Posts tagged: pervasive PR

Biggest challenges for the PR industry?

Great piece of research: the European Communications Monitor 2012.

This is the video, nicely presented, easy to understand.

The only area where I’d slightly take issue is on the subject of ethics. Ethics are no less important today to communicators than they ever have been. The difference is accountability for ethics, which pushes it up the agenda. And yes, there’s more legislation, but it’s more the advent of social tools in the hands of the general public that has really made the difference. But while this may make our job harder in one sense, in another it makes all of those ‘softer’ things like ethics and values, which have been hard to push onto the boardroom agenda, suddenly matter at that level too.

This, I contend, can only be for the best.

I look forward to delving deeper, but first looks suggest this is great piece of work.

Management has certainly become more complex, and doing more with less – but that’s what makes PR one of the most interesting professions in the World. Bring it on!

 

Where does the line fall for PR people?

BM thrived on the 'crisis' attention

By Claire Thompson, freelance PR and social media consultant, Waves PR

PR company Bell Pottinger is again under the spotlight, along with lobbying, and will probably remain so for a while. (For anyone who hasn’t seen the story, Stuart Bruce pulled together a great Storify timeline yesterday.)

Like Burson Marsteller before it with its Facebook/Google story scandal, Bell Pottinger will be squirming uncomfortably, but, like Burson Marsteller, Bell Pottinger is already taking on difficult, often unethical clients, and this kind of publicity will encourage more of the same kinds of clients.

And like Burson Marsteller, it will probably revel in the publicity for what it’s doing, and even use it to build it’s crisis management practise as its name becomes associated with the word crisis, and all those linking to it inadvertently help push it up the search engine rankings. And it’s certainly flushed out that the company has friends in high places within the establishment, making it attractive to more of the same.

Bell Pottinger’s latest ‘sin’ has been to use Wikipedia (Article in Independent, Thursday December 8, 2011), and some of the things it’s ‘accused’ of doing online leave me uncomfortable. I’m hoping that it might spark a sensible debate here around what is, and what isn’t acceptable. Now I’ll stick my hand up and say I’ve done some cackhanded things online before now, and I’ve been called on them, and I’ve apologised. The spotlight was uncomfortable, and hand on heart I’ve always tried to remain ethical whilst serving my clients the best way I can.

But ethics are a tough subject (see the open v copyright debate), and the Independent’s Wikipedia editing article highlights just that. Bell Pottinger tried to put a comment from a client  The Prostate Centre on a cancer related page. Without seeing the comment, my initial thought was that if I had prostate cancer, I might be pleased to see that information. Adding Professor Roger Kirby as an expert? If he’s a professor and has genuine credentials in his field, I would have thought that was fair.

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Greenpeace and the Old Street Storm Troopers

By Claire Thompson, freelance PR Consultant, Waves PR

So apparently Volkswagen's a bit like the Empire. Still,... on TwitpicThe Greenpeace v. Volkswagen ‘Dark Side’ storm trooper campaign is a hugely well executed integrated PR/social media/advertising campaign.

As a big Greenpeace fan on a personal level, I had emails this morning with a very easy sign up to protest message. Videos, photos, Facebook… great social stuff, all in the mix. The tactics are fantastic, brilliantly attention grabbing, brilliantly orchestrated. ‘Old Street’, where the storm troopers assembled, has been trending on Twitter.

But even as a Greenpeace fan, I’m somehow a little reticent about rubber stamping it from a PR perspective. Because at least Volkswagen does have some more ecologically friendly cars, albeit marginalised, within it’s fleet, whilst there are other car manufacturers that don’t. The green movement is strong in Germany, so maybe that filtered into their thinking as part of their strategy. Only time will tell whether they’ve made a difference, but my big fear for Greenpeace is that their tactics, rather than their message, are what’s grabbing the attention.

Their social media activity around palm oil only really gathered pace and got people’s backs up when Nestle got the hump and removed and tweet and objected to a picture using their logo. Yes, some extra attention reached the ears of a general public which might not otherwise have engaged with the campaign, but Greenpeace is running the risk of becoming the ‘Fathers for Justice’ of the eco-World: the tactics attracting more attention for themselves than for their message/cause.

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My SASCon presentation

The presentation delivered as part of the panel discussion at SASCon:

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