CSR Showstopper

Its easy having worked in the media to lose touch with what happens in society. When I read in the FT on Saturday about Greggs the Bakers’ school breakfast clubs I was impressed and disturbed at the same time.

Firstly the disturbed bit, I went to school in a hardship hit area where many kids queued to get free school meals, I managed to avoid it myself as my Dad managed to keep working. The recession hit 80s I thought were long gone, its a lot easier to work now. The breakfast clubs reminded me that the child poverty one associated with my parents day and before despite family credit and new deal schemes designed to alleviate real poverty. It seemed like something one would have expected when there were the dark satanic mills and dank industrial landscapes portrayed in LS Lowry paintings and sketches where working-class people toiled on the edge of existence and children were at risk of catching rickets and got their shoes from a ‘boot club’. I was impressed

by the way Greggs have taken positive steps to help communities deal with this by funding the food and equipment like toasters and having their own staff train volunteers who cater for the breakfast clubs. Breakfasts improve punctuality and help the children concentrate on their morning lessons, since many of them would not have eaten until lunch time. The campaign seems to be a text-book case of corporate and social responsibility activity. Apparently the scheme costs them in the region of 250,000GBP per annum and puts to shame the Big Food companies who have far more resources at their disposal and are in desperate need of far more goodwill.What do you think?


The Rod For Sony’s Own Back

Sony is busy trying to close down the UK and European grey market for Japanese market version Sony PSPs. Grey market devices are an ingrained part of gaming culture, the real hardcore fans want to have the latest and best, in the same way that movie fans will buy region free DVD players to watch the latest US and Asian DVD releases. One could assume that Sony rattling the cages of grey importers was just a way of keeping the PSP buzz going through to the much delayed European launch. However according to gaming fans interviewed in Saturday’s FT its as much as about not getting a substandard gaming experience. Japanese model PSPs are alleged to be able to play games from any region and to have a brighter and clearer LCD screen than those planned for European customers. Instead of a buzz, Sony has managed to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many of the influencers it would look to evangelise the PSP in Europe.What do you think?

Jargon Watch: efluentials

I haven’t seen this sort of feeding frenzy since PR agencies started throwing a wobbly about how to get their fingers into the corporate website design pie with online press rooms and the like.efluentials – a word owned and used by Burson Marsteller to describe bloggers, people who subscribe and contribute to email newsletters, bulletin boards etc. Kudos to grizzily journalist David Tebbutt

Dearly Beloved we have gathered here…..

Jon Marsh, front man of The Beloved has put many of their old demo tracks and unreleased mixes online as MP3 files. There is also a news section that keeps you up to date with what The Beloved are now up to.

Particularly worthwhile is the demo version of Time After Time and the Radio 1 mix of The Sun Rising.

The Sun Rising is probably the closest to perfection that a pop song has ever become…

Jargon Watch: mommy consultant

Mommy consultant – Not an advisor to the idle rich telling them how to look after their children between nannies. Instead it is the name given by some Silicon Valley inhabitants to experienced female PR consultants who have chosen to go freelance and balance PR with having children. Partly a result of market where is a surfeit of people with five plus years experience. Kudos to SiliconValleyWatcher.