What it takes to work in PR

12 03 2010

A recent interview I did with Craig Pearce on the topic of what it takes to work in PR has been published on his blog – here is the article.

I am sure it will generate some debate. Having spoken to a number of people across the industry in recent months, it seems the jury is still out on the level of experience people think PR people should have in social media. As I said to Craig, I don’t believe it is optional.

Personally, it is a natural fit for social media to belong to PR people and organisations/brands that take a more strategic approach to social media will benefit in the long run. Every expert is telling you that social media leads to more powerful forms of word of mouth. Yet, here in Australia, we still see lots of tactical experimentation which has led to an inconsistent use of social media which, in some cases, may harm a brand’s reputation and the agency behind it. Short term campaign mentality will spawn Facebook pages or Twitter profiles that brands are not prepared to maintain or really engage through. Or abandoned once the campaign is over. They then just hang around on the social web like a bad smell, and for the savvy consumers, show that the organisation is still using social media as ‘push’ channel, and not an engagement channel.





Social media Insights

31 10 2009

On Tuesday this week I presented Twitter For A Crisis at the Frocomm Crisis Management and Social Media conference in Sydney. There were some excellent presentations and the event was covered by friend and once colleague Craig Pearce. For a summary of proceedings, I encourage you to read his blog where all aspects of the conference are covered.

The Twitter sessions were well attended and there were some great questions. With representatives from government, not for profit, local council, private enterprise and PR consultancies, who may all face a very different crisis, it was great to get many different perspectives.

What is good to know, and reassuring, is the appetite for knowledge and the fact that communications teams are seriously considering Twitter as a communications channel, both for ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders, and in a crisis. In fact, those that engage through this channel on a regular basis, will find that when they do face a crisis, the followers that they have already attracted, could be a great asset to help communicate the message.





Kraft kills iSnack 2.0

30 09 2009

iSnack 2.0

iSnack 2.0

The Australian has just reported that Kraft has killed off the iSnack 2.0 brand name, just three days after announcing it. I just posted to our global TechPRNibbles blog earlier today with some thoughts.

Now the enquiry begins.

Was this a PR disaster, or a very clever (and brave) way of getting the Australian public talking about the product? It’s no surprise that the name is being dropped so soon, but how will the public feel and how will that impact the new brand and sales. Time will tell.

Expect the discussion to go on for several weeks yet. What isn’t in doubt is that iSnack 2.0 will go down as one of the worst brand names ever brought to market.





The Punch Publishes OpEd

24 09 2009

My OpEd was published today by The Punch, titled How To Fight Back When You Are Trashed On The Web. It is already attracting a range of comments, including an attack on whether my work was a plug for Howorth and Ogilvy PR.

To set the record straight, I was approached by The Punch to submit an article following a conference I attended with the editor. If the reader had looked a little closer, my bio is there for all to see.

Since the article was published, I have also spoken to ABC’s Coast FM in Queensland.





Why Blog by Rohit?

18 09 2009

We were fortunate to have one of Ogilvy PR’s social media experts in Sydney last week, Rohit Bhargava. Rohit is the author of Personality not Included, and is a Top 50 blogger as ranked by AdAge with his Influential Marketing blog.

In this podcast by BNet Australia, Rohit explains what the role of a blog is for a business and how he managed to develop such a substantial following and what others can learn from his success.

Rohit has also just posted 5 myths on social media, which I recommend. Great post.





Putting the Flip Cam in your PR Toolkit

31 08 2009

Just read this post by John Earnhardt at Cisco, giving 5 reasons why PR people should carry a Flip camera.

We have recently acquired one for our agency here at Howorth.

Here are 5 more reasons why PR people need to get one:

1. Capture video of your work events (social or serious). Social event footage is great for recruitment purposes, to demonstrate what you get up to and the fun employees can have and to share the personality of the organisation.

2. Capture video of your client events to showcase on your website, along with client testimonials. Great third party endorsement and it only takes a couple of minutes.

3. Capture video of your CSR activities. At Ogilvy PR in Australia we have our SoInspired program, which includes whole day activities for employees to spend a day offsite helping a good cause.

4. Capture keynote speakers at events or try to get a 1:1 with them. You will be surprised how often they say yes.

5. Capture comments from journalists, analysts or other key stakeholders. Again, they are obliging.

There is so much more potential.





Why PR is best placed to own social media

8 07 2009

Interesting article from an old colleague, Craig Pearce, on who owns social media, putting forward a solid reason that it is PR – and I agree wholeheartedly. See my earlier post too.

Having studied James Gruning myself, the web has certainly brought to life his fourth model of two-way symmetrical communications. In fact, with social media, you could make a claim now that it is two-way asymmetrical in favour of the audience, not the sender. More reason than ever that PR practitioners around the world need to be stepping more firmly into their shoes as the company’s ‘boundary scanner’, monitoring all aspects of social media to see exactly what is being said about the brand, products or issues, who is saying it, where they are located, and then how you will engage with them. That is absolutely the remit and responsibility of the PR team – not marketing, not the ad guys, not the digital interactive agency. You have to engage this audience, listen to them, and respect them.

Yes, there are creatives that can do competitions, post virals etc in social media channels, but if you have to participate in a conversation with the audience, especially if it is from a negative position, that is the PR function.