In traditional, ‘agency’ PR, there’s a well-established technique called ‘piggybacking.’ The idea’s straightforward enough, and is suggested well by the name: x event happens, so we produce comment on it from our client. Sound idea – but invariably terribly badly done Journalists want things they can use to take a story on to the next level, of course they do. Say the Town Hall burns down and the Fire Brigade says that it was caused by faulty wiring. It’s perfectly legitimate for electrical safety consultants to next day go to the press and suggest ways such disasters can be avoided in future – or for, say, insurers to remind us all that it’s always worth protecting yourself against the unexpected, and so on. Unfortunately, in hi-tech at least, what happens is this: Bad Thing Happens. Reporters get 100 emails the next morning – sometimes the same day – saying, ‘Oh, That bad Thing? If only enterprises had bought my
A powerful and suggestive slogan I’ve heard bruited about in digital communications recently is, Thinking like a journalist. The idea; if we could get clients – or at least stakeholders and certain key people in the client – to try and see themselves from the outside-in, or as ‘others see us’ – to start to think more about how the wider world could interface with our messaging, instead of us just push-push-pushing it out – then what great results we might get in terms of buy-in and coverage? Well, we’ve just done a great event… may have been a one-off, I accept… that I think nailed that one to the wall. We really did get the client to think like a journalist. And by jiminy, when it works – boy, does it work! Let me back up and explain what we did here. Back in April we set up a pretty innovative press event… actually, let me stop myself there.
Back from hols and time to circle back in the next couple of Guardian Of Your Voice blogs to the issue of client social media and, in particular, the spooky way to find your voice – Ghost Blogging You may remember we opened that thread with two opening shots: one, ‘THE THREE ‘Ws’ OF HI-TECH BLOGGING – 1: THE ‘WHO,’ WHO SHOULD BLOG?, ‘ looked at identifying the personnel in the client (well, your company, Mr or Mrs B2B firm CEO, of course), while ‘THE THREE ‘Ws’ OF HI-TECH BLOGGING – 2: THE ‘WHY,’ WHY ARE WE BLOGGING AGAIN?’ shifted the ground to the wider perspective on why we would (really) want to do this. I’ve got some things to say on the third ‘W’, the ‘WHAT’ – the metrics of blogging and the practicalities. But before we get there, I wanted to reinforce a couple of the things I said about the ‘Who,’ as subsequent to that post I’ve
As the Premiership is now behind us, I am giving my fondness for Liverpool a temporary break and turning to a question that is exercising my mind, namely ‘If you are an IT PR company, how can you offer value if you don’t have any IT market credibility?’ Let me explain what I mean by this and why the whole topic gets under my skin. I get a lot of really incredibly flattering approaches by scrumptiously handsome movie stars. Nah, not really. 🙂 I get a lot of really incredibly flattering approaches by amazing companies from different industry sectors. So guys from retail, the non-profit/third sector, health – they have all called me up and said they’ve loved what they’ve seen we can do (usually for one of their tech suppliers) and they ask if I can come and do some magic for them, too. It’s a wonderful experience for the five minutes I let myself entertain it. Then, as
If it’s OK, I’d like to step out for a second or two from the debate about what useful PR is going to look like in the era of ubiquitous digital communications. Instead, briefly, and I hope in a non-sales-y way, I want to talk about what my credibility is here. Who am I – and why does my company, Sarum, have a stake in all this? In my last couple of blogs I made the distinction between new-style digital marketing agency and ‘traditional’ B2B IT PR. Well, I think I need to clarify just what I meant by ‘traditional,’ as it might not be what you expect. What do I mean? I mean there’s a huge difference between what most PRs in this field do and what we do. You might see it as the gap between ‘traditional’ and ‘experienced’, actually. The overall pitch for Sarum PR is that lovely phrase, ‘Boutique IT PR agency’. Well, let’s unpack that.
Welcome back to my new blog! (If you are wondering what the heck the title means, easy Tiger – all will be revealed.) I started this blog because there are a lot of issues I want to articulate – and debate with you, please – on the whole interesting, noisy and often the deeply confusing clash between ‘social’ marketing and ‘traditional’ B2B communications. So, now you have been properly warned, let’s plunge back in! For me, social is only one of the many channels of communication that an organisation, particularly a B2B one, needs to be aware of. By definition, that means it is not the only one. It doesn’t replace anything. (And let’s be honest, in 18 months’ time – if even that long – something else will come along as a means to communicate that we’ll all go doolally about…) Social might extend, then, the traditional marketing communications channels. But you know something? Those B2B forms are fairly