Thursday, April 30, 2009


Arthur Guinness took out a ten thousand year lease on the Guinness Storehouse. He was thinking ahead, I suppose. Most companies do, to some degree or another. Maybe not that extreme, but there's usually a plan.

For a helluva lot of them though, the plan seems to be 'Let's wait and see' when it comes to social media. Engagement is still a bogey word, although there are green shoots. (Just threw that in to show you that I am jiggy with the vernacularspeak, youths.)

, home to Christian Hughes, ├╝berferret of the entire internet, posted a very interesting article on the Fortune 500 companies and blogging. Salient:

Only 81 out of the Fortune 500 (16%) currently have a public-facing blog. In comparison, 39 percent of the Inc. 500, 41 percent of the higher education sector and 57 percent of the nation’s Top 200 Charities have public-facing blogs.

"The report conclusively shows that while the Fortune 500 companies are adopting social media at a slower rate than other leading businesses, universities and charities, many more of them are blogging than has been previously reported," stated the press release, Fortune 500 Corporate Blog Adoption Slow and Steady According to Society for New Communications Research Chair Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson of Financial Insite.

Green shoots. I also followed a nice interchange between Niall Harbison and Loic LeMeur which succinctly demonstrates the power of personal engagement, even for somebody who's moved on substantially from talking to a couple of hundred people in a personal network. This is a rapid-fire case study in engagement. Most things Niall H does are rapid fire, it has to be said. But in a purely let's-get-going way, which we need far, far more of.

Here's another preacher. Perry Belcher has been doing this a while, and if you have ten minutes and are wavering on the road to Twamascus, this might convince you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

There's always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall
Words by me.

Ole Walt must be spinning in his grave. And on his office chair. And at his favourite table at Mann's. Etc.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blogging: Breakfast of champions

This was posted at Villa 81 by Emmet Ryan. A three minute snippet giving an overview of the IIA's recent Business Blogging Breakfast. It was organised as a launch for their Join the Conversation: A Guide to Blogging for Business. Like the vast majority of stuff these days, it's available for free.*

I was there on behalf of Marketing Magazine, so I was a passenger in one sense, but it's always an ambivalent feeling to be the ad guy in a roomful of clients who are more clued in than their agencies. It may be that the extent of their cluelessness is all they realise, but that is where each must start. There were probing questions, honest bemusement and a very palpable sense that something has to be done in this space.

The more of these things I attend, the more I see the move from realisation to motivation. No small thanks, on this occasion, to simple and useful observations from Aedan in Puddle Ducks, Brendan in FBD and Michelle from Start following them on Twitter why dontcha? You don't do that? Well why dontcha?


Right. No, no, it's just- No, I'm sure that's a perfectly good idea for not doing Twitter. Very reasonable. No, no, it makes loads of business sense to me now. Sheesh. I feel like such an idiot. I've been wasting my time. And yours too. Here, let me just-

SFX: Shuffles off. A click is heard.


The lovely Roseanne from the IIA informs me as per the comment below that their guide is free until May 6th only, at which point you'll have to be a member to avail.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We are not in control of this

I tweeted the title of this post from the Mediacontact seminar on PR, Social Media and Blogging in Practice seminar on Tuesday last. It was a random quote from Will McInnes of Nixon McInnes, UK social media goldienuts, but the simple efficiency of his presentation meant that it was actually absorbed by the offline types who predominated.

In fairness to them, they were there to learn, and I think that most people did. In fact, I got the sense that they pretty much bolted back in the Audi TTs and Mini Coopers to the workplace at Goldsheen Lustre Communications HQ to start theys own blogs toot sweet.

That was another succinct piece of advice, from Jane McDaid and Matt Matheson of Thinkhouse: just start blogging. Do it. Learn by making a total balls of it. You can do it privately, and then start doing it publicly when the stabilisers come off the back wheel. Dan Halliwell of TNS MediaMarket brought along some hopelessly out of date figures on bloggers, Facebook, Twitter and all sorts of things that he should've been better informed on. Tony Bilsborough of Cadbury Schweppes was there to fill everyone in on the soc media-inspired relaunch of Wispa. And had one for everyone in the audience. They were in date. Sweet.

Then it was the turn of the four blogmen of the apocalypse. Well, Damien Mulley was allowed a podium to himself to talk about protecting your reputation online. A first round alarm bell for most companies who aren't actively engaging online, so a natural topic for discussion. The other three bloggers (Harry McGee of the Irish Times, Mick Fealty of Slugger O'Toole, Kieran Murphy of Murphy's Ice Cream) had to make do with a panel discussion. I think that their collective gravitas, depth of knowledge on their subjects (press, politics and marketing) and their clear belief in their medium were enough to make some sceptics sit up.

I posted earlier about the lack of ad agency presence. The nature of thinking in media spaces today necessitates a joined-up philosophy, but we're fucked if we're seeing it from most agencies. They just didn't bother to turn up. Yes these things cost money, and yes you can run the risk of biting into a crap one, but not having some half-assed sort of presence at the very least is suicide.

Boots were there.

So were Bord Gais Energy.
Red Bull.
Paddy Power.
The National Lottery.
Irish Distillers.
The Blood Transfusion Services Board.
Tourism Ireland.

There was ONE fucking ad agency there. ONE! Even the European Commission was at the blessed thing. And while this conference would've probably taught very little to a small handful of the agencies around town (listed somewhere over there on the right) the rest could've picked up a heap of good advice on what to do next. God, I'm beginning to bore myself at this stage.

Anyway, I found this at the Nixon McInnes site mentioned above. A Marketer's Guide To Social Media. Free. Course if it's free it must be trash, right. Yeah. Better not look at that then.

Also, the IIA's Net Visionary Awards are happening in a month's time. If you still think the ICADs are the mutt's nuts it really is worth taking a look at these shortlist nominees. Vote while you're at it.

Speaking of the IIA, next post up is a quick overview of their Business Blogger Burlington Breakfast (I know, I know) just this week. Again, the clients were there, but I'll bore you about that in the next post. ttfnmfrs

Champagne chic for hard times advertisers

Oh lordy I have met so many stimulating, creative and energising people in the last two months. And there's nothing like sitting beside a bone fide entrepreneur to make you feel totally fuckin' pumped man! (and curiously fat and useless at the same time).

But enough of personal body issues. The point is, that 'in these times of' maybe an extra free hour or two a week for mental noodlings, the lusciously creative part of our brains can either be coaxed to spew the most magnificently creative colours or left to lardify in its own secretions. Now which would you rather? I see creativity breaking out all over, and a tipping point is upon us, where people are finally going to the mental gym. The equipment is already there. Let's get pumpin', people!

Guys, I actually feel like the softy ould unmarried uncle, so proud I am of yiz.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

PR, Social Media and Blogging in practice

Below is a list of the interested parties attending the Mediacontact half day seminar at the Guinness Storehouse in a couple of days. Ok, it's got PR in the title, and has a clutch of PR companies attending, but a quick glance at the list will tell you that an awakening of sorts is under way among more than just the gals in Mini Coopers. Intriguing list of NFPs, Very-Much-For-Ps and a handful of general marketing types.

Personally I think the organisers have been too narrow in their definition. The list of speakers includes Tony Bilsborough of Cadbury Schweppes, Dan Haliwell of Mediamarket and a quartet of highly charged bloggers in Harry McGee of the Irish Times, Mick Fealty of Slugger O'Toole, Kieran Murphy of Murphy's Ice Cream and Damien Mulley of Mulley Communications. Plenty of relevance there for advertising types.

Aaanyhoo, on behalf of you all I am selflessly going and will record the minutes and keep you in de loop. I might even ask if one's planned for adland. Smells like an idea. Watch this space.

The getters of it:

Abbey Theatre
Another Avenue Ltd
Asthma Society of Ireland
Atlantic Philanthropies
Bespoke Communications
Blackrock Clinic
Bord Bia
Business in the Community Ireland
Clarify Communications
Connect pr
Conway Commnications
Corporate Reputations
Dublin Chamber of Commerce
Element Pictures Distribution
Enable Ireland
Entertainment Architects
European Commission Representation
Fifi Belle
Financial Regulator
First Medical Communications
Fleishman - Hillard
GBC Public Relations
Gibney Communications
Grapevine Communications
Ground Marketing
Habitat for Humanity
Health Service Executive
Hibernian Aviva
Howett Consulting
IDA Ireland
Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Midas PR
MKC Communications
MSD Ireland (Human Health)
Murray Consultants
National Forum on Europe
National Lottery
OLeary PR
Paddy Power
Project PR
Purcell Masterson
Q4 Public Relations
Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland
Red Bull
Resident PR
The Agricultural Trust
Touchstone Communications
Tourism Ireland
Vhi Healthcare

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mars, bringer of warnings

Holst on there a minute. I'm not posting twice in one day really. I'm just thieving interesting content from other people's blogs again. I think I may be the only one, and I am so ashamed.

Anyway, over that now. Kevin Dunne's views on marketing are never less than a kernel of common sense wrapped up in a layer of cop on, and all covered in a creamy coating of smart. Go visit and see.

Like when he points to the hideously stupid thinking from Mars - of all people - that made them put a cease and desist order on digital agency Poke, for daring to dream up a website called Snckrz! where people could have fun with the Snickers logo.

Don't look for it any more. It's not there. I'll let Kevin tell you why.

Heeeeere little piggie...

I suppose I could bang on about how production values are changing and how creativity and big budgets are not necessarily co-dependent for clients given the current yadda yadda, but really I'm posting this just because I love the lo-tech.

Found over yonder at Cloudsteph's place. Which is a very fine establishment to call in on.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Behold the next competitors, adland

Twitter is beginning to break into the traditional advertising model. Carri Bugbee used it to great effect to advertise Madmen, tweeting away as the show's Peggy Olson. She's been so successful that she wants to make the first Twitter ad agency. Click on the pic above to hear her enlightening thoughts. Then search and reapply, Tweeple! (Advance apologies for the ginormous pain-in-the-arse ad at the top of the clip. Hey, it's Advertising Age. Whaddya gonna?)

Thanks to the eagle-eyed Rob Reid and Christian Hughes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

YouTube: Interacting with relevance

Photo not relevant to post at all, but ain't it cool? Found.

You can choose to view YouTube as a handy place to sneak a look at funny clips when you're at work, or you can find a way to make it work for you.

The smarties at Interactive Return possibly do both, but they certainly do the latter. Get a quick education on Pay Per Click, SEO, Keywords and how Ireland's largest advertising agency runs its business.

Here's a segment that Natacha Colin at Interactive Return posted recently, just in case the enormity of online video-watching traffic has slipped past you while you were watching that guy doing the evolution of dance.

Amanda Watlington, in a session dedicated to Video and Podcast SEO, highlighted how video and audio content are compelling to users disclosing the following figures concerning the UK and the month of June 2008 according to Comscore:

–27 million people watched 3 billion videos online

–118 videos per month per viewer

–19.7 million viewers watched 1.4 billion videos on (72.4 videos per viewer).

She also explained how videos and podcasts could be used by brand marketers and search marketers.

Thank you Natacha. YouTube is a resource for your clients, a learning tool and a fairly massive compendium of knowledge. It's in the process of smartening up its reputation for grainy images too from what I hear, and high definition will only add to its attraction. Have you used it yet to upload content? Any content at all? How about stuff that your clients might find useful? Ever think about having your agency's own channel on there? What useful links could clients, suppliers and staff watch? It's free, ffs!

Oh yeah, YouTube is counter-productive. Point. I'll shut up.

Shuffles away dejected.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't you just hate show-offs in Minis

More viral fun passed on by Cybercom. Yes I know it's late in the week but I've been busy. Sue me.