But who knows how useful it might be in a few days, or weeks, or months? journalists often archive their email, and search it on subjects; or read it and note the subject. That can come in useful later. However, how useful and when it will be useful a PR agency won't know.
The problem is that the clients demanding a metric for a dollop of information cast out like bread on the waters are doing it wrong. The initial report is: the bread got soggy and sank. Damn, say the clients, and decide this bread-throwing exercise is a bad idea. But in the end the bread feeds ducks that come along. Or it nourishes things in the water. It has a value - even though you can’t measure it at once.
This means that PR is a tricky deal to measure, hell as an industry we can't define the metrics ourselves. It is also very hard to separate the effect of PR from the rest of the marketing communications mix. So you can't really give PR a sales target and what you can't measure can't be trusted.
- The backbone is connected to the thigh bone. PR is about influencing BUT not directly affecting the media or other influencers. Because of this level of abstraction away from the generation of coverage with the best will in the world a PR success is a best try, held fortune to the whim of fate. In addition, publication deadlines which vary from six weeks on monthly magazines to six months on consumer glossies mean it is hard to change the impact of a PR programme overnight
- Sales distortion field. Sales is often about the here and now, nothing matters but the next quarter. Many other functions within a business may have a longer time frame. It is exceptionally hard to structure salesforce targets to take into account the long term good of the business. Were PR to be purely sales led, it can lead to a distorted view of the company as the positioning will change each quarter to help meet sales targets and will not be based on the longer term aspects of reputation management and brand positioning. If you took it further and had performance related payments in the PR budget, agency folk like me would focus on playing the system for the most lucrative path of least resistance. Lets look at an example from the world of advertising: if you look at the direct response approach in advertising were the end results are measured like the pots and pans adverts in the back of Sunday supplements, sales can be generated, but you are not likely to remember the name of the company and recommend it to a friend or make a conscious decision to purchase from them again
- PR can help in providing sales teams with materials that bolster their credentials with clients, writing case studies, being able to show their clients coverage including product reviews or thought pieces. Some of the tools that PR people use to create news like 'independent research' or securing opportunities to speake at industry events and shows can also be used as an excuse to open dialogue with prospects or continue conversations with existing accounts.
Whilst not a great consumer of television, I was pleased to see that the Celebrity Big Brother media circus picked Mark 'Bez' Berry of the Happy Mondays fame as its winner. Bez was the space cadet that inspired a generation to dance with this loping plod and 'big fish, little fish,
cardboard box' hand movements that went well with ecstacy-fuelled clubbing. When not appearing on stage with Shaun Ryder and Co. you could often see him doing his thing at the Hacienda.
Bez was an ideal clown prince for the Celebrity Big Brother farce. If you read the Daily Star on Sunday you would have found out that Bez was saved by Cliff Richard's millenium prayer when he was hospitalised and had never had sex with more than two women at a time during the heightof his stardom. Then there is a keep fit video in the offing and a couple of gigs with the Mondays in March. All this work will help him pay off the 10,000GBP tax demand from the inland revenue.
Rave on, Bez!
For the past fortnight or so there has been a buzz building up on the web about a viral clip based on a Volkswagen commercial playing on the Polo. Small but Tough campaign. In the advertisement a terrorist steps out of his house into a VW Polo, drives to a European style cafe where their diners on the pavement including a child in a pushchair and detonates a dynamite body vest. Whilst the interior of the car is engulfed in flame and the car rocks a bit on its springs from the blast. According to the buzz on the web the clip is alleged to have been done by London-based creative team Lee and Dan, Volkswagen are said to be threatening legal action and extremely peeved over the fact this clip made into the wild.
I guess this is what Houdini meant when they did their electro hit The Freaks Come Out At Night. Pictures by Jonathan Pearson Photography.
My mate Jonathan took these pictures at an underground student club night and is available to do most kinds of photography including corporate, product and plain mad stuff.
Old school hip-hop hero and heavy weight talent Biz Markie has been immortalised with this Ecko branded alarm clock. In a blow to designer jeans Carhartt European arm which has been involved in helping some of The Biz's most recent work; Ecko has a plastic Biz hunched over a
record crate and will wake you up with a vocal samples from his greatest hits. A true gift for the aging b-boy!
Back in the day when video was king and cinemas were potential development sites for new supermarkets and bingo halls the law was lax, and as an impressionable young child with neighbours who had a video store I got to see some great edgy films. My Dad got a Grundig Video2000 system and one of the first tapes I watched on it was Assault on Precinct 13. I loved it, it had the sense of timing and pace of a Sergio Leone western as the different strands of the plot coalesced into the main story, it shot violence like Sam Peckinpah, it had a black man playing an authority figure and it had great leanly written dialogue like Hemingway.
I was greatly concerned when I saw the posters for the 'new' Assault on Precinct 13. Thing did not start well, unlike SWAT which updated the theme tune from the original series, Assault has some of the lamest rap tunes that I have had the displeasure to hear in a long time: KRS1 quit clownin' and shoot yo'self dawg - if I had a horse that lame as the production and rhymes on his contribution, I would have put it down 12 months before hand. John Carpenter's score was borrowed for a number of electro tracks like Bomb the Bass' Megablast and is a classic in its own terms.
The film deviates in many important ways, I'm guessing to make the story credible in a time of mobile phones, pagers, instant messaging and the internet. It could have done without being called a remake, however it is a cracking film in its own right which I would heartily recommend, being an assault on the senses like the SWAT team scenes in Leon. Get out, watch this film, just don't expect a remake of John Carpenter's meisterwerk. Lawrence Fishburne acts everyone else off stage and is smoother than a silk cod piece, Ja Rule makes a play for Flavor Flav's crown as the schizophrenic clown prince of hippty-hop muzik, John Leguizamo does a really good job of playing a baghead and Drea de Matteo is so good at playing an oversexed receptionist you could catch something just watching her on screen - Jennifer Lopez take notes - this is what a siren looks like.
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