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July 30 2012

20:00

5Across Classic: Olympic Athletes on Social Media

olympics digital 2012 small.jpg

We decided to pull up this 2010 episode of 5Across about athletes using social media because of its relevance to the current 2012 Olympics, especially as the roundtable includes two U.S. Olympians: Natalie Coughlin and Donny Robinson. Not much has changed in the last couple years, except that even more athletes are on social media -- and more are connecting with fans and slipping up. UPDATE: One more thing has changed: Now Coughlin has 12 medals after winning a bronze at London.

Back in the day, the only coverage of a sporting event came from the accredited media. But now, you can find out more from fans in the seats taking pictures and posting to blogs -- or from the athletes themselves who are getting hooked on Twitter and Facebook status updates. In fact, Major League Baseball has warned players it is watching what they tweet, and the Manchester United soccer team took over social media accounts from their players.

There is an obvious shift in power, with athletes trying to find their own voice on social media, and fans getting to have their say online. Where does that leave traditional sports journalists? Having to adapt, both by monitoring social media for more news (and missteps from athletes), and using it to keep in touch with readers. We convened a special roundtable discussion and party for 5Across to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the show, with special guest Olympic athletes Natalie Coughlin and Donny Robinson. We talked about the shifting landscape for sports media, the balancing act for athletes sharing personal details with fans, and the faux pas that happen when you give a star a global megaphone.

5Across: Athletes on Social Media

athletestwitterfinal.mp4

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Guest Biographies

Andrew Braccia was one of the initial investors and currently sits on the board of SB Nation, the largest and fastest growing network of fan-centric online sports communities. He joined the investment firm Accel Partners in 2007 bringing with him a decade of experience at Yahoo. His primary areas of investment interest include consumer Internet and software businesses with a focus on web search, digital media, online gaming and online advertising.


Natalie Coughlin is an Olympic swimmer who has won 11 medals in the 2004 and 2008 Games -- winning a medal in every event she has competed in. She is the first woman to win back to back gold medals in the 100 meter backstroke. She was a judge on "Iron Chef" and competed in the show "Dancing with the Stars." You can follow her on Twitter @NatalieCoughlin or become her fan on Facebook.



Award-winning columnist Ann Killion has been following the world of sports for more than two decades. She worked for many years at the San Jose Mercury News and is now a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and Comcast Bay Area Sports Net. She is also communications director of Vivo Girls Sports, a social network for girls who like sports. You can follow her on Twitter @annkillion or read her blog here.



Hannah Patrick works at Sports Media Challenge where she focuses on training, consulting, and media analysis for major sports celebrity clients such as Shaquille O'Neal, Danica Patrick, and MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. She also championed SMC's efforts with the innovative social media segment for SportsCenter's Blog Buzz segment. Hannah develops new media strategies for a wide-range of clients including the Big Ten Network, Conference USA, and ESPN Regional Television.

Donny Robinson is a professional BMX bike racer, having won a bronze medal in the 2008 Games, and a World Championship in 2009. He was the first man to win world titles in all four BMX classes. He lives in Napa, Calif., and you can follow him on Twitter @DonnyRobinson.

If you'd prefer to watch sections of the show rather than the entire show, I've broken them down by topic below.

Personal Details

Best Practices

The Numbers Game

Athletes Behaving Badly

Democratization of Media

Credits

Mark Glaser, executive producer and host
Darcy Cohan, producer

Charlotte Buchen, camera

Julie Caine, audio

Location: Vega Project & Kennerly Architecture office space in San Francisco

Special thanks to: PBS and the Knight Foundation

Music by AJ the DJ

*****

vegaproject-pbs-mediashift.png

What do you think? Do you follow athletes on social media, and which ones do you think do it best? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

To see photos from the 5Across shoot and anniversary party, visit this Flickr set.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian and fiancee Renee. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

January 18 2012

10:33

Rupert Murdoch, Kutcher, the ur-Jack and the dangers of Twitter

Forbes :: When CEOs take the opportunity to commune directly, interesting things happen. Sometimes these help to build the mystique – to receive an email direct from Steve Jobs was to become immediately a hero, even if it was a terse suggestion to leave him and his company alone. Whereas if your CEO, left unattended, is likely to, say, post a video of himself and his friends taking potshots at elephants, PR may be more of a challenge.

In this light, Rupert Murdoch’s tweets have been interesting.

The dangers of Twitter - Continue to read Daniel Nye Griffiths, www.forbes.com

Tags: PR Twitter

September 14 2011

09:24

PR disaster - Central Basin Municipal Water District paid $200,000 for positive "Google News" stories

Los Angeles Times :: Officials at Google News on Tuesday removed a website from its search index that had contracted with a local water district to produce promotional pieces “written in the image of real news.” The move came in response to a Times story on an unusual agreement between the Central Basin Municipal Water District and a consultant affiliated with the news website, News Hawks Review. Under the deal the water district, a public agency based in Southeast L.A. County, paid nearly $200,000 to a consultant to publish positive stories that appeared as articles on Google News.

Continue to read latimesblogs.latimes.com

July 30 2011

04:43

Who are the 12 tech publicists who secretly control the media?

Gizmodo :: The publicists and communications managers in the technology industry have tough jobs. They have to spin crap products into good stories. And let's face it, most of them are powerless. But not these dozen PR pros.

[Mat Honan, Gizmodo:] (These dozen PR pros) rep big companies and small, but more to the point they have the power to control the message. These are the select few who can kill stories, or change them.

Twelf "handlers who control the media" - continue to read Mat Honan, gizmodo.com

July 18 2011

06:04

A Scotland Yard commissioner resigned and Rebekah Brooks was arrested - what Murdoch faces now

New Yorker :: Now that a very large apple, Rebekah Brooks, has been arrested, it is clear that it is the entire barrel that is rotten. Since many editors had to have known of the illegal hacking, and many people on the business side would have had to sign off on large, illegal payments to the police for information, more apples will drop in coming days. And not only at News Corp.: Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, resigned Sunday. The best public-relations advice in the world will not help contain what is, for Murdoch, a spreading contagion that is no longer confined to London.

Continue to read Ken Auletta, www.newyorker.com

July 15 2011

06:30

Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch calls in PR firm Edelman

News International probably plans to reinvent itself. They company now seeks professional PR and communication assistance after the phone-hacking scandal lead to the closing of News of the World. They will need it. But without a substiantial turnaround communication will fail.

Guardian :: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has called in PR and lobbying specialists Edelman to help the embattled company handle mounting public anger and political pressure over the phone-hacking scandal in the UK. The PR company will report directly to Will Lewis, general manager of News Corp subsidiary News International, the publisher of Murdoch's British newspapers.

Continue to read Rupert Neate | Mark Sweney, www.guardian.co.uk

April 20 2011

11:44

Ethical? Illegal? Ineffective? PR firms offering bloggers prizes-to-post

A PR firm recently invited me to review their client’s product, saying that if I did review it I would be entered into a prize draw with other ‘qualifying’ bloggers to win an iPad 2.

It was a product I might ordinarily have covered, but this approach made me reluctant.

Here’s reason number 1: I asked myself whether the PR firm will have made the same approach to print journalists. I doubt it. Why? Because it would have raised obvious ethical issues, and questioned the journalists’ professionalism.

So were they assuming that bloggers had different ethics? I doubt they thought that hard – more likely was that some bright spark thought that eager, amateur bloggers would jump at the chance to get anything for their hard work.

Here’s reason number 2: other bloggers will have been approached with the same offer. If they saw me review the product they would assume that I had done so in exchange for this prize draw ticket. They would see me as unprofessional, unethical, or both.

In PR terms, then, the approach was counter-productive: it actually made me less likely to give their client coverage.

And it stems from a misunderstanding of many bloggers: because they blog for free, their reputation is the only value they hold. The bloggers with the biggest reputations and the biggest audiences are the least likely to risk that in exchange for the chance to win something (in many cases those reputations lead directly to paid work).

But is it legal?

Beyond the PR objectives, there are real legal issues here. A prize draw like this constitutes a lottery, and as such needs permission from the Gambling Commission.

Likewise, blogging in exchange for entry into the competition probably constitutes payment (I’m not sure whether they felt a competition might avoid this issue) and as such should be declared by the blogger.

The Office of Fair Trading, for example, last year required blogging network Handpicked Media to declare whether content had been paid for. A key quote from the OFT states “We expect online advertising and marketing campaigns to be transparent so consumers can clearly tell when blogs, posts and microblogs have been published in return for payment or payment in kind.” [my emphasis].

Staff at the OFT refused to comment on specific cases or examples but their general advice was that any payment for content should be disclosed.

From last month the Advertising Standards Authority also extended its remit to cover online “marketing communications”, including those on third party sites such as Twitter.

Rob Griggs from the ASA’s press team confirmed that offering entry into a prize draw in return for coverage would constitute payment, but the ASA would only be concerned if the published content had been directly provided by the company that would come under our code.

If the blogger is writing their own review then this would not be covered by the ASA’s code. That said, the ASA have not yet had any complaints in this area and there is no precedent to go on. A test case may clarify the position further.

Of course I may be alone in thinking about all of this. Are you a PR agency who has found this tactic effective? A blogger who has been approached as part of a similar campaign? I’d welcome some other opinions.

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March 09 2011

18:08

Churnalism.com Reveals Press Release Copy in News Stories

Editors' Note: Martin Moore is the director of the Media Standards Trust, which recently launched Churnalism.com -- a website that helps the public distinguish journalism from "churnalism," a news article that is published as journalism, but is essentially a press release without much added.

Two weeks in, and the public response to Churnalism.com has been fantastic.

churnalism logo.jpg

Since we launched the site on February 23, we have had 50,000 unique visitors, over 330,000 page impressions, and hundreds of press releases pasted in and saved. According to Google Analytics the site has been visited by people in 134 countries.

People have tracked down churnalism about eye-catching new products (such as "Baby Gaga," ice cream made with breast milk), about new research findings from universities (for example, on the "protective properties of green tea"), about new police initiatives (e.g., the recruitment of teenagers by police to prevent cyber-bullying), about the "happiest time of the week" (7:26 pm on a Saturday, says a poll sponsored by a multivitamin company), and about the prose of Jane Austen (which might not be all hers after all, according to an Oxford study). People have pointed us to stores of press releases like www.eurekalert.org and www.alphagalileo.org so we can build up a bigger bank of comparisons. And there have been discussions about what might constitute "signals of churnalism."

As importantly for us, the site has sparked lots of debate about churnalism. Here are some of the top questions that have come up:

Do the public care if journalists are churning out press releases?

Some felt the site's exposure of churnalism would not much bother the public.

Mark Stringer of Pretty Green told PR week he was "not sure why anyone would want to go to the time and effort of producing a website to prove something that no one really cares about."

Others thought the opposite was true.

"If you tell someone who is a punter rather than a journo that it's pretty standard practice to ctrl+C and ctrl+V huge chunks of a press release into a story," Steven Baxter wrote in his New Statesman blog, you'll get a revealing reaction. "I call it the 'Really?' face. People look at you as if to say 'Really? Is that what you do?'"

Our own experience to date appears to support Baxter's view rather than Stringer's.

Does the re-use of wire copy count as 'churnalism'?

There has been a fascinating discussion about the re-use of wire copy, especially when it is re-used almost verbatim, often with a byline from the news outlet added.

People have pointed out that news outlets subscribe to wire services to broaden their access to news, so why shouldn't they publish it?

Others have countered that using wire copy is not the problem, but passing it off as your own is.

"If you have to churn,"Minority Thought blogged, "at least be honest about it."

How can news organizations make their use of press releases more transparent?

On Memeburn, Tom Foremski wrote about a suggestion he made a few years back to color-code text that came from a press release. For example, distinguishing text "copied from a release or outside source (red)" from original text in black -- and potentially other colors to represent separate conflicts of interest. Others suggested just noting or linking to the release.

Professor George Brock, head of journalism at City University London, worried that rather than push journalists towards footnoting sources, Churnalism.com might discourage them.

Will Churnalism.com help reduce the production line approach to press releases?

A prominent communications professional, Mark Borkowski, welcomed the site, hoping it might help kill off the mass production of poor press releases.

So many are now produced, Borkowski wrote, that "the level of noise makes it hard for the true craft of the publicist to flourish."

Is all churnalism bad?

Alan Twigg of Seventy Seven PR told PR Week that "this site is making it sound like [public relations officers] getting coverage is a doddle and that PROs are taking over the media. If only it was that easy." Sounding a similar note, Stuart Skinner of PHA Media took to PR's defense on the same website, saying that "news is not a product of collusion between shady PROs and lazy journalists."

It is worth noting that the site does not say churnalism is easy, nor indeed that the reproduction of parts of press releases is necessarily unsavory.

"Of course not all churnalism is bad," the site's FAQ section says. "Some press releases are clearly in the public interest (medical breakthroughs, government announcements, school closures and so on). But even in these cases, it is better that people should know what press release the article is based on than for the source of the article to remain hidden."

Richard Sambrook also made an important point in his blog, that "there is of course Good PR and Bad PR just as there is Good Journalism and Bad Journalism."

Does Churnalism.com illustrate the self-correcting power of the web?

In the Guardian's online comment section Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, suggested that plagipedia and Churnalism.com "show us that the Internet is perfectly capable of correcting its own follies."

What's an equivalent word for "churnalism" in Spanish?

Great question. 1001Medios began a Twitter-hunt for a word in Spanish that captured the idea of "churnalism." Sadly, my Spanish is not good enough to work out if they've found one yet.

Building Buzz Without Legacy Media

The tremendous public response and debate almost certainly would not have happened without social media, blogs, and Chris Atkins. Chris' news stunts -- particularly about the chastity garter, the penazzle and Larry (or Jo) the cat -- captured public attention at the same time as making a serious point about how churn makes it into the mainstream media. (You can see Chris' film describing the stunts on the Guardian website, and his blog about it here.)

They also helped kick-start discussion about churnalism on social media, notably Twitter and Facebook. Thousands of people have tweeted about the "churnalism" problem, about Churnalism.com as a way to address the problem, about evidence of churn they have found, and yes, about Larry the Cat and the penazzle. It has been humbling and somewhat overwhelming to observe the level of public response and engagement.

Indeed, without social media and blogs there is every chance the site might have gone virtually unnoticed. The Guardian, which published the original "reveal" article about the news stunts, is still the only UK national newspaper site to have mentioned Churnalism.com.

Major news outlets that were fooled by Chris' PR stunts have yet to acknowledge their mistakes -- much less the website the hoaxes were intended to publicize. The BBC's Radio 5 Live is -- as far as we know -- yet to tell its listeners that the "Jo the Cat" story, which they discussed at length on their lunchtime program, was a fabrication. The Daily Mail does not appear to have informed its readers that Margaret Sutcliffe is not pursuing her custody claim about the Prime Minister's cat.

Contrast this with BBC Norfolk which immediately put its hands up and then used the hoax as a good way to start a discussion about churnalism.

Industry and International Attention

The public relations industry in the U.K. has been more direct in its response than the mainstream press. "PR Industry hits out at churnalism site" said an article on PRWeek.co.uk.

Various figures from the industry voiced their concern about the impact the site might have on the reputation of PR. Though in a measured and sensible leader, the editor Danny Rogers suggested churnalism was a genuine threat to both journalism and PR: "If organizations are churning out rubbish, and so-called journalists are mere accomplices in this process, we will all be taking part in a depressing downward spiral."

One of the really encouraging things about the response to the site in its first two weeks has been the international reaction. In addition to many kind words of encouragement, we have had expressions of interest from people to extend the site to the U.S., Germany, Finland, Spain, and Australia. We've spoken to NPR radio in New York, to CBC radio in Canada, BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Wales and to community radio in Essex. We've been contacted by news organizations in Germany, Belgium, Australia, the U.S. and Russia.

What's Next for Churnalism.com?

Some of this interest is not in the site itself but in the technology that underlies it. The methodology we developed can be applied to many other uses beyond churnalism. It could be used, for example, to trace changes in the progress of legislation. It could be used to measure the re-use of Wikipedia. It could be applied to plagiarism in other parts of the web.

We're still pedaling furiously to respond to many of the questions people have raised and issues identified. We are, for example, about to introduce a page that allows people to explore the use of press releases by news outlet or sector (i.e. government, science). We are now highlighting, on the home page, what comparisons people are sharing (since people seem to prefer to share than to rate). We are adding a report button so people can tell us when something definitely is not churn.

Finally, we will start to link the site more directly with the other Media Standards Trust transparency projects -- notably journalisted.com and hNews. This should help us to create a whole toolbox of transparency and accountability mechanisms for online news and create an ecology that will foster and advantage original journalism.

March 02 2011

13:24

Signals of churnalism?

Journalism warning labels

Journalism warning labels by Tom Scott

On Friday I had quite a bit of fun with Churnalism.com, a new site from the Media Standards Trust which allows you to test how much of a particular press release has been reproduced verbatim by media outlets.

The site has an API, which got me thinking whether you might be able to ‘mash’ it with an RSS feed from Google News to check particular types of articles – and what ‘signals’ you might use to choose those articles.

I started with that classic PR trick: the survey. A search on Google News for “a survey * found” (the * is a wildcard, meaning it can be anything) brings some interesting results to start investigating.

Jon Bounds added a favourite of his: “hailed a success”.

And then it continued:

  • “Research commissioned by”
  • “A spokesperson said”
  • “Can increase your risk of” and “Can reduce your risk of”

On Twitter, Andy Williams added the use of taxonomies of consumers – although it was difficult to pin that down to a phrase. He also added “independent researchers

Contributors to the MySociety mailing list added:

  • “Proud to announce”
  • “Today launches”
  • “Revolutionary new”
  • “It was revealed today” (Andy Mabbett)
  • “According to research”, “research published today” and “according to a new report”

And of course there is “A press release said”.

Signal – or sign?

The idea kicked off a discussion on Twitter on whether certain phrases were signals of churnalism, or just journalistic cliches. The answer, of course, is both.

By brainstorming for ‘signals’ I wasn’t arguing that any material using these phrases would be guilty of churnalism – or even the majority – just that they might be represent one way of narrowing your sample. Once you have a feed of stories containing “Revolutionary new” you can then use the API to test what proportion of those articles are identical to the text in a press release – or another news outlet.

The signal determines the sample, the API calculates the results.

Indeed, there’s an interesting research project to be done – perhaps using the Churnalism API – on whether the phrases above are more likely to contain passages copied wholesale from press releases, than a general feed of stories from Google News.

(Another research project might involve looking at press releases to identify common phrases used by press officers that might be used by the API)

You may have another opinion of course – or other phrases you might suggest?

August 20 2010

10:13

The difficult reality of open council data and journalism

Andy Mabbett has an interesting post on his pigsonthewing blog about the difficulties surrounding open data for councils and subsequent media interpretations and reports.

Giving an example of grant funding and council spending, where conditions may involve money being spent on certain forms of advertising, he adds that often this is misinterpreted by some members of the press, unaware of the attached conditions or other related spending on important projects involved. As a result, the headlines focus on what appears to be unusual spending.

As a supporter of the principles of open public data, he says a solution needs to be found.

What can council’s do to prevent this scenario? Annotate every spend item in their published data? Surely impractical. List such items separately? I don’t know (and don’t get me wrong, I’m an open-data advocate; and this is a relatively minor matter, which shouldn’t stop such data from being published), but do I hope somebody has an answer.

See his full post here…Similar Posts:



July 20 2010

10:04

PRs reluctant to turn to Twitter will ‘die out through natural seclection’

Computer Weekly’s Mark Kobayashi-Hillary looks at the use of Twitter by trade journalists and trade PRs – or, more specifically, some trade PRs’ reluctance to take advantage of the communication tool.
If your focus is on a list of topics, and the writers at a group of specific titles, then what could possibly work better than having a window on what they are saying about their stories?
This works both ways – how many trade hacks really pay attention to the sea of press releases anymore when they can talk directly to the people they are writing about?
Some PR agencies have realised this. There are many now with strong digital and social expertise, but there are so many that are just riding on an existing contract. They will ultimately die out through natural selection

Full post on the SocialITe…Similar Posts:



July 12 2010

21:01

5 Digital PR Lessons from BP's Oil Spill Response

Just like late night talk show hosts who salivate over a fresh political sex scandal, professional communicators can't stop analyzing and talking about BP's public relations work during the current Gulf Coast oil spill disaster. More to the point, they can't shut up about BP's inability to relate to the public, and its poor use of digital and social tools available.

It seems a communications or social media conference now isn't complete without obligatory mentions of the "BP PR Disaster," complete with sly references to verbal gaffes by BP CEO Tony Hayward. The still-unfolding environmental disaster has already been fodder for reams of blog posts, articles and dissections.

Everything BP has done over the past two months has been picked apart and critiqued. From the retaining of outside PR firms, to the company's (lack of) use of social channels and the hiring of a Bush-Cheney-era communicator, BP has done little to impress the critics.

The move to hire Anne Womack-Kolton, a former aide to Dick Cheney, caused an Economist blogger to nearly blow a gasket:

The first law of disaster-management in the United States is that you appoint somebody from the "in" party rather than the "out" party. The second law is that you avoid anybody with connections to George Bush and Dick Cheney.

BPFakeTwitter.jpgTo top it off, some of the most effective critiques of the company and its clean-up are coming in 140 character bursts from the unknown acerbic voice behind the satirical Twitter account, @BPGlobalPR. The caustic and laugh-out-loud funny nature of the tweets sets off a chain of retweets, creating online waves that reach much farther and faster than the spread of the oil (or BP's message for that matter).

The general consensus in the public relations industry is that BP ran its crisis communications in the same ham-fisted manner they've run the clean-up operation in the Gulf. But are pundits being too hard on BP? And what can we learn about conducting PR in the digital age from this example? Below are my five suggested lessons, and a list of links to 15 must-read articles about BP's response to the crisis.

Five Big Lessons

It's become all too easy to knock around the communicators at BP. The harsh reality is most major corporations and organizations would have reacted in the same textbook manner. This spill has changed the way communicators will plan for and execute strategies around crises of all kinds. New questions are being asked and long-held assumptions are being challenged. Here are the top five communications trends I see coming from the BP Gulf spill:

  1. Consider the ethics of social channels. BP makes a regular habit of turning off the comment function on social media channels and not allowing other views to be shared on its profiles. This is presumably to help control the message and avoid issues of liability -- but how should Facebook or YouTube react to this? Twitter said it wouldn't touch the satirical account mocking the oil company, but in early June it asked the author to make it clear they were not connected to BP. Are social networks simply platforms anyone can use to distribute a message, even if that message isn't 100 percent accurate or there is no room for response or debate?
  2. One vs. many spokespeople. How would a Zappos, IBM, Starbucks or Dell (to use a few oft-cited examples of more open and connected corporate cultures) handle a BP-like situation with their brands? Classic communications strategy suggests to follow BP's lead and anoint a single spokesperson. But these go-to models of crisis control are challenged when hundreds speak for a brand, even if informally. The Internet is an organizational tool. If an organization facing a crisis is socially connected and understands the networks they have created, they'll know what to do. The clearest way forward is to ask your online team members to follow some basic guidelines about when and how to respond in the specific situation at hand. The three main tasks for the formal and informal social media teams are: Thank people, correct facts, and share updated information. Remember to keep responses short, accurate and polite, and to link to a place where aggregated information about the crisis can be found. Remind your online team not to apologize for the incident, never to debate or engage in defense or explanations.
  3. Tactics are not directly transferable across mediums. A common refrain from many analysts is that BP ripped pages from an old playbook to use on the new field of communications. Good communicators understand that communications strategy must be tool-agnostic, but that tactics are tool-specific. In other words, BP used classic communications methods in new mediums. This dissonance was immediately seized upon by organizations like Greenpeace and the satirical BP account on Twitter.
  4. The old paradigm of broadcasting to persuade is being challenged. BP's communicators took to YouTube and created what seemed like television ads. They would have been better served by attempting to stimulate a conversation, providing a realistic portrait of the work being done, or engaging in a live, viewer-centric Q&A session. Overall, the BP website and spokespeople lacked a human or colloquial tone.
  5. Sometimes you just can't win. BP has failed to realize that sometimes trying to "win" PR battles actually results in an organization losing the overall communications war. Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image and the author of "Six Pixels of Separation" suggested in his Vancouver Sun/Montreal Gazette column that perhaps BP never really had a chance. "If the basis of social media is based on trust and credibility, how can BP be expected to engage and truly connect?" he wrote. "For now, it's hopeless. But that was probably also true long before a drop of oil ever touched the Gulf of Mexico."

15 Great Articles About BP's Response

In the course of reading over 100 articles about BP's PR response, I came across several pieces that offered valuable insight and information. Here are the 15 best:

  1. Why social media won't help BP: Vancouver Sun
  2. BPs woes start a the top: Globe and Mail
  3. Failures made worse by PR mistakes: MSNBC
  4. BP PR blunder carries high political cost: Reuters
  5. BP and the long tail PR crisis: SMI
  6. BP is attempting to cram the square peg of the traditional mass media into the round hole of social media: Derek Devries
  7. BP can't tweet: Merriam
  8. Adweek reports on BP's major social media push -- with disabled comments: Truthout
  9. Do social media complaints make a difference to a brand?: ComMetrics
  10. BP should fix the problem, not "join the conversation": OpposablePlanets
  11. What BP should be doing with social media: Socialnomics
  12. Review of BPs social media campaign: Bruce Clay
  13. BP's Gulf PR disaster - give them a break!: PR Disasters
  14. Social media won't help big, bad BP: Canwest
  15. BP Social Media Response to the Spill: Social Technology Strategy slide show

Ian Capstick is a progressive media consultant. He worked for a decade in Canadian politics supporting some of Canada's most charismatic leaders. He is passionate about creating social change through communications. Ian appears weekly on CBC TV's Power & Politics, weekly radio panels, and is regularly quoted online and off about the evolution of public relations in a connected world. He describes his small communications firm, MediaStyle.ca, as a blog with a consulting arm.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

July 08 2010

09:08

‘A week on the dark side’: Hack trades places with PR, blogs about it

PRWeek’s deputy feature editor Kate Magee has swapped places with a PR officer for a week to see what life is like on the so-called “dark side”.

Magee is working at Bite Communications and is blogging her experiences from the other side of the equation. It’s a light-hearted, but interesting look at some of the inate differences and similarities between the two industries.

The PRWeek blog can be found at this link…

Magee’s first post on ‘Hack to Flack’ is at this link…Similar Posts:



June 28 2010

14:14

Video: Vikki Chowney & Tony Curzon-Price on creating a buzz: how to get your content noticed

With so much news content available online and a host of ways to promote and share that material it’s often hard for journalists and bloggers to know how to make their content stand out. There are a host of companies offering a quick fix to this problem with promises of Facebook friends and sky-high traffic stats. However, some of the most successful blogs go for a niche audience who care about the subject matter, and spread the word organically.

OJB grabbed a few minutes at News:Rewired with Vikki Chowney (Reputation Online), and Tony Curzon-Price (openDemocracy) to find out how they make an impact online

June 03 2010

09:21

Independent: Are PR agencies forging the new journalism?

PRs, who once had to go through the prism of journalism to convey their messages to a mass audience, are increasingly confident in circumventing traditional media altogether. In generating their own video and text-based digital content on behalf of clients, they are not only taking the bread from the table of a weakened advertising sector but encroaching onto the old territory of television and press companies.

The Independent’s Ian Burrell looks specifically at Edelman, the PR firm which has recently hired former BBC man Richard Sambrook and the Financial Times’ Stefan Stern, and suggests that the American-owned PR firm has a different strategy from other public relations agencies: it wants to take its clients’ messages directly to the consumer.

“The mantra is that every company has to be a media company in their own right, telling their own stories not just through websites but through branded entertainment, video, iPad and mobile applications,” says Sambrook in the Independent article. “Big companies are going directly to the consumer to engage them now, rather than through display or spot ads and the traditional means of trying to reach consumers. You can’t just be out there shouting at people about your brand, you’ve got to engage with them quite carefully, and the editorial skills that I can bring can help with that.”

Social media has given PR agencies an advantage over ad agencies in reaching the consumer, says the piece, but will PR fill the news void as traditional media continues to fragment? Or will audiences still need a third-party filter or endorsement?

Full story at this link…

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June 01 2010

09:22

Video: Angry hack vs angry flack – a touching story

This one has been doing the rounds: a head-to-head between Dan Noyes, the chief investigative reporter for US news channel ABC7 News, and Marc Slavin, director of communications at a local hospital. Neither are willing to give any ground as Noyes holds on to his story and Slavin holds on to Noyes shoulder…

More background on the story behind the confrontation on sfweekly.com.

Video posted on YouTube at this link…

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May 12 2010

22:59

5Across: Athletes on Social Media

Back in the day, the only coverage of a sporting event came from the accredited media. But now, you can find out more from fans in the seats taking pictures and posting to blogs -- or from the athletes themselves who are getting hooked on Twitter and Facebook status updates. In fact, Major League Baseball has warned players it is watching what they tweet, and the Manchester United soccer team took over social media accounts from their players.

There is an obvious shift in power, with athletes trying to find their own voice on social media, and fans getting to have their say online. Where does that leave traditional sports journalists? Having to adapt, both by monitoring social media for more news (and missteps from athletes), and using it to keep in touch with readers. We convened a special roundtable discussion and party for 5Across to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the show, with special guest Olympic athletes Natalie Coughlin and Donny Robinson. We talked about the shifting landscape for sports media, the balancing act for athletes sharing personal details with fans, and the faux pas that happen when you give a star a global megaphone.

5Across: Athletes on Social Media

athletestwitterfinal.mp4

>>> Subscribe to 5Across video podcast <<<

>>> Subscribe to 5Across via iTunes <<<

Guest Biographies

Andrew Braccia was one of the initial investors and currently sits on the board of SB Nation, the largest and fastest growing network of fan-centric online sports communities. He joined the investment firm Accel Partners in 2007 bringing with him a decade of experience at Yahoo. His primary areas of investment interest include consumer Internet and software businesses with a focus on web search, digital media, online gaming and online advertising.


Natalie Coughlin is an Olympic swimmer who has won 11 medals in the 2004 and 2008 Games -- winning a medal in every event she has competed in. She is the first woman to win back to back gold medals in the 100 meter backstroke. She was a judge on "Iron Chef" and competed in the show "Dancing with the Stars." You can follow her on Twitter @NatalieCoughlin or become her fan on Facebook.



Award-winning columnist Ann Killion has been following the world of sports for more than two decades. She worked for many years at the San Jose Mercury News and is now a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and Comcast Bay Area Sports Net. She is also communications director of Vivo Girls Sports, a social network for girls who like sports. You can follow her on Twitter @annkillion or read her blog here.



Hannah Patrick works at Sports Media Challenge where she focuses on training, consulting, and media analysis for major sports celebrity clients such as Shaquille O'Neal, Danica Patrick, and MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. She also championed SMC's efforts with the innovative social media segment for SportsCenter's Blog Buzz segment. Hannah develops new media strategies for a wide-range of clients including the Big Ten Network, Conference USA, and ESPN Regional Television.

Donny Robinson is a professional BMX bike racer, having won a bronze medal in the 2008 Games, and a World Championship in 2009. He was the first man to win world titles in all four BMX classes. He lives in Napa, Calif., and you can follow him on Twitter @DonnyRobinson.

If you'd prefer to watch sections of the show rather than the entire show, I've broken them down by topic below.

Personal Details

Best Practices

The Numbers Game

Athletes Behaving Badly

Democratization of Media

Credits

Mark Glaser, executive producer and host
Darcy Cohan, producer

Charlotte Buchen, camera

Julie Caine, audio

Location: Vega Project & Kennerly Architecture office space in San Francisco

Special thanks to: PBS and the Knight Foundation

Music by AJ the DJ

*****

vegaproject-pbs-mediashift.png

What do you think? Do you follow athletes on social media, and which ones do you think do it best? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

April 08 2010

13:58

Review: Heather Brooke – The Silent State

The Silent State

In the week that a general election is called, Heather Brooke’s latest book couldn’t have been better timed. The Silent State is a staggeringly ambitious piece of work that pierces through the fog of the UK’s bureaucracies of power to show how they work, what is being hidden, and the inconsistencies underlying the way public money is spent.

Like her previous book, Your Right To Know, Brooke structures the book into chapters looking at different parts of the power system in the UK – making it a particularly usable reference work when you want to get your head around a particular aspect of our political systems.

Chapter by chapter

Chapter 1 lists the various databases that have been created to maintain information on citizens - paying particular focus to the little-publicised rack of databases holding subjective data on children. The story of how an old unpopular policy was rebranded to ride into existence on the back of the Victoria Climbie bandwagon is particularly illustrative of government’s hunger for data for data’s sake.

Picking up that thread further, Chapter 2 explores how much public money is spent on PR and how public servants are increasingly prevented from speaking directly to the media. It’s this trend which made The Times’ outing of police blogger Nightjack particularly loathsome and why we need to ensure we fight hard to protect those who provide an insight into their work on the ground.

Chapter 3 looks at how the misuse of statistics led to the independence of the head of the Office of National Statistics – but not the staff that he manages – and how the statistics given to the media can differ quite significantly to those provided when requested by a Select Committee (the lesson being that these can be useful sources to check). It’s a key chapter for anyone interested in the future of public data and data journalism.

Bureaucracy itself is the subject of the fourth chapter. Most of this is a plea for good bureaucracy and the end of unnamed sources, but there is still space for illustrative and useful anecdotes about acquiring information from the Ministry of Defence.

And in Chapter 5 we get a potted history of MySociety’s struggle to make politicians accountable for their votes, and an overview of how data gathered with public money – from The Royal Mail’s postcodes to Ordnance Survey – is sold back to the public at a monopolistic premium.

The justice system and the police are scrutinised in the 6th and 7th chapters – from the twisted logic that decreed audio recordings are more unreliable than written records to the criminalisation of complaint.

Then finally we end with a personal story in Chapter 8: a reflection on the MPs’ expenses saga that Brooke is best known for. You can understand the publishers – and indeed, many readers – wanting to read the story first-hand, but it’s also the least informative of all the chapters for journalists (which is a credit to all that Brooke has achieved on that front in wider society).

With a final ‘manifesto’ section Brooke summarises the main demands running across the book and leaves you ready to storm every institution in this country demanding change. It’s an experience reminiscent of finishing Franz Kafka’s The Trial – we have just been taken on a tour through the faceless, logic-deprived halls of power. And it’s a disconcerting, disorientating feeling.

Journalism 2.0

But this is not fiction. It is great journalism. And the victims caught in expensive paper trails and logical dead ends are real people.

Because although the book is designed to be dipped in as a reference work, it is also written as an eminently readable page-turner – indeed, the page-turning gets faster as the reader gets angrier. Throughout, Brooke illustrates her findings with anecdotes that not only put a human face on the victims of bureaucracy, but also pass on the valuable experience of those who have managed to get results.

For that reason, the book is not a pessimistic or sensationalist piece of writing. There is hope – and the likes of Brooke, and MySociety, and others in this book are testament to the fact that this can be changed.

The Silent State is journalism 2.0 at its best – not just exposing injustice and waste, but providing a platform for others to hold power to account. It’s not content for content’s sake, but a tool. I strongly recommend not just buying it – but using it. Because there’s some serious work to be done.

March 29 2010

10:50

Heather Brooke: ‘PR is infecting public institutions and destroying our democracy’

In the latest extract of Heather Brooke’s book, ‘The Silent State’, published in the Mail on Sunday yesterday, the investigative journalist looks at the effect of PR in public institutions.

On council-run newspapers:

My prediction is this: the more officials take over the news the more our money will be wasted. Scrutiny by the public keeps the powerful honest.

And on trying to reach officials:

PR people have manoeuvred themselves to the top of the political pole. Even senior managers have to get clearance from the Press office to speak to the public.

Full post at this link…

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January 22 2010

15:03

PR without newspapers… gets newspaper coverage

Earlier this week we blogged about Adam Vincenzini, a PR consultant with Paratus Communications, who is conducting a personal experiment and giving up reading and buying print newspapers for a year.

Vincenzini, who describes himself as a news junkie and avid consumer of newspapers, wants to see what effect this withdrawal will have on him personally, but more significantly on his work.

His experiment has attracted a great deal of interest – not least from the very medium he’s giving up. Spanish newspaper El Mundo has picked up on the story and used one of his video updates. Vincenzini says the French press have also been in touch. Not that he’s really allowed to be reading them mind…

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