Are these the Worst Promoted Tweets Ever?

“Is this actually real?!” That was my response when a friend of mine, Stephen Waddington, tweeted a screen grab of a promoted tweet that had appeared in his timeline on Sunday. And as promoted tweets go, it’s a gem. At the time, I laughed and shrugged it off. Until Monday, when another friend, Michael Taggart, […]

Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert: Cynical or Respectful?

Does Sainsbury’s Christmas Chocolate Leave a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth?

Christmas TV advertising isn’t generally intended to be divisive. The aim is to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about a brand or a store so you go out and buy a shedload of festive stuff from them. But this year’s Sainsbury’s advert has seriously divided opinions. Over the weekend I encountered not one but […]


Could Crowdsourcing Have Saved Samaritans Radar?

Crowdsourcing is hardly a cutting edge concept anymore. The ability of organisations and even individuals to gain input into developing ideas has never been easier. So why on earth did the Samaritans have to pull the Radar app, which was intended to help those suffering from mental health issues, after less than two weeks due […]

Is Reach the Red Herring of Social Metrics?

Is Reach the Red Herring of Social Metrics?

When it comes to measuring social media campaigns, there are 101 different social metrics we can use. Some, like fans and followers, mean very little outside of their place in whatever network you’re measuring. Others, like leads or conversion rates, matter an awful lot in a far wider sense. But what about ‘reach’? For me, […]

Social Media for Dummies

Social Media for Dummies

So you want to generate awareness, loyalty and conversions from social media, right? Here’s the big secret in a highly scientific mathematical formula: Reach = Followers x Engagement At its core, it’s that simple. And it always astounds me how many people don’t understand this most basic of principles. I think it’s because of words […]

Social Media for Charities: What Next?

Social Media for Charities: Where Next?

The #nomakeupselfie and #icebucketchallenge phenomena this year raised huge amounts of money for charity. But have they inadvertently made the charity social media environment much, much tougher? Such was the success of both trends that charities everywhere are investing time and effort into spotting the next big thing, or alternatively, trying to come up with […]


What’s the Point in Measuring Business Outcomes?

The PR industry doesn’t need to bother measuring business outcomes. After all, lead generation and sales are marketing’s job. So, you know…sod it. I paraphrase (heavily), but that’s the general gist of an article that caught my attention last week entitled ‘What PR Metrics You Shouldn’t Measure’. The piece, penned by widely-regarded American author Christopher […]


B2B & B2C Social Media are like Chalk & Chalk

Before the advent of the internet, broadcast media, newspapers and the printing press, business was done person to person. If I wanted to sell my latest hand-crafted spinning wheel or my daily baked bread, I’d do so face to face with the person who was buying it. It was pretty simple, really. Now fast forward […]


5 Critical Trends in Digital PR You Need to Act On

Yesterday evening, the PRCA launched a new report into digital trends in the PR industry. Put together after a YouGov study of 228 agency and in-house PR professionals across a wide range of sectors, the results are, for me, both encouraging and worrying. As a top line summary, there are five key points to consider. […]

Robin Williams

Have We Really Learned Absolutely Nothing From Kenneth Cole?

Robin Williams’ death on Tuesday came as a massive shock. The circumstances of his passing jars hugely with the cheerful, silly and hilarious character we knew and loved from the big screen, from television interviews and from the days when he did stand up comedy. His 1986 ‘Live at the Met’ performance, which I discovered in […]

picard facepalm

When Blogger Outreach Gets Weird. Really Weird.

Like most bloggers, I get approached pretty much daily from people interested in having their content featured on my blog. Sometimes the approaches are short and pleasant, with a few details of the potential guest blogger and maybe a couple of ideas for posts. It’s obvious they’re genuinely looking for somewhere for their writing to […]


5 Corporate Facebook Lessons from an Indie Band [Case Study]

This week, rock band Embrace’s eponymously-titled new album entered the UK chart at number five. Which is quite an accomplishment for a band that sunk without trace eight years ago and whose last album, ‘This New Day’ released in 2006, really wasn’t that great. So what on earth does this have to do with PR, […]

Addressing Facebook Zero

[ebook] Addressing Facebook Zero: a new era for Facebook marketing

Over the last couple of months there has been an increasing sense of frustration and, recently, desperation with Facebook as a marketing channel. It’s long been understood by Page administrators that they could expect to reach a maximum of only 16% of their fans with any given status update. But Facebook threw the cat among […]


SEO, PR or Advertising Agency: Which is Best for Social Media?

If you’re a brand with a social media requirement and you’re looking to hire agency support, you have several options open to you. Pretty much every marketing agency now offers social communications as a service: you could go down the PR route, the advertising route or the SEO route. But what’s the difference? What can […]


3 Steps That Will Completely Transform the Way You Use Facebook

Over the Christmas holiday I had something of a social media-related epiphany. With space and time to observe Facebook from a distance, it hit me just how overrun my newsfeed had become with irrelevant nonsense, and how many of the people and Pages I really wanted to hear from simply weren’t showing up at all. […]

Real Time Marketing

April Fool’s and the White Noise of Brand Marketing

April Fool’s and the White Noise of Brand Marketing

Just in case you weren’t aware, yesterday was April Fool’s. A day for all manner of utterly hilarious japes and pranks (cling film over the toilet bowl, anyone?) when anarchy is not only allowed but actively encouraged. In such an environment, brands come out to play. And boy, did brands come out to play! April […]