Technology PR

Journalists write easier to read copy than PRs (though apparently I am pretty readable)

Apparently the New View From Object Towers is pretty readable with a Gunning-Fog score of 8.9 – on par with a popular novel. Da Vinci code anyone?

Take the test here Gunning Fog

More below from Stuart Bruce.

Link: A PR Guru’s Musings – Stuart Bruce: Journalists write easier to read copy than PRs.

Media Orchard has a fun little experiment to assess some media, marketing and PR blogs for their readability using the Gunning-Fog test. I thought I’d add a few extra to the pot (one or two duplicates) and see how PRs compare to journalists and politicians.

Basically it measures what age/how many years of education you need to have had in order to be able to understand the copy. So a newspaper like The Guardian or The Times would score 10 and The Sun scores 6 (which interestingly according to Wikipedia is what a typical comic scores).

The one that impressed me was David Miliband who started his government blog as a way "to help bridge the gap – the growing and potentially dangerous gap – between politicians and the public". From this score (a crude test I know) it looks like he is doing a good job.

Technology PR

Apple and Accenture PR supremos in 70s disco shocker

Out of the blue this week, I received a picture from an old colleague – taken at a Brodeur A Plus Xmas Party c. 1996. As you will see here, myself and Mr Anuj Nayar (right – now PR for Apple in Cupertino), demonstated a startling, ahem, authentic fashion sense for this 70s disco theme night. Discernible in the background is Peter Thomas, now head of marcomms for Accenture in the UK.

One for the history book.


Technology PR

CIX Hacks: a hidden gem of online tech PR in the UK

CIX Hacks is a hidden corner of the online press/PR world in the UK – it is certainly one of the longest established places online where UK tech journos and PRs have congregated – and yet it has always remained curiously ignored by virtually all PRs.

CIX has been around for nearly 20 years, one of the very first online communities. Its conferencing system allowed you to post messages and have members comment on your messages. The Hacks conference was established c.1990 as a place for PRs to talk to journalistss. I was an early joiner – in fact The Guardian’s Jack Schofield name checked myself and Frank O’Mahoney (then UK PR Manager for Apple) in an  article in Personal Computer World, saying that we were pioneering a whole new approach to PR by providing press information electronically – via the hacks conference and email. Most PRs I knew at the time thought it would never catch on – hindsight is a wonderful thing 😉

In spite of this, apart from the odd PR joining, only a few of us ever used it in any serious way – having said that, many press commented that it meant the signal to noise ratio was kept low – and perhaps in retrospect helped us to get more attention for our clients as a result. Then again perhaps the fact you had to pay to subscribe put people off – then again it was (and is) hardly an onerous sum.

CIX Hacks is still there today – and still providing a unique place for press/PR interaction. Guy Kewney shared his BBC incident with us before it became the story of the week last week. And no doubt more will be shared in the future. But you’ll have to join to find out – go here to get details CIX Online.

Technology PR

Turning PR work away (when to say NO)

How often does a PR company get approached by a potential client who believes they have a unique story to tell and has very high expectations about the level of media coverage they will gain – and yet when the brief comes in, they have a totally "me too" offering and no real story at all. And not even something that could conceivably be "packaged" to make it more attractive.

Curiously, if you tell people that you don’t want to work with them,it seems to encourage them to pursue you even more – and yet it seems only fair and proper to still tell them no. If you enter into a business relationship knowing full well that it is likely to end in disappointment, then you are simply creating a rod for your own back. The agency staff will become demoralised working on something that has no real chance of success – and the client would have been better off setting light to the money in the company car park.

And yet – how many times do PR companies just say "Yes" – and take the money and wait for the inevitable failure to happen?

Knowing when to say no is probably a greatly underestimated business skill in the PR world.


Internet Security Zone Blog: Identity Theft Linked with Incontinence, “PayPal” says…

Link: Internet Security Zone Blog: Identity Theft Linked with Incontinence, “PayPal” says….



Internet Security Zone Blog

Link: Internet Security Zone Blog.

Now up and running.

Technology PR

Journalists invent quotes: official (Phil Muncaster – IT Week)

Do journalists invent quotes to put in their stories? Well, yes, it has
always happened – but certainly no one would ever condone it and
generally it was considered to be the refuge of a scoundrel. However,
according to Phil Muncaster’s IT Week blog, he has a journalist chum
who "sprinkles made-up quotes liberally into his stories."

So – who is Phil’s chum? And how many people are having quotes attributed to them that are, erm, bogus?

Link: IT Week blog: Phil Muncaster.

course, there are other methods – a mate of mine (not working at IT
Week, I hasten to add) sprinkles made-up quotes liberally into his
stories, which is only slightly less ethical than deliberately seeking
out a reliable source to round out a story.

Technology PR

Do PRs really send emails like this to journalists?

A journalist chum sent me the following missive he received from a PR the other day. I’ve removed reference to the client to spare their blushes:

Dear X,

I have embedded the announcement below, if you have any questions or would like to speak with  Company Y  regarding this announcement, please contact me at the below coordinates.

Then again, perhaps I’m quite out of touch with PR terminology these days – one doesn’t include a press release any more in an email – you EMBED it. And you don’t provide a phone number – these are better known as co-ordinates.

Technology PR

Phone vs Email – part 2

Link: the LOOSE wire blog: PR, Bloggers and Teeth.

More from J Wagstaff at the WSJ – the following reinforces the Glide survey findings from earlier and certainly points to a general disconnect between PR and the press in terms of how they should interact:

Pitches should never be made by phone without an email requesting a chat first. Phone calls are no longer as acceptable as they were; they are now as intrusive as a foot in the door.

Technology PR

On Being a Press Expert

Link: apophenia: On Being a Press Expert.

The other side of the coin.