Tag Archives: PR

What’s not going to happen in 2013

So by this stage, already one  week into this gloomy, gloomy year, you’ll have read the millionth ‘what’s going  to happen in  2013’ list, so I thought I’d approach the topic a little differently. This is my ‘what’s not going  to happen in 2013′ list.

1) Tablets will not be the magic bullet for publishers. Only ever wishful thinking and hype on  the part of publishers, 2013 will be the year that the industry collectively slumps in its chairs and reluctantly admits that it’s still  harder than ever to make money from the  printed word. This has been driven in part by the poor  quality of ‘tablet editions’ – many are little more than a linked-up PDF. Another ominous sign was Murdoch’s decision to close his tablet paper, in The Daily, in December, after losing  $30m a year.

The same goes for print books; while tablets are a great  innovation for consumers, for publishers it only means tighter margins as Amazon executives rub their hands together with glee. But that’s not to say there’s not some success from the more esoteric operators. Legal publishers like Thomson Reuters are investing heavily in professional-grade e-readers, able to cope with  the very specific demands of the professional services, such as dynamic searching and note making. We’ll see more innovation in this area I think, but not for a mainstream consumer audience.

tablet  colour

2) Specialist social media PR agencies will no longer (generally) have competitive edge. Let’s face it, any account executive in any PR agency can set up a Facebook page or talk about  twitter content plans. What was once the  domain of the few is now firmly in the  mainstream, at least when it comes to the agencyland bubble. However, what this means is that those specialist agencies are (or should be) looking beyond the obvious, and are moving into exciting and dynamic new areas; branded content, experiential, app development, SEO, all founded by great ideas that get  people talking, whatever the medium. Success will become defined by  those willing to pioneer, and a huge agency grey area will  start to swirl.

3) SEO will not take over the PR/social media mix. For all the talk of  SEO usurping content-led social media and PR, the latter  discipline will continue to prove its worth on all fronts; from a creative, strategic and ROI basis. What we’ll see is a merge; traditional SEO agencies will continue to embrace great content and golden links from high traffic news sites, recruiting or acquiring PR talent and  agencies in the process. Meanwhile, forward-thinking PR agencies will continue to hire SEO talent, to bolster the credibility  and  knowledge–base of their own offering. 


4) Consumers will not tire of Facebook. Pah! As if anyone seriously thought that would happen. While Google+ continues to update its proposition and talk in hushed  tones about how it will help search results, how many of us really use it? Or even enjoy the experience? While Facebook adoption might plateau in Europe, America and  the Asia Pacific, there will be  always be new growth areas. A bit like the tobacco industry. And it’s still the best, most dynamic and  exciting way to reach and engage with a mainstream consumer audience. Facebook will increasingly become the lead-channel in  integrated marketing  campaigns. Maybe we’ll even see traditional websites and (gasp) the 30 second  TV spot  disappear. Probably not for a while, but one thing’s sure – no matter how many times Mark Zuckerberg sells our data or betrays us, we’ll keep coming back for more, me included.


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Five management ‘power plays’

I’ve sat through my fair share of management training sessions. Some are good, some are crap. But here’s what several years of agency life have taught me: my definitive list (admittedly, only five so far) of ‘management power plays’…

The power walk

A stone cold classic. The perfect way to make yourself appear important – striding high speed across the office. The faster the better. Has connotations of busy, powerful, man/woman on a mission. Extra points for responding to a question/shouting a comment out across the office without breaking stride.

Leaving a meeting, while finishing a joke

Works especially well in a large open plan office.  After a major client meeting (ideally with intimidating/scary client) leave the room just as you’re hitting the punch-line of a joke (i.e. “well that’s what she said anyway!”)…making sure both you and the client are laughing. Extra points for slapping client on the back as you leave. Attracts attention.

The table slap

Nothing says you’re in charge of a meeting like slapping a table and saying ‘done’ loudly to punctuate your point/sum up what’s just been said. Even if the decision is wrong (remember, it’s about the certainty of the slap, not the quality of the decision). Make sure you leave room after the slap to add gravitas.

Remembering people’s names, then using them extensively throughout a meeting

I’m always terrible at remembering people’s names, but a great management power play is to remember everyone’s names, then use them extensively…”I agree with what Will Ockenden said…isn’t that right Will….yes Will had a great point” ad infinitum. Gets annoying quickly. Don’t get name wrong – that bit’s key.

Barking out cliches and slogans 

The more meaningless the better: “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions…” or “let’s play the waiting game…the hardest game in the world”. Extra points for delivering the lines with real drama.

Anyone more suggestions welcomed…

Image used under Creative Commons, courtesy of _Davo_

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Media comment: Management Today

I’ve just been featured in the Aussie edition of Management Today, talking about the role of listening when it comes to predicting future trends. The piece is included in full below – excuse the wonky scan…it’s been a long, long day.

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Seven massive PR stunts

Does making something massive make it newsworthy? Well, we’ve all been guilty of  throwing in the odd wild suggestion during an uninspired brainstorm to make something the ‘biggest, best or most expensive’. But, in some cases, maybe biggest really can be best. Here’s a collection of some my favorite ‘big’ PR stunts – there’s more out there than you could ever imagine…

The biggest slipper? Ok, so the tale with this one is that this guy ordered this slipper from China, and in a moment of buffoonery got the decimal point in the wrong place. Anyway, the retailer didn’t think to question it and this is what he ended up with (size 1,450 if you’re interested). But as it turns out he actually works for a company called ‘Monster Slippers’. Nice stunt.

The biggest present? Harrods used over 600 metres of paper to gift wrap a helicopter. Impressive huh? Apparently, the chopper was sent to a Harrods customer as a gift to take his partner on a trip of a lifetime.

The biggest toy? Actually, the biggest toy box, filled with a right hand drive Hummer H3, launching in the UK for the first time with this nifty stunt with Toys R Us. Still a stupid car though…

The biggest shopping trolley? Hmmmm, starting to get a bit bored with these big stunts now.  Sainsbury’s celebrate selling their 1,000,000th Red Nose by…you’ve guessed it, filling a giant trolley with Red Noses!

The biggest deck chair? Pimms celebrate a start (and imminent end) of a British summer by bringing a giant deck chair to Bournemouth beach (that’s the English equivalent of Bondi, geography fans)

The biggest logo? This is pretty cool; KFC became the world’s first brand visible from outer space  by unveiling an 87,500 square ft,  logo in the Area 51 desert. Actually, I once did a stunt like this for Yorkshire Tourist Board, so I’d argue I got there first.

The biggest sofa? Homebase placed a triple-sized sofa in Victoria Station, London to celebrate triple Nectar points. This looks way bigger than triple size if you ask me. Unless they’re tiny people, which is common in sofa ads.  

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My year of winning competitions

When I first moved to Sydney, for some reason I started entering competitions, quite obsessively in fact. I’d always scoffed at those people who enter competitions for a living, but very quickly I started to win stuff. It wasn’t even like I was entering loads of competitions – just one or two a week. And it worked unbelievably well.

That’s not to say all the prizes were that good – I found the key was to enter competitions indiscriminately. So for every VIP yacht trip, you end up with something pretty shitty like a family pack of tuna, or a desk fan. But hey, that’s the competition roller coaster right?

Here’s a summary of what I got in 12 months:

  • Audi A3 for the weekend
  • A days sailing on a VIP yacht at Sydney Regatta with unlimited champagne
  • Sailing lessons on the harbor
  • Henry Lloyd jackets  and polo shirts
  • Designer sunglasses
  • Tickets to Sydney outdoor cinema
  • Tickets to ‘summer music festival’ Moore Park
  • Tickets to Chinese Laundry garden Party
  • Best of VICE hardback photo book
  • Pair of tickets to see Ladysmith Black Mambaza at State Theatre
  • Kings of Leon tickets at Sydney Entertainment Centre
  • A case of fine wine
  • Numerous cinema tickets
  • Ten bowling passes at AMF

And that’s it. I’ve since become disillusioned with competitions and don’t enter them anymore.

Image used under Creative Commons, courtesy of All Seeing Angler

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Media comment – the PR Report

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Four trends for 2012

It’s always around this time that pundits line up to give you their view of what’ going to happen in the year ahead, whether it’s music, fashion, food or politics. While we’d love to talk around all of these issues, we’ve decided to keep it simple. So here’s a quick overview of what the team at Lucre predict is going to happen in the world of marketing in Australia throughout 2012.

Social media comes of age

Ok, so Australians are the most ‘engaged’ in the world when it comes to social media – but when it comes to corporate Australia, embracing social media is more hit-or-miss. But 2012 will see a groundswell in businesses shifting from tactical social media activities – maintaining a sole twitter page for example – to much more strategic, integrated, and therefore much more effective, social media executions.

Agencies move from specialist to generalist

The last few years have been dominated by niche agency players, whether it’s SEO, PPC, above-the-line, below-the-line, whatever it is. But client-side budget constraints and the desire for true integration will drive a shift towards agencies becoming more of a one-stop-shop. This is being particularly driven by social media, with agencies of all disciplines recognising how complimentary this channel can be to their offering, not to mention increased client demand for expertise in this area. So that means everything from experiential shops bolstering their team with PR and social specialists to SEO and digital agencies recognising the need to offer a more meaningful and conversation-based social media activity.

Mobile commerce and social commerce

According to eBay stats, 1.3 million Aussies are using M-commerce platforms, and are shopping using their smart phones. As traffic continues to grow on mobile channels in this country, we’re likely to see huge growth in this area. Not only that but ‘social commerce’ – the layer of ‘social engagement’ sitting above an e-commerce site, is going to be big news in 2012, with online peer-to-peer recommendation playing a huge role in driving purchasing decisions.

ROI becomes more important than ever

With further budget constraints and a slow-down in consumer spending, companies are wanting – more than ever – to see concrete ROI from their marketing activity. The often ‘intangible’ mediums of PR and social will be especially under the spotlight, and agencies won’t be able to hide behind smoke and mirrors (not that they should’ve been hiding in the first place…) when it comes to demonstrating effectiveness of campaign work.

Image used under Creative Commons on behalf of t0msk

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