Archive for September, 2008

CIPR Awards 2008

September 17, 2008

Monday night saw me fortunate enough to have a jolly at the CIPR awards, where we were shortlisted for agency of the year. (Blue Rubicon won the category).

It was pretty good fun, and there were a lot of people from right across the industry there. Great, I thought, there’s probably loads of people here whose views on the winners and night itself I’ll be able to catch up with online. Tuesday came and went, and nothing really appeared. Maybe it is the hangovers I thought, I’ll have another look Wednesday night. Yet still there’s next to nothing.

Why? (I appreciate I’m only just blogging about it now, but I’m pretty convinced we’re not all involved in some giant social media stand-off). Does it reflect a lack of interest in the CIPR awards generally, or just a lack of relevance for the more digital-minded section of the PR community who are likely to be blogging? If it’s the latter, then the CIPR awards are at least gamely trying to engage us with social media campaign of the year etc.

I’m never quite sure how I feel about the CIPR generally. I’m not a member, but have been to events there etc, and do feel it is important for us to have a coherent voice as an industry. I’m also acutely aware that you can’t stand on the sidelines, not getting involved, and complain about how things proceed. So I don’t.


PR or digital marketing?

September 14, 2008

Let me tell you a story which reflects something I’ve been mulling over recently

(This is me looking mournful, BTW)

(This is me looking mournful, BTW)

A friend of mine from university has been considering getting into PR over the last year. I was pleased; she’s bright, outgoing and self-aware enough to know what she was getting into (which you can’t always say for Oxbridge grads, where we’re largely tailored to think just of careers in banking, management consultancy, or law). Just the sort of person I want in my industry.

I gave her the benefit of my (limited) wisdom, gave her a few pointers on agencies and approach to interviews etc, and crossed my fingers for her. Recently she sent me an email. She’d accepted an offer. Great, I thought, and entirely unsurprising- if I was interviewing for grads I’d take her on.

Here’s the twist though. It’s not in PR. She’s taken a job with an established and well-known digital marketing agency. Not because she ddn’t like PR. But because she liked social media, and wanted to help clients communicate in that medium.

I’m not territorial or possessive about such things; I don’t really think it matters how you define yourselves  long as you do good work for clients in any medium. But it did make me sad that she’d seen the opportunity to achieve her goal, but it didn’t lie within a PR agency. She’s the sort who will end up at the top of her chosen profession, and she’s the sort we need working in PR. You know, the type of person who dispels the image of PRs as fluffy un-intellectual types flogging FMCG crap, and instead combines a decent academic mind with some human empathy and creativity.

It probably doesn’t matter in the long run, we could both easily find ourselves working in the same agency on the same campaigns as barriers between media disciplines become ever more fuzzy, but for the sake of PR agencies as they stand, I hope we don’t miss out on too many more of her ilk.


iPhone, therefore I am?

September 14, 2008

About a year or so ago the iPhone was launched with great fanfare – we were told that this would be the invention to finally topple sliced bread as man’s greatest accomplishment. Weeks and months passed and I didn’t see anyone using them and Apple had to admit that the launch was a complete flop.

Now, with a revised price scheme, technical faults ironed out and a high profile court case, the iPhone has been reinvigorated and there is suddenly a distinct lack of BlackBerries on Britain’s trains, tubes and buses.

I don’t have an iPhone, but did have a BlackBerry which I loved to bits. Given its branding and thus the loyalty it has with its users, are BlackBerries in an unassailable position as a PR’s number one gadget or does the iPhone really represent a threat?

Were you to ask 10 random PRs 6 months ago what they had, a BlackBerry or an iPhone, I would guess that 9 would say a BlackBerry. I wonder, if I were to take that poll now, would the results be the same?

A successful marketing, advertising and PR campaign, or is it a case that the iPhone is suddenly living up to its pedigree?

James G

W-to the-W-to the W

September 2, 2008

OK, I’m a day and a half behind the rest of the UK PR blogosphere with this one (which eqautes to at least a month in real terms), but congrats to Stephen Davies on the launch of 3WPR.

It’s online comms, and what I like best is he’s taking the big picture approach- not just banging the ‘social media is the be all and it’s gonna change the world’ approach. Online is about a lot more then that, and looks like he’ll be telling people that. Which is grand. As is being based in Newcastle; lucky chap!

Look forward to hearing more on it.