Lee Hopkins joins McCusker for a Web2.0 chat

Lee ‘Grumpa’ Hopkins popped into my Melbourne offices to raise a posh pinky finger and swig a few cups of Earl Grey just yesterday. In Melb for a series of academic conferences plus a conference address, Lee and I had a good chat about all things Soc Med. In particular, Lee seemed equally enthused when I introduced him to the delights of the marvellous monitoring tool Addictomatic, as well as Twitter’s excellent Monitter. When I described Omnisio and iPowow, Lee seemed aghast at the reputation damaging potential (its true evil power) but recovered after Aydan fetched him another two gypsy cream biscuits. Hopefully Paull Young will be the next SocMed devotee to visit the Engage Emporium in December!

Bloggers are not equal to 'proper' journalists

Blogger Arpee Lazaro contacts me relating how he was invited by an electronics manufacturer to the launch of their latest line of entertainment devices and gadgets. Upon entry, Arpee fell in line for the registration and before being allowed to register, was accosted by Jayce Perlas (as it says on his name tag) and asked what publication Arpee was from. He answered him “I am a blogger, and gave his URL. He then asked Arpee, “WHO INVITED YOU?” This lead to much humiliation in front of the people in the counter and treated like an arrested shoplifter. Here’s Arpee’s blog piece:  http://gadgets.arpeelazaro.com/?p=67

Arpee, look at the positive; don’t think bloggers are held in such high media regard here in OZ!!

Ignorance aint bliss in Social Media

I can’t keep it in any longer!! Speaking at a conference fairly recently, I was asked a question from the floor that near left me speechless…in a room full of PR professionals, someone basically challenged the validity of my assertion that Social Media would become/is becoming increasingly influential in issues and crisis management campaigns. The person said (and I precis) “How is a blog different from a website and why would anyone in business or an organisation bother with one?” I think I bristled and sounded irked when responding. But how can modern comms practitioners not know the whats, whys and hows of the blogosphere????

I welcome any other pearls of wisdom you blogtypes may have heard of late…?


Does China pay an army of astroturf bloggers?

Writing in The Guardian, Malik Fareed claims that the Chinese government is payrolling opinion shapers and influencers 50 Chinese cents or five mao per blog post, to refute and replace negative online coverage about China and related issues (better rates than blogging for Fairfax then?)
While astroturfing is seen by some as ethically dubious, it is still growing in popularity, thanks, in part, to the ease with which web 2.0 technologies – the likes of Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube all feature heavily – can be employed to sway public opinion using the elusive power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Bad PR for DDB over blatant idea theft


From Simon Bronson and ‘You Thought We Wouldnt Notice’ site, it’s bad PR time for ad agency DDB (in Sweden) and its client McDonalds. They stand accused of ripping off and refusing to acknowledge or pay, the guy (Cyriak) http://www.cyriak.co.uk/beard-comparison.html  who originally conceived an Ad concept. The theft looks so blatant, there can be little room for anything less than an agency apology and recompense, surely? If DDB was under any illusion as to the strength of stakeholder feeling, they should read the social media comments on Cyriak’s site, and also on YouTube. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Itl08AFJOZI

Ta to Brons and YTWWN.

Blogger spams bank; attempts to exhume NAB PR disaster

In a week where NAB PR Felicity Glennie-Holmes won’t have had too much time to twiddle her thumbs, Marketing mag – an Aussie publication I contribute to – features footage of a blogger spamming a NAB branch; it’s not very funny, but does say a lot about how one blogger approaches self-promotion.

MARKETING: http://www.marketingmag.com.au/blogs/view/520

JULIAN COLE: http://www.adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/

Now, PR disasters can be created in Photoshop

A man very much on my humour wavelength, Simon Bronson, sends me word of a site – Photoshop Disasters – that scrutinises photoshop artwork, pointing out the flaws and oddities. Becos my WordPress backend is still jiggered, you’ll need to cut n paste the following link to see my favourite; the paella pan-headed, one-nippled lingerie model. Enjoy, and ta Simon.


Bank PR 'outed' via Social Media interview

National Australia Bank has distanced itself from a PR consultancy (p’raps Cox & Inall), which attempted to spam post commercial messages on several leading Aussie sports blogs. Local SEO practitioner Jim Stewart tele-interviewed NAB PR Felicity Glennie Holmes who asserted that ‘this activity was poorly executed by our PR agency”. Jim Stewart primarily challenged Felicity on corporate spamming & the ethics of placing covert NAB ads disguised as blog posts. Felicity kinda defended her employers decision.

Interesting note to PR practitioners; be wary of responding to a blog query. As you would with a journo query, ask if they plan to broadcast your communication and if you’re uncomfortable with their response, decide if you wanna participate (or not). For eg: Jim Stewart conducts his interview with Felicity, filming himself for vodcast, and putting her on speakerphone – his body language, facial expressions and other non-verbal silently ‘spin’ his take on her responses. Judging by Jim’s raised eyebrows in his vodcast of the telecon, he couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing from FGH.

I’ve called Cox Inall to see if they were involved and if so, to hear their side of the story. Someone called ‘Killingly’ is supposed to contact me; after almost 18hrs, am still awaiting any call or email. Agency head Tim Powell left a voice mail for me around 9am and is happy to speak to me later today…stay tuned.

Blog leagues; a 'magic bullet' for online popularity

While commending Julian Cole for his new Top 50 Aussie Mktng blogger list (and glad of the number 11 ranking; if it were soccer, I’d be playing left wing), I cynically wonder whether the compilation of any weeing competition (blog ranking table) tellingly reveals two or three things about comms bloggers.

Compiling a blog table is a surefire way to shoot the blogger into the search engine and online PRfirmament. (Look at what the PR Friendly list did for Brendan whasisname Cooper.) Watch Julian’s rankings in Oz and globally after edition 3 or 4 of his blog table.

Bloggers are mos’ly vain. Any chance to measure their widgets and they’re luvvin it.

Most blog tables seem to treasure quantity (links, mentions, frequency etc) over quality; Julian’s ‘pioneer’ criteria is a step in the right direction, but subject to howldown by someone who knows all the tricks of the tools.

Why are we in love with these blog league tables?

The journalist, the media adviser and the blog PR disaster

The blogvines at Digital Journal, Lulz Starts Here and Nicholas Black are ringing with the sorry tale of two media profess players, who failed to adhere to some of the fundamental tenets and courtesies of the blogosphere. Jamie Duncan a journo with Australian Associated Press and his moll Caroline Hamilton a media adviser (how media savvy though?) at Parks Victoria have been outed as vicious mudslingers and reputation assassins. Like all cowards, they hid their reputation daggers beneath a cloak of anonymity. Fools! Yet after they were identified, they tried to smackdown those who criticised them. Hypocrites!

Still gobsmacking to me that so-called media professionals could expose themselves so carelessly; and if it can happen to those in the know, how does that augur for those who are (I say this kindly) clueless? As a reminder to all, I’m harking back to Paull Young’s 6 Rules for Online Reputation Management, which I contributed to a few months back.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Be honest, transparent, ethical; don’t think you know it all; be open to new things, new points of view; disagree in a civil, constructive way.

Personality: Be original — don’t copy someone else; get your own authentic personal brand; represent your complex self online (this includes personal and professional);

Conversations Friendships — Conversation and discussion have made the blogosphere the vibrant space that is. Conversation is great, don’t get me wrong. But it can’t replace friendship. Yes, do all of these other things, but (perhaps most importantly) don’t forget to be a friend and make friends.

Learning — Go into the space with an open mind and an eagerness to learn from your peers; take advantage of the collaborative nature of the blogosphere; be active, not ani-social; make valuable contributions to the community; make mistakes and LEARN from them.

Awareness — Pause to think, listen and understand; sometimes your first reaction to something isn’t the best one; edit yourself — you can share too much; consider how others will perceive you based on what’s online !

Consciousness — Think about how you are presenting yourself online; don’t turn off your “brain-to-finger/mouth filter;” don’t be rash; realize that what you publish could be a part of your reputation forever.

 Jamie Duncan and Caroline Hamilton; part of your reputation forever.