Posts tagged: ROI

Western Union and Facebook

Alternative Title: How a small, visual app can demonstrate connections in a very unfrightening manner to social media phobes.

By Claire Thompson, Waves PR

Had an email from Simon Grice,, today about a project they’ve done for Western Union. In it was a Facebook app that I tried out. It’s very simple – just visually shows you where your Facebook friends are.

Waves PR: global connections

Now according to the blurb, I am the 9,079th most networked person in United Kingdom, with friends in 18 countries, covering a distance of 250,492 KM.

Perhaps this is nothing to write home about, except that I only connect with people I have met (in reality or online) or know in a particular context, so whilst my Facebook patterns and interactions will be unique to me, they’re not dissimilar to most people.

Whilst I am a huge fan of the Socialnomics video, which will be familiar to most social workers (social media, that is), some less wired people I’ve shown it to have found it simply too much – too mind blowing to even consider, and actually it’s easier not to. They’re managing just fine without it thank you very much.

I think this little diagram shows at a glance how just one, (fairly) ordinary person can have contacts all around the world – and that’s taking your stories world wide at just a touch!

The link for the app is at Western Union World on Facebook if you want to have a play.

Newspaper licensing scheme: clarity

The NLA is owned by the 8 national newspaper publishing houses and generates B2B revenues for 1,300 national and regional publishers through licensing use of their content by press cuttings agencies (PCAs) and their client companies – mostly PR companies/PR functions. They took a case to The Court of Appeal which judged that there’s a need to have two licences for monitoring News ‘clippings’ – both online and off – one for paid for by  online monitoring service providers and one for their customers (who get notifications of the fact that articles are there, and can buy/receive copies).

Managing Director David Pugh said in a statement: “The Court of Appeal has today unequivocally confirmed the ruling of the High Court that online newspapers are copyright protected. It has given a clear declaration that most (if not all) businesses subscribing to a media monitoring service that contains content from online newspapers require a licence. We welcome this ruling and the clarity it provides for publishers, media monitoring agencies and their clients. This positive interpretation of UK copyright law provides legal clarity and certainty for all players in the market. Publishers can be sure of fair royalties for the use of their content, suppliers of paid-for online monitoring services will benefit from a level playing field and clients of such services know that their licence provides a simple way to guarantee compliance with the law.”

Personally, it doesn’t affect me on the face of it – I check regularly online and know where my clients’ coverage is due to appear and go track down (and pay for) copies, but Simon Clark of Berwin Leighton Paisner (which represents the NLA and the publishers) commented that as  copyright can subsist in a newspaper headline alone, most of the extracts from the articles sent by cuttings agency Meltwater electronically to their clients will infringe copyright unless their clients have a licence from the NLA or the publishers. Who knows how Meltwater will cope? They did a good job of standing up to be counted. [Added: my information came from the NLA – other reports contradict this view]

Maybe the NLA can claim it’s a good thoing – I have ambivalent feelings as people quoted in papers surely have a right to see what’s been said?  But there’s a wider issue at stake.  If this is the case, is Google going to be forced to make all of its customers (ie all of us) buy  licenses to receive Google alerts next? This pebble in the pond could have wide reaching implications.

(The next stage in copyright clarity – for better or for worse – is the Copyright Tribunal review of the commercial aspects of newspaper website licensing. )



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PR Pays Its Way

Today has been a storming day.

Speaking to a client today, they fed back that at least three good, long term B2B contracts have resulted from their PR work.

The interesting thing is that their campaign has been mainly local media relations with a spattering of social media, which they’ve good heartedly embraced but know they have a way to go. We also did a little web refresh to make their website more accessible and findable. Just the basis, not full on SEO, but enough to double traffic almost immediately.

I continue to argue my corner that reaching the audiences who want to hear about you isn’t about sticking to a single communications channel (‘social’, ‘online’, ‘print’) but about working out the habits and preferences of customers. In this case, at least, it’s paid for itself several times over!


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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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