The vandals took the handle

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Archive for April 2008

It’s about on line communication – not just becoming a Facebook number

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I’m passionate about on line communications and the development of social media.

But, I am truly fed up with explaining that it is far more than just Facebook.

It’s amazing how otherwise intelligent people ignore the massive cultural change occurring around us – and instead act as some sort of promotions officer for this social networking product.

I feel like screaming: “Hey ….. it’s all about the web and communication – not about steering people into some product parading as an alternative community.”

I don’t have a personal Facebook page …. and I happen to think there is little to be gained by businesses or organisations setting up pages.  It allows you to upload photos and video and draw pictures, and has no real way of leveraging money. If I see the need for social networking, then I will probably opt for Linked In.

And, there are other issues that worry me.  Back in February, another US blogger, Rob Jewell, published this ‘Hotel California’ concern.


Written by ianandsue

April 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Staggering blog stats

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The popularity of blogs is staggering.  Latest figures put the number of blogs on the web at almost 100 million.
In India alone, there are over 400,000 people registered on blog sites  — and of the nearly 21 million Internet users in the country, 18 million said they regularly read blogs

If that isn’t mind-blowing enough, how about an American survey conducted with Compass Partners LLC, which found that 36.2 million women write and read blogs every week.

About half of those  consider blogs a “highly reliable” or “very reliable” source of information and advice.

Almost a quarter of the women surveyed said they now watched less television because they were blogging instead.

Ian Roberts



Written by ianandsue

April 23, 2008 at 3:56 am

Businessweek article on changing media landscape

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A bit wordy, but some good points here about the threshold confronting traditional media:


Written by ianandsue

April 20, 2008 at 2:11 am

Bank uses social media release to promote cricket series

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Check this social media release case study from South Africa

Written by ianandsue

April 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Take a close look at your communications

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How ironic that many communicators are proving to be closet Luddites.

The art of communications is moving to talking directly with stakeholders, rather than talking ‘at them’. And the fact that this is catching some communicators by surprise, is probably the result of them relying too heavily on media relations.

Traditional media releases and media liaison has always been just one tool in the communicator’s arsenal. The PR industry has understood this, but too many communications managers have allowed media relations to become the “be all and end all” – the holy grail and centrepiece of their work.

This was never going to be sustainable. Community empowerment through digital communications is dramatically changing the role of the media. Savvy media outlets have recognised it; have moved on line in a big way; and are adapting to co-exist with social media. However, many communications people have been left in the wake, refusing to give up the idea of full control over message and still clinging to a rapidly outdated model of pushing their version of information at people via traditional media.

There’s no need to abandon media relations. Communications is evolving quickly, but the media remains a key player. It is time, however, to rethink your style of media liaison and to consider your whole communication system, especially if it still relies heavily on traditional media relations such as e-mailing message releases to mass media and hoping.


Written by ianandsue

April 18, 2008 at 12:00 am

Aussie journos discuss the future

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It’s good to see the grand profession of journalism taking a serious look at its future.

After establishing an on line site to foster discussion on the question, Australian journalists will continue the self examination at a conference next month.  

As the evolution of digital communication keeps changing the communications landscape, it will be crucial that traditional media keeps adapting. All power to journos for facing up to some of these tough question. Thoughts???


Written by ianandsue

April 14, 2008 at 12:52 pm

What is a social media news release?

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Like a normal media release, only smarter.  

Don’t believe me? Fair enough, the traditional media release has served communicators well for decades.  But, when you think about it,  the traditional release is about the only communication tool that hasn’t evolved. 

We’ve done a bit of tinkering at the edges:  I remember the days when media releases were sent by mail; then by faxstream, email and sometimes by SMS. At one stage, we double spaced the lines so journalists could ‘mark them up’ with scribbled instructions for type setters. 

Times change and communicators are no longer involved with traditional media only. Regardless of where we are on the globe, it’s possible that our employer or client is the subject of discussion on Blogs, news web sites operated by traditional media companies, and social media outlets covering any manner of subject.  Joining and influencing that discussion requires not only a change of thinking on our part, but also a change of communication tools. Hence the social media news release.

The media release that we have known and loved for so long will still remain a key way of communicating with traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television. However, increasingly, it will need to be complemented by a communication channel tailored specifically for on line publishers.  This may be a jump in thinking for some, but it is really only an extension of the way in which communicators presently tailor announcements and responses to different types of traditional media.  

If you provide information to on line news rooms and bloggers, it makes sense to talk in their language by adding social media features such as hyperlinks, multimedia, social bookmarking and tracking.

Eventually, we may be using these techniques to bypass the media entirely and go straight to the people, but that’s a story for another day. 

Ian Roberts

Written by ianandsue

April 13, 2008 at 2:14 pm