasn't Hit, Users
Categories : Facebook, Uncategorized
Yesterday Facebook announced that it had passed the billion mark. It made news around the globe. This was part of a media onslaught that also included the unveiling of Facebook’s first agency made commercial.
I have serious reasons to doubt accuracy of the figure. Earlier this year the company I work for was asked by the Student Loans Company to ascertain what proportion of their target audience were Facebook users We guessed it would be most but we wanted to provide a robust response.
We took population data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and matched it against age banded user data published by Facebook. This was not entirely straightforward because the age bands that Facebook uses are not the same bands as the ONS uses. Undeterred we found the following.
UK Population by age:
- 20-24 – 4.31 million
- 15-19 – 3.91 million
To get an 18-24 approximate figure we took the 20-24 figure and added 2/5 of the 15-19 figure. This gives us 5.87 million for the size of the population. Facebook data for this age group said that there were 7.33 million users. So to answer the question that would mean 125% of the UK population aged 18-24 have a Facebook account. The only reasonable explanation is that a good proportion of people have more than one Facebook account. Anecdotally we know this to be true. There are also a lot of fake accounts – 83 million according to Facebook’s own figures.
The billion user story is great for PR, at a time when Facebook really needs it. There may be a billion Facebook accounts but I’m confident that they haven’t hit a billion users, yet.
If I’m wrong Mark, feel free to say so in the comments section below.
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Categories : Brands
Just under two weeks ago Twitter revealed a ‘tweaked’ redesign of their iconic bird logo (image 1). They rolled out some brand guidelines that included usage rules that stated that you should not ‘rotate or change the direction of the bird’ (image 2). Some eagle-eyed twitter users noticed that when you rotate the bird anti-clockwise by 90 degrees it looks oddly like Batman (image 3).
As well as updating the bird, Twitter is aiming to rid the web of the huge range of twitter icons; the boxed ‘t’, the variety of birds and the lowercase bubble script ‘twitter’ (Pico font with an adapted ‘e’ if you are interested).
The announcement highlights the difficulties in controlling a brand image in an inter-operable and collaborative web. Brand guidelines are endemic in the culture in large organisations, but the ability to enforce rules on the use of the brand logo is much diminished. Five years ago a phenomenon emerged where people were reinterpreting the logos of iconic brands as if they were new web brands. Logo 2.0 interpretations took these identities and played around with them. My favourite was ‘Quakr 2.Oats’.
It will be interesting to see how successful Twitter is at controlling its brand identity in a world users as well as corporate communications departments make the rules.