Benlowndes

a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

Tag Archives: blogging

Media say old habits remain with ‘new’ PR

It’s beyond doubt that PR has changed massively, and continues to do so, thanks to the opportunities created by digital communications and the diversification of traditional media.

CIPR president-elect Stephen Waddington asked a room full of comms people at the South West Communicators’ Conference in Bristol recently how many had bought a newspaper that morning, and only one confirmed that they had. It’s possible that some people in the room were too busy on their tablets or smart phones to realise he was asking them a question. But he had made the key point; that the media is changing rapidly and communicators must respond to this. Many operators in the South West are rising to this challenge with some great work, as Bristol agency Spirit demonstrated with its support for the Gromit Unleashed campaign in the city.

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Links I like 13.06.25

Insights into site search – Government Digital Service
The digital team at the Cabinet Office blogs every day about its work to bring the websites of all Government departments and their sponsor bodies under the single Gov.uk banner. It’s a huge and impressive undertaking which has seen tens of thousands of documents uploaded in recent months, including a few that relate to my work. This post talks about getting the search function right by striking the balance between those who are familiar with the former Government sites and those who have no connection with them and need to access services or information without having to dig for it. The analysis of the ‘long tail’ created by the thousands of search terms outlines the task ahead of them.

Links I like 13.06.03

“Don’t be a dick” – the golden rule of news website comment threads – currybetdotnet
I’ve been researching the many different types of social media guidelines out there recently and have found they vary in length, tone and the extent to which colleagues are encouraged to get involved (‘do’ or ‘don’t’). A lot of what’s said however can be boiled down to Martin Bellam’s ‘golden rule’ which I came across today. I won’t be using this in any professional guidelines, but the sentiment is bang on and worth sharing here.

‘Forgive me, for I have sinned’ – A Shiny World
Civil servant Louise Kidney blogs about using social media without compromising her neutrality. As she points out, it’s a balancing act we manage without concern in just about every other part of our professional lives – but one which raises questions when social media is involved.

Links I like 12.06.26

What a wonderful world (of local government blogs and blogging) – We Love Local Government
This feels like a shameless plug, but what’s a blog for if you can’t self-promote? I was delighted to be mentioned yesterday in We Love Local Government’s excellent round-up of blogs they deemed to be of interest to the sector. The good folk at WLLG were clearly aware of my lack of posts during Euro 2012 when stating that the blog was worth a peek ‘every now and again’. It’s good to be noticed though. The other blogs are well worth a read by the way. 

 

 

Local government defends Taxpayers’ Alliance (honestly)

This in an unexpected post on the We Love Local Government blog which is worth sharing; someone from the sector speaking out in favour of one of its sternest critics. The points made, around the need for openness, transparency and explaining clearly the reasons why the public sector funds particular services, are well put. If taken up, some of the points made by the Taxpayers’ Alliance could be rebutted more effectively.

I’ll be interested to see the debate which follows.

Links I like 12.04.04

Local elections 2012: predicting the 50 councils to watch – LGiU blog
The Local Government Information Unit charts the more hotly contested local councils elections this year, which have yet to turn the heads of many people if my (very basic) tests of public opinion represent a wider view. It identifies a number of councils in the area I cover, including Southampton, Portsmouth, Swindon and Reading (where I have reported on elections in the past) amongst its ‘top 50’. Informative and useful. Lewis Baston makes interesting points in his post too.

Councils warned about politically sensitive posts during purdah – PR Week
It wouldn’t be election time without a warning in PR Week about purdah, with the latest edition containing an article about the use of digital and social media in the run up to polling day. In the piece, Alex Aitken makes the point that I’d like to hear more of: “The business of the council continues and reassuring people that we’re fixing potholes and looking after the vulnerable should continue to be communicated.”

So many budget bloggers, so little reading time

Here are some of the budget-related blogs I have read this week. None are intended to reflect my viewpoint, but all are relevant to my area of work in some way. I have always enjoyed the run up and reaction to budget day: miles of newsprint and days of airtime are devoted to the subject, with very different results. Sometimes the same expert can convey different messages between one media outlet and another. Blogging, Twitter and round-the-clock instant reaction can crate the sense of a country transfixed by the budget, although I am not sure that the noise it creates is necessarily a measure of interest.

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Links I like 12.02.25

The most overused jargon in press release headlines – PR Daily
This post links to Schwartz MSL’s study into the use of keywords in American press release headlines, which can increase the prominence of PR content on internet search engines. It cites some examples of jargon which will be familiar to Brits, with ‘solution’ listed  as the most frequent offender.

Top 10 words that need to die, immediately – Lit reactor
Need I say more?

 

Trouble for Times: hacking gives Harding a headache

There were some highly uncomfortable moments at The Leveson Inquiry today for The Times editor James Harding, who apologised after one of his reporters was found to have hacked into an email account to unmask anonymous police blogger DC Richard Horton (aka Nightjack).

Harding told the inquiry he ‘sorely regrets’ not disclosing the actions of his former media correspondent Patrick Foster at a High Court hearing into a privacy injunction brought by Horton against the paper. The hearing found in favour of The Times.

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Housing hits the headlines

The publication of the housing strategy has led to some interesting headlines over the weekend, which I thought I’d share below. Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues around housing in this country, it’s interesting to see how different media treat the same information. 

The Guardian played it straight on Friday with a piece setting out plans to use brownfield sites to deliver 450,000 new homes. It also highlighted a Government-backed mortgage scheme which would help first time buyers struggling to access finance get on the housing ladder.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, yesterday wrote of plans to double the right to buy discount offered to council house tenants, to up to 50% of the value of their home, with receipts being used to build replacements. 

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