Posts tagged: Waves PR

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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The PR Week That Was

Femke and Rob, SIG, in training

So another busy week went by at Waves PR

Early in the week I visited Elegant Cuisine, who have had some changes.  There are some super plans ahead for their Cafe Bar @ Cornerstone, based in the Cornerstone Art Centre in Didcot. It has some lovely engagement going on through its Twitter account @BarCornerstone – making some firm friends along the way, without worrying about the numbers game – and has plans for great things using social media. It’s even holding a Tweetup in December (in Didcot), a brave move for a small bar.

Elegant Cuisine also briefed me on a pretty amazing wedding package on offer – more details on this later – and a website refresh in the offing: more on this later as well.

On Tuesday I worked with SIG – the Software Improvement Group – on some multi-cultural, multi platform media training, which was great fun, and again, it wasn’t just traditional offline media that we discussed. We had been discussing a fun campaign, but off the back of the training changed tack a little, and are developing a campaign based around great software development teams.

Global Integration’s global working video competition has been getting a lot of attention, if no entries yet (although we’ve had some brave attempts from spammers). This has been an amazing learning curve. We knew before we started that we wouldn’t expect thousands of entries, even with a prize as big as $15 thousand. What we perhaps hadn’t anticipated was that the real value has been around the conversations that people have been having and the interest stirred, and if just one of the ideas that people have been discussing materialises, the competition will have been well worth it, and may well run again next year.

The Global Integration new website is also developing behind the scenes, and we may have something to show there soon.

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So what’s been happening at Waves PR

Cafe Bar @ Cornerstone wine evening

I realise that this is a lazy blog, just rounding things up a little, but there’s a lot been happening.

There’s an executive summary of things you can participate in at the end, but the deatil, in alphabetical order, just for the sake of having some (order, that is):





I fix the translation and distribute press releases for AIA Software. This process is OK for online stuff, but isn’t terribly engaging, so I’m hoping to deepen that relationship to something more productive for them and more rewarding for me. They’re at Plugfest in Gouda this week talking OpenDoc.

Elegant Cuisine, Oxford Caterer (logo)





Elegant Cuisine, an Oxford caterer, has opened it’s new bar in Didcot, the Cafe Bar @ Cornerstone. They had an amazing wine evening, one which we hope will be the first of many. We’re also planning some social media training for the team at the Cafe Bar so that they can start sharing more of the good stuff that goes on whilst actually in the bar. As they had celebrities and storm troopers, hold regular science nights and Open Mic nights, there’s no reason they couldn’t have a really exciting social presence. We are also updating their website – very needed. Read more »

Excitement for the coming month.

Perhaps a bit of a lazy b;og today, but heartfelt none the less. There are always loads of events to choose from – and London’s buzzing right now. I do try hard to get a decent spread whilst still ensuring that I have time to do some work!

First up there’s this Friday’s thupr event, and the great host of people who know what they’re doing are coming on down, and we’ve just added another app developer, Sprash, to the host that will be strutting their stuff. We have so many changes afoot and I can’t wait to share the excitement and bring people in! Why you should go: great, practical  learning space, meeting space, thinking place; a bar; outside the normal ‘echo chamber’; fun;  get out of the office early on a Friday.

And then there’s anticipation of Tweetcamp: if you haven’t seen the campsite, you should! The event’s on Saturday October 8, and promising to be awesome. Why you should go: not the usual ‘echo chamber’; great learning space, meeting space, thinking place; fun.

I’d also love to be at Reading Geek this week – Jim Anning has managed to create a really relaxed format that’s always stuffed full of really smart folk. (Jury’s out on a babysitter though – other parents will identify with that one!) and no, that’s not because I consider myself a geek, but because I learn – lots – every time manage to get along. Why you should go:  great learning space, meeting space; fun crowd; outside of London.

And then Waves, which is run from a boat, will feature as part of a programme later in this year, and we’ll be filming for that. Which is great! But I can’t invite you – we can only take ten at most!


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