Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jeremy read the bloody paper that publishes your column

Many people have opinions on Jeremy Clarkson, and it is undoubted that his ability to divide and create scorn within some sectors of the British populace is at least part of the reason for his success. I love Top Gear and I love Jeremy's tongue in cheek non-PC attitude, but reading his column this week in today's Sunday Times has me somewhat confused.

The target of this week's column titled 'Dial M for a mobile I can actually work' is the mobile phone industry and the complexity of modern mobile phones. I can understand how people could get confused by modern mobiles and the myriad of functions some offer - that is not what confuses me. What confuses me is how the Sunday Times allowed an article to be published that voices Jeremy's dismay that phones are not reviewed in newspapers.

The Sunday Times regularly reviews mobile phones in print in the In Gear Section. Countless other papers review phones as well. Surely sub editors should be reading other newspapers, or even their own newspaper, and realise Jeremy's comments are not accurate and should be edited - shouldn't they?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The power of weak ties

Where I work there is a lot of chatter about Facebook. Some people love it, some people think it wastes time, some see its PR potential and then there are some people that consider the network as the freaky residence of ex-partners and old friends best left well alone.

The justification for the last group's opinion rests on the argument that they already have enough real friends and don't need to make online acquaintances in the online world, or rekindle past relationships that expired due to a very just reason.

This last week with the announcement that Facebook would be opening up its profiles to the all powerful, and in my opinion not so un evil, Google there was again outcry that even more undesirables would be able to remind you that you were the unpopular kid with disagreeable hair at school. I wasn't too concerned with the whole Google search development. I studiously removed my birth date from my profile as directed by Metro, but otherwise I saw it as a positive move that could see me grow my friends network further.

Having been on the book for what is nearing six months my number of friends is 257. I know of people that have more friends, but by general accounts this is a large number and much more than the average 53 that MTV and Microsoft identified as the average in a study of the social networking site. Of course the vast majority of the people on my friend's list I don't see regularly anymore, some I haven't seen since I left school ten years ago. 

The simple motivation behind my procurement was curiosity. Curiosity to see what my old acquaintances were now up to, who was living where, who was married, who had kids, who had become successes and who hadn't.

Now until this weekend I didn't have a reasonable argument as to why my widespread friendship procurement was not right and why I shouldn't be concerned that a large number of people could now see what I was up to and readily get in touch with me. I am happy with myself, am pleased with the life I lead, so why wouldn't I be happy to share a few words via my wall or receive a poke from some people I hadn't seen for ten years or so. But thanks to James Harkin's article in this weekend's FT's weekend magazine, I have learned about Mark Granovetter's theory on The Power of Weak Ties and now have a compelling and academically supported argument to strengthen my acitons.

You see in a nut shell the Theory on The Power of Weak Ties suggests that it is weak ties that open up a world of new opportunities to individuals simply because the people that are our weak ties inhabit different worlds and social circles that are unconnected and foreign to our standard sets of friends and relationships. Makes sense - right?

Anyways, reading Harkin's article got me to thinking. Had it not been for weak ties I would not have been able to secure this video for my client Xbox - thanks David. I would not have drunk stupid amounts of bad gin and not been able to remember Bjork's set at Glastonbury - thanks (I think) Drew. Further, it isn't my strong ties that will potentially grow my salary with spotters fees weak acquaintances with employment - jobs aren't secured yet, so for the sake of existing jobs I will leave names out here :-).

So, thanks Harkin to alerting me to Granovetter's theory. Bring on the next Facebook argument - I have a new point to argue, and it is a powerful one.

Best be off to continue to strengthen, or rather weaken my ties.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Should Joey have done it?

No I am not talking about the taking of the alleged ecstasy pill, but rather the Channel Nine Footy Show Interview. Below you can view it for yourself:


You can view the second part of this interview here.

This was aired to what I expect was the shows highest ratings for the year. The numbers are not out yet, but will be posted on Oztam in the next few days. The Footy Show hasn't been rating in the top 10 shows this year - I bet it did this week and I believe that was what this interview was all about - ratings. Now don't get me wrong there is no doubt this was a relevant and topical issue for The Footy Show, and should have been covered. The question I raise is, was doing the interview the best thing for Joey and his public image?


Phil Gould's handling of the interview was dubious and I can only assume aimed at creating sensation. This it did incredibly effectively as you can see from this front page Daily Telegraph (Australia) story and the comments posted below the YouTube videos.


Gould presented the issue of taking Ecstasy as one that was something so shocking and absurd that it had the potential to take up the user's mind space constantly. What Gould didn't inform his viewers, namely mainstream middle/to lower class Australia, was that Joey was not alone in taking ecstasy and that the issue is relatively widespread amongst young Australian men. The facts according to the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies are that 21% of Australian men aged between 16-24 have tried ecstasy - 15% within the last year. Now I am not suggesting that ecstasy use is a non dangerous activity and is not something that the media should make the public aware of, but to vilify Joey on national television in the manner that The Footy Show did and raise insensitively his issues with mental health and alcohol abuse is not right.


Were I Joey's PR manager I would not have suggested he do this interview, there was never anything to be gained. Before the interview his drug use had never been confirmed. When Wendell Sailor tested positively for drugs he did not have to go through an interview such as this - perhaps because he isn't employed by News Limited and Channel Nine


It goes without saying that both Nine and News Ltd both benefited greatly from an audience point of view from the situation - the same can't be said for Joey's image. I wonder if it will ever recover?


Monday, August 27, 2007

Perez a media magnate?

Is this man more influential than Rupert? Given the number of stories he has broken recently and the space traditional media is dedicating to him he must be getting close right?

I have long been a fan of Perez and his bitchy ways (though he is nothing on Michael K), but recently this man's power and access to celebrity has been going through the roof.

It was Perez who got the interview scoop with Amy Winehouse when she had a bust up with hubby Blake Civil-Fielder - I doubt traditional media probably even thought an interview was possible.

Perez who was one of the first to post news of Lindsay Lohan's car crash , and who her father called direct to offer his thoughts on the issue at hand.

And again it was Perez who Posh felt it most important to meet to address her media image when she first arrived in LA.

Obviously Perez is a light weight when you consider Red Rupert's vast network of political, business and social influence, but as public demand for celeb info that is up to date and current grows at a seemingly insatiable rate; Perez armed with his contact book of sources, celebrities and news hounds combined with his ability to influence traditional media - London Paper for instance reran a Perez Hilton interview on its front page on Friday 24 August - must without doubt be considered one of the hottest media magnates of the moment.

Filling the void

My regular home on net - MGs - has become a little bit of a mixed bag in terms of content. It is also suffering in the post Facebook era from a severe lack of attention. However, with the setting up of this blog I am hereby attempting to resurrect my online presence (chest pressed out all proud like).

I have been thinking about splitting content for this site away form my more personal blog for a while, but it wasn't until listening to a presentation from the clever Jonny Bentwood, where he pointed out that my social media influence was being diminished by lack of relevance, that tipped the scales. Could I be influential if I was more targeted in my communication? Well probably not, but I think it is nice to have a more relevant and focused blog anyways.

So here it is, a blog dedicated to my rants about media, marketing and PR.

I doubt there will anything too ground breaking or revolutionary here, but it will be nice to reinstate my blogging presence - especially if the chat on the web from the likes of Hugh MacLeod that traditional blogging is on the wane is true. Could this blog be landing in a gaping void?

Doubt it...