Webcast addresses the Future of PR and Social MediaFind out the Pro’s and Con’s of using Social Media in PR.

March 8, 2010 2 comments

03.06.2010 – A Webcast released on the 19th February attempts to explain the correlation between Social Media and the Public Relations Industry.

PR and Social Media Relations, engages viewers by using the Party platform, demonstrating that Social Media Networking is like being at a multitude of social events, at any one time.

Aimed at companies intending to use Social Media PR to optimize their businesses, the eight minute video also uses a balanced mixture of theory and topical case studies to fully demonstrate where the power of Social Media extends from.

The particularly interesting theory focuses on best selling author, Seth Godin’s popular book, Tribes. “Tribes is extremely relevant to the basis of PR let alone Social Media. Godin’s book is built on the thought that everyone has an idea, and an opportunity to discover and lead new tribes.” Webcast Producer, Najlaa Heerah goes further to say, “Now what Social Networking groups have allowed us to do, is open the gates, disseminate the notion of hierarchy, and allow for groups and tribes to interact, and form tribes within tribes and so on. With this information, the opportunities for the PR Industry are virtually limitless…”

The Webcast also makes a point of highlighting Online PR gone bad and how companies have earned back their respect from their consumers.

PR and Social Media Relations, produced by Najlaa Heerah is available to view at the following:

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The Venus vs Mars PR Quandry…

Will there always be more male managers than female in the PR Industry?

So the mission for this debate was “Women will always work in PR but never run it”.

Perhaps one of the most heated and passionate debates so far… I was against the mission. Why?

Luisa’s group argued that women will never be able to run PR, due to the primary role of a woman in culture and the constraints of society.

 A recent article Grunig wrote in relation to Public relations and the paradigms of PR (I also made reference to this in my previous post), stresses the effectiveness of diversity in the PR industry, “effective organisations tend to increase the diversity in the public relations function when the diversity in their environment increases…’ However Grunig makes a point – the diversity increases only when the diversity of their environment has.

Relating this back to the motion, that ‘women will only work in PR but never run it’, is this purely dependant on the reflection of society and other industries being led by women?

Leading the way for the ladies. Lorraine Heggessey, CEO of Talkback Thames

For example – Leading Independent production company, Talkback Thames is headed by Lorraine Heggessey who also used to be Controller of BBC. The head of communications at Talkback Thames is Mary O’Reilly. In fact Talkback Thames’ whole inhouse publicity team is made up of women. So what does this say about the broadcast industry? What must also be factored is the content produced by Talkback Thames. Reality television such as Britains Got Talent and The X-factor, tends to be more of a human interest viewing, usually associated with a female audience.

So is it fair to say that women in Entertainment PR will dominate the industry because they can relate to their target audience? Perhaps this is the case but then will men run other PR sectors?

Either way, yes, women will always work in PR, as will men. And surely, gender issues aside, the main point should be that either man or woman should be equally fit  to perform the tasks. If they can relate to an audience and are delivering effective PR campaigns, then honestly – what does it matter. Can’t society be content with equality based on performance rather than equality for equalities sake?

Ethics in PR can only be practised by NGO’s.

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Tree hugging PR does exist

Perhaps it’s true that the causes NGO’s are supporting and campaigning for are for ethical reasons needing to inject some equilibrium back into the world.

But to me when analysing ethics in NGO PR, or any other sector for that matter, I’m not assessing the cause. I’m assessing the tactics used.

Is it ethical that as a non profit organisation a company spends £60k on it’s executive? Given the fact that donations from everyday Joe Bloggs like myself and you are the ones contributing to what seems like a good cause?  Understandably yes, charities need to pay people well to do a good job, but surely that is the case with every other sector in PR.

New Media Webcast – Social Media.

February 19, 2010 2 comments

Corporate Social Responsibility in PR is just window dressing.

February 11, 2010 1 comment

Is Corporate Social Responsibility merely window dressing

After our visit from Dr. Ed Sykes at the Science Media Centre, the battle of the debates continued.

This time the statement was:  “Attempts to align companies or brands with good causes are mere window dressing- companies should stick to the business of making money”

In the red corner, Divya, Jyoti and Nandita were arguing against this statement and the red corner – Jayne, Kat and Karolina argued for the statement.

The red team argued aptly that CSR within a business does no harm – of course it’s good for the company, and that it builds brand reputation, however when bringing to light Nike, and it’s sustainability efforts, the blue team argued that it defeated the object if you cannot even pay your employees a respectable salary. And with that in mind, I came to a conclusion that CSR was merely window dressing. Why take sweets away from one child to give to another?

On the other hand, here’s something a little off the mark and highly ethical for fashion. Tom’s Shoes.

  

Tom’s Shoes, founded in 2006 in California by Blake Mycoskie is a shoe company with a not for profit subsidiary. For every shoe purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need. Over 300,000 shoes have been donated to a child in need under the One for One movement. They also have a ‘One day without shoes’ movement, where participants will walk around barefoot. 

The shoes are distributed by shoe drops, with the help from 501 non profit organisations, they successfuly distribute the shoes all year round. Volunteers are encouraged to join and drop!

So my point is, companies can submit to Corporate Social Responsbility, but what is the point if it’s merely for profit, and branding? There needs to be an underlying message behind the whole company ethos, like Tom’s Shoes where the inspiration for the shoes are the Argentine Alpargeta style tradtionally worn by farmers. Otherwise, if the message is contradictory to the companies missions, the transparency of the caompany will be questioned and suspicions will rise, and with the advent of Social Media, transparency and ethical practices have been made public by the people.

Fashion + Passion = Chloe Beeney

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment
… International Fashion Stylist Extraordinare!

Her name dropping left my jaw dropping. Her look book (portfolio) left me astounded, her knowledge of the industry opened my eyes…

Chloe Beeney is an international stylist and has worked with the likes of Armani, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue to name a few. Her love of styling began when working at Conde Naste’s wardrobe department. Having just come back from a couture show in Paris, it’s evident her career continues to thrive.

Chloe Beeney styles for Harpers Bazaar, Australia

Categories: Fashion

War, Propaganda and, “Like big Hollywood Movie…”

January 21, 2010 2 comments

America & Propaganda. Shock horror! Well actually – not.

Our fictitious land of Abracadabra, had gone to war with the scumbags of the universe. They have WMD’s and are threatening our nation with a terrorist attack or two. So, whether war is good, bad or even criminal, we need to send our men out, make it look like they want to go and make it look like we’re going to win. In fact we will win. Let’s ignore the homegrown threat for now, I mean, the public don’t need to know that there are actual terrorist affiliations in THIS country – we’ll deal with that when London’s burning. By then, we’ll have won. Let’s just focus on the international threat, let’s go in with the big guns, and the big helicopters – actually cancel that because we can’t afford it. But we’ll still win. We’ve just bought the RBS for crying out loud, and we need to save that money for the Kraft/Cadbury’s transaction – that will pay off in the long run. Hmm Chocolate. Winning Chocolate. Winning Soldiers. The War, sponsored by Kraft.

Okay, so my random rant above is more of a reflection of what our beloved politicians in the UK have been up to. But it’s sprung from the War Spin video we watched on Wednesday – the story of how Saving Private Ryan, I mean Lynch was so valiantly executed by gun brandishing soldiers.

It doesn’t surprise me that propaganda occurs, although what does surprise me is how much the then American Republican Government, in a democratically elected government are allowed to get away with such behaviour, without the United Nations batting an eyelid.

Looking at the article on the BBC written after War Spin was made, it specifies that the Pentagon Propaganda was influenced by Hollywood producer, Jerry Bruckheimer. Tapping into American Citizens via possibly the only penetrable way: television, the use of gritty documentary style reporting was used to produce a primetime documentary following soldiers in Afghanistan.

Pam & Michaela made me think about the decision making process involved in a war spin strategy. Effectively – this is what it is, it’s war that needs spinning. But at what point does the spinning web become tangled forcing the truth to unearth from a vast web of fabrication…?

Sir John Chilcot, Chair of the Iraq Inquiry

Ironically, the Chilcot Inquiry is taking place now. And while the nation urges Prime Minister Gordon Brown to give evidence, considering he was there when the decision was made, Sarah Brown twitters and totters in her butterfly printed dress designed by Issa to the National Television Awards. Although I am aware that Sarah and old Gordy are not one in the same, the point is that Mrs Brown, is a key part of UK politics just as much as Gordon Brown is.

Sarah Brown’s appearance at the NTA’s albeit a tad strange, was an apt way of regaining the public’s attention, and she managed to produce a key moment – reminding the audience and viewers at home of the Soldiers away from home. It may well have been a pseudo event to divert the nation’s attention from loathing her husband, however what point is that, if the soldiers themselves are dying before the message gets to them.

For the War Spin documentary transcript click here.