On Pam Edstrom

PR Week and The Holmes Report carried an obituary for Pam Edstrom who passed away last night. I worked at her agency for a few years and came across her a few times.

Pam had an intensity and an energy to her. She was also a true believer; you could break her open like a stick of rock and there would be the Windows squares running through her. She had a tremendous belief in the ability of IT to deliver tremendous things. If you’ve read this blog you’d realise that I’m not a true believer in the same way that Pam was; we were on opposite sides of the Windows | Mac (and Unix) religious divide.

She had an absolute focus on controlling the message and organisational process (optimised for alignment to Microsoft) and championed ‘gold standard’ delivery. Over time Microsoft came to represent more than half the agency billings.

When I worked at the agency I also was assigned to keeping the company name in the usual industry debates. I found it handy to do as it kept my PR skills warm as I did the nascent digital work at the time. I managed to keep a constant drip feed of coverage in the industry media.

At the last minute I was asked to arrange a profile. Clare O’Connor who worked at PR Week at the time agreed to write a profile – Pam Edstrom, the doyenne of tech PR.  Give it a read as it captures Pam quite well.

The article was taking ages to come out as it was ‘evergreen’ appearing some six months after the interview had taken place.

The article threw a bit of a curveball when a longtime journalist contact was asked about Pam and referred to her daughter Jennifer’s book Barbarians led by Bill Gates. I never did  hear if Pam got to thank the New York Times’ Steve Lohr for that one.

 

Links of the day | 在网上找到

South Korea Finds Qualcomm Prevented Samsung From Selling Its Exynos Processors – Slashdot – smoking gun…

Lawyers and Academics Warn UK Against Criminalizing File-Sharers | Torrent Freak – interesting work by media lobbyists, it will go south when it starts catching casual middle class criminals

Apple invents a Unique Air-Tight Protective Case for Future iPhones with a Smart Communications Component – Why does the notification have to be digital (thinking Sony’s Sport Walkman and Discman designs were secure closure was self evident)

German Intelligence Chief Bruno Kahl Interview – SPIEGEL ONLINE – really interesting interview

De Grisogono Offers You a ‘Botler’ | New York Times – interesting Facebook Messenger usage

Mobile data became China Mobile’s biggest revenue driver in 2016 | total telecom – margins on data razor thin by comparison though, WeChat turning China Mobile into a dumb pipe

Why advertisers are pulling spend from YouTube – Business Insider – interesting mix of motivations

What’s Gucci? | The Outline – stunned by this social strategy and not in a good way

IBM, Remote-Work Pioneer, is Calling Thousands Of Employees Back To the Office | Slashdot – damning indictment of teleworking and the power of technology

Eeben Barlow’s Military and Security Blog: OVERCOMING THE CRISIS IN COMMAND – interesting essay on how the analogue between business management and military command is causing problems in the military

Apple announces a new, cheaper iPad in hopes of stopping sales slump – ExtremeTech – interesting that they are prepared to make a thicker product

What Marketers Should Expect from Search in the Future – Think with Google  – reading this makes me think that Jeff Weiner’s direction at Yahoo! Search was right; just the way to achieve it should have relied more on machine learning

Here Is a Tweet Venture Capitalist Benedict Evans Just Deleted [Updated] | Gizmodo – EPIC

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

This week I spent a good deal of time listening to the Flying Mojito Brothers

We past 25 years since the launch of Jump Around by the House of Pain and Everlast returned with his first hip hop project in years War Porn Industries. Here’s the mixtape put together

A great mix for St Patrick’s day without the cheese from Club Céilí

Magnetic magazine put together a collection of some very Belearic feeling tracks. The kind of collection that the likes of Test Pressing would have been proud of

This week has seen all eyes of watch fans turn towards Basel for Baselworld and Omega put together this great teaser in advance of their launches at the show

#Baselworld2017 Correction… we have three new watches.

A post shared by OMEGA (@omega) on

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The economic rationale for public R&I funding and its impact – Research policy and organisation – EU Bookshop – good reading material showing the importance of government R&D spurring private enterprise innovation

SoftBank Drops $100 Million Investment in iPhone Rival – WSJ – stops investment in Andy Rubin’s next thing (paywall)

QR code scams rise in China, putting e-payment security in spotlight | South China Morning Post– interesting attack vector

Escape to another world | 1843 – changing gender roles, changing expectations of what they can achieve and escapism

China has overtaken Japan in South Koreans’ worst countries list, new survey claims | South China Morning Post – big longer term issue for the Chinese, probably bigger than they realise at the moment

Alienation 101 | 1843 – Chinese student experience in the US

Beijing public bathrooms equipped with face scanners in a bid to save toilet paper-Sino-US – there is something wrong about the economics of this, unless the average Chinese person is the pink panther of toilet paper?

Handsets at MWC: Same But Different | EE Times – from the perspective of electronics engineers

Nike Sees Online Search Spike from China’s Consumer Rights Day | The Daily | L2 – oh Consumer Rights day – that festival of bashing the west….

Hong Kong jewellers poised for joy as Chinese big spenders return | South China Morning Post – I guess its also about creating portable wealth as capital restrictions continue and change

As Uber Woos More Drivers, Taxis Hit Back – NYTimes.com – when will Uber’s cheap capital and toxic culture run out of road and become this decade’s pets.com

A Small Table Maker Takes On Alibaba’s Flood of Fakes – NYTimes.com – Alibaba’s PR pain

Demis Hassabis plays to DeepMind’s strengths by using artificial intelligence for social impact – interesting read. One pout stood out though wasn’t Google X and Google Research supposed to be the kind of medium / long term research DeepMind claims to be. Secondly, there is no ‘general purpose’ AI in DeepMind’s current vision or structure

Facebook Goes Full “Black Mirror”: How Facebook Is Making Membership a Prerequisite to Everyday… – In some ways this is worse than Microsoft Passport; that the IT industry and privacy wonks fought off in the early noughties

Generation X More Addicted to Social Media Than Millennials, Report Finds – NYTimes.com – fire the millennials in your social team

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones? – NYTimes.com – drugs replaced by digital alternatives?

Aral Balkan — We didn’t lose control – it was stolen – interesting framing of the modern day online media industry

Jump Around – 25 years later

It’s hard to believe that the House of Pain’s Jump Around turned 25 last week. The iconic intro from ‘Harlem Shuffle’ used to be a call to the dance floor when I used to play it on Wednesday night sets at a late closing wine bar in the North West of England.

The video fired my love of American workwear, previously I’d only really seen this worn on African-American  artists. I loved the form follows function, timeless style and burly nature of the garments. I hunted down supplies of Carhartt and Dickies in Leeds and Covent Garden – it’s kept me warm and dry ever since.

More importantly it was emblematic of an Irish blue collar swagger that the UK Irish community just didn’t have. The closest thing we had was the shambolic Pogues or wit of Dave Allen which he welded like a katana in the hands of a samurai. We were much more heads down as the troubles in Northern Ireland and sectarianism impacted our lives.

This was a spectacularly mean-spirited time; where the government used the police to beat the miner’s strike into submission and wilfully demolished the weak industrial base to build the financial services sector. Acid house and rave were created partly because the youth wanted to escape through hedonism.

The post Good Friday Irish experience of Irish emigrants just a few years later was rather different. Britain was on its way to Cool Britannia liberalism – when being in an Irish pub, no longer meant keeping an eye out for Special Branch agent provocateurs or well-known grasses.