Archive for September, 2008
September 30th, 2008
Last night Tim and I attended the Revolution relaunch party, to see what the fuss is about with the new magazine. We knew that Gareth, Andy and the team had been hard at work since taking over the reigns at Revolution, reworking the magazine and coming up with new ideas,Â so to be honest we were intrigued to find out what they had been up to.
When we did get to see the mag,Â I must say it was impressive. Apparently the copies had only arrived a few hours prior to the party, so it really was a first look for everyone and it certainly wasn’t a disappointment.
The design has been reworked,Â making itÂ much cleaner and easier to digest. The format has been altered, keeping some of the traditional favourites such as the special reports and the masterclasses, but introducing more opinion and indepth articles. As you might expect, there are also many more links to the web and more encouragement forÂ the reader to visit the website for further news.
And there-in lies the future. We know magazines can’t compete with the web for news, especially on a monthly, so that link between the website, which will continue to churn the news, and the main mag which will focus more on indepth analysis, exclusive/major newsÂ and opinion is certainly one that i agree with.
Having said that, Revolution doesn’t yet have a new sparkly website to compliment the new magazine, but one step at a time, and i was assured last night that the site is on its way.
Overall, i think the new Revolution is an excellent title. Gareth and Andy’s experience in the sector and knowledge of the subject matter shines through, and as a result Revolution is in safe hands.
When you get to see the new mag, let me know if you agree.
September 29th, 2008
Slotmusic is a pre-loaded micro sd card which promises to be of high qulity and DRM free – so far so good. Some big record labels have already got onboard and they include EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group .
Benefits for the consumer:
No need for a PC.
Slot the micro sd card into you micro sd enabled device.
Bundled with a usb sleeve to use with your PC.
Consumers can also add their own content to a SlotMusic card, creating a personal plug-and-play media library.
SlotMusic cards can hold songs, as well as liner notes, album art, videos, and other creative content.
Will SlotMusic fail or succeed?
It’s quite clear that CD’s are in downward spiral with sales down from 942 million in 2000 to 511 million in 2007. Minidiscs were meant to be the CD killer but look at what happened to them – they died a quick death. Digital music clearly works with iTunes selling over five billion songs, and with the introduction of its iPhone giving it seamless compatibility, who wants to go into the shop and buy a slot music card off the self when you can do everything online?
Another potential pit fall could be the fact that on some mobile phones the sd card holders are in weird places, and may even involve taking out a battery – too much hassle!
Personally I don’t think I’m gonna bother with SlotMusic, and I’ll stick to my own tried and tested methods, but you never know I might just end up eating my own words!
What do you think, will slot cards fail or succeed? The concept could certainly benefit from a good online PR campaign to raise awareness, or else it stands to be another music invention that never properly takes off.
September 26th, 2008
Here is this week’s top round up of web 2.0 tools:
1. Got a tip off on Twitter about this web 2.0 tool. It’s a search engine called Kosmix, some people say it’s got to much information on it, but i say the more information the better the search result.
2. Splicd is a YouTube application that helps you shorten specific parts of the YouTube video, so it only plays the part you want.
Check out the splicd demo here:
3. Next on the web 2.0 tools list is a site called Ego Surf.
The about page says-
“You enter your name and your blogs web address. We search google and find links to your blog. We calculate your ego ranking.
We show you where your blogs appear in the search engines. 2Did we mention that we can search in Yahoo, MSN, del.icio.us and Technorati too? 1Got more than one blog or site? No problem, we can look for lots.”
4. About this site gives you simple information on any particular url fast. – Useful for some competitor research.
5. Finally on today’s web 2.0 tools list we have another search engine called Social Mention. A pure and simple social media search engine. The results are taken from a very good selection of social media authority’s.
More next week!
September 26th, 2008
I know, I know, no posts for weeks and then two in one day, I plead post wedding absence followed by return to work madness, but enough of that.
I must admit to a bit of trepidation prior to the event,Â I knew a few people on the list by reputation, and with minimal contact over email/Twitter, but had made no solid plans to meet up, so i was going in blind. But, as soon as i arrived I was greeted by friendly faces at the door, who as it turned out were volunteers, and it continued from there on in. Everyone was friendly, genuinely interested in meeting others and like me, most had turned up not knowing a sole.
The evening was a joy, everyone got on, and by the time the raffle came around we were all a little worse for ware, and slightly rowdy, but that just added to the fun of the event, the proceeds of which went to The Connection at St Martin-in-the-fields. Special thanks goes to @RobertSnell who joined me in my voyage of discovery as we met up with the good, the mad and the bladdered throughout the evening. Good to meet you finally @timhoang and sorry i missed you @simoncollister and @amayfield – it was too packed, and there were too many hiding places to seek everyone out!
So, to @HarvestTwest and @amandita,Â I salute you on a job well done, to all of those i met, too many to mention here,Â I hope we can stay in touch and thank you for a great evening.
Role on the next event, and I for one will be there.
September 26th, 2008
The annual pilgrimage to ad:tech has come and gone for another year, and it seems there was a definite change in the air this year. Not so much to the exhibitors, most of the usual suspects were there, in fact what was more noticeable were the ones that weren’t.
The main change though, was in the opportunities for education and networking. The speaker slots were packed, the specific networking points full (the main one sponsored by Orange) and the omnipresent Google University well attended. This is a key point that the organisers have picked up on.
Some might say that all of these have been available at previous events, and you would be right, but at this year’s event education and networking was certainly more of a focal point. Anyone attending ad:tech, and the many other digitally-focuses shows, will have seen a dramatic fall off in attendees willing or looking to purchase. The simple reality is; many people go to shows to meet up with contacts, snoop on competitors and generally try to get a feel for what’s happening in the market. Not as many attend to buy, or research a purchase.
Although most exhibitors that i spoke to said it had been a successful show in terms of leads, I think we’ve seen a change to the format of trade shows that will only continue to evolve. The focus of ad:tech 08, as Paul Sinclair, event director said in his opening notes: ‘has developed inline with visitor’s thirst for knowledge’, and it must be said a thirst for networking.
So what’s next for ad:tech? Well considering much of the business and many of the best stories, and probably leads, come out in the bars surrounding Olympia following the close of the show, perhaps a day of drinking is in order, and as anyone who attended will know, some of the stands are not far away from that already.
September 25th, 2008
Just wanted to share a great YouTube social media opportunity/competition with you for young and aspiring journalists
A few years ago, perhaps our own Tim Greenhalgh a former Times journalist, or our own Liberate Media director Wendy McAuliffe a former NMA technology editor could have had a shot at this.
The opportunity is a YouTube contest called Project:Report in conjunction with Sony VAIO, Intel and Pulitzer Center, and it’s intended for non-professional, aspiring journalists to tell stories that might not otherwise be told.
The competition is split over three rounds, with an assignment in each. Winners of each round will receive technology prizes from Sony VAIO & Intel, and the grand prize winner will be granted a $10,000 journalism fellowship with the Pulitzer Centre to report on a story abroad. A great prize!
The site also offers some tips on how to produce the video, with lots of product placement courtesy of Sony – you gotta get something back for offering the prizes!
September 19th, 2008
Here is my usual Friday web 2.0 tools/technologyÂ good stuff round up of the week.
1, I have been doing a little research for my forthcoming iPhone and have come across this little application called If Found. You set up your iPhone with this application and if you loose it the finder can click on the If Found icon on the menu, this brings up your contact details so the finder can get in touch with owner. The incentive is the owner sets up a finders fee payable to the finder on return of the hand set. – neat!
2, Still on the iPhone theme is apttism. The aim of the site is to aggregate the latest iPhone app news, reviews, ratings, media and more to help you find the best apps and games.
3, Last week on the web 2.0 tools list was a site called Yammer, following on from this a similar business Twitter style offering called Present.ly . It allows you to give your employees the ability to instantly communicate their current status, ask questions, post media, share images, documents, video, and audioclips with your colleagues.
4, With all the news around the financial markets, Streetread tracks various financial news services, stocks and companies from the latest headlines from over 20 of the leading finance sites.
More of the same web 2.0 tools/technologyÂ good stuff next week.
September 17th, 2008
“Flib-flarb is a new social networking tool that allows you to connect your twooter to the automatic updates from your bing-boing account. It saves me a lot of time and best of all, my friends always know when I’m glogging the latest blurbs.
Flib-flarb now slurps your jangalion account as well. It parses all posts, de-dupes, and feeds it back out via SMS. You can read it all on you’re flappersizion profile, I just kongled it.” manima
Sounds amazing, defiantly going to sign up for a flappersizion profile!
The quote comes in its original form, so please forgive the typos.
September 12th, 2008
Lots of great web 2.0 tools around this week due to Techcrunch 50
1, The first web 2.0 tool we have today is the winner of Techcrunch 50. Yammer is Twitter for business.10,000 people and 2,000 organizations signed up for the service on it’s first day of launch. Read a review: Yammer – Twitter for companies
2, This next one I like a lot and is very useful, it’s called RSS Mixer. Take a bunch of RSS feeds you like chuck them in the mixer and you now have just one RSS feed. Take your new feed away in the form of a url, widget, or mobile feed.
3, MeeID is a slick little online id card. It gives you 10 lines to type in facts about yourself. You can also link to all your social profiles.
4, Next is a fun entry in the five fabulous web 2.0 tools list. It is called Ulimate flash face. Remember the photo-fit used by witnesses of crimes. Use flash face to do just that, although you don’t have to have witnessed a crime to use!
5, If you like your visual web 2.0 site this one is for you, Doodle Buzz. “DoodleBuzz is a new way to read the news through an experimental interface that allows you to create typographic maps of current news stories”. – very cool!
September 10th, 2008
It’s official – the UK will fall into recession in 2008, the European Commission has this afternoon predicted. The gloomy facts can be read here in this BBC report.
So what does this mean for the PR industry, and what can we expect to see happen over coming months? Here are a few of my own predictions…
The PR industry will reinvent itself
Over the past couple of years, there has been increasing pressure on the PR industry to wake up to the impact social media is having on communications, and evolve. Some have responded more quickly than others. Liberate Media was infact set-up back in August 2006 to respond precisely to this change, and since then we’ve seen other agencies set-up in-house digital divisions. However, this movement has not spread across the whole of the PR industry at the speed it should – it hasn’t gone unnoticed by industry critics and observers that many more traditional PR agencies have turned a blind eye, largely through fear of the unknown.
A recession will force PR consultancies to get their houses in order, and evolve or die. So, in actual fact, a recession could ultimately be a good thing for this industry, separating the quality, digitally-aware practitioners from the run-of-the-mill.
The profiles of individual PRs will become more important
We’re living in an era of Personalised Relations – PR has always been about engaging with people, but the personal touch is today more important than ever. Jeremiah Owyang, senior analyst at Forrester, in his blog talks about PR folks becoming their own hubs, where “theyâ€™ve developed real relationships with influencers regardless of who their client list is”. If you’re looking to hire a PR who ‘gets’ online PR, it’s becoming easier and easier to spot them. Blogging and microblogging is making it so simple for PRs to build their own profiles, above and beyond the agency they work for – it’s a great way of assessing who’s truly active within social media, and who’s just talking about it.
PR will no longer be a beauty parade
This prediction is somewhat biased, but I say it with the experience of having worked as a trade journalist for six years. For decades, selecting a PR agency has been somewhat a beauty parade. Large brands have often felt more comfortable employing a well-know London-based agency, based on the kudos of having their contact details on their press releases. However, in my mind, a recession will place smaller, more niche PR consultancies in a position of strength, based on their ability to adapt their business model more rapidly in line with changing economic conditions. Definitions of ‘beauty’ will evolve, and be more about the ROI and quality of service a consultancy can deliver.
New business will be won/put to tender in less orthodox ways
The pitch process has been perfected by PR practitioners – weeks go into preparing, and the delivery is generally rehearsed to perfection. But as many brands will have discovered, this is not always the best way to select a suitable PR partner. The team who present will not always be the team you end up working with, and once the business is won, enthusiasm levels will quickly switch to the next exciting pitch that comes through the door.
As budgets become reduced, and ROI becomes key, word-of-mouth and recommendation, as well as networking, will I think become a more widely used route to winning business.
In addition, as all aspects of digital communications merge, new business will also be won through collaboration with partner agencies. Keeping yourself isolated is no longer an option for successful PR agencies.
And finally…CEOs will need to prioritise PR more highly
It goes without saying, that in order to get the most out of your PR resource, you need to make it a two-way relationship. This takes time, and many PR campaigns fall down on senior people not dedicating enough time to their PR campaign, be it for media interviews, signing-off press materials, or attending meetings etc. In a recession, brands who continue to see the importance in PR will need to make sure their investment is working harder for them, which means devoting more time to it.
We’re living in an age where conversations happen online about your products and services, in real time. When consumer spend is low, those who engage with their publics will reap the best reward. Your PRs cannot pretend to be you – and so CEOs etc will need to make more time to engage in these conversations around their brand.
** These are just my humble opinions. It’s an unsettling time for the PR industry (which has never done a great job of doing its own PR), but let’s hope the recession offers the shake-up the industry needs. Please let me know if you have other predictions to add to my list above.