PR profession launches Media Spamming Charter

September 30, 2010

London, 29th September 2010

The CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations), PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association) and the IRS (Investor Relations Society) today launch a Media Spamming Charter (PDF)

The Charter is in response to the ‘Inconvenient PR Truth’ campaign about how inappropriate and poorly targeted PR content can harm individuals, organisations and the PR profession as a whole.

The Charter is also based on a roundtable held by the three professional bodies and attended by the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), media, bloggers and others working in the profession.

Backed by the NUJ, the Charter provides guidance to members of all three professional bodies and the wider PR profession on standards of conduct when working with the media.

Directives in the Charter include:

  • practitioners should invest time in researching the editorial scope and interests of a journalist/blogger before approaching them, to ensure their area of responsibility is relevant to the communications programme
  • confusing, misleading, inaccurate or non-targeted emails may damage the reputations of the practitioner, the employer and the client
  • practitioners should be aware that journalists / bloggers may block individuals or companies if they believe they are being sent emails and other content that they perceive be irrelevant to their work.

Adam Parker, Spokesman for the Inconvenient PR Truth Campaign, says:

With the PR and media communities both under constant pressure to produce results, it’s great to see the four professional bodies coming together to try and find ways to assist them to work more effectively.

The National Union of Journalists comments:

The NUJ welcomes and supports this Charter which aims to improve the working relationship between the media and PR practitioners and raise ethical standards.

PR profession launches Media Spamming Charter

World’s first big-screen OLED installed in Germany

September 29, 2010

Technology breakthrough enables flexibility of size and shape

The first screen of its kind, the Diamond Vision OLED, measuring 8.8sqm (3.84 m (w) by 2.3 m (h)) with a depth of just 9.9cm, has been installed at the material Research Center recently opened by the chemical and pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany.

The new technology is a pioneering step forward, using organic light emitting diodes (OLED) as a light source, which due to its structure and composition is fully scalable and can be arranged into flexible forms and shapes.

The ‘Diamond Vision OLED’ screen is located in the lobby of Merck’s new research centre. Merck KGaA is one of the leading producers of organic base materials for innovative OLED technology and will use the screen as an information system for presentations and events. It has a resolution of 1,280 x 768 Pixel and weighs around 480kg.

“OLED is literally growing in size and format and has the potential to become the technology of choice for the digital signage industry in the near future. It is a significant achievement that we have been able to develop this pioneering technology with our Japanese colleagues“, explains Lars Dörholt, Deputy Division Manager, Visual Information Systems at Mitsubishi Electric Europe’s German branch.

‘Diamond Vision OLED‘ by Mitsubishi Electric is designed for indoor use and with its newly developed picture management technology, delivers seamless and vivid images. The screens deliver a wide viewing angle of approximately ±80degrees vertically and horizontally, while generating a maximum brightness of 1.200 cd/m2. Achieving double the contrast of comparable LED products, Mitsubishi Electric’s OLED-Displays are particularly well suited for use in bright environments such as shopping malls, stations or airports.

The new screen image is composed of square modules with a standard size of 38.4 cm (128 x 128 Pixel by module). Due to the modular nature of the product there are virtually no limits in terms of size, scalability, form or design. As a result, displays no longer have to be flat, but can now cover uneven or curved/convex surfaces. Each module weighs only 8 kilograms and the minimum viewing distance could be reduced to 2meters. With a depth of only 9.9cm the OLED displays are particularly well suited for the installation in halls or waiting areas.

With its new large screen technology capabilities, developed in cooperation with Tohoku Pioneer Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric is targeting new areas of application that could never have been achieved with conventional products due to limitations in size, format, amount of light or other restricting factors.

News from Mitsubishi Electric

Centaur returns to growth in the last quarter

September 16, 2010

By Dominic Ponsford = Press Gazette

Business publishing group Centaur reported revenue down 10 per cent year on year this morning to £59.9m for the full year. But it revealed that it had returned to revenue growth in the last six months.

Pre-tax profit for the publisher of B2B brands including Marketing Week and The Lawyer increased to £2.6m for the year to the end of June (compared with £1.7m a year ago).In a sign that the media economic recovery is gathering pace, Centaur reported 14 per cent revenue growth year on year in the final quarter.

The increase in profits was partly fuelled by cost-cutting. Centaur revealed that it has axed one in five staff over the last two years. The number of editorial staff employed by the group has dropped from 171 to 152 over the last year. Centaur’s revenue comes from advertising (£29.4m), events (£17.3m) and paid-for content (£12.5m) with £0.7m coming from other sources.

Chief executive Geoff Wilmot said: “I am pleased to report that Centaur revenues returned to growth in the second half and that recovery is continuing into the new financial year."

Centaur returns to growth in the last quarter – Press Gazette

Advertising Standards Authority gets online & social media power

September 10, 2010

Reproduced from Business Matters

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is extending its remit to cover the online realm, and so online marketing and ads will, from 1 March 2011, be subject to the same strict advertising rules as traditional media.

The ASA will also have the power to ban marketing statements on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter

Last year the body received over 3,500 complaints but over half of the adverts were outside of its remit.

"This is a massive step. Consumers don’t differentiate between adverts on TV or online and this ensures that claims online will be subject to the same strict scrutiny of those in traditional media," said an ASA spokesman.

The new rules will apply to adverts and any statement on a website that is intended to sell products or services.

Websites will be given until 1 March 2011 to comply with the new rules.

In an effort to protect online freedom of speech, the ASA’s new remit will not extend to the editorial content related to causes and ideas.

The ASA will also be given new sanctions against online ads found to be in breach of its regulations, including the removal of paid-for search advertising and the right to place its own advertisements highlighting an advertiser’s non-compliance.

At the heart of current advertising codes of practice is the protection of children and vulnerable people, protecting them from physical, mental or moral harm.

75% of the complaints received by the ASA are about misleading content.

In the tech sphere, the advertising of broadband speeds has been a major bone of contention.

Last week the ASA banned a BT TV advert about its new 20Mbps broadband service.

The speed with which a webpage loaded in the TV advert was not representative of real speeds and BT did not make it clear enough that many consumers would not be able to get full speeds, the ASA ruled.

Advertising Standards Authority gets online & social media power – Business Matters

DailyDOOH » Blog Archive » #ibc2010 – Cycling Home From Amsterdam

September 3, 2010


#ibc2010 – Cycling Home From Amsterdam

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

A team from Gearhouse Broadcast will be cycling back to the UK after #ibc2010 to raise money for Kings College Hospital and the Surrey Air Ambulance. Bicycles are of course an unremarkable sight in Amsterdam but while most #ibc2010 delegates will be making their way home via plane and train, eight very special bicycle riders will be starting a considerably longer journey.

John Newton and a team of seven colleagues from Gearhouse Broadcast will be cycling back to their base in Watford to raise money for two causes that are close to John’s heart – the Surrey Air Ambulance and Kings College Hospital.

Earlier this year, John’s daughter Alexandra was involved in a horrific traffic accident that left her critically injured. Having suffered multiple injuries, including acute brain trauma, Alex was airlifted to Kings College by the Surrey Air Ambulance. John says “Alex remained critical in a coma for 3 weeks, but under the care of the Kings College Hospital’s dedicated clinical staff, Alex has made a remarkable recovery and has recently been discharged home”.

He continued “The Surrey Air Ambulance and Kings College Hospital played a pivotal role in Alex’s survival, my family and I will be forever grateful.”

Like so many others, Alex owes her life to the skill and dedication of these extraordinary people and the charities that help fund them. John and the team from Gearhouse Broadcast are asking friends, colleagues and well-wishers from the TV and Broadcast industry for their help in supporting these charities, so they can help others in the same way they helped Alex.

The team will begin its epic journey on the last day of IBC, Tuesday September 14th, aiming to arrive back at Gearhouse Broadcast’s headquarters in Watford late on Wednesday 15th.

Donations can be made direct via for Surrey Air Ambulance or for Kings College Hospital.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque to Natasha Hyde @ Gearhouse Broadcast Ltd, Unit 12, Imperial Park, Imperial Way, Watford, Herts WD24 4PP.

DailyDOOH » Blog Archive » #ibc2010 – Cycling Home From Amsterdam

How to approach foreign customers successfully

September 1, 2010

The internet has placed global business within the reach of vast numbers of Chinese SMEs. But trying to establish business relationships that  span cultural and language divides can be difficult. Many attempts to reach out to new markets will end in failure. Yet many of these failures could be avoided by careful preparation. Here are our tips for making a successful first approach to a foreign customer.

1. Research your targets

The essence of effective marketing is to identify and satisfy the customer’s requirements. Ensuring that you fully understand the customer’s needs and your ability to deliver an appropriate solution is absolutely essential.

A common mistake made by over-keen marketers is to send out marketing messages to any email addresses they run across, without thinking about whether their product is likely to be of interest to that potential customer. We are regularly offered things like machine parts, plastic mouldings and electrical lighting – none of which, as a PR agency, are of any use to us at all.

The result of unsolicited, inappropriate emails is predictable – they are flagged as spam and deleted. At best, you will have tarnished the reputation of your company; at worst, you might find your company added to a blocked domains list so that any subsequent messages will not even be delivered. Either way, it’s a marketing disaster that can be easily avoided by proper research and a good understanding of your product and your customers.

2. Understand your business arena

Another mistake we see often is companies trying to market their products to overseas competitors. This is clearly a pointless exercise that can deliver no possible benefit. Not only does it demonstrate to your competitors (and their customers) that you have no understanding of the market, but messages like this often cause great annoyance. At the very least, you do not want your marketing strategy or pricing to be known to your competitors!

3. Web-based email accounts lack credibility

Trust and credibility are absolutely essential in the marketing process. Your potential customer has to be confident that you are reputable company, and part of this trust-building process is your online presence and the way you communicate. Remember, your potential customer knows nothing about you apart from what they can find online.

It is very common for Chinese business people to use web-based email accounts such as Yahoo. While there may be good reasons for this, you should be aware that unsolicited email from such sources is treated with a great deal of suspicion by western recipients. This is particularly true when the sender is only identified by a single forename or a random string of letters. Not only does this look very unprofessional to western eyes, but in the majority of cases, it will ensure the email is deleted unopened.

When communicating by email, always try to use mail from your business domain and make sure you identify yourself appropriately using your full name or the name of your company. Presenting yourself professionally should at least ensure your message is opened.

4. Use professional translators for your opening pitch

Minor mishaps with English are usually not a problem once you have an established relationship with your customer. But for your initial marketing, you will usually have just one chance, so it’s vital that you make your pitch clearly and well. For this reason, you should not rely on in-house or inexperienced translators. Here’s a couple of genuine examples of how NOT to approach a potential customer for the first time:

“Dear my friend, …Interested in XXXXX from China? …want to get the most for your money? XXXX can get your above dreams come true.”

“Dear Sir or Madam, How are you? I hope your everything is going well. Don’t you wanna get a good opportunity of business corperation? It’s a win-win in the future.”

Specialist business translators will do a much better job at crafting your initial approach and ensure you come across as credible. Avoid machine translation for your marketing communications.

5. Never send attachments unless they have been requested

To most people, file attachments in unsolicited emails mean just one thing: viruses. The fastest way to ensure your marketing message is trashed unopened is to attach a spreadsheet or Word document to it.

Eido PR is a specialist technical PR and marketing agency that can help you connect with new customers in Europe and Asia. We offer a wide range of consultancy and marketing services and we’d be delighted to talk to you about your needs and how we can help you achieve success overseas. Please visit our website for more information or click here to contact us.

Eido PR project management system recognised by 37 Signals

September 1, 2010

Our innovative online project management system has come to the attention of 37 Signals, the company behind the hugely successful Basecamp collaboration software. The guys at 37 Signals have featured our hybrid application on their product blog, a showcase for the best Basecamp applications around the world.

Our use of the API to join Basecamp to our in-house intranet system is a particularly innovation application, and one which is – we believe – totally unique to us. Using our system, it’s possible for clients and team members all over the world to collaborate on and manage complex PR projects, with the guarantee that everyone is looking at up-to-the-second information on job progress.

We are really pleased to have been recognised by 37 Signals, itself a ground-breaking innovator in cloud computing. You can read the whole article here