If Fabio can apologise…so can I

(I’m sorry, I’ve made a mistake…I’m so sorry, I’ve made a terrible mistake…) I’m sorry, my wife has made a mistake and been a terrible blogger.

From someone who should practice what they preach, I’ve broken the golden rule of blogging – consistency. Investing many hours of my time in establishing this blog, I’ve subsequently lost and disengaged from my audience by not blogging. For example, would you read a newspaper that printed the same stories every morning? The Daily Mail excluded of course… (Cheap shot #1)

The same principle applies to corporate blogging but obviously the results can be disastrous if you lose your audience – the modern-day consumer can be very unforgiving. For me, blogging is a ‘want’ – it’s something I will prioritise after I’ve fulfilled all my ‘needs’…such as making money. On a positive note, if I’m not blogging it often means I’m too busy which in the world of a freelancer…is a good thing! A corporate blog on the other hand, this is pretty much a requirement and a fulltime job believe me. It’s something not to be taken lighthearted, you either commit to it or you don’t…it’s as simple as that. So how do organisations fulfill their blogging requirements? Most start off like me…trying to blog amongst their other daily duties which is fine, but soon takes a backseat once the going gets tough – similar to the situation I find myself in now…having to apologise to my followers. So what would be the solution?

1 – I share the load and find myself another Comms Anarchist who can blog alongside me. This not only doubles my content and enhances the blog but also covers those periods when I simply haven’t the time or resources.

2 – I quit my day job and take up blogging fulltime…or quit blogging and employ someone else to do it fulltime.

In the corporate world, these are two valid suggestions but with social media now paramount in the world of consumerism and new platforms launching by the day – most are investing in fulltime online ambassadors.

Unfortunately for me, I’m not in a position to implement either option 1 or 2 so expect to see me begging for forgiveness on more than one occasion.

By the Comms Anarchist, Manchester based PR propagandist, social media transmitter and digital brigadier…at least I didn’t say ‘guru’.

The luddite formally known as Prince

If ‘the artist formally known as Prince’ is correct, I might as well give up my day job because according to him, ”the internet is completely over”.

Now if Bill Gates or Steve Jobs had made this outrageous claim, I might just sit up and listen so what justification does Prince have?

Prince: “The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers, and that can’t be good for you.”

OK Prince, that doesn’t really tell us why the internet is over? Last time I looked MTV was still making a pretty hefty profit…

Princess: “I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it, and then they get angry when they can’t get it.”

Ah right, now we have it…it’s all down to money! Well Prince, not sure if anyone has shared this dirty little secret with you yet, but the internet is actually the driving force behind the music industry at the moment and I wouldn’t be so quick to write it off.

As it turns out, this throw-away comment comes in the wake of the musicians latest album, 20Ten, in which the mad man has shunned the likes of iTunes and decided to give it away…via the Daily Mirror and Daily Record (like a DVD of Zulu).

There’s just one thing bothering me, being the strategist that I am…I’m failing to see the commercial value of this venture. Sure it’s a two-way relationship; the Mirror gets an exclusive reader freebie and hopefully boost their figures whilst Prince gets a nice lump-sum for the rights usage. But surely Prince can still sell records? And lets face it, just in case his record label bods haven’t told him, the likes of Spotify and iTunes are doing quite well with iTunes selling its 10 billionth song in February 2010.

So what is it? Here’s a stab in the dark…maybe it’s sh*t? Perhaps Prince’s latest album is so damn tragic that he (and the record label bosses) aren’t confident it will sell and worse still, damage his reputation if seen to be charging fans for audible tripe? Has Purple Rain turned into a shower of sh*te?

Who knows… And I didn’t buy the Mirror either so couldn’t give you my expert opinion on his latest soundtrack but if anyone did happen to pickup the Mirror (don’t worry, I won’t judge you) it would be great to hear your reviews.

By the Comms Anarchist, Manchester based PR propagandist, social media transmitter and digital brigadier…at least i didn’t say ‘guru’.

Never mind the b*ll*cks…03/07/10

Back from Glastonbury, albeit still a little dazed and confused, but here’s my pick of the week’s best online PR, social media activity plus digital developments which are breaking down the walls of traditional communication techniques:

Lynx

This project is a few months old but it’s a fantastic example of enhancing the user experience via video interaction. Keeping Keeley, featuring Page 3 model Keeley (it is Lynx remember…), is a role-play game hosted through Facebook and YouTube where the user’s aim is to basically pull Keeley through a number of interactive decisions. The video symbolises Lynx’s brand strategy perfectly but most importantly, they’re utilising the latest online developments to their advantage. Video is no longer one-dimensional…
Check it out…

Manchester Evening News
The MEN Online has proved that a leopard can change its spots. Traditionally red, Trinity Mirror bosses thought that perhaps the publication favoured United readers over City and in a fantastic PR stunt, has given their audience the ability to switch the website colours.
Check it out…

Lady Gaga
Sometimes I feel like I’m Lady Gaga’s biggest fan the amount of times I reference her. But that’s because she’s a pioneering example of how Pop Culture is accelerating online. The chart topper has now also become the first living person to have more than 10 million fans on a single social networking site. With stats like that, it’s really no surprise that the fame monster has entered Forbes’ Celebrity 100 power list at number four!
Check it out…

Social Network – The Movie
Yep, that’s right…Social Media – The Movie. I’m not convinced either. A film about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook…can a geek really be that interesting?
Check it out…

BooneOakley
For the record, this is the BEST agency website I have ever seen. Hosted via YouTube, yes YouTube, words can’t describe how innovative and forward-thinking these guys are. Top, top and extra marks all round
Check it out…

By the Comms Anarchist, Manchester based PR propagandist, social media transmitter and digital brigadier…at least i didn’t say ‘guru’.

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF CONSUMERISM…PLAY ON

This shall be one of my last posts for at least a week as I’m off for my annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury – the spiritual home of music.

I briefly mentioned last week that music has had a tough time establishing its commercial online business plan, mainly caused by the greed and confusion generated by the major record labels who were, and some still are, simply unprepared and uncompromising. On a medium which promotes freedom and sharing, the producer’s strategy was to simply throw their lawyers at anyone or any program seen to be stealing a single chord.

It was Apple who initially came to their rescue with the launch of iTunes in 2001. What the record labels failed to realise unlike Apple, was that the majority of P2P file sharers weren’t actually stealing music, but they found a more convenient method of obtaining it – hence iTunes’ current success, announcing on the 24th February 2010 that over 10 billion tracks had been downloaded in total.

But the music execs still weren’t happy. “More lawyers!” they shouted. That was until Spotify came along and showed them the marketing value of music by offering free melodies in exchange for advertisement. The message was slowly sinking in – the record labels needed to evolve!

Sony Music are perhaps pioneering this change with the release of their Music Marketing Gateway, a portal dedicated to enhancing the relationship between music and brands.

And the brands are an important player within this equation – there is a lot of money/exposure to be generated through working with brands as seen through Lady Gaga’s extended ‘Telephone’ video which featured brands such as Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Chevrolet and Polaroid. The video was viewed 500,000 times within 12 hours of airing and the official Lady Gaga YouTube video count currently stands at nearly 32M for the explicit version and nearly 58M for the clean – 90M combined! And of course, that’s not taking all the ‘unofficial’ versions into account plus the exposure generated through national headlines across the globe.

The latest brand to take advantage of this newly formed partnership is Coca-Cola who created the World Cup soundtrack with K’Naan – Wavin’ Flag which is currently sitting third in the UK singles chart. And the beauty of this partnership is not that the music is layered over all their latest TV ads, but the subtle subliminal Coke branding actually edited into the song itself.

Exhibit A – The Coca-Cola jingle (20 seconds in)

Exhibit B – K’Naan – Wavin’ Flag (23 seconds in)

Recognise that jingle? Thought you might…

And the absolute beauty of this activity is that radio stations across the UK, including the BBC network, are broadcasting this song to millions of listeners. Let me put it another way, on the hour every hour, UK radio stations are broadcasting the Coca-Cola jingle for free.

Summed up beautifully, if music be the food of consumerism…play on.

By the Comms Anarchist, Manchester based PR propagandist, social media transmitter and digital brigadier…at least i didn’t say ‘guru’.

Blowing my own trumpet…

Following yesterday’s blog about my thoughts on the vuvuzela and how broadcasters could silence their relentless encore – I was pleased to see this morning that the BBC has indeed listened to my words of wisdom and actioned them:

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=3102&art_id=iol1276578581757B232

Ok…I know what you’re thinking. It could have also been some other bright spark’s initiative but on the other hand, I’d like to think that the BBC’s social media monitors picked up my suggestion and fed it back to the big-wigs.

What could you learn from your customers?

By the Comms Anarchist, Manchester based PR propagandist, social media transmitter and digital brigadier…at least i didn’t say ‘guru’.

FIFA blows their own trumpet…

So World Cup officials have pledged that the tournament’s current villain, not Rob Green but the loathed vuvuzela, will not be silenced.

There was a lot of conversation surrounding these horns in the buildup to the games with many arguing that although they supply a piece of South African Spirit…they are bloody annoying. And I have to admit, although a lover of the beautiful game…even I’m struggling to get through a full ninety minutes!

For me, they make the game so impersonal. I like to hear the sound of the crowd where one single action causes a whole torrent of audio and visual reactions – whether that be cheers and squeals of celebration or moans and groans of despair, it’s all part of the game. Instead we’re subjected to a rendition of The Charge of the Light Brigade albeit orchestrated by a giant bee.

However, I’m not a dictator and not one to call for our culture to replace another but I do feel that the broadcasters have missed a trick in the form of utilising their digital ‘red button’ capabilities. Here’s a suggestion if you’re listening BBC, ITV, Sky Sports or ESPN…how about providing an interactive service where viewers have the option to select and watch a game WITH the match commentary but WITHOUT the background noise? Problem solved!

You could even install microphones at UK Fan Parks to bring back the match atmosphere which we’re more accustom to. Failing that…I don’t think I could take another four weeks of the vuvuzela. What’s on the other channel?

By the Comms Anarchist, Manchester based PR propagandist, social media transmitter and digital brigadier…at least i didn’t say ‘guru’.