Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sharing Stories and Knowledge On The Web

This video offers insights into how we share knowledge and information on the web.

Watch Harvard scholar David Weinberger explain.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Survey Shows Government Communicators Likely To Struggle

Each year the powerhouse American PR company,Edelman, surveys what institutions and individuals people trust.  

As part of its 2012 global efforts Edelman asked 1200 Australians about their confidence levels in media, government, not for profits and business. 

Some of the findings suggest people working in government communications are likely to struggle in the coming 12 months because:
  • 60% of Australians do not trust government to tell the truth.
  • Only 13% of the public believe government communicates honestly and frequently.
  • In the last three years trust in government has fluctuated but trust in media, not for profits and business has steadily increased.
  • At the same time traditional media - which some pundits say is dying - has enjoyed an increase in trust up from 23% in 2011 to 32% in 2012.
The survey also reports 56% of Australians need to be exposed to information 3 to 5 times to believe it is true. Yet many public sector campaigns are short lived or even still born because Ministers and staffs are continually shifting the PR focus to meet the latest crisis. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Your Boss Needs To Be PR Savvy

Ever wished your boss knew more about PR?

A CEO who "gets" the value of communications is priceless. But to date there has been little opportunity for them to learn the how to of PR.  

Well thank goodness someone is finally doing something about it.

This year the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is partnering with leading US universities to introduce public relations and reputation management into MBA courses. 

Great initiative.  Are there any Australian university doing something similar for senior managers?

Get Good PR By Thinking Like An App

17.4 million smart devices were activated on Christmas Day
along with 328 million app downloads (Flurry).
Australians downloaded 32 million apps for their smartphones and tablet computers between Christmas Day and New Years Eve 2012. (Flurry Blog)

During the same period  1.76 billion applications were downloaded worldwide: a staggering amount in just seven days.

Apps have become the new power tool of PR and marketing since Apple began the first standardised app  service in July 2008.

Wikipedia reports:
  • The Apple Store stocks 650 000 apps with 30 billion downloaded since 2008.
  •  Last October Google Play had around 700 000 Android apps and an estimated 25 billion downloads.
  • The Microsoft Windows Phone Store has over 120 000 apps.

Apps have become part of our everyday lives.  They provide news and entertainment, connect us to others, help us bank and budget, improve our productivity and make it easy for us to buy, bet, follow our heroes and manage our diaries. 

Apps are so commonplace we no longer stop to consider the technical wonder behind those little icons patiently waiting to be pressed into service on our mobile screens.  

But while the technology is relatively new, apps work on a proven PR formula:
  • Give people information they need or want when they want it.
  • Make it easy to understand.
  • Ensure information is easy to access and remains timely and relevant.
  • Remove barriers and make the content easy to share.
  • Deliver that information at the point of personal need. 
The communication simplicity of the app surely must offer lessons in the rest of our PR lives.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Worst Media Interview Ever?

Last week CNN's Piers Morgan interviewed radio host Alex Jones about gun control in the US following the Connecticut school massacre.

During the interview Jones flipped out with a mixture of emotion and anger.  Decent gun owners across America must have squirmed at seeing their cause so ineptly presented by  Jones. Elsewhere in the world viewers must have asked "are these people for real?"

From a PR perspective you can bet media trainers everywhere will use this as a what not to do example for years to come. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Journalism Goes Visual

My last post talked about how journalism is becoming more data-based.

This goes hand in hand with the need to present data-driven stories as visually and simply as possible so people can come to terms with complex issues.

In line with this, this week the US- based Boston Globe is recruiting for a data visualization and graphics journalist to create multimedia infographics, data-driven visual explanations, and interactive maps and charts for its print and online publications. 

At present the Globe's graphic department creates both print and online graphics but this new  job will focus online initially.

The paper is looking for an infographic artist with strong curiosity, journalistic integrity, and creativity to contribute visual explanations to its journalism efforts.

Could this area be a growth opportunity in Australian journalism in future? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Journalism Trend PR People Must Know

2013 will be the year data dominates journalism and  impacts on how PR professionals work.

This trend will affect us. Journalists will either be a key audience, or remain a critical channel to reach key audiences, in many of our campaigns this year. 

Big Data

Since the mid 1990s journalists have gone online to research stories.  Now there is so much  personal, organisational or issue-related information online, the next step will be mining deeper than ever before into this rich content, to arrive at fresh narratives or strengthen existing stories. 

Increasingly numbers will tell stories.

Reporters now have the tools to sift through mountains of information which previously would warn off even the keenest investigator. Google Fusion TablesTableau, datawrapper and other software allow data to be rapidly crunched, collated, analysed and presented.

So expect two things:
  • PDFs are where data goes to die. Journalists will increasingly demand you present  data in easily accessible formats.  Releasing information in PDF may you look out of date, unhelpful, suspicious or all three.  
  • And beware.  Reporters may now know more about your issues than you think so be prepared when they call in search of a story.
Watch The Guardian's Simon Rogers for more Big Data insights.


Another data-driven change in 2013 will be drop and drag software that lets journalists combine text, imagery, video, audio, infographics, hot spots, apps and buttons into a single story package which can be quickly embedded into a news site. And which consumers can navigate when, how and in the detail they need from a story.

A software package called Storyplanet plans a public launch this year.  Reporters and photographers can use its grid-like architecture to build interactive and visually captivating packets of content for a quick upload to their websites. Read more....

So expect journalists to tell their stories using even more multimedia than they do now.  And don't be surprised if the the new presentation tools create more demands on us to offer up more than documents and someone to interview.