Monthly Archives: January 2009

Sailing into disaster?

Never forget the fate of Sir Cloudesley Shovel.  He was the British Admiral, who in 1707 managed to steer an entire fleet onto rocks near the Scillies.  Despite being the most respected officer of his day, he ignored warnings that his ships were dangerously off course, including the urgent pleas of one crew member, who had smelt the [...]

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Football’s anti social media

A great article by Observer football writer Paul Wilson on why British football clubs, managers and players are rightly wary of social media.  Wilson talks about how Houston Dynamo of the MLS have created the first official fan social network site, hosting fan forums, player blogs, videos etc.  Unfortunately, he is correct in arguing that the highly tribal [...]


Tesco loses millions

One of the biggest challenges faced by the social media evangelists, especially within major corporations, is to persuade their colleagues to redefine what represents a successful marketing campaign. To marketing heads weaned on a diet of tens of millions of advertising ratings or millions of household door-drops, the fact that you have persuaded a few thousand [...]

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Customer critics

Consumer empowerment is presenting marketing and PR professionals with a brand new set of reputational management and internal communications challenges for which they are largely ill-prepared.  The latest is the use of Facebook as a forum for employees to criticise their own customers.  This week it is Tesco employees describing their customers as ‘rude, smelly and [...]

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Latching on to the crowd’s enthusiasms

Some typically smart thinking from RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor about the best way for government institutions to influence consumer behaviour.  Rather than lecture people about what they should or should not be doing, smart communicators (people we would label ‘crowd surfers’) achieve behavioural change by leveraging people’s existing enthusiasms.  Taylor describes this as ‘voluntary mobilisation.’  Here’s an [...]

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The tricky art of blogger relations

A useful case study on Panasonic’s blogger relations strategy by AdWeek’s Brian Morrissey, with a commentary by Robin Grant of We are social, one of the leading exponents of this emerging discipline.  When executed smartly, targeting a small number of influential bloggers can be a highly effective part of the communications mix.  Blogger relations is bound to [...]

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Picture imperfect

The Times City Diary has found great amusement with this lovely image, which comes towards the top of the rankings when you type McDonald’s on Google Images: The diary writer then asks the naive question: “Does the world’s most sophisticated PR machine, which has harried even impoverished critics into the courts” … (which I assume is a [...]

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Clever Burgers

More inspired crowd surfing from those very clever people at Crispin Porter … sacrifice 10 Facebook friends in return for a voucher for a free Whopper. It shows a real understanding of the promiscuous nature of friendships within the social media environment – in which people collect friends the way that children collect trading cards – and provides [...]

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A window on the world of microblogging

This looks like a must read for anyone wondering how to make the most of the microblogging trend best illustrated by the spectacular growth of Twitter.   In Twitter Means Business, Julio Ojeda-Zapata offers practical advice for businesses hoping to connect with the “remarkably vocal and energetic crowd” that will make Twitter the media phenomenon of [...]

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A GP’s Dilemma

A generation ago, a doctor was a figure of respect, authority and trust, whilst patients were relatively uninformed and happy to defer to the medical expert.  Compare this to the fate of today’s doctor, who looks up to see yet another patient advancing across the surgery with a fistfull of printouts from websites and patient [...]

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