Monthly Archives March 2014

Is traditional Product Placement dead as marketers switch to Content Marketing?

1949 product placementProduct placement has been around as long as TV itself. One of the earliest examples of product placement was in 1949 when NBC launched America’s first daily TV news programme, the ‘Camel News Caravan’, featuring a newsreader smoking a Camel cigarette and a policy that banned footage of ‘no smoking’ signs and anyone puffing on a cigars, including Sir Winston Churchill!

Today, brand and product tie-ins are less brazen but equally effective as a weapon for achieving a brand positioning advantage over the competitors’ above-the-line PR and marketing efforts.

The James Bond film franchise is credited with having started the current fashion of placing well-known branded products in the centre of the action, with brands such as Aston Martin and Omega taking high profile roles on scr...

Read More

The ‘Cold War’ with Russia is hotting up and so is the PR battle

Cold WarThe war of words continues as Russia is finding itself increasingly isolated by the NATO Alliance and is already seeking stronger ties with leaders of the BRIC nations where it may feel it gets fairer hearing over its annexation of Crimea.

Certainly monitoring the news reports here in the UK you’re left with a distinct impression that the Cold War and the imminent isolation of Russia is just around the corner. Russia may have got what it wanted but it’s losing the PR war.

A good example of what I mean is illustrated by the attack Russia faced at the UN Security Council on Wednesday 19 March when US Ambassador Samantha Powers called the Great Bear a “thief”...

Read More

Why PR is more than just column inches as discussed at the World Communication Forum Davos 2014

European flight destinations at Otopeni airport near BucharestThis was the subject of my presentation at the 5th World Communication Forum in Davos, Switzerland and my co-presenter was the dynamic Andrew Denton, Head of Media at Welcome to Yorkshire.

The topic we were asked to address was how global events can stimulate economic development. What you may not realise when you’re reading this blog post is that Yorkshire won the bid to host the first stage of the world’s most famous cycle race, the Tour de France.

The Grand Depart will begin in Leeds on Saturday 5 July 2014 and will be broadcast in 88 countries to millions of viewers around the world, many of whom may not have a clue about where Yorkshire is or indeed how stunning it is as a destination for sport and entertainment.

But all that is about to change and the signs are is that it’s alread...

Read More

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

This is an excellent short film by Prof Lord Robert Winston that looks at the roots of Zoroastrianism and includes rare footage of the Fire Temple in Yazd in Iran where the Sacred Flame has been burning for over 5,000 years.

Another excellent documentary by the BBC featuring Freddie Mercury’s sister is available here

Read More

The “phoney war” between West and Putin is going into overdrive claims leading Russian military expert

Putin address March 2014As Crimea becomes the focus of media attention here in the West, it’s easy for the facts to become obscured in the race for getting a headline grabbing news story as the public relations battle between Russia and the West picks up pace.

In the wake of the Crimea referendum on Sunday 16 March that was observed by more than a hundred bona fide international observers from 23 countries – although not affiliated with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe – it’s easy to dismiss President Putin as conducting ‘gun boat’ diplomacy when he addressed the Russian Parliament on Tuesday 18 March in what many commentators see as one of the defining moments of his presidency.

What’s not so clear is whether the Ukrainian officer who was shot three and a half hours later was done ...

Read More

Best-selling Business Law Book on Amazon!

Best selling Business Law book on Amazon

Read More

News Flash!

Snoop Dogg

Read More

Brand-Vandals1At the end of last year, a new book by Steve Earl and Stephen Waddington hit the shelves and caused a bit of a stir. Brand Vandals was a polemic about the dangers facing any organisation as it struggles to manage its reputation in the face of determined vandals out to destroy it on social media.

“Media has become a two-way weapon. Nobody can control it. It’s anarchy.”

Assuming you didn’t suffer nervous shock or call the emergency services after reading the first chapter, the book goes on to describe a world where luckless PR managers are fighting an ever losing battle against brand vandalism. At every twist and turn brand reputations lay shredded like coleslaw and devoured by baying, internet-frenzy mobs impervious to reason and from whom it’s impossible to hide.

OK, it was a bit...

Read More

FREE VOCUS webinar on how to spot brand vandalism before you become a victim

brand attack mash upHow times have changed. As PR professionals, are we in charge of how the world sees and perceives us?

Are we masters of our universe and able to manage the flow of information like we used to in order to protect and enhance the reputation of those organisations we work for and represent?

Back in 1948, US social historian Eric Goldman in his book Two-Way Street predicted that communication between an organisation and its audiences would develop in three distinct ways.

Initially, organisations and companies would have the upper hand and be able to control the amount of spin on any given subject and the unsuspecting audience wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

The second era would herald the start of information age where the quality of communication between an organisation and the p...

Read More

FREE 2014 Law & Marketing Update Event – Hurry, places booking fast!

Speechly Bircham external shot of buildingUK-based companies face a major shake-up in how they conduct consumer sales and marketing activities over the next 12-months in the wake of a raft of new laws and regulations emanating from the UK and European Union (EU).

With a closer focus being taken by UK and European legislators on the individual’s right to privacy, marketers face one of the toughest marketing regulatory regimes in the world.

So keeping up-to-date with a torrent of guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office and ever more prescriptive drafts of the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation is now essential in order to stay one step ahead of the competition.

We are kicking off our first 2014 Law and Marketing seminar  with a terrific line up of speakers and experts that will help guide you through t...

Read More