Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Apparently, having recently changed jobs there is an expectation that I should announce the move in a blog post. The post should be "wanky", titled with some cliché like "On The Move…" or "New Beginnings" and describe how much I’ll miss my former colleagues but how excited I am to be starting something new.

Well, I usually hate doing what I’m told but I will miss all my former colleagues and I am very excited to be doing something new. So there.

I will be blogging here even less frequently than I already do, in favour of my new work blog, found here. Please add it to your RSS reader or bookmarks. If you want to keep updated on the comings and goings of my career, why aren’t we connected on LinkedIn already?

See you later,

Dan

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Things To Do

Feb 23 - OpenSoho w/ Mark O'Neill, Chief Information Officer for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Feb 24 - Cozy Tweetup
Feb 24 - Digital Lounge w/ Mark Curtis, Flirtomatic
March 2 - Ignite London
March 3 - Tech PR Drinks w/ all these people
March 6 - TEDx Warwick w/ Noam Chomsky, Dr Rachel Armstrong, Steve Martin, Alex Wright and others
March 8 - Social Media Monday
March 10 - Social Media Summit 10 w/ Paul Evans, political blogger and journalist, Tom Watson MP and Iain Dale, one of Britain's leading political commentators

Anything else I should add?

Friday, 12 February 2010

Free pizza from Foursquare too good to be true?

It is pizza for dinner tonight. I usually order a tasty vegan pizza from Hell’s Pizza but seeing the recent news from Marketing about Domino’s promotion with Foursquare I thought I’d check them out.

Foursquare is a location sharing social network and game, awarding points and achievements for people who “check-in” from locations with their mobile phones. The top achievement at an establishment on Foursqaure is to be Mayor, the person who has checked in the most.

Debenhams is trialing a promotion in one location, rewarding the most frequent Foursquare visitor with a daily free cup of coffee. Like in Marketing, it was also reported in Electric Pig and other blogs, that Foursquare has “inked a deal” with Domino’s Pizza, offering a free pizza to the Foursquare Mayor every week.

The news spread on Twitter and I was eager to find out more and join in. But, after a Google search, I couldn’t find out any real details.

Unable to find any information, I turned to a source I knew would be reliable: PR people.

Within 15 minutes, I got a reply.

There is a lot of misreporting about this link up at the moment. One of our franchisees in Liverpool has linked up with FourSquare – but we aren’t doing anything at the moment on a national level.

We are in initial discussions with FourSquare and will update you if there’s any progress.

Disappointing news, but it is also a good sign of what innovative social media marketing might be coming soon.

Happy Valentine's Day

"Journalists need love too," but PRs might also enjoy these Valentine's cards from 1000Words.net.

Thanks Sabrina.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Turn Off Buzz

Google has made its push against Facebook and Twitter with Buzz, and if you have Gmail, without your consent, you are already a participant.


By now, Buzz has already risked your privacy by exposing your most frequently emailed friends. It is automatically following contacts, and having them visible to other Buzz users (read this for more info).


I’m quite happy with my arsenal of social networks and RSS readers and I don’t know if I like the idea of depending on Google for so much. Buzz is apparently set to replace Twitter and Facebook for sharing content with friends, and Buzz buttons are already showing up in blogs:

But, to me, this invasive social network offers nothing I don’t already have, and I suggest that there is just one button you should click:


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Spokesperson FAIL

LCEC, an American electricity provider, created quite a stir recently as their PR manager's discussion with Florida FOX 4 reporters led to many facepalm moments.

Watch the video here.

A little goodwill towards a customer in need could have saved LCEC a whole lot of trouble, but their PR manager just seems determined to keep digging herself into an even deeper hole.

The whole video is full of #PRFAILs, like telling reporters that the more they bother the PR team the higher the rates will go for customers, trying to entice the FOX 4 manger with promises of a "mutually beneficial relationship" (does that mean advertising?) and calling the media's credibility into question by demanding off-the-record meetings.

For dealing with bad coverage, this is a great example of what not to do.

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Saturday, 6 February 2010

Should you cite tweets as a source?

Last week, five journalists in France locked themselves in a farmhouse for five days to test the limits of reporting using sources sent to them on Twitter and Facebook exclusively. Their goal was to test the legitimacy of social media as a news source, and to see if it can stand up on its own.

The debate whether Twitter is a legitimate source for journalists continues, but many journalists are using Twitter to gather information and pitches from PR people with great success. Some have even made accounts especially for it, to separate it from their personal tweets.

Another way a journalist can use Twitter as a source is to crowdsource ideas, making traditional research a lot easier and faster.

One journalist who really embraces crowdsourcing and Twitter is Charles Arthur from the Guardian. He frequently sends out tweets like this:

Before writing articles like this:

Top five Twitter gaffes
The past year has seen been a string of slip-ups on micro-blogging service Twitter, from cricketers to Vodafone staff


Charles has 10,339 followers listening in, and he draws from their knowledge, experience and opinions for his articles. But what do his contributors gain?

As a PR, we know our role in the news process and any form of acknowledgment would never be expected. We’re paid to provide journalists with information in the interest of our clients. But, out in blog land, credit is expected where credit is due.

In the blogosphere, a hat tip, or even a small mention, is common courtesy, and anything less might be considered rude. Even in mainstream news, a newspaper wouldn’t use information from another paper or a blog without acknowledging credit. So, where do tweets fit in?

If Twitter is increasingly becoming recognised as a legitimate news source, should citing individual tweets be standard?
Or, are tweets akin to overhearing someone in the street, and not a citable news source?

As mainstream media moves more and more online and increasingly acts like a blog, should they adopt the standard blogging practices?

I’d really appreciate hearing your opinion on it.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

I Fancy A Snog

I spotted this cool marketing campaign using Twitter and Facebook posted outside a construction site today. Responses tweeted to @ifancyasnog get placed on to the wall. The combination of eye-catching display on the street, social media involvement and first-kiss nostalgia is a creative way to sell frozen yogurt.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Monday, 18 January 2010

Google Real-Time, SEO and Wyclef Jean

At the end of last year, Google introduced real-time search results. There’s since been a lot discussed about how real-time results, including Twitter posts and other social media sites, will influence Google’s rankings.

I’m not an SEO expert, just a casual observer, and I’ve only just come across a possible example of Google real-time making a noticeable difference in my search results.

Wyclef Jean has been all over Twitter recently. When I went online Wednesday morning, I woke up to tweets about what had happened in Haiti the night before and, using Twitter Search, I followed the story. Before I could see any other charity fundraising teams awake and online looking for support, Wyclef was running the conversation and leading the appeal for aide. He caught the public’s attention for his ongoing campaign for Haiti, and then caught it again after accusations about his charity. Through it all, he has been an integral part of the Haiti conversation, and now Google’s results are reflecting that:


Seeing Wyclef at that spot on Google could be demonstrating Twitter’s impact on Google’s results. Which leads me to this thought from Andrew Heaps, Head of SEO at Latitude, in Econsultancy:

And a final thought to ponder: will retweets become the new links?

What do you think?

:)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Canadian Technology News Twitter Feed

I'm learning a lot from living and working in the UK. The PR and the technology industries are both much bigger here and there is so much more going on. When/if I do return to work in Canada, I'll be taking a lot of the lessons with me. One of the groups that help make UK tech PR a great industry to work in is UK Technology Journalists and PRs. Andrew Lim from UKTJPR recently put together a UK Tech News Twitter feed that posts tech news from top websites. I thought it was such a great idea, that I had to try it with Canadian news:

Canadian Technology News Twitter Account

@CDNTechNews
will post automated updates every 30min from RSS feeds of the best Canadian technology websites and blogs.

I'll be continuously on the lookout for more websites and blogs to add to the feed, but if you notice something I'm missing, please leave the link to the RSS feed in the comments below.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Book Review: The 50 Laws of Twitter

I’ve been thinking of ways to motivate myself to write here more, and I thought of perhaps trying to blog book reviews. Lou has a copy of Guy Clapperton’s This Is Social Media on her desk that I thought would be a great start, but something else came into my inbox before I could get my hands on it.

The 50 Laws of Twitter by Tremendous News.

The nature of social media means that printed books on the subject generally have a short shelf-life, and with e-books anyone can publish their ramblings easily, so they tend to become less relevant even quicker.

Many social media e-books, like Networking with Friendster for Business Success or Dave’s Guide to Everything Myspace, are pretty useless. They either become irrelevant within a week, or offer tips so obviously simple that if you can’t work them out on your own you have no business being online. “How can I stop receiving MySpace email notifications?” Really Dave? Really?

The 50 Laws of Twitter is different. It is by Tremendous News, the hilarious blogger who writes articles that are easy retweet fodder, while still being good. Written about in The Globe and The Times, Tremendous News offers insight into the internal thinkings of the “douchebags” and “hot chicks” of the social media world, as imagined by a lonely man, self-admittedly deprived of real-life social contact.

His book offers the kind of tips for Twitter that could have only come after sitting for hours with nothing to do other than stare at your Twitter feed, while becoming increasingly frustrated with the trends many of us get caught up in. But in his frustration, we benefit. Not only is it a great laugh, it is a great resource.

Enhanced by his illustrations, the Twitter rules along with his off-topic ramblings and examples, offer real guidance for those not social media savvy enough to figure it out. Whether intentional or not, his 50 laws of Twitter are actually well thought out practical tips that if more people read, Twitter would be a better place.

This e-book is probably the best thing to ever come out of an overweight, unemployed man who lives in his parents’ basement. Tremendous News can be found at http://tremendousnews.com/. I’m sure he’ll put details as to how to buy the e-book online soon.

If it means he’ll write another one, I sincerely hope this guy never finds a real job.


Friday, 8 January 2010

Facebook Colour Status Updates

Black, blue and red polkadots. Facebook status updates have been colourful today as part of a viral meme making its way around the web.

For those of us excluded from the women-only viral, here’s the apparent text of the message:

Some fun is going on…. just write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY girls no men …. It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color in their status… Haha.

I’m not sure how I feel about the effectiveness of the no-boys-allowed meme, considering that although breast cancer in men is rare, the disease still touches most of our lives.

I do have to agree with the below thoughts from Twitter that it is a shame it is exclusive. That said, it is spreading the message very quickly, and although it doesn’t seem to have any charity behind it, it shows that there is lots of potential for viral marketing techniques for breast cancer awareness from charities. Hopefully, they’ll include men too.


Then again, maybe there’s a reason why men weren’t included: