Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Lazy post

Thanks Em and Katy for this. I bring you Cath-ology:

1) What is your salad dressing of choice?
Does mayonnaise count? No? Does cheese count? No. Balsamic, then
2) What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Aurora in Soho - romantic memories of dates with the boy
3) What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of?
wagamama's chicken itame. Spicy noodly goodness
4) What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Anchovy, chillis and parma ham
5) What do you like to put on your toast?
Strawberry jam - answers are getting boring now
6) How many televisions are in your house?
4. We only have two bedrooms, I realise we don't need 4 TVs. Only 3 Sky boxes, though. Positively restrained.
7) What color cell phone do you have?
8) Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Right, although I smoke with my left hand which I'm sure makes me almost ambidextrous.
9) Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
10) What is the last heavy item you lifted?
The old TV out, the new TV in. Well I watched the boy lift it - I don't get much excercise
11) Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
12) If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
No way.
13) If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Maud. I love that name.
14) Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
I love hot sauce, but probably not a whole bottle.
15) How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
None. I favour a heel
16) What is/are your goal/s for the year?
To persuade the boy that we should get a puppy
17) Last person you talked to?
Sam, about his brush with fame
18) Last person you hugged?
The boy, this morning. I was hungover and needed a hug.
19) Favorite Season?
Winter. Warm jumpers, open fires, mince pies and mulled wine.
20) Favorite Holiday?
Italian jaunt with the man
21) Favorite day of the week?
22) Favorite Month?
God this survey's getting long
23) First place you went this morning?
And boring
24) What's the last movie you saw?
Oh that's more like it. Had a good movie weekend this weekend - saw Changeling (great) Quantam of Solace (OK) and Body of Lies (workmanlike Scott, rather than brilliant Scott)
25) Do you smile often?
Will this pleasure never end?
26) Do you always answer your phone?
27) It's four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
Someone who's looking for the last person that owned my work phone. Am getting a lot of that lately.
28) If you could change your eye color what would it be?
I like my green/grey eyes. I'll keep em
29) What flavor drink do you get at Sonic?
God. This is duuullll...
30) Have you ever had a pet fish?
31) Favorite Christmas song?
Clearly it's the Pogues. Is there any other answer?
32) What's on your wish list for your birthday?
I want a locket. I was inspired by Peggy off Eastenders. She's a legend, that Peggy.
33) Can you do push ups?
Not a chance
34) Can you do chin ups?
And again
35) Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
36) Do you have any saved texts?
Yep, some cute ones
37) Ever in a car wreck?
I'm a terrible driver. I've written off three cars (one as I was leaving the garage). But never a serious crash.
38) Do you have an accent?
Somerset when drunk
39) What is the last song to make you cry?
I don't cry at songs. Movies, yup, songs no.
40) Plans tonight?
Kareoke. Great.
41) Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
No - thank goodness.
42) Name 3 things you bought yesterday.
A pint and a burger in the pub, a book, milk
43) Have you ever been given roses?
Yup - and never get tired of them
44) Current hate right now?
Exclamation marks. If it's not hillariously funny, or pant-wettingly exciting, a full stop will do
45) Met someone who changed your life?
Sure. Many in lots of little ways
46) How did you bring in the New Year?
First new year ever that I spent just me and the man. Loved it.
47) What song represents you?
No idea. I've got a brand new combine harvester, by the wurzles?
48) Name three people who might complete this?
Sarah, Sam - that's probably it
49) What were you doing 12 AM last night?
50) What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?
Three more days til my holiday (!)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Guess who's back....

Back again.

A massive welcome back to The World's Leading - the PR industry's anonymous gossip-filled blog.

More proof that to be interesting, blogs should either be anonymous - or the writer has to be an unashamed gobshite.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Name and shame?

I realise that my blog's been fairly work oriented of late. What with the new job and all, work's been firmly on my mind. Normal service (food, booze and films) will be resumed shortly.

In the meantime, I happened across this survey - a journalist and PR group which is asking the industry whether it's right to name and shame 'bad' PR people and journalists.

This happens a lot in our industry. Journalists, it would appear, are much quicker to blast bad PR than the other way around.As Emily points out, PR people need to stay on the right side of journalists, to get their clients covered, so it's rare that they'll burn bridges.

Admittedly there is a lot of bad PR out there - and it must be rather annoying for a journo to be asked incessantly whether they've received the piss-poor press release they deleted days ago.

But, as it's a universally accepted truth that journalists need PRs (yup, it's true)and, of course, the other way round - I'd suggest that it's bad form to name and shame the bad ones. Sure if you're a repeat offender, you're likely to get a bad name for yourself in the industry without being listed on some cantankerous blog-rant. That, in itself, should be enough of a deterrent for many. But everyone fucks up from time to time, so a little bit of leeway would be rather nice.

I think the crux of it, though, is that there's a big difference between bad PR and lazy PR. Lazy PR is spamming a list of journalists with uninteresting and irrelevant news - full of PR platitudes - to keep a client happy, knowing full well that it'll piss people off. Bad PR can be anything from a string of terminal errors to an ill advised mishap. If it's the latter, and it's a one-off, then I say it's the responsibility of the company to point it out in the nicest possible way and to help that person to learn. That way, we can all work in harmony.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The corporate blogging conundrum

Most of my pals will know that I've just got a jolly nice new job at a jolly nice PR agency. They'll primarily know this because I've been telling them how busy it is being the new girl. They'll also have clocked that I've been spending rather less time with them in my favourite Camden pubs.

It's been a productive few months, though, really - and the new job is coming along pretty nicely.

The one ongoing debate, though, is about corporate blogs. The question isn't just about ours (we have a really good news aggregation tool for our clients - but not a corporate blog), but actually a wider debate about whether companies really need them. Sure, they all think they do (it's social media, baby) but are they really just jumping on an already-stomped-all-over bandwagon?

There are a lot of PR blogs out there. Many of them are dull at best, and smarmily self serving (of course) at worst. Good ones are Hatch's Re:Medial and Stephen Waddington's take on the industry . I also loved Custard's, but can't find a link since it got rolled into umbrella brand, Speed. What makes these blogs a bit special is that they've got some personality behind them - something which most 'corporate' blogs fail to do.

The first failing of some companies is to try to have a corporate 'voice'. By their very nature blogs (or weblogs, for the un-initiated) are personal diaries - so making them corporate seems a bit mad. The good ones shun the 'company x' sign off, and give ownership over to one employee - or several; posting under their own names or individual monikers.

But even if companies get that right, many are very vanilla. They're frightened of pissing off their clients, or the journalists they work with. Which is fair enough - but stories about the industry, or the blogger's own experiences, often rely on this sort of fodder. Anonymous blogs work, of course, but then they don't promote the company you're working for. This, self-serving or not, is the real aim of blogging.

There's no simple answer, of course. But there's an age old whinge in our industry, that junior staff are often tasked with the most important jobs (selling a story to the press, for example) because it's the thankless task that senior staff can't be bothered with. Those in the know say that this is crazy, as the junior bods aren't experienced enough to make the best job of it. It reflects badly on the company, and the wider industry, they say. Well, I think the same goes for blogging. It's the MDs or senior execs (who probably can afford to be a little bit more edgy with their comments) who should take the personal reigns. They can use their years of experience to say something interesting, that the industry will engage with.

But then, they've got other things to do, haven't they? Like running a company in the wake of a global recession. So I think the answer is this - if you can't devote time to blogging - and don't want to do it well - don't bother*

* Perhaps also applicable to this blog, which is sporadic and haphazard at best. I should give up now.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Yeovil World Congress

It's been a bit slow on the old blog front recently, due to starting a new job, and getting embroiled in the madness that is Mobile World Congress. Mobile World Congress (MWC to the educated, 3GSM to the old timers and GSM to the really old timers like me) is the telco industry's biggest trade show, and a week of madness.

For PR types like me, it's about making sure that your clients are in the press, meeting journalists and generally feeling loved. But it's also about being in a place with hundreds of people you've known for years, catching up and drinking sangria.

An analyst said to us this morning that it takes:

Three weeks to prepare for the Mobile World Congress,
Four nightmare days and sleepless nights to deliver it,
And five weeks to recover

For me, it takes two weeks to gear up to the flight - one hour of moaning about the flight - and two hours to recover with beers in hand. I bloody hate flying. So on the way back home, with some of my colleagues and pals, I suggested that the show would be much better if it upped sticks and moved wholesale to Somerset (where I'm from). It'd mean no flying, and much less hassle.

It should be called Yeovil World Congress, we soon decided. I said that my hometown was definitely geared up to the show, given that it has the second biggest Tescos in the UK - and plenty of cheese and cider.

Exploring this theory a little more, we came to the conclusion that it should be virtual at first (on ciderspace) in order to persuade the organisers of its potential merits. I'm getting my mother to set up a webcam to Yeovil high street - and thinking of approaching local legend Ian Botham to open the show.

Watch this space, it's definitely a goer.

Anyway, I'm back now - so service should resume as normal.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Celebs on Twitter, PR and bloggers

Woweee - my Twitter is full of celebrity posts. Philip Schofield is live tweeting from the This Morning set, Dave Gorman almost got knocked off his bike....Ashton Kutcher REALLY loves his missus.

At this rate, my Twitter engagement is going to be less about engaging with likeminded techies, and become my daily dose of Heat magazine. Bit of a worry that.

While we're on work, then - after my pal Emily blogged about social media and PR, I've had about three pub-driven conversations arguing the toss about how to influence digital communities - and how companies can engage with bloggers specifically.

Of course, social media experts will tell you that PR companies regularly make idiots of themselves by sending a generic PR pitch to a big list of bloggers and expecting them to write about their client. Well, yes. But that's not exactly surprising is it?

Send a generic PR pitch to a big list of journalists and you'll get the same result. Whether you're doing traditional PR or engaging with bloggers, that's just lazy.

For me, if you're going to influence bloggers, you've got to get in the game. Write your own blog, engage with online communities - and do your research. Pick your blog targets carefully - make sure they're relevant to your client, and your client is relevant to the blogger.

And once you've identified your target blogs, you read them. You comment on other posts, you get interested in what the blogger is saying. You build a relationship with them. Then, IF they're interested in your company, they might write about it.


(And apologies to Emily for using her post to spur an additional rant/repurposing my original comments - more originality promised in the next post)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

That Tommy Reilly's a bit of a looker

Or so the kids say. If you're watching Orange Unsigned Act, and want the chance to see the live final then check out a competition my pal is running http://orangeunsignedact.competition-badges.com/.