Marketing Technology » Uncategorized Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Destination: Canada Wed, 01 Oct 2008 09:49:38 +0000 admin In the words of my hosts, I’ve “finally realized where the action is” and will be taking the Enterprise 2.0 roadshow to Canada next week.

In what promises to be a whirlwind tour I’ll be speaking to Hill & Knowlton clients and staff in Toronto on Tuesday 7th, followed by beers at Third Tuesday that same evening. On Wednesday I fly to Ottawa and do the same thing all over again, with Third Tuesday in Ottawa on a Wednesday (these Canucks are crazy guys, aren’t they).

It’s a while since I was last in Canada, but seeing that both the literature review and foreword authors for Enterprise 2.0 are both based there, it seems like a fitting place to begin the tour.

The rest of the year currently sees the roadshow moving on to Paris and Finland in November, and Sweden in December.

Promises to be a busy end to 2008.

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Take back the truth! Wed, 10 Sep 2008 11:12:00 +0000 admin That’s the rather audacious (trademarked) call to arms from the new website and software tool, SpinSpotter:

Spin doesn’t belong in the news. It’s like putting motor oil in the mojito. We have tremendous respect for journalists, but who would argue that the media circus isn’t out of control? A full 66% of Americans think the press is one-sided. Now there’s a website and software tool that exposes news spin and bias, misuse of sources, and suspect factual support. At SpinSpotter, you’ll experience the news in a profound new way. Yes, the truth is back in town.

After installing the free “Spinoculars”, SpinSpotters can see, share and edit suspected spin on any website. After visiting a few of my regular news haunts, I haven’t yet seem any “markers” to indicate spin. I’m sure that’s more to do with the lack of users than the lack of spin, though. In fact, the only markers I have seen are on the company’s own home page.

I like the fact that it’s not just a free-for-all commenting tool. SpinSpotters have to categorise dubious claims using one of the service’s “Rules of Spin”:

  • Lack of Balance
  • Reporter’s Voice
  • Passive Voice
  • Biased Source
  • Disregarded Context
  • Selective Disclosure
  • Almost all of these would allow a level of subjectivity, which seems an odd way of trying to make things more objective. For that reason, it’s hard for me to see how this service can be relied on, but I suppose its mere presence might just hold journalists and those who feed them news to account and increase the quality and quantity of unbiased reporting.

    That said, I think the company needs to add more (or even some!) international members to its Journalism Advisory Board in order to ensure that a US-centric view of media objectivity does not get imposed on the rest of the world.

    Take it for a spin (ahem), and see what you think.

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    What do you think? Tue, 25 Mar 2008 14:48:53 +0000 admin Flicking through the TV channels last week, I came across the following sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Show that I first heard on radio (as always, a much funnier medium).

    It’s a fantastic parody of mainstream media’s attitude towards user-generated content. Almost as good as Jeremy Paxman’s outburst at the end of Newsnight:

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    The worst social media of 2007? Wed, 12 Mar 2008 10:57:34 +0000 admin At South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), a panel of judges has just chosen the winners (or should that be losers?) of The Suxorz – “the Worst of the Worst in Social Media Marketing for 2007″.

    As some of the companies nominated are clients and I do not know whether we were involved in any of the campaigns (I know we weren’t in the UK), I’ll point you to Scott Monty’s round up of the contenders.

    I find a few things interesting about this.

    Judging Criteria

    This included:

    • Advertisers acting like asses
    • Out and out lying to customers
    • Corrupting authentic voices

    The Conclusion

    Steve Hall ( “It’s not hard to tell the truth; if you don’t, it’s just a matter of time before the public finds out.”

    Carrot or Stick

    I’m still on the fence over whether it’s better to applaud good behaviour or berate bad. In my experience, the latter is far easier to do (and indeed is what some of the panel have built their own reputations on). My concern is that it stops brands who want to do the right thing from even trying, just in case someone decides to turn on them. It serves to reinforce the corporate perception that I encounter all the time; that social media is just one big lynch mob.

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    Pot calls kettle black Thu, 06 Mar 2008 10:13:00 +0000 admin UPDATE: Rainier PR’s Stephen Waddington chips in with ‘Flat Earth debate disappoints’ (Great first comment too)
    UPDATE 2: Press Gazette has now published their write-up (no doubt they were checking their facts and quotes, unlike us bloggers) and Guy has posted his thoughts.

    I spent yesterday evening at the London College of Communication for the Flat Earth News debate organised by Press Gazette.

    On the panel were Dominic Ponsford (Press Gazette), Francis Ingham (PRCA), Malcolm Starbrook (East London Advertiser), Sally Costerton (Hill & Knowlton), Paul Charman (chair), Nick Davies (author of Flat Earth News), Peter Preston (ex-Guardian), Andrew Gilligan (Evening Standard) and Michelle Stainstreet (NUJ).

    Below follow my hastily typed notes from the main panel discussion. I’ve tried to tidy them up without losing their spontaneity. There was some Q&A afterwards, but this unfortunately descended into less questioning of the panel and more assertion from the floor.

    Nick Davies opened proceedings by saying that the negative response against his book is not representative of overall feedback he has received. The core argument he presented was that ownership of the media has changed, and the resulting commercialism has undermined the media. The time taken away from journalists because of this is making them vulnerable to manipulation from companies and public relations. He appeared to be blaming PR for the fact that journalists don’t check facts. They miss stories because they rely on PR and newswires. He wants to stop PR people making judgements about what stories and angles get carried.

    I was quite surprised to hear from a journalist that PR is quite so powerful. I wonder if someone could tell our clients…

    In response Peter Preston urged a sense of reality. Newspapers are commercial. Its not all awful, but there are things we need to do. He had his day in the Q&A session later.

    Michelle Stainstreet took the somewhat predictable ‘told you so’ stance. It’s all down to job cuts, long hours, poor pay deals, etc. Journalists are tied to their desks, churning out stories. It’s not the journalists fault, she suggested, it’s the owners in pursuit of profit. Of course, she finished, they should all join the NUJ.

    Sally Costerton disagreed with Nick’s point that readers and viewers are being misled. She argued that PR people are enablers who need to understand journalists’ agendas. Nick represents PR on a polarised level in his book – all lobbying and stunts. But the vast majority of what PR does is not that. Transparency is key – staff at Hill & Knowlton for example are bound by numerous codes of conduct. She also raised the issue of the explosion of channels – in particular, the spiralling of content on the internet which is not going to go away. Journalists are also bloggers – wearing two hats. This is new territory, how do PRs and journalists engage together? At the end of the day both parties want to stand up for the truth.

    Malcolm Starbrook took issue with Nick’s interpretation of figures. Fewer journalists and less time doesn’t mean worse journalism. The world is just moving faster. In addition, access to sources has been restricted that means that some of the old ‘bread and butter’ journalism simply isn’t possible today (e.g. defendants/witnesses can have journalists removed from court). Also, churnalism is not the same as sloppy journalism. It’s just the result of bad editors.

    Francis Ingham was probably the boldest critic on the panel. He said that the picture painted about PR in the book is “partial, unfair and misleading.” In possible the best quote of the night he said, “PR isn’t that powerful, journalists are not that lazy, and the public are not that stupid.” Argued that PR companies live or die on the strength of their reputations. Once their credibility is gone, its gone forever. A few gasps from the audience when he summed the book up as good entertainment: “Like a Jeffrey Archer novel. Good fun to read, but not to be taken too seriously.”

    By this time, things needed cooling down (including the lecture theatre which appeared to have no air conditioning). Dominic Ponsford pointed out that in his opinion the standard of journalism in regional press is generally excellent. But there is no doubt that PR material is a handy form of copy.

    Andrew Gilligan – who arrived fashionably late, first in his cycling gear (some of the audience later said they thought he was the pizza delivery boy) – said that he was a nuanced supporter of the book, given his own experiences of being both story-writer and the story itself. Focused on the web: “The web has transformed my productivity as a journalist.” Also argued that the web is the ultimate definition of churnalism. “All journalism is judgement.” You have to include which facts to leave in and which to leave out. The two things journalists want are stories and follow-up.

    In all, an interesting evening. Not much of a debate, to be honest, and not really sure whether the overall motion was passed or defeated.

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    Christmas Party Shennanigans Wed, 19 Dec 2007 13:40:55 +0000 admin It was the Hill & Knowlton London Christmas party last night. A chance for everyone to let their hair down at what used to be the Raymond Revuebar in Soho (the fancy dress theme was the 1920s, in recognition of our 80th anniversary this year). Feather boas everywhere is probably the best summary.

    Anyway, one of the main traditions of the London Christmas party is for the graduate intake from that year to entertain the rest of the company.

    This year, their performance of Kander & Ebb’s “All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago has been captured for prosperity on YouTube. Enjoy! (we did).

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    Technology Innovation Trends Wed, 21 Nov 2007 14:49:39 +0000 admin Social Technologies has published its Top 12 Areas for Technology Innovation Through 2025, as agreed by experts from the Association of Professional Futurists, Tekes, Duke University, Hasbro, Worldwatch, General Motors, Shell, Johnson Controls and Oxford University.

    For the detail, go to their ChangeWaves blog, but here’s the summary:

    • Personalized Medicine
    • Distributed Energy
    • Pervasive Computing
    • Nanomaterials
    • Biomarkers for Health
    • Biofuels
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Universal Water
    • Carbon Management
    • Engineered Agriculture
    • Security and Tracking
    • Advanced Transportation

    In this list of trends some macro trends also emerge, with healthcare and energy/utilities being the most obvious.

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    Sorry Wed, 13 Jun 2007 01:22:00 +0000 admin The eagle-eyed amongst you will have realised that Collective Conversation has been offline since Sunday. We had a pretty major hardware failure which meant that we have had to restore from backups. If you notice any missing posts or comments, then that’s why.

    Apologies to you and the rest of the Collective Conversation bloggers who I imagine haven’t know what to do with themselves in the last 48 hours.

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    Light blogging ahead Fri, 27 Apr 2007 17:22:00 +0000 admin Yes, it’s that time of year when I head off an annual leave, this time for three weeks. “Three weeks!” my boss keeps saying, “Who the hell signed that off?”. Three guesses…

    I’ll leave you in the capable hands of the rest of the Collective Conversers (but be nice to them, ‘cos they’re still finding their way round the new design).


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    Five Things I Love and Hate about the US Sun, 25 Mar 2007 02:00:15 +0000 admin A topical post for you as I prepare to leave San Francisco tomorrow.

    1. Love all the consumer choice. Hate the fact that it’s more difficult to make a decision.
    2. Love the exchange rate :-) . Hate credit card bills a month later :-(
    3. Love the bookstores. Hate myself for not understanding half of the magazine titles.
    4. Love free Wi-Fi in hotels. Hate paying for it in Starbucks.
    5. Love the road layout. Hate that you have to drive everywhere.
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