G4S Messages Not Strong Enough

I was surprised by the answers of G4S Chief Executive, Nick Buckles today.  As the head of an organisation that employs over 600,000 people worldwide in security I thought his answers would have been a lot more robust and firm. He did not come across as a leader when it was the perfect opportunity to put the nation at ease and the MPs.  What I remember most about the questioning today is that one of the speakers for G4S said that they regretted signing the contract.

As a Communications person if I was working for them I would be battering them around the ears with my notepad in the car on the way back to the office.  No matter what G4S say in the coming days admitting to a shambles and regretting signing the contract is unforgivable.  For such a large organisation why are they not getting key messages sent out very often to put peoples’ minds at ease?  This is a perfect example of when there is trouble if you think keeping quiet is the best thing to do and people will all go away you are seriously mistaken.


BBC Correspondent John Simpsons book – Unreliable Sources

I’m reading a fantastic book at the moment on how the 20th Century was reported – It is John Simpsons – Unreliable Sources.   – sometimes the 20th century was not exactly truthful.  A good read if you are worried about reputation managemrnt on a daily basis.

When you think about it, the UK press were doing things in the late 1800’s that Edward Bernays talks about in his book Propaganda which was published in 1928.   The Boer War is an absolute eye opener.  It is amazing what you get told growing up and then find out what really happened when you are older.  I would think that any person going into a PR or journalism career should read this book.

Alcohol Concern Doesn’t Want Dads and Sons To Watch Sport Together

I saw an interesting article in today’s copy of the Metro in Manchester. (I am sure the London readers saw it too!) In a study of about 400 ten and eleven year olds were shown alcohol adverts and campaigns for soft drinks and cereals as part of the research.  Three out of four recognised the fictional Fosters Lager characters – Brad and Dan.  Less than half could link the drumming gorilla with Cadburys.  (I really think that the drumming gorilla appeared later on in the evening so children would not necessarily seen the ad. It is all down to — was it really an audience that Cadburys was targeting with that ad?).  The Ben and Jerry’s logo was familiar to three out of four children.  Alcohol Concern commissioned the study and said that advertisers should be forced to stop linking drinking with glamorous images.  I think Alcohol Concern need a drink if they think Brad and Dan are glamorous!

Well continuing on with the Unleash your Power of PR book today I read about surveys funnily enough which makes the article I read even more interesting.  Research tools for effective PR measurement include – Surveys, News Content Analysis and Statistical Modelling. Your survey sample or participants need to accurately match your programs target audience. Broad based profiles are almost meaningless.  Well looking at todays article – the survey was of 400 – 10-11 year olds.  I would think the perfect demographic to ask (especially if they were boys )if they watched sport with their dads?  If I were an advertising agency for an alcohol company I would consider football or rugby fans as a demographic for advertising my branded products.  Children going along to the football possibly with their dads would be exposed to those ads and therefore be a lot more familiar with those brands if asked to identify them with a line up of logos. Hmm no beer ads at sport!  It would be easier to ban the advertising industry. 😉

Being able to manipulate research for publicity seems a bit odd when you think about it.  Fair enough if it is genuine but looking closer at todays article we don’t know where the people where surveyed – from the results Alcohol Concern want to”force” advertisers to stop linking drinking with glamorous images.  I suppose that is one way of looking at it – Another angle could be that Alcohol Concern want to “force” dads and sons not to watch sport together as the sons will be exposed to images of glamorous alcohol logos.  More meaningful PR could go a long way for Alcohol Concern. Pity about todays article though as you read it and think so what!  I suppose there is a PR agency somewhere out there saying we got you coverage in the Metro though!

11 Questions You Must Ask Before Starting a Public Relations Programme

I read a bit more of the beginning chapters of “Unleashing the Power of PR” by Mark Weiner today.  I came across 11 Questions You Must Ask Before Starting a PR Programme and thought it would be a good start to blog and get us thinking about PR Programmes, strategy and target audiences.  I particularly like the question – what media do your target audiences use?  This is very relevant when thinking of the target audiences age whether it is social media or the more traditional media like newspapers.

   The 11 questions are as follows:

  1. What are your organisations objectives?
  2. What are your departments objectives?
  3. What other programmes are currently under way?
  4. What other departments will be affected?
  5. How will you use the research findings?
  6. Who are your target audiences?
  7. What are your key messages?
  8. Who influences that audience?
  9. Which media do your target audience read, watch, or listen to?
  10. Who are your internal audiences?
  11. Who are your internal clients?

Get thinking and start unleashing that PR Power! 😉  In the next few days I will be talking about measuring  PR Programmes.

Unleashing the Power of PR

I have just started reading a new PR book called — Unleashing The Power of PR – A Contrarians Guide to PR and Marketing by Mark Weiner President of Delahaye.  It seems like a good read so far – It’s all about PR strategy and Return of Investment from the PR Department.  Mark Weiner explains that PR can be measured over and above counting column inches.  As I read further in the book over the coming weeks I will share the secrets with you on my blog.  Happy reading.