All 5 entries tagged PR And Comms

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June 02, 2005

Comms disaster

Great comms disaster unfolding. HEERA have been trying to set up an email system for a while now and just can't seem to get it right – each time they fire off an email they get a load of 'out of office' replies and angry responses from people who haven't signed up for the service.

This makes me smile for a few reasons:

HEERA say that they are:

The Higher Education External Relations Association (HEERA) is a professional body working across the areas of press & public relations, marketing, alumni relations and fundraising in the higher education sector. It is a membership organisation that offers a wide range of networking, professional development and other support activities and facilities, as well as encouraging the sharing of good practice, experience and knowledge.

If they knew anything about communications they would know…

email newletters I haven't asked for are SPAM - if I wanted your communications I would ask for it. Go read Permission Marketing and get to grips with the idea that interrupting people when they haven't invited you to do so is a bad thing – especially when email gets clogged up with pointless rubbish I never read – why add to the pile?

don't blame my system for your problems. The latest email puts the blame on the circulation of out of office messages down to the members universities – sorry? So I get an email I didn't ask for, followed by a bundle of OOO emails from people who also didn't ask for the email and you blame their systems for sending it. Not only that but when you get a message asking to be unsubscribed from the list because of the OOO messages you reply (to the list btw – ha ha ha) saying you are too stupid not to have read our initial message which clearly stated this is nothing to do with us but is the fault of those Universities not clever enough to set up blocks on OOO replies to email lists – sorry, but that sucks big time.

If you are going to send out uninvited emails, maybe take a lesson from the genuine spam merchants and actually tell me why I might want to stick with the group rather than just ignore your stuff – maybe actually sell me something rather than just say oh here's a list maybe you want to use it. Why should I actually want to pay attnetion to your stuff – there is nothing in the initial email to indicate what the list is for – what can I get out of being a member.

inbox insite – a great example of something that people weren't asked to sign up for, but as it is actually really really useful – it makes sense for those who get it – so people actually don't mind.

The only reason I am not unsubscribing from the HEERA list is to see how many more irate emails the admin gets – 10 afte 5 mins and counting!

March 30, 2005

McDoh! (and Jamie's triumph)

Two different food PR stories in the papers today.

First up, another doh! from McDonalds. Apparantly they have offered to pay $5 for each name check of their brand by rappers in the US. This is in the light of improving sales of brands like Courvoisier and Cristal after they were championed by the big hip hop stars across the pond. Needless to say the idea has received short shrift from many commentators as a bit desperate. I'm not sure that McDonalds understand that you can't buy 'cool' or authenticity. Just look at the response to the scandal in the US when the republicans were found to have paid 'independent' bloggers to post supportive messages on their blogs, or the failure of 'fake' blogs to capture the imagination (Pepsi, Mazda, and of course McDonalds themselves, again)

Ty, the British rapper whose album Upwards was Mercury-nominated, said: "It's quite a poisonous concept, because they are paying rappers to mention the Big Mac, but they are not investing in the culture of hip-hop music. It definitely says a lot about how mainstream corporations view hip-hop music dismissively."

Secondly Jamie Oliver seems to have succeeded in getting the government to accept his arguements on school meals. The whole campaign has been a masterful PR exercise. Some may question his motives (the big fat cheque for the TV series, campaiging on food quality whilst promoting Sainsbury's rubbish etc) but if school dinners improve – a good job well done.

What strikes me about these two stories is that MD is willing to pay $5 per mention – the UK Government is offering to ensure that no child has less than 50p spent on their school meals – some disconnect here surely?

March 11, 2005

The untimely demise of mainstream media…

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

Whilst I may not agree with his politics you might like to read Hugh Hewitts book "Blogged" which covers much of the ideas in this article. Hugh outlines a continuity between the invention of the press, the reformation and onto blogging and argues that blogs are hammering nails into the coffin of mainstream media (it is worth noting also that the main people shouting about the impact blogs are having on mainstream media are… the bloggers and the mainstream media… – sometimes you feel that this debate is a bit Westminster Village)

In a earlier post i admitted to declining interest in print journalism and an increasing reliance on web based news and information sources – so perhaps the bleak future for paper news is the most likely outcome.

On a more general note I would suggest that the often touted notion that there is an army of millions of bloggers waiting to tear down traditional media is a bit fanciful. You can already see a hierarchy of bloggers emerging, with a few major stars with high traffic and a larger body of people with very little. You can see it in Warwick Blogs (Kieran may like to prove/disprove this!) where I would suspect that a few blogs attract the majority of traffic but the majority get only minor attention. You get the feeling that the old media cabals will simply be replaced with new media cabals. Don't forget that most people only rely on a small range of websites to cover their information and service needs – why should blogs be any different in the long run?

March 01, 2005

News sources – old vs new

Just been reading an interesting study of News consumption in the US (2001–2003). One of the authors conclusions is that people are turning away from print and TV for news and moving online to get their daily news fix.

Now, these are figures for the US, not the UK, but I wonder if these stack up over here as well.

I used to get a daily paper but found increasingly there was little time to read it during the week, so now my weekday news is usually wholly delivered via radio in the car on the way to and from work, and online at my desk or in the evening. My weekday news consumption is much more geared to quick scans of the latest stories – a 'What's going on' view – rather than the more in depth study of issues offered by more traditional paper media.

At the weekend, however, the paper usually wins – I have time to sit and browse through a saturday and sunday paper and I can pay more attention to complex stories.

This may be a symptom of the CNN/News 24 generation, and I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Online I can get news from a much wider range of specialist sources than I can in a paper, but I sometimes feel guilty that it encourages you to take no more than a cursory glance over issues of importance that probably warrant greater attention – issues that a few years ago would have got me quite agitated now don't. At least online I can scan the story across a broader range of media than I might have done 10 years ago, when my world view was shaped by the rather narrow window offered by my prejudicial choice of news delivery channel.

Anyhoo – it would be interesting to see online vs print stats for the UK, especially when categorised by age – where are generations going for their daily news?

January 24, 2005

CSR Blogging

Some interesting blogs on the subject of CSR.

First up – Bill Zhang with perhaps the slightly dull title of Leadership for Sustainable Development.

Some really good observations on Steal This Brand

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