Wednesday, 20 July 2011

SEO meets

Went to the Leeds Digital Festival SEO event AweSEOme Leeds today.

It was fantastic in so many ways. Well attended, demonstrated the depth of skill and experience of the Leeds digital industry and some interesting debate.

What was both exciting and frustrating was that it was clear these guys had very little experience of the overall marketing mix. The message from the event was clear: what Google wants to see is great PR. That might be a mention on a website, a link even, great social media engagement, exciting content, conversations with consumers, influencer endorsement, you name it.

"IT'S PR", I felt like shouting above the discussion of Pandas, attribution and Scrapebox. The SEO guys saw PR in one-dimension.

As a PR guy, I learned lots about SEO. I hope the SEO guys will come to our side of the fence and learn about PR. We can help each other in so many ways.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Here's Bungle

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Location:David St,Leeds,United Kingdom

Monday, 22 March 2010


We have an award at Finn. In fact we have two. The Disappointed Cup and Bungle.

Bungle is an actual Bungle bear off Rainbow

I've won them both.

Watch this space to find out why.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Westfield Green,Tockwith,United Kingdom

Thursday, 18 March 2010

First Deutsche Bank and now Credit Suisse with its report entitled The Power of Brand Investing have recognised AT LAST, that investing in brands is good for business.

It seems that those stocks that have invested in marketing through the recession are seeing improved volume trends, better second-half profits and 2010 forecast up-grades.

The inability of seemingly intelligent people to understand that investing in stimulating demand sells more products than not, has always staggered me. I guess they've always seen the success of Coca Cola as a fluke, whilst Panda Pops were unlucky not to survive the '80's. Just a case of wrong place, wrong time, in the opinion of those clever dudes who spun the wheel and broke our economy!

One friend of mine has resigned his post as marketing director at a VC backed business because 'the bankers' have decreed that no investment in marketing for three years will have no effect on brand equity. Meanwhile a competitor is stealing share whilst the multiples de-list at will.

The solution from our egg-headed friends in stripey suits is of course to cut the workforce, make the product worse (cheaper) and find more costs to take from the business.

Perhaps now one of their own has published the bleedin' obvious perhaps they might recognise that the brand they bought with investors money needs nurturing and building, and then they might actualy get more back. Makes you think doesn't it!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Paying for influence

Leeds based youth marketing agency Dubit get a kicking in the Sunday Times today in an article titled "Children paid to plug junk food on Facebook and Bebo”.

The agency's model is to recruit kids to mention their clients' brands in social networks in return for a financial reward.

I don't know Dubit well, but I do know that they have an enviable client list. Their response to the article is to explain that they are above board and professional in their approach, citing CRB checks as a verification. But that's not the point. The Sunday Times has taken a morally indignant stance and I'm with them on that.

From a professional stand-point, though it really frustrates me. So many marketing agencies believe they can play in the social networking, word of mouth space by taking a traditonal, promotional marketing incentive-led approach.

They absolutely don't get the point. You don't generate word of mouth by waving wads of cash at consumers. That's advertising. The currency of word of mouth is ideas. A something that gets people talking, and the only way to place those ideas in consumers networks is to engage in conversation and ask permission for them to pass them on.

Only PR people have the skills to understand how to create ideas which have sufficient social currency for people to want to pass them on. And only PR people have the soft-selling skills to get them out there.

To simply pay consumers to act as brand ambassadors is wrong. It lacks authenticity, it lacks respect for consumers and it’s just so crass.

That’s why proper word of mouth marketing remains a PR skill. At last paid-for marketing agencies are learning to appreciate how difficult a skill it is to get right. Especially when your morally dubious work is exposed in the UK’s biggest selling Sunday broadsheet.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Ten Trends for 2010

Ten trends for 2010
Media like it when decades turn. They can look back and report what they reported. And they can find experts to advise what they will be reporting. It’s a kind of two for one on content, twenty years worth of stories for the price of ten.
To save you time, I’ve trawled the best of the commentators and thrown in some of mine to give you a top 10 trends. (Sorry it’s not 20, we leave the BOGOF to our friends at Initials)
2010 and the teenies will be the decade that:
1. PR will become genuinely measurable – because all content will be digital
2. The skill of the soft-sell wins through –push or interruption marketing will die
3. PR helps define the big idea, rather than the big idea defining the PR
4. Light lots of small fires - not just one big one
5. Integration does not mean ‘perfect matching luggage’
6. Activity will go: drip drip drip, not BANG! Silence BANG! Silence
7. The crowd will dominate: surfed, sourced or served
8. Social media becomes a mainstream channel, not a niche idea
9. Google Android will see mobile content explode
10. Blogger brands become mainstream
11. Bonus! Surprise and delight your customers
Click here to see some deeper future-casting comment. The Marketing Week link is really interesting for FMCG brands.