Tuesday, 23 February 2010

There are no PR winners in the Gordon Brown Bullying row

I thought I would share my thoughts on who is winning the media battle over the current Number 10 'bullying' row.

There are currently two sides to the argument.

One, Gordon Brown is a 'bully':


Two, the Head of the National Bullying Helpline is a  'Tory pawn' and a 'prat':

This whole ugly mess epitomises the very reason the public are fed up with spin, unfounded allegations and UK politics. The media are also to blame for leading on gossip, non-stories and hearsay; rather than facts and evidence.

From a PR perspective neither party wins as no one is improving their image with voters over this row. Constituents have jobs in which they see this sort of stress and intimidation every day, frankly there is little traction in the debate for either party.

Again, the coverage will leave yet another PR scapegoat in Christine Pratt - although appointing Max Clifford suggests this is more of a 'phone and tell' rather than 'good woman, done-bad' hard luck story:


Again, making this news public is a PR disaster for the Charity which must surely now undergo crisis comms to avoid imploding.

So with the Government, Opposition and a major charity all failing to secure positive coverage, who are the winners from this row?

The answer is nobody, bar Andrew Lawnsley who will no doubt sell some more copies of is book...nice work, Andrew!

I just wish politicians would wake up and realise that politics needs high quality debate right now and this whole story is a nonsense, "The Thick of It" style mess which adds no credence to any party.

P.S. Could it just be a coincedence that this story is keeping the Falklands row out of the main headlines? Perhaps it isn't as silly as it seems...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Microsoft and Yahoo search merger approved


The European Commission has approved the merger of Microsoft and Yahoo's search engines, with Bing now set to power Yahoo search.

Although this is a step in the right direction for Microsoft, they aren't the ones Google is concerned with anymore - that is Facebook.

With Google Buzz and Wave now launched and last year's Facebook acquisiton of FriendFeed (http://blog.friendfeed.com/2009/08/friendfeed-accepts-facebook-friend.html) these two giants are set for a titanic battle in 2010 as they fight for dominence over the updatesphere.

(Twitter of course continues to grow but they are arguably more likely to be acquired than join the arms race in the way the other two have).

In terms of where this leaves Microsoft, they need to ensure their investment in Bing doesn't fail and they need to address the impact mobile technology has on the once untouchable Windows.

Saying that, I'm not a tech expert so I'd love to hear from those in the know on who you think is set to triumph...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Toyota uses Digg to save its reputation

Toyota is attempting to salvage its reputation with customers by using the social media site Digg to discuss the faulty accelerator crisis directly with customers.

This is a last throw of the dice for a company which has seen the news agenda intensify and a feeding frenzy of bad press take huge chunks out of their long standing reputation for consumer confidence.

Some may point out that opening up to social media could expose the company to even more horror stories and negative questioning but what it gives the company is the chance to be transparent - and that speaks volumes.

There's a reason why business leaders like Andy Bond of Asda are obessed with transparency. It says 'we have nothing to hide' and it allows organisations the opportunity to open a direct conversations with their publics.

Social media offers this opportunity in abudence and will allow Toyota to ensure their positive messages move up the google rankings - crucial when worried consumers turn to the internet with their worries.

Time will tell if Toyota can Digg its way out of the biggest crisis in its history but as a strategy 'going social' is the correct move.