30 June 2009

Rubel abandons blogging ... almost

One of the (apparent) world experts on social media, Steve Rubel, says he is abandoning blogging because it's not instant enough. "Blogging feels old. Publishing today is all about the flow," says Rubel.

Instead he will focus on what he calls his "lifestream", which incorporates things like Twitter, facebook, etc. In fact, Steve has 15 tools he uses to communicate.

I'm not so sure, Steve. I just posted a Tweet and a Blog within a minute of each other, using the one piece of software, Blogo.

For me, "the flow" needs to slow down a bit. Blogging lets me do that, by making me think a bit more carefully about what I'm thinking.

Sure, Twitter and Friend Feed have their places. But in the end, they're all just tools which serve different purposes and audiences.

25 June 2009

When is enough?

Just when is enough social media too much? That's the question I'm pondering now. To tell the truth, I'm just flat out keeping up with reading newspapers and watching/listening to broadcast media. Oh, my aching eyes.

20 June 2009

Reputations at stake in Rudd car deal controversy

In all the hubbub about whether or not the Prime Minister (or his office) was allegedly involved in giving a car dealer mate a good deal, spare a though for the Public Servant at the centre of the controversy.

Sure, someone's going to be a political reputational winner and someone a loser. But what will be the effect on Treasury official Godwin Grech's career once the dust has settled?

I'm betting he may come out of it with his reputation (and job) intact. He doesn't strike me as someone prone to making such damaging insinuations.

16 June 2009

It's urine ... and you're drinking it

The Water Corporation in WA has started to introduce the notion of people drinking recycled sewage.

Last night's TV news carried a spot, so it's a safe bet the frequency of media coverage will increase in proportion to the sinking levels in our dams (currently 39%).

It will be interesting to see who's first to oppose the move, and who runs a strong "anti" campaign.

From the PR Lab

14 June 2009

Another image problem for PR

Here we go again. Another TV sitcom portraying PR as being full of party girls, glitz and glamour.

The City
, a US show, follows the dramatic life of a young PR woman in New York. Whitney Port and Olivia Palermo seem to run the public relations department, work at the fashion shows, network - and still have time to spend time each day shopping and creating drama while wearing 9 inch heels and having perfect hair.

No wonder PR has an image problem and only seems to attract females. This was the core of my PhD study (soon to be published as “The Feminisation of Public Relations - but an old web site at http://people.aapt.net.au/~net/study).

What is it that attracts TV producers to put out shows on PR, anyway? We’re up again being called spin doctors in the news media, and as being fluffy events people in the entertainment media. It’ simply a lose-lose situation.

Time for national PR campaigns (US, UK, Australia, Canada) to battle this. Maybe that means attacking the TV shows.

See more at the PR Lab

11 June 2009

Rugby League's ham-fisted approach to PR

The National Rugby League's attempt at smoothing over its clubs' lamentable treatment of women could not have come at a worse time.

Apart from being an all-too-obvious attempt at trying to win back favour with fans and the media, the timing was ruined by yet another sex scandal: this time involving the CEO of the Cronulla club.

The NRL says it wants to attract women to the game. Well, there's a little more to it than having lunch at a pub (of all places) and saying women should be in leadership roles ... in a male sport, mind you.

The sport first has to tackle the cultural problems (notably alcohol and sex) that beset it, and many other sports codes. This is clearly not happening. Of course, it's a tall order, given that these problems come from society as a whole.

05 June 2009

Banana wars

The people who manufacture Mars Bars have reduced the size of the product by 11 per cent (while increasing the price) ... all in the name of combating obesity.

They reckon they're helping combat Australia's growing obesity problem. The Australian Banana Industry has hit back, saying a banana is far healthier, and cheaper.

It's brilliant PR by the sweets company.

Brilliant. They reduce their costs and increase the profit margin. Oh yes, they also get the free publicity to sell more of the price-inflated product.

And I keep noticing that Australia's favourite biscuits and chocolates are getting smaller, and that cordial keeps getting more watery, and jam gets less fruity.


04 June 2009

Where the PR jobs are (or aren't)

I've been monitoring national PR jobs for the past six months. It comes in handy to let students know where their best chances are (numerically, anyway).

Being in Perth, the students (and professionals) are at a disadvantage. There are more PR jobs in New Zealand than here.

In the past seven months (from Nov 08-May 09) there have been 553 fulltime PR jobs advertised through Career One, Seek and TPA (which I think may have gone bust). This also includes overseas positions which filter through.

As you'd expect, most jobs (182, or 33%) are in Sydney, followed by Melbourne (109, 20%) and Brisbane (96, 17%). NZ comes in next with 54 jobs, or 10%. Thereafter, it's slim pickings.

Poor, old Perth languishes with only three percent, or 19 jobs, in that time.

The trend lines show a spike in February (113 positions), with a dip in April to 75, then picking up again to 87 in May.

Blogs v Twitter

It's interesting to compare the number of Australian PR blogs to the number of PR people twittering. There's only 40 PR blogs. I thought there'd be more.

I recall from a list released a couple of weeks ago there were far more people Twittering. (If I could only find that list).

I'm not sure what this means. Maybe it's just easier to Twitter, maybe it's because blogging is regarded as past its use-by date.

It all depends on what you're using either medium for. Of course, there's still a place for blogging. These are just two tools in the PR arsenal.


About Me

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.