Follow Friday Five #3

6 03 2009

A broad spectrum of the blogosphere is covered in the third in the series of Follow Friday Five.  This regular post has adapted the twitter concept of  Follow Friday to the world of blogs and suggests five that you might want to dip into or add to your RSS reader …on a Friday.

As ever there is plenty of PR, meeja and a smattering of some other stuff too.  If you have a spare five minutes today why not have a look at them.

1 WebInkNow    David Meerman Scott is an undoubted thought leader in the field of digital public relations.  His global best seller  ‘The New Rules of Marketing & PR’  has been translated into 22 languages and his latest work ‘World Wide Rave’ was published this week. This is definitely the Friday to be reading the work of Mr Scott.  Dig deep into his blog there’s plenty of thought provoking stuff.

2. Charles on… anything that comes along Charles Arthur is Technology Editor of the Guardian and this is his personal blog.  What you’ll find here is thoughtful, insightful and phenomenally well informed.  He’s considered to be dismissive of much of the PR industry but in reality he just plays it straight.  He provided me with a great introduction to twitter when we conducted a heated debate across the network about whether or not Andy Murray’s twitter presence had been a PR led decision (I still think I was right!)

3. Mange Tout   This is the brand new blog from Steve Taylor, Head of Marketing and Communications at Sue Ryder Care .  They are his personal musings but Steve is a former journalst and his musings make great reading.  Before he was a hack Steve was a snapper and this week there is a riveting first hand recollection of  his experiences covering the miners strike in the early eighties as a freelance photographer.

4. Blendingthemix   The work of social media maestro Paul Fabretti, these observations are based on real knowledge and understanding of the sphere. There has been lots written this week about the foray by into social networks.  I think you’ll find Paul’s views enlightening.

5.   Steve Davies is a PR guy with a  personal blog that focuses on public relations and social globalisation.  He means that too, recently he covered PR in the Czech Republic. The blog has been going since 2005 but recently relauched with a great new look.

They are all worth a visit so my final word is leave this blog to go and visit one (or all) of the above.  TGIF. 


Advice to Hacks from a Flack

6 02 2009

Ever wondered why PR people are sometimes called flacks?  No, me neither but come to think of it I’ve dodged some in my time as a PR person and too often from journalists.  

This post was inspired partly by a really interesting piece from the Guardian’s technology editor Charles Arthur and partly as a result of a dare from fellow PR person Megan Codling  (some of us can be quite wary of the press….seriously).  Charles’s post was the first time I have ever seen a  journalist acknowledge the fact that we are advocates for our clients and paymasters.  We are in thrall to the media too but the relationship should be mutually beneficial.  So, swallowing hard, here are a few tips for the fourth estate: 

  • Don’t let fly when you get a call from a PR person about a story you are not interested in.  Politely and firmly let them know.  They may well be lacking in experience and sometimes even judgement but they have summoned up the courage to call you and they’ve probably been polite.
  • When you get something you don’t want by e-mail (or DM) click delete and chill.  Don’t get annoyed because there is an attachment or the story isn’t up your street.  We strive to send you what you want but we don’t always get it right and often we are under pressure too. 
  • Resist the urge to take us down a peg or three.  Most PR people have a great deal of respect for who you are and what you do (and sometimes a well developed sense of inferiority).  It tends to evaporate when you turn up the heat.
  • Believe it or not we counsel clients on what they should release to the media.  We have to develop a keen news sense and we work hard to dissuade clients from issuing non-news
  • Work with us, we can be a very useful resource, we will endeavour to respond swifly with words,  images or a good interviewee.  We really don’t expect you to use what we give you verbatim.  We know the value of your endorsement and we strive for it but we don’t expect it.

Let me know what you think, whichever side of the fence that you sit on.  Let’s have a heated debate.

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