Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ofcom Gives Product Placement The Nod…But At What Cost?!

So the latest excitement today comes from media watchdog Ofcom who have just announced their approval for product placement in British TV programmes.

The move has been welcomed by commercial radio, which says it will otherwise be at a disadvantage when product placement starts on TV.

But what do others think?

Whilst many brands out there may initially jump for joy at the prospect of placing our products on TV in an editorial format, have we thought about what impact this will have on PR?
Will this new phenomenon put an end to any ‘free’ product placement that we PRs may have worked so hard to achieve previously?

And furthermore, if the popularity of magazines is reportedly dropping with the ever increasing rise of information being made available via the internet, will consumers now be looking to their favourite TV programme to see what products are hot or will they still rely on the editorial credibility of leading consumer publications?

Let us know your thoughts…

Photo credit: marahcreative.com

Friday, 25 June 2010

Is email going out of office?

So here is an interesting theory for you… Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, sparked a raft of digital discussion with her bold statement that email "is probably going away."

The argument is this – social networking sight and SMS services will overtake email, with only 11% of teens using email and preferring this more interactive way of communicating, and with these teens soon to be entering the business world, will the relied upon email die a death?

Sandberg is not alone in her theory either plenty of bloggers, digital experts and theorist all claim the demise of email is nigh.

Now I for one am a huge fan of both social networks and SMS services and use them both personally and at work, there is nothing quite like that instant response and interactivity. However, would I ever find myself in a place where it replaced my use of email? I honestly don’t believe so, not in the business world anyway. The security of having that email trail, of being able to copy in relevant individuals and forward it on is a priceless commodity and one I don’t think we can do without in business.

So what are your thoughts - is email really finished?

Photo credit: curtisrogers.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Lets all go crazy…two days till the #iPhone4

The much hyped iPhone 4 launch is this Thursday. This has been a subject that gadget lovers across the globe have been talking about since its ‘accidental’ leak in April. As always, Apple has done an amazing job of building hype around its new hero product and giving it the must-have status that so many of its competitors fail to achieve, but who else tags onto this hype and how effective is Apple’s marketing strategy for the companies it works with?

Last week Apple started the ball rolling by offering pre-orders through its website and if you weren’t one of the lucky 600,000 people that got your hands on one, you will have to wait until the 24th June. The UK carriers came under much scrutiny after Apple offered the pre-orders and they were unable to do the same for their customers. However, they didn’t do themselves any favours by not disclosing price plans and handset prices to help customers make an informed decision.

In comparison to the iPhone 3G launch, where O2 was announced as the sole UK carrier, this time Apple have opened the flood gates to get all the major players involved. This has meant that everyone has been waiting for the price war to commence and with consumers always looking for the best deal, loyalty has gone out the window. But with tariffs that are so similar, consumers are now trying to play the operators off on each other. The ball has moved back to the operators, leaving a lot of eager customers watching for the next move only two days before launch, with some even suspected of trying to put off longer term customers.

Looking at Twitter, the Vodafone and O2 profiles are being inundated with hundreds of questions a day and customers are feeling it is a bit of a PR nightmare as they are not getting immediate responses or no response at all. By not responding, the carriers are opening themselves up to a lot more negative backlash and angry customers. While Apple can get away with the silent treatment and leaving its customers guessing, it’s another story for the networks which are unfortunately not doing such a good job. It makes you wonder if it would have been better for the carriers to monitor the situation and respond through selected broadcast tweets, therefore keeping customers all up to date in one swoop.

What are your thoughts on the situation- PR disaster or cleverly constructed plan?

Photo credit: Apple.com