I mean’t to publish this a while ago but a lack of time got the better of me. Lucre’s social media team were supporting Bosch UK in their positioning of Bosch is all around us.
It got me thinking about what Bosch meant to me. Primarily the brand was about three things:
- Power tools – I used Bosch power tools to prepare my O’level project in Craft, Design and Technology. My Dad worked in a plant hire company and so I could get hold of a power sander and a power router which made the whole process much easier
- Electrical car parts – in particular the iconic brown distributor cap that sat under the bonnet of my first car and doled out electricity to the spark plugs
- Kitchen appliances – my 40 something fridge which finally got thrown out when I moved out of my house in London. It still worked and had served as a store for cold drinks in my garage when I listened to records during the summer. My parents had bought it after they moved into their first house and it got relegated to their garage when they bought a fridge freezer in the mid-1980s. They are now three fridge freezers on whilst I was still using the Bosch fridge. It is probably sitting on a landfill in the south of England punching a hole in the ozone layer with its vintage CFCs
While Bosch may have been all around me, it stayed around me because the products were generally very well made. Something that many of it’s competitors can’t truthfully claim
Going through my feeds a Mirror Online story caught my eye, about how Frosties cereal had declined by 18.3 per cent, which the article attributes to a TV advertising ban rolled out in 2007 targeting unhealthy foods. Depending on your viewpoint, this maybe a proofpoint that regulation can bring about positive behavioural change in citizens or an example of how regulation can adversely affect the most well-run of businesses. What it said to me was that advertising works and Kellogg’s could put an economic value on its contribution. The next question that sprung to mind is can Kellogg’s marketers use PR tactics and techniques to fill the void left by advertising? I will let other people argue the case for and against whether PR should be allowed to step into the economic breach for products like Frosties.
Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week
My colleagues in Latin America have pulled together an interesting set of slides online that examines the performance of the regions largest businesses on social media.
The case studies on audience interaction and localisation of social media offerings to suit different countries mores (despite the temptation not to due to the common language) is particularly interesting.
Great video by GroupM about developments in social, mobile and location (SoMoLo) services focused on China – where the rubber hits the road on the web-of-no-web. Kudos for to my colleague Sam for sharing this with me.
Elsevier In Advanced Talks To Buy Mendeley For Around $100M To Beef Up In Social, Open Education Data | TechCrunch
Trend Spotting Moves to a Third Dimension: Crossing the Cultural Divide « A Smarter Planet Blog – IBM Analytics thinks that steampunk will be a hot fashion trend
Google to build £1bn UK headquarters at London’s King’s Cross | guardian.co.uk – interesting move that may take some of the shine from the Central St Giles development
Unilever’s Jon Goldstone: A great brand can’t stand for ‘cheap’ – Marketing news – Marketing magazine – interesting move away from data driven marketing
Surface with Windows RT: The prettiest thing you’ll never want to touch again | Reuters – one of the most brutal reviews that I have read
Insight: How cleantech tarnished Kleiner and VC star John Doerr | Reuters – it is worth remembering that Doerr also made crazy bets on Netscape, it may have been the wrong thing to do from a finance point-of-view but the direction was right. Robert X. Cringely described technology as being like surfing, hitting and riding a wave at the right time and knowing when to get off
Errata Security: I conceal my identity the same way Aaron was indicted for – interesting how technological use clashes with the law
CES: Worse Products Through Software – if you only read one article about CES read this
No longer factory of the world, China is now its banker – Quartz – interesting data about China doing outbound foreign direct investment
Ahead of Graph Search launch, Facebook removed the ability to opt out of search results – Quartz – you know that this is going to end badly for at least some people
Why The WSJ Got The ‘iPhone Demand Is Crashing’ Story All Wrong – Forbes – the WSJ has been going for much more speculation journalism to compete on reporting with the likes of TechCrunch, I guess you could call it a blogification of the fourth estate
Hong Kong’s fading love affair with its property barons signals Beijing’s growing clout – Quartz – or maybe like most economies the mix needs to be tweaked
Richard Edelman produced a very thoughtful post on the relationship between paid media and the practice of public relations. I recommend that you have a read of his post and have provided a link at the bottom.
I personally thought that it was the wrong question for a number of reasons, in no particular order:
- Public relations in its definition and history did not preclude the use of paid media. If you look at the definitions of public relations they talk about influence, relationships with different audiences, dialogue but not whether it includes paid for, earned, shared or owned media
- Paid-for media has long been in the PR practitioner’s tool box. Back when I was in-house I used advertorials as a way of securing coverage in general consumer publications. I am sure that I was not the only client to do this as the advertising sales people that I engaged with seemed to well versed in PR. Editorial competitions; long a staple of PR campaigns put prizes instead of cash to be handed over, but still a payment occurs. When one thinks about online platforms, be they YouTube, Facebook or Weibo – a similar blended approach now makes more sense
- Understanding all aspects of the media mix; gives PR a bigger tool box to use when building trust and reputation
- PR when used in marketing works best as part of an integrated marketing campaign. Where that marketing campaign comes from depends on who is paying and who is most trusted to deliver it
- The structure of services like Facebook makes owned and earned media ineffective without some sort of advertising spend being used, for instance sponsored stories
- The value of editorial is a canon of faith. There is academic research to say that editorial is more credible than advertising, but it depends on a number of contextual factors. The failure of AVE is that it doesn’t effectively prove the return on investment of public relations and no one has done the econometric heavy lifting and published the research about it yet
- The value of public relations – Ironically, it is most likely to be media buying or advertising agencies who are in the best position to join the dots because of the costs involved in doing the necessary research
Paid Media — A Change of Heart – Edelman
I revisited the Guinness adverts that ran in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s featuring Rutger Hauer. Revisiting these adverts emphasised to me that, contrary to what PRs may believe they are not the only people who are great at creating content and story-telling. (If we’re honest about it advertisers having been producing great stories since Procter & Gamble staged the first radio soap operas in the US during the early 20th century).
The adverts have a logical progression and get to put over the product benefits of Guinness, and respond to the critics at the time who thought that it was pretentious rubbish. One has to remember, prior to these adverts, Guinness was an old man’s drink.
Finally, if you had asked anyone back then what kind of job Hauer’s character’s dress would have worked in, you would have heard creative director or an architect mentioned. So in essence you have the creative speaking directly to the target audience, bonding with them by alienating other audiences and having a dialogue as part of an ‘exclusive club’ who got it.
I first heard of the phrase house poor from a Korean friend who described it as when people spend half or more of their income on housing. A quick Google search showed that it was widespread phenomenon with a Forbes article describing half of American households as house poor.
House Poor But Keeping Up With The Joneses – Forbes Online