August 21, 2014

I’ve joined the Social Media Week Global Editorial Team

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve joined the Global Editorial Team for Social Media Week (SMW) – “a global platform that connects people, content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media.”

Here’s a bit more about the Social Media Week initiative, in the words of the organisers, Crowd Centric:

“Social Media Week’s mission is to explore how local and regional societies, cultures, and economies are becoming more integrated & empowered through a global network of communication. Delivered primarily through a network of internationally hosted biannual conferences and online through social and mobile media, Social Media Week brings hundreds of thousands of people together every year through learning experiences that aim to advance our understanding of social media’s role in society.”

The next SMW is due to take place September 19 – 23 2011 in:

You can read more about the editorial team here – and look out for my first blog post, coming soon.

Read it and Tweet (#ReadItAndTweet) is born!

Bit of a diversion from the norm while I continue to beaver away behind the scenes on the blog redesign.

We’re launching a Twitter book club…

A conversation on Twitter between @amandafirepr @Chris_Hall1 @EmLeary @JenAndersson @rebeccataylorpr and @MissBarry, sparked by a chance book mention aaaaaand we’re off!

Presenting….the Read it and Tweet book club – we read books, and we talk about it on Twitter. Simple, eh?

Or in more traditional bio-speak:

“We meet on Twitter every other Wednesday 8pm-9pm to discuss our chosen book of the week, but it’s an informal group, so we also use the hash tag all week long to talk about what we’re reading, and share tips on great reads.”

You can discuss what you’re reading and get updates on what’s happening with #ReadItAndTweet in the following places:

The first book will chosen soon (democratically, of course) and a schedule announced, but in the meantime, feel free to start using the hash tag to talk books.

Rest, recovery and renewal

An uncharacteristically ‘new age’ title, I concede, but it’s been a while, so I thought I ought to take the time to explain why I’ve been away, and what you can expect from me in 2011.

In the last few months of 2010, lots of things happened:

  • I wound down my consultancy business and went to work as Digital Content Manager at a major UK telco – I’m still there :)
  • I got flu, twice – I’m nearly recovered after 8 long weeks of spluttering.
  • I got married – this is a big deal for me, and I’m very, very happy.

So all that means that:

  • I haven’t had as much time to blog as I used to – but having had a break, I’m convinced that I can MAKE time.
  • I’ve been too ill to work, let alone write – now I’m better, I can’t wait to get back to it.
  • I’ve changed my name to Emily Leary (@EmLeary on Twitter) – so my ‘brand’ needs to change, kinda.

So, give me a little more time and you’ll see a lot change on here. I’m going to play with the focus of the content a little to reflect what I’ve learned in the last couple of years as social media has taken centre stage. I’ll also be introducing more advice and more commentary and changing the blog’s name to reflect all this.

Stick with me. It’ll be worth it…

We are living in a Twitter bubble…

…well, I think so, but my good friend Adam Vincenzini thinks otherwise, which is why we’re putting on our gloves, and coming out fighting.

Here are the details:

Let’s get ready to rumble! It’s a #CommsChat co-organiser special!

Over in the blue (comms) corner is Adam Vincenzini, who lives his life through Twitter. In true fighting spirit, Adam has even pledged to change his blog, The Comms Corner, blue for this week only.

In the red corner is Emily Cagle, comms consultant, blogger, and gadget-obsessed Apple fan. Emily loves Twitter, but she’s not afraid to put it in its place.

Two great contenders, one hour and one hotly debated topic.

Want to be part of the The Big Tweet Off? Here’s the run down of how it works:

  • On Thursday, 11 November 7.30pm GMT head to Twitter and follow#bigtweetoff
  • For the first 20 minutes the session will be lead by Adam and Emily who will put their argument forward in 140 punches
  • Following this, it’s your turn to join the debate – start your tweets with either B (for blue corner) or R (for red corner), state your opinion and don’t forget the #bigtweetoff hashtag
  • Of course, Adam and Emily will continue to spar throughout the debate
  • The session will be guided and moderated by @thebigtweetoff which will slap any deviants in to shape – remember, this is a fair fight
  • We will run a Twitt Poll throughout the session for you to vote on the winning argument
  • The bell will ring at 7.30 sharp so dust off your boxing gloves and get training!

Here’s what our contenders said:

Adam: With the exception of a few bots, Twitter is a people driven destination. How on earth can real people be living within a fake bubble? They’re human and have feelings whether they’re on Twitter or sitting in the pub sharing a beer. I even met the love of my life through Twitter.

Emily: Want to meet like minded people? Twitter is the place to do it. Why? Because we’re kinda geeky, pretty friendly, we like our tech and we aren’t afraid to share, chat & debate online. Twitter’s great, but it’s not representative of the population as a whole. A Twit Poll tells us what tweeps think, not what people think (oh I met the love of my life on Twitter, too).

To understand the background of The Big Tweet Off, visit our launch posthere. Feel free to shout any questions to @thebigtweetoff@thepaulsutton or@beth_carroll.

Got an opinion you want to fight out in public? Let us know and you could be next in the ring.

Now I don’t want to sound overly confident, but I think we all know who’s going to win. Come join in the fun and be sure you’re in the RED corner.

It’s vital that we don’t cut corners when it comes to ethics

– By Eamonn Moore.

There’s a great history of public figures being caught making unguarded comments by the press and media, but such cases appear to be rife this spring/summer.

First there was Bigotgate. Then there was Snookergate. Then Lord Triesman was shown the red card after apparently making some unguarded comments about Spain and Russia bribing officials at this summer’s World Cup. And now Sarah Ferguson has been caught allegedly offering to sell access to her ex husband Prince Andrew. What’s next?

In my previous blog post, I looked at how Gordon Brown’s PR should be handled post-Bigotgate, but did not tackle the ethics of the situation – something that I now feel I should address, especially after the thought provoking discussion on ethics in this week’s #CommsChat.

The whole issue of ethics and the media has always been and will always be a hot potato. Do we have a right to know everything that public figures say (even if it’s said ‘behind closed doors’) or is everyone entitled to their privacy? Should we perhaps only be alerted to conversations that are of genuine national interest, and if so, what constitutes ‘national interest’?

Personally, I feel that there are circumstances when it is genuinely important that the contents of a private conversation are aired – Watergate perhaps being the best example of this. However, in cases such as the one involving Lord Triesman, the desire to have a sensationalist headline (and increased sales) seem to have been received by some as a neglect of ethical standards by the newspaper in question. Whether his allegations are correct or not, you could argue that Lord Triesman has a strong case to say that he has been the victim of entrapment. Furthermore, surely potentially irreversibly damaging England’s 2018 World Cup bid is not in the ‘national interest’? Gary Lineker certainly didn’t think it was.

Working in public relations, I am acutely aware of the importance of ethical and responsible media reporting. We rely on the media to do our jobs, and they rely on us, so I see it as our duty to help uphold, support and encourage the highest ethical standards. Indeed, if the media fall short of such standards, it often impacts on the world of public relations (and vice versa).

Various recent public mudslinging matches between PRs & PRs, and PRs & the media have shown us that it cuts both ways. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being critical of something (or someone), provided that you go about it in a considered manner, choosing to value ethics over link-bait opportunities, and always aiming to offer constructive criticism by suggesting possible areas of improvement, rather than just celebrating perceived misfortune. It seems to me that events of late have left the PR world feeling somewhat tarnished.

The world of communication is developing apace along with technology, but if we’re not careful, we risk losing sight of the basics, especially when it comes to ethics. As PRs, it is our duty to both protect and enhance our industry’s reputation from within by being positively and proactively ethical at all times (even when we’re being critical of something). If we don’t fulfil this duty, the whole industry’s reputation could well be left in tatters, and none of us want that, do we?

A war of words: who owns communications in 2010?

Whilst the roles of a PR and marketer are different at face value, there is little doubt that the two areas have considerable crossover, especially when it comes to social media.

Today, Vocus (a producer of “on-demand software for public relations management”) has circulated a white paper examining the merging roles of PR and marketing, and the debate surrounding who ‘owns’ social media.

For the white paper – ‘Blurring Lines, Turf Battles and Tweets: The Real Impact of Integrated Communications on Marketing and PR’ – Vocus surveyed 1,094 PR and marketing professionals last month about their experiences and views of ‘integrated communications’, which Vocus defines as:

“A management concept that ties all aspects of marketing communication, including, but not limited to advertising, search marketing, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing, together to function in a unified and comprehensive fashion as opposed to functioning in isolation or silos.”

Blurred lines

The key findings suggest that the lines between PR and marketing are blurring, with 79% of marketing and PR professionals stating that they report to the same boss, and 78% reporting formal working relationships when it comes to creating a common communications strategy.

However, whilst the roles may overlap in some respects, 67% of respondents revealed that they hold cross-functional meetings only ‘sometimes’, with a further 19% stating that they held them ‘rarely’ or ‘never’.

Turf battles

The white paper also illustrates that ‘turf battles’ remain rife between marketing and PR professionals, with 33% citing that such conflicts are the single biggest barrier to creating an integrated communications strategy. Budget shortcomings were judged to be the next obstacle, with 20% of respondents highlighting this issue.

Who owns social media?

The concept of ‘turf battles’ is further developed when the debate about who ‘owns’ social media is examined. From the results of the white paper, it’s clear that there is no consensus, with 43% of PRs feeling that they should own it, and 35% of marketers saying the same for their profession. When it comes to corporate blogs, 38% of PRs feel that they should control them, whilst 24% of marketers feel that they should.

Integrated communications

Common ground was found when participants were questioned about the benefits of integrated communications and how to measure them. 48% of PRs and marketers reported that integrated communications increase the overall effectiveness of outreach programs, and that sales and ROI are the most effective ways of assessing an integrated communications strategy.

It’s debatable as to whether this paper reflects the overall experiences of the industry, but it certainly highlights a growing feeling that social media is driving a merging of marketing and PR roles. Similarly, whether this will be resolved into the ‘integrated communications strategies’ envisaged by Vocus remains to be seen, but with the level of conflict described above, it seems unlikely that it will happen any time soon.

Announcing #BeMyGuest Mondays and a dedicated guest blog exchange

We are excited to announce two new #BeMyGuest initiatives today.

  1. The launch of #BeMyGuest Monday
  2. A dedicated blogger’s exchange for the #BeMyGuest community

#BeMyGuest Monday

Following the success of #BeMyGuest month in March, we’ve been having a think about the best way to continue the exchanging and connecting.

The answer?

Encouraging the #BeMyGuest community to make Monday the day to ‘search’ for guest bloggers or feature guest posts.

Simply attach #BeMyGuest to tweets in either scenario and help spread the word about the talent that lies within the community.

MyBlogGuest.com

Even more exciting is the involvement from dedicated Blogger Exchange / Directory MyBlogGuest.com.

As discussed at the end of #BeMyGuest month in March, we have been investigating ways to integrate the community into a full-time exchange – one which allows you to dip in and out and make new connections at your leisure.

So, from today, you can join MyBlogGuest.com and enjoy the benefits of that service – simply quote ‘BeMyGuest’in the sign-up page.

This will give you access to all the free benefits available as well as upgrade if you see fit – we hope you enjoy this addition to the community.

What’s next?

More blogging!

We’re really excited about #BeMyGuest Mondays – this will concentrate all the fun we had in March into one day each week, helping us to grow the community even more.

And with MyBlogGuest.com on board as well it should double the fun.

If you have any questions, just ask.

Til then…enjoy #BeMyGuest Monday!

For more information visit: www.bemyguestblogger.com

Follow the General Election live with Marketing Donut

The Donuts – a group of websites offering free advice and resources for businesses – are embarking on a twenty-four hour ‘Twitterblogathon’ that will cover all the drama of election night as it happens.

Starting at 3pm, the Marketing Donut team will bring you the very latest action and reaction, supported by several ‘expert contributors’, including the team here at Emily Cagle Communications.

The event will also raise funds for The Children’s Trust. If you’d like to make a donation, visit Marketing Donut’s JustGiving page.

To follow the event, simply point your browser at The Marketing Donut. Or, if you want to follow the coverage through Twitter, use the #donut24 hashtag.

Share your nuggets of business inspiration

Every single enterprising company across the country is being invited to share their nuggets of business wisdom as part of campaign called 100 Thoughts.

The campaign, organised by HSBC, has been designed to both promote and celebrate nuggets of business inspiration, with businesses invited to share their insights on Twitter.

To take part, businesses simply need to tweet their thoughts, making sure that they include the #100thoughts hashtag.

For example:

“#100thoughts Never forget to listen.”

There is, of course, also the ability to read other people’s thoughts and keep up to date with all the latest news by following the 100 Thoughts campaign on Twitter.

The businesses behind the best tweets will be invited to attend invite-only networking events that will be taking place across the country, hosted by business luminaries such as Sir Eric Peacock (Chairman of ‘What If’ – rated by the FT as the number one company to work for in the UK) and Andrew Neil (host of Daily Politics).

The most inspiring contribution – as voted for by the public – will also be offered business consultancy to help their business take advantage of the networked world.

So, if you’ve got any inspirational insights to share with the world, then get tweeting!

Every ash cloud has a silver lining: mapping social media 2.0

This is a guest post by Jeremy Bramwell, Client Services Director at IAS B2B Marketing.

The biggest and most bizarre news story of the year so far has got to be the Icelandic Volcano (I won’t even attempt to spell it, let alone get you to pronounce it), its accompanying ash cloud and consequential lockdown of Northern Europe’s airspace for 6 days.

I heard about this the first morning via @skynewsbreak in my Twitter feed and immediately started to think about using Twitter to map the movement of the ash cloud over the UK. Mistakenly, I thought that we’d actually be able to see the ash cloud and so I asked my Twitter followers to @ reply me their postcode if the ash was overhead (of course, I got no replies).

I got the idea from @benmarsh who developed a very neat application to map the affects of the snow in real time last winter. That of course is too clever for me and my intention was to create a cardboard map of the UK, give it a dusting of ash from an instant BBQ, take a picture and post it on Twitter for a bit of fun (see original tweet).

This I did and the ‘UK Ash Map’ took off getting 1,700+ views on Twitpic over the next 2 days. I quickly realised that the story was going to run and also tweeted the UK ash map from the @iasb2bmarketing Twitter account with the line ‘Mum’s not going to Iceland’.

I also toyed with other ideas of how we could as an agency have a bit of fun, and help people stuck in other parts of Europe, I even considered ‘re-naming’ IAS as ‘Icelandic Ash Services’ for the week and using our network of agencies across Europe to assist stranded B2B marketing professionals get home but the logistics were too complicated so that had to be shelved.

I learnt a valuable lesson in on-line to off-line PR from my very first UK Snow Map back in January, which was even more successful getting over 10,000 views on Twitpic, so set our PR team to work in producing an IAS press release on the UK Ash Map which has already gained good coverage in our key trade publications. Our agency is very creative, fun and irreverent and the ‘cardboard maps’ I create fit our brand perfectly, we may even put together a 2011 ‘Cardboard Map’ calendar I just need a few more biblical events to stimulate my imagination.

So in the interests of ‘new media art’ we are giving away a framed print of the UK Ash Map at IAS’ Digital PR forum in Manchester today, if you’re lucky enough to win it, you’ll have a small piece of Twitter history to put on your wall.