Articles Journalism Marketing Public Relations

How will we Manage without degrees?

Management is a skill and a great example of nature and nurture coming together as one. In PR, there’s no way to skip straight to management. It’s vocational enough that you simply can’t start delegating without the proper understanding of what you’re asking of people, what you expect from them and, as much as anything, experiencing good and bad management yourself.

But in recent years, other industries have pushed forward with a dynamic that ignores this – the graduate trainee scheme. The idea of these is that if you bring in talent with allegedly great potential and fast track it, you make sure the cream of the crop gets to where it’s needed in your business as quickly as possible.

Public Relations

How to write a CV… with your life

Like most people, I like good ideas.

So I was delighted to see this Yo Zuck! Tumblr from “designer and thinker”, Youssef Sarhan, tidily highlighting simple ideas for how he’d improve Facebook. says he’s on 724 clicks at the moment, I’d say he probably has a fair few more on the way.

What’s great here is that Youssef is showing us that he knows his stuff. No need to fluff or gimmicks, just good ideas allowed to speak for themselves.

Journalism Public Relations

Could PRs become the next best journalists?

For years, the world of PR has played host to aliens from the other side of its universe as journo after journo made the move from Editor to “head of content” or similar.

And while historically there have been leaps in the opposite direction, it’s generally more like a step back to square one on the career snakes and ladders board.

Articles Public Relations Social Media

Overtransparency and the Dilemma of #Client Vs Integrity

This time last year, there was some fuss about The SarcMark, a new piece of punctuation designed to make the use of sarcasm explicit by putting a little marker at the end of each relevant sentence.*

Naturally, it was met with near universal derision and ridicule, mainly because it made explicit what anyone with a semblance of intelligence could deduct by themselves.

However, for a while I’ve been watching the way that #client disclosure hashtags are used on Twitter and for me, it kind of twigs some similar concerns.  Tweets like this by .net magazine Editor @DanOliver, and @Wadds‘ little show of hands here present one assortment of views on the matter.

I have something of a different take.

Articles Public Relations Social Media

Social Media: “The Talk”

<< Originally a guest post for the Social Collective blog, stumbled upon it while Googling and decided it deserves to be here too >>

altNow, you may be wondering why we’ve called you here for this family meeting. But all will become clear. I just want you to know that your marketing manager and I love you very much and we would never do anything to hurt you.

But what we’re about to say may come as something of a shock.


Articles Marketing Public Relations

PR coverage- a new perspective

As you may have heard, last week my agency Wildfire PR released some social media research which saw some pretty excellent pickup all over the place.

As PRs, we’re all pretty used to the value of good coverage- traditionally,  it’s one of the great magical currencies of what we do and a satisfying achievement.  But it’s easy to start seeing it in pragmatic terms as a commodity listed in Excel, meeting targets and making clients happy.  It’s easy to lose sight of what coverage may mean to clients, not just in the marketing department but for everyone from the founders downwards.

Articles Public Relations Social Media

Sustainable Social Media: A Manifesto

<< Crossposted from my post on the official Wildfire PR blog. Because I like it. >>

If one thing has become clear in the last few weeks, it’s that everyone loves the Old Spice guy.  He sprung out of nowhere, posted some clever YouTube videos and we all had a good time.

But social media was supposed to be about more than this.  It was supposed to make companies more transparent and usher in a new age of true public relations – it was supposed to save the world!

Public Relations

Is there a PR career sweet spot?

A PR career is a funny thing. The account exec role births you into a chaotic world of frenzied media relations and client report deadlines. But no sooner do you get a grip on these fundamentals than the skillset gives way bit by bit to a dynamic of planning, strategy and deeper client management.

In my experience, both requirements are deeply satisfying but in enormously different ways.  What I’m wondering is if there’s a sweetspot somewhere along the career ladder where you get the best of both worlds. After all, there are only traditionally so many positions available- AE, AM, AD/ AssD, MD.

Public Relations

Why I’ll always have time for timesheets

Graham Goodkind’s recent piece on why PR timesheets should be scrapped seems to over-simplify the issue.  Certainly, they’re an imperfect system as demonstrated by his stats showing how they are inevitably filled out with less than ideal accuracy.

But so’s democracy – as Churchill famously stated, it’s the “worst form of Government except for all others that have been tried” – and you don’t see us turning our back on that institutional bastion.

Instead, Graham focuses on the idea of selling ‘value’ as opposed to simple hours.