PR professionals continue to debate the future of the humble media release. Some have even questioned whether there’s a place for them at all, particularly in the digital age when companies now have a direct line to consumers via social media. Why bother with a wire distribution at all?
But, for publicly traded companies in particular, the media release still plays an important role in communicating company news. The format is usually pretty standard; an opening paragraph which sums-up what’s happened, a few bullet points of key messages and a quote from a company executive.
As a PR professional, whether in-house or agency side, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of the headlines affecting your company or clients. Nothing is worse than coming into the office in the morning and murmuring an embarrassed “erm…I’m not sure” when someone asks your opinion on a story you’ve totally missed – particularly if that someone is the CEO.
In days gone by, listening to the morning news on the radio and scanning one or two national newspapers would have sufficed. But in the digital era, there are masses of sources and stories appearing and being updated on a minute-by-minute basis. So how does the modern PR pro stay on top of the very latest, without spending hours trawling the web? Here are some of the tools I use every single day. Continue reading →
In 1978 we were made to believe that a man could fly. Today, in 2013, we usually believe pretty much anything thanks to the huge leaps Hollywood SFX teams have made since the first Superman movie hit our screens. So it was with a Kryptonian-sized slice of irony that I left the latest incarnation, Man of Steel, craving something a little more…grounded.
The British Open. July, 1998. The Spice Girls were number one in the UK singles charts, US president Bill Clinton had “not just had sexual relations” with an intern, Tiger Woods was still a young kid with plenty to prove – and a 17-year-old amateur was about to capture the hearts of a nation.
Ah, Taco Bell. The quick service restaurant chain is currently recovering from a social media crisis after one of its employees was photographed licking a stack of taco shells, with the image soon ending-up on Facebook. Like they all do.
The food industry is particularly susceptible to this kind of thing. One person’s prank is another’s social media meltdown. And this was no exception.
The UK in the 1980s was a scary place to grow-up. Take it from me. There were things like football hooligans, the Falklands War, a collapsing economy and Kevin Keegan’s perm. And if we thought we could take refuge in children’s television, we were wrong. Horrifyingly wrong, because the public information commercials were waiting for us.
That’s right – short films that, in any normal circumstance, would have been given an R rating and shown after 10pm at night, not after Crackerjack like these bastards. The aim was to terrify us into staying safe. They were videos which explained that death stalked us at every corner. Continue reading →
Father – it’s been two months since my last blog post.
Phew. It feels good to get that confession off my chest. I’ve been horribly slack at updating my blog recently. It’d be easy to blame work commitments or the time joyously spent with my 14-month-old daughter. But that would be bullshit.
The professional networking website LinkedIn has always been looked upon unfairly as the unfashionable guy at the social media party. He’s the older, less trendy one who prefers suits and BlackBerries to hoodies and iPhones. Or is he?
LinkedIn recently surpassed 200 million members. Yes, that’s a fair way short of Facebook’s one billion users, but it looks set to continue its growth – and financial analysts have it down as the social network which investors would be well advised to pay attention to. Indeed, its 2011 IPO surpassed all expectations and the price of shares continues to rise, anchored by LinkedIn’s premium subscription model which generates revenue as well as providing that ever elusive “sticky growth” that online companies crave to sustain their business models.
It still boggles my mind that there are companies out there who refuse to acknowledge the part social media can play in the growth of a brand. If there’s one efficient and cost effective way to directly reach out to existing and potential customers, it’s with social media. It gives your company a voice.
According to a recent report, the use of corporate blogs is on the rise. According to the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts:
“The rise of blogging as a corporate tool after years of stagnation is a big story. The number of companies producing corporate blogs jumped 7 points from the 37% adoption in the 2011 report. That’s also 16% more than the Fortune 500, which rose from 23% in 2011 to 28% in 2012.”
At last it seems brands are tuning into the fact that they can now speak directly to their stakeholders. They don’t need to rely solely on third party media (although the credibility of positive news coverage is still enormous) to get their message across.