Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some points of order on PR

First up—despite the reduced output—your humble Devil has once again made it to Cision's Top 10 Whistleblowing blogs for this year. I know, I thought it was a bit strange too, but Cision describes "whistleblowing" in the following way:
Cision defines whistle blowing as the act of exposing injustice in society, government and public services.

Cision are, basically, a PR company and, above all of their lists, they print the following caveat for those wishing to get bloggers to push content. [Emphasis mine.]
The fundamentals of working with bloggers are the same as with traditional journalists at traditional media outlets: respect their schedules; take time to read their material to learn their interests; and only contact them if/when they want to be contacted.

Inevitably, this almost never happens, which is why I never publish press releases or product plugs unless I find something interesting off my own bat—and that point of interest usually differs from what the PR people want.

However, I am going to plug the new Sky News iPad application, and I'm going to do so for two reasons.
  1. The first is naked greed: Sky are offering all those who plug the app the chance to win an iPad 2—and I want one.*

  2. The second is a mixture of ego and a belief in plugging good practice, because the person who sent the request had actually pretended to read some of my witterings—which is a step in the right direction as far as PR people are concerned.

So, here you go: here is some blurb about the Sky News iPad app...
Sky News will be launching their brand new iPad on 17th March. The app is a completely new way of getting breaking news in your hands—allowing you to decide what you watch and how you watch it. It’s a ground-breaking service that offers live events, expert analysis and amazing graphics—all designed specifically for iPad.

... and here is a short video about the Sky News iPad app (it actually looks quite neat).

It's a bit of a pity that the video is delivered via Flash and, as such, cannot be viewed by anyone using an iPad, or an iPhone (or, to be fair, most other mobile devices**).

As an amusing aside, the Sky News iPad app PR company is called Jam, and they write a slightly tedious PR-speak blog. However, a piece on how Charlie Sheen had set a new record for gaining one million Twitter followers in the least time did amuse me. [Emphasis mine.]
Perhaps it’s the innate human interest in supporting the underdog or our love of all things taboo, but @charliesheen is set to surpass @justinbieber with the most followers by the end of the month.

Um, no. I think that you'll find that the reason that so many people are following Charlie Sheen is because there is a kind of grim fascination in watching someone go absolutely fucking hatstand right in front of you (as it were). It is, if you like, the finest example so far of car-crash Twittering.

* Since Dizzy doesn't want one if he wins, I am hoping to persuade him to flog it to me for cheap...

** Yes, I know that Flash has made it onto some mobile devices. However, in order to make it a "decent" experience (in as much as such a thing is possible) Adobe recommends that all Flash movies are recompiled for Mobile Flash. As far as I can tell, this video is not.


Michael Fowke said...

Charlie Sheen isn't insane. He's reached a higher level.

I just thought I would point that out.

commentor said...

That non-optimised-for-mobile video runs great on my HTC Desire Android nerdphone.