463 Thinks they are funny


Tom Galvin, Sean Garrett and Jim Hock of 463 show there may be a career outside public policy waiting for them. Sadly it won’t likely pay very much.

The markets only work in the long term

Ask any financial advisor and they’ll always tell you to invest in the long term. Well, my guess is that investors in marketing services group, Chime, are hoping that this advice is correct. Chime put out a very positive trading update today, only to see it’s share price drop nearly 9%. Lord Bell’s quote read: “Our trading performance is very strong, our new business pipeline is very strong and our prospects look very good”. Could he have been more positive? My guess is that right now Chime is wishing it hadn’t said anything. Now some will argue that it released this on a day when the markets were down but in truth Chime’s share price is already off nearly 40% from its peak earlier in the year. What would appear to be the case is that the markets have long memories and they remember what happened during the last recession and they are taking any opportunity they can to get out of media stocks, especially those with an advertising component. Of course we aren’t in a recession and Chime is certainly sounding pretty bullish about its prospects. But it would seem that even a business with as much marketing intelligence as Chime can’t manage perceptions around its stock price in a climate like this. Indeed the lesson from this would appear to be – say as little as possible and don’t expect anyone to hear any of the positive news as they are only listening for bad news.

7 out 10 People say they want measurement

I’ve been digging around for articles on measurement in PR as I still believe it is an area that needs greater attention. In so doing I came across a paper by Chris Cartwright, MD of Harvard in the UK who carried out a survey on the subject. The paper is pretty good and certainly worth a quick read, though I should warn you it’s even drier than this blog. The one thing that really caught my eye was the opening statement: “While 7 out of 10 PR practitioners agree that PR evaluation is an important part of their role…” I had to read this several times because I was stunned. What this says is that 30% or nearly one in three DON’T think measurement is important. Again I’m truly amazed by this. I can understand some people may not want to be measured because they’re not doing a good job but to check a survey box that that says you don’t think it is important perhaps explains why measurement is still so low on the agenda. I’d love the various PR institutions to take this subject on. I’d love the major brands to make it a top priority. But it would seem that until the three people out of every ten that don’t see measurement as important are persuaded to think again then not much will happen.

Here’s the link to Chris’s article: http://www.chime.plc.uk/downloads/PR-Evaluation-Survey-Chris-Cartwright-Harvard-Nov07.pdf

Apple pays price of success

F Secure got some good PR today with the FT running a big piece on the front of its Companies & Markets section on how Apple is increasingly becoming a target for computer hackers. The story which quotes an F Secure security researcher, is based on research the company announced via a press release earlier in the week.

PR aside, the news here is that Apple is no longer immune to the malware that has plagued the PC community for years. It seems the dramatic increase in the number of Macs being sold (sales have roughly doubled from a year ago) has caught the attention of the hackers. If this trend continues, Apple will likely have to ramp up its efforts to promote the secure nature of its architecture and the efforts it takes to make the OS more secure over time. For a brand that is so consumer focused this level of technical message may be awkward to handle. At the end of the day though, it is a problem born out of success and therefore one I assume they’d prefer to have.

You Tube Score Update

A few months ago I used YouTube as a measurment tool to see how major brands scored. I ran this simple test again today. The results show that most brands are increasing their presence on YouTube at quite a significant rate. Here’s the scorecard:

Brand Number of clips then ….Number Now
Disney 224,000 ….275,000
Google 97,000 ….169,000 <– big jump
Yahoo! 81,100 ….123,000 <– big jump
Apple 74,200 ….123,000 <– big jump
Microsoft 44,700 ….69,500
Coca Cola 34,400 ….42,600
Toyota 33,400 ….42000
Nokia 27,700 ….30,900
McDonalds 22,000 ….29,900
GE 15,000 ….26,100 <– big % jump
WalMart 10,600 ….16,700 <– big % jump
Starbucks 7,200 ….8,530<–relatively small rise
Intel 6,280 ….10,200 <– overtook Starbucks

40 under 40

I was pleased to read that our very own Clive Armitage, the CEO at Bite, made the PR Week 40 under 40. The list makes interesting reading. Out of the 40, 23 are from agencies – does this mean you are more likely to be successful in PR at an agency or just that PR Week has a better chance of hearing about you when you work at an agency? The fact that did surprise me in this list was that only 13 are women. In an industry that seems dominated by women that seems to go against the obvious logic. Sadly what it seems to suggest is that while women make up the majority of people in the industry, men still seem to have control of most of the top jobs. Anyway, congratulations to all of you that made the list and especially you Clive.

PS I need to have a word with PR Week about the photo they used as it’s about 10 years old!

Dell believes in the Da Vinci code.

So the news is now out that WPP is to create a dedicated agency for advertising, PR etc which is code named Da Vinci for Dell. It’s a bold move for the business and one that will likely have its share of successes and failures. The biggest challenge is clearly going to come on the talent front. Perhaps not so much at the beginning when it’s all ‘new’ but down the track when the client is past the honeymoon phase and the real work has begun. It will be then that the new agency will have to sell people on the benefits of only working on one piece of business. Star talent will not want to feel like a contractor that’s for sure. What is certain is that this move will be watched by others to see what can be learned.