Archive for the 'Fun' Category

Amusing Gorkana snippet

June 8, 2009

From today’s twitterati update in their daily email:

The specialist legal IT newsletter Legal Technology Insider and its companion blog, The Orange Rag, has closed its Twitter feed, owing to the fact that they were getting a high number of irrelevant tweets.

What were the tweets?! We demand to know…

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PR sex stories

December 3, 2008

There must be something in the PR air the last few weeks. The industry has gone sex-mad.

Sunday saw Bradley University, Illnois revealing the UK is “on top” in the casual sex league. (great punning from the S Times)

Monday saw Ocado reporting condom sales up 60%, and Terence Higgins trust with a report claiming sex is at the top of our leiasure time activity list. Interestingly the effectiveness of Ocado’s story in providing ROI is debatable; only a small uplift in search traffic for them, which is an important consideration as an online retailer.

Today sees Durex also claiming sales are up 10%.

Everyone is attributing it to the credit crunch leading to more nights in for couples. Personally I’m putting it down to the fact a) sex sells newspapers, and b) it is a great opportunity for journalists to use perenennial classic phrase “sexpert XXX said…”

Perhaps we’ll start ‘PR sex-watch’ on the blog. Or maybe not. I might be washing my hair instead.

What’s in your PR bag?

October 5, 2008

Last week a client was surprised at how little ‘stuff’ I had with me for couple of days spent with them. They were (pleasantly) surprised I could work and survive with so little clutter.

It got me thinking, what do you actually need as a PR? I had a small satchel (OK, a ‘man bag’) with change of shirt etc, basic wash stuff, notepad, pens, a copy of the Economist, a book, a Blackberry, an IPhone, wallet and various swipe cards. And a worrying amount of chewing gum (maybe someone is trying to tell me something and is slipping it into my bag?).

As long as you have access to a computer every so often to write longer docs/presentations, I reckon you could survive like this for a pretty decent stretch.

So, what is essential to your day as a PR? What would you feel naked without (other than clothes)?

Tagging Stephen, Chris, Dom, and Jed to share their ‘what’s in your PR bag’ confessions. Those without blogs please do share in comments…

PR typology- which are you?

July 23, 2008

Clearing through some RSS feeds, I just stumbled across this beauty of a post by Almost a lady, charting some of the commonnly found types of people in PR. Some of these are laugh out loud funny and worryingly accurate. Everyone has come across ‘the tech guru’, for example:

The Tech Guru
Telecommicus notoriosus
Knows their sector inside out; likely to understand the client’s business better than the client themselves. Chic or smart exterior inevitably hides party monster: approach on the dance floor at your own risk.

A thoroughly recommended post. Out yourself if you feel you fit any of these categories.

PR Jargon

April 30, 2008

What do you always tell clients?

Make sure you don’t use jargon, unless the language used could be understood by a lay person.

But what do all PRs do?

Use horrendous meaningless jargon, and phrases which absolutely do not reflect their true meaning.

Here’s a top 10 of the worst offending phrases, and their actual meaning. Feel free to disagree, or let us know any real clangers you think we’ve overlooked….

10] “Can you just start this document off?”

=” can you just do the whole document, please?”

9] ‘”low hanging fruit”

= “achieve this, and it will be of no use to anyone, but look like soemthing got done”

8] “We’ll just re-purpose some old material”

= “cut and paste”

7] “Going forward”

= “I have an inability to express myself properly, and mean in future”

6] “That’s a really great idea”

= “That’s now my really good idea” OR “Thank God you have an idea, as I have none whatsoever, and it was getting embarassing”

5] “Could I have this close of play please” [usually said c.3pm]

= “I’ve forgotten to do this/run out of time, and you’re not going home tonight as a result”

4] “managing expectations”

= “making sure they’re not dissapointed when we produce no coverage/don’t do what they want”

3] “Would you be responsible for this…”

= “I hope never to see this piece of work again” OR “I’ve been told to be more consultative when handing off crap pieces of work”

2] “liaised with”

= “they phoned us first” OR “I left a message belatedly” OR “I haven’t even spoken to them, but this will make me sound better” OR ” I actually have spoken with them on numerous occasions” [rarely this one though].

1] “let’s push back”

= “we’ll try and disagree, but end up doing what they want anyway”

Easter PR calendar hooks

March 20, 2008

Two positive pearls from the fine art of PR calendar hookery today. Which appear to have been received with  amusment by ever-cynical journos..First the Times,  covering the Philipine governmnet release, cleverly hitting upon the fact Jesus was indeed crucified, to push a story promoting tetanus jabs…See below for an excerpt. Thanks to my colleague Dan for spotting,

Secondly, RAC/Aviva with FT Alphaville picking up their regular bank holiday travel choas story, which this year has alighted on the credit crunch as an exacerbating factor. Well worth a read for some very funny journalism.

If you’re going to be crucified get a tetanus jabJoanna Sugden

Of all the health risks associated with being crucified tetanus infection is not the first that springs to mind. But the Filipino government has issued a health warning to devotees who re-enact the Crucifixion every Good Friday advising them to get a Tetanus jab before being nailed to the cross. In a move aimed at cure rather than prevention the Department of Health has strongly advised devout Catholics to get a vaccination before taking part in crucifixion ceremonies to prevent infection. ..

If you’re going to be crucified get a tetanus jab Joanna Sugden – Of all the health risks associated with being crucified tetanus infection is not the first that springs to mind. But the Filipino government has issued a health warning to devotees who re-enact the Crucifixion every Good Friday advising them to get a Tetanus jab before being nailed to the cross.

In a move aimed at cure rather than prevention the Department of Health has strongly advised devout Catholics to get a vaccination before taking part in crucifixion ceremonies to prevent infection. ..

Boozy lunch?

October 26, 2007

I feel badly betrayed.

By PR.

Well, 99% of the time that’s not true, but when it comes to the vision of a boozy Friday lunch, I feel aggrieved. Really, ask the average man in the street what a PR does ona  Friday, and they’ll tell you it’s a long lunch leading into a long Friday evening.

 But no-one I know gets to do this. Instead friday afternoon means coverage and status reports. It means preparing for the coming week. it means reading the new PR Week. It never means beer, wine, or lingering banter. After all, that doesn’t service clients.

Is this reputation actually some invention of the old timers? Similar to the golden age the Daily Mail harks back to? When people left their doors unlocked, children were safe playing several streets away, and presumably PRs went on the Friday lash? Do let me know if anyone has ever experienced this vision of past glories.

Fit, or not too fit?

October 4, 2007

Ever had a journo ask ‘is the case study/profile photogenic?’

Ever felt like you’re a bit under-dressed/not quite cool enough next to your colleague?

If you answered no to both of these you must be a] deeply fashionable, and b] not work in PR,

We all know image matters, and if you don’t, perhaps it is time to re-consider your career propects?! This research discussed on FT Alphaville highlights the link between earnings and physical attractiveness. Does this stand up for PR too? [I’m thinking more corporate/consumer than fashion/beauty, where the answer is less straightforward. ]

The game isn’t up for the aesthetically challenged amongst us, however. Grooming can help bring in the bigger bonuses too. Which reminds me to try and remember where the iron is some time soon…

Response Source comedy

August 25, 2007

We felt this had to be shared for those who may have missed it. Every so often, reading the response sources your inbox fills up with pays off. Normally when you get coverage, but every so often, just for the pure comedy of the request. Friday saw one such moment with the following:

PUBLICATION: My Lovely Horse
DEADLINE: 24-August-2007 12:00
QUERY: Do you run a successful business? Do you like horses? How has your
horse helped you in this regard? Would you say your horse is business
aware? Would you like to see more horses in British offices? Do they
improve customer relations? What’s the best bit of the horse in business
terms? Is it the head and neck? If you had a special desk that was ten feet
tall would you sit on your horse to work? Do you think you could ever love
your horse more than you do now? Could anyone else love it more? Do you
think you could ever stop thinking about horses just for a single fleeting
moment of your horse obsessed life?

I’d love to know the story behidn this one. We laughed long and hard.

[For those who aren’t blessed by the magic of response source, it is an email alerts service for journalists to ask questions/request info etc of PROs]

It’s just the beginning…

June 1, 2007

Louise Orr is a final year PR student at Bournemouth Uni, who has just sat her last exams.  

So I have officially finished university. Forever. And as the hangover clears following a brilliant celebration and farewell round of “pub golf”, I’m getting very excited about what is on the horizon.  

The last four years have been a real rollercoaster, with the high points far outweighing the low. My BA (Hons) Public Relations degree at Bournemouth University has prepared me for what will hopefully be a long and prosperous career in the industry, and I’ve made some amazing friends. I do think that regardless of your opinion of PR degrees, I could not be more ready to go into the industry; I’m excited about the challenges that lie ahead and feel like I’ve been planning this day for months.  

As I left the exam room yesterday lunchtime, it hit me that I’m no longer a student. The initial excitement turned into apprehension as one era ends and I stumble into the next. But after a little reflection and a supportive chat from my housemates I realised that this is far from the end. Firstly, most of Bournemouth University PR students are now winging their way to London, so there is bound to be a few familiar faces on the tube each morning, but also because the end of my degree signals the start of the rest of my life.  

Having been in education for 18 years, I’m now stepping out into the big, bad world with life experience from university that I doubt I would have got elsewhere and with the confidence in my chosen career path to know this is what I want to do for the foreseeable future.  Personally I have overcome a lot of challenges, and I learnt so much from my industrial placement year that I’m now excited to put four years of very hard work into practise.  I have 11 days until I start my first “grown up” PR job and I can’t wait. Those 11 days provide me with just enough time to recover from this awful hangover, clear out my university house and get everything in order for the next stage of my life. This morning signals the end of an era – and the start of something amazing. And it’s very exciting. (Or at least it will be when I recover – all suggestions on how to cope in the rat race with such awful hangovers will be greatly received! I’m definitely retiring my pub golf clubs for a while!)