Monday, December 17, 2007
Tom Galvin, Sean Garrett and Jim Hock of 463 show there may be a career outside public policy waiting for them. Sadly it won't likely pay very much.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Here's the link to Chris's article: http://www.chime.plc.uk/downloads/PR-Evaluation-Survey-Chris-Cartwright-Harvard-Nov07.pdf
Thursday, December 06, 2007
PR aside, the news here is that Apple is no longer immune to the malware that has plagued the PC community for years. It seems the dramatic increase in the number of Macs being sold (sales have roughly doubled from a year ago) has caught the attention of the hackers. If this trend continues, Apple will likely have to ramp up its efforts to promote the secure nature of its architecture and the efforts it takes to make the OS more secure over time. For a brand that is so consumer focused this level of technical message may be awkward to handle. At the end of the day though, it is a problem born out of success and therefore one I assume they'd prefer to have.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Brand Number of clips then ....Number Now
Disney 224,000 ....275,000
Google 97,000 ....169,000 <-- big jump
Yahoo! 81,100 ....123,000 <-- big jump
Apple 74,200 ....123,000 <-- big jump
Microsoft 44,700 ....69,500
Coca Cola 34,400 ....42,600
Toyota 33,400 ....42000
Nokia 27,700 ....30,900
McDonalds 22,000 ....29,900
GE 15,000 ....26,100 <-- big % jump
WalMart 10,600 ....16,700 <-- big % jump
Starbucks 7,200 ....8,530<--relatively small rise
Intel 6,280 ....10,200 <-- overtook Starbucks
PS I need to have a word with PR Week about the photo they used as it's about 10 years old!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
As for my headline to this piece the question is what you call an annual report that is also a blog. The two listed, flog (financial blog) and slog (shareholder blog) are the most common suggestions to date.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
1. When you outsource all your marketing to one firm you are effectively signing them up for a VERY long time as switching is going to be even harder. So you had better be really sure you like the key people involved AND that that they will stay around.
2. The savings on the bigger pieces of the pie like advertising will likely be substantial but for the smaller pieces of the puzzle, lower cost will only mean lesser talent.
3. It will be tough to get people to work at this dedicated firm without throwing a lot of money at them (which seems to defeat the aim of the exercise). People who want to work at agencies typically do so because they want broad experience not to effectively work in house by having only one client.
4. One of the advantages of having an agency is that they work on other clients and are continually coming up with new thinking and new opportunities. These would likely dry up in a one agency scenario.
5. Integrated marketing has been around for ages and yet hardly anyone does it. Even those that do tend to have big areas where they make exceptions on the agency front. There has to be a reason why this approach hasn't been adopted by all the major corporations around the world...
Now I know there are some who will say that I'm in no position to talk given we have a business that offer a global solution for clients. I'd argue that we only offer them PR and relevant research. We don't try and offer them the entire solution.
When this tech firm makes its decision there will likely be a lot of speculation that others will follow. My suspicion is that some will watch to see how it works but I doubt many will immediately copy it.
Monday, November 12, 2007
1. We need to help our clients understand the value of PR versus other disciplines. This means we have to jump on measurement in a big way if it hasn't already happened. The facts on the effectiveness of PR are very persuasive but without them...
2. Anticipate your clients demands - what do you think your client would want to do if sales slowed? who are their biggest customers and how can you help them protect the customer base? What kinds of bad news may they have to deal with and how can you help them through that?
3. Avoid taking on clients that are likely to be hit hard in a recession. I noticed an advert for Net Jets in the WSJ today and my first thought was: "well there's a market that will get awfully hard if there's a recession."
4. Expect clients to consolidate their spend. Right now larger companies tend to spread their PR across firms to access the best skills for the job. If there's a recession they may well look to streamline the number of agencies in a bid to save money. Asking yourself if your firm would likely win or lose from such a change is probably a good thing to do now.
5. Don't take on new office space you won't need. During the last recession a lot of PR firms got into trouble because they had expensive offices they had hoped to grow into. Indeed I know of two fifty person PR businesses that effectively went bust because their leases ran to over $1m. Of course taking expensive office space is a silly move at the best of times but imagine having to lay people off because of a glamorous reception area and you will soon opt for the humbler option.
6. Conserve your cash. People based businesses, like most, are often run on overdrafts but when recessions do hit they can become cash strapped very quickly. Agencies need to make sure they have a good handle on how their cashflow could change if revenues were to fall back. A good CFO will be able to model this quite easily and should be able to guide agency heads.
7. Remember your people. When recessions hit agencies can often focus too much on the client and forget that without good people clients will walk. This doesn't mean that agencies should lavish money on their people that they don't have. What it does mean is that they should think about what makes people stay at a firm apart from money. Career develoment, skills, the working environment, their colleagues - these are things that matter to people in any economic climate so don't lose sight of them when an economy changes.
OK - off the top of my head this is my list. Hopefully it is a list we don't need but in truth some of it is just common sense and should be how we run agencies anyway. Right?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
What I find more interesting is that Microsoft took such a small stake. It is pretty clear that they simply wanted to block Google rather than get executive control at this stage. Of course beyond the stock deal there is the ad rights portion. This is where the deal starts to make a lot of sense. The deal effectively gives them the rights to one of the biggest online properties on the planet and for that reason alone you can see why the valuation makes sense.
We have seen Tech valuations rebound quite dramatically this year. We had the VM Ware IPO which has been an amazing success story and now we have this deal. It certainly seems like the investment banks are keen to recoup the losses the banks have made in the mortgage business by some bold tech investments. It will be interesting to see which tech property can outdo these deals. One things for sure - someone will!
Monday, October 22, 2007
BTW - using my YouTube metric, Facebook is now above Intel and just behind Starbucks in the number of clips.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Being delays first flight for 787
By ELIZABETH M. GILLESPIE, AP Business Writer 8 minutes ago
SEATTLE -. will not begin test flights of its new 787 jetliner until mid-November or mid-December, months later than originally planned, because it's taking longer than anticipated to get the first plane ready, the company said Wednesday.
Monday, August 27, 2007
The results were:
Brand Number of clips
Disney 224,000 <--- I guess they ought to have a lot of content!
Google 97,000 <--- they own YouTube...
Coca Cola 34,400
Now this research took about 5 minutes and as you can probably tell was based on a list of brand names I pulled form an old Fortune article plus a few names I threw in. It wouldn't be hard to do some more detailed research using the YouTube site and search engine to get a sense of how many clips are appearing each day by brand etc. As it stands I can't find a way of seeing which brand has the most number of clips associated other than by trial and error. Perhaps YouTube could issue a press release with that data?
Anyway, for those people looking to help big brands with their marketing, it seems YouTube provides a pretty simple way to score companies. There are of course some difficulties and these relate largely to the way the search engines work. For example if you put in 'Ford' as a search topic you will get a lot of clips that have nothing to do with Ford Motor Company showing up. Conversely if you put in Ford Motor Company it will only list those clips where people took the trouble to tag the clip with the full name. So YouTube is far from perfect but once again we do at least have another quick and cost effective measurement tool available.
Just for fun I also checked to see what the numbers were like for the bigger PR firms. The results were:
Text 100 312
Hill & Knowlton 18
Weber Shandwick 4
Fleishman Hillard 2
As you can see, the PR agencies have some way to go to catch the big brands....
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I have to say though that if wikipedia has been so abused by big companies, I am surprised that a 'PR firestorm' or two hasn't already started. Or is it simply that nobody has yet really used the tool in anger? Either way I guess from here on in PROs had better be aware that their entries are being watched. Of course I guess they could always make entries using a computer at an internet cafe given the tool relies on the IP address of the computer making the entry. No PRO is clever enough to do that of course.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
If you want to read the details of the Poll click the link below. It has all sorts of interesting facts. For example of the books that were read the most popular were the Bible and other religious texts at 64%, whereas business books got a mere 4%.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
1) Are social media sites a bit like search engines were back in the old days - destined to be superseded until somebody invents the Google equivalent?
2) Will Murdoch's acquisition of the WSJ be a good thing? The apparent disappearance of MySpace is of course a PR problem. MySpace is still huge and getting bigger by all counts. It simply doesn't get the buzz that Facebook currently enjoys. While I'd argue that Murdoch still doesn't seem to know what do to with MySpace, it would be hard to argue that he'll have the same challenge with the WSJ. He understands the newspaper business and will presumably leave the news side of the publication well alone. He may well change the right wing tone of the editorials but even that is debatable. He does have a challenge on his hands though. He has bought a publication, that like most other newspapers, is losing readers on a daily basis. Sure, they are acquiring some online readers but the overall picture isn't a good one. At a certain level he will be forced to make some changes at some point, if only to make sure he can continue to generate reasonable returns. I guess the question is how long will he wait before he acts and how will he go about it?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Spread the word about the benefits of advertising
By Jamie Whyte
Published: June 26 2007 18:31 Last updated: June 26 2007 18:31
Advertising is unpopular with those concerned for our welfare. They see it as a kind of coercion, making us “want things we do not really need” and, sometimes, things that are positively bad for us. Ban the ad, they demand.
Modern regulators are happy to oblige them. On Sunday, two moves to tighten up on advertising junk food to children come into force in the UK. Ofcom, the media regulator, introduces new content rules (including banning the use of celebrities), prior to banning advertising of foods high in fat, sugar or salt during television programmes popular with under-16-year-olds next January. The Committee of Advertising Practice, an industry group, is bringing in similar content rules for press, posters and paid-for internet space.
This is reminiscent of a similar move in New Delhi a few years ago where thousands of illegal billboards were removed so you could actually see the city. At the time there wasn't actually that much to see but a lot has changed since and presumably the city planners in Beijing expect their city to continue to evolve and would prefer that billboard proliferation not be a part of the outlook.
This of course poses a huge headache for brands that relied on these billboards to get their messages across, however unsubtly. So as the city tries to prevent itself from being one giant Times Square or Piccadilly Circus it will be interesting to see where those ad dollars go that would have promoted all those luxury cars and condos. I suspect the ad agencies will have some ideas on how to spend the money but maybe some PR execs should be putting their thinking caps on too.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
1. For agencies representing European firms a weak dollar may create an argument for higher spending. This argument is based on the fact that relative to the Euro or Sterling, marketing spends in the US are actually declining in real terms - of course so are sales which is of course the reason most budgets won't change. But for companies wanting to shift perceptions in a big way, now may be a good time for that promotional push in the US.
2. For agencies representing US businesses overseas it could be argued that budgets should also rise. I'll admit here and now that the logic trail is rather one sided but hear me out. Many US businesses are benefiting greatly from a weak dollar by becoming more competitive in overseas markets. Put another way they are deriving a greater percentage of their profits from overseas markets thanks in part to this improved competitiveness and in part to the translation effect of converting say sterling back in to dollars. This may in turn make it more attractive for them to up their marketing spends in these markets to improve sales even further.
3. US agencies looking to sell may find themselves more attractive to European buyers. The US agency market has been a difficult one to crack for many European agency groups. A weak dollar makes US agencies a relatively cheap deal right now - if of course you assume the US economy is going to continue to perform relatively well. Now there a number of UK agency Groups that could be potential buyers, these include: Chime, Huntsworth, Creston and of course Next Fifteen. The larger Groups such as WPP and Publicis are of course also an option. My guess is that the likes of Ad Media Partners are brushing up on their international dialing codes.
So while a weak dollar can be frustrating for someone like me that runs a UK-based PR Group, the news isn't all bad.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Now this could all just be a passing phase and as one senior PR executive said to me yesterday, the media is already getting a little tired of writing about how company x is going green. But what does appear to be clear is that the tech market and energy market are converging. So any self respecting PR executive that is currently making a living from tech PR had better start learning about the dynamics of the energy market, because in one way or another its going to affect them quite significantly in the years ahead.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Oh and if you search on PR versus advertising, it looks like PR is slowly catching the old dog.