Archive | March, 2007

Skoda, nepotism, and cheese

From the hurly-burly of the media come three noteworthy stories. Firstly, Skoda, purveyor of one-time jokes on four wheels. “What do you call a skip with a roof?” “A Skoda”. Over the past ten years they’ve made a remarkable three-point turn, becoming the badge of choice for cunning consumers who know they’re essentially getting a VW but […]

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Given the payback of publicity, crime pays

“The confession comes as Ramsay opens his first pub.” It may seem strange to start a blog post with a quote from midway through a paper media piece, but this is the insightful sentence in The Guardian’s exclusive revelation that Gordon Ramsay stole the reservation book of Aubergine, the restaurant run by his one-time mentor and […]

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Feed me, feed you – how to set up your own news syndication service

I’ve made frequent mention on this blog of ‘my feeds’. By this, I’m referring to the four RSS features in the right-hand column on this page – imaginatively and wittily entitled ‘The PR Pros Proclaim’, ‘The Journalists Retort’, ‘The Writers Mumble’ (for that is what they do) and ‘The Geeks Speak’. Now, I don’t actually manually […]

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Turn on, tune in, stay tuned in

My copywriting feed (feel free to subscribe) carries a piece from Thomas Beller on the joy of earplugs. He loves the removed feeling of walking down a street and sort of being able to hear things, and sort of not. I liken it to the feeling of detachment I sensed when walking down the street listening […]

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Word count compression tricks – and a challenge

Three things that kept cropping up in a proofing session today: Various.“We need to write various reports.” Aargh! Get rid of it! You don’t need ‘various’ at all. Give it a rest. You need to write some reports, many reports, or just ‘reports’. In order to.“In order to produce babies we need to stick our […]

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Sorry seems to be the easiest post

Everyone seems eager to say they’re sorry – JetBlue and Freddie Flintoff for example – but CEOs hate to blog. So does that mean Justin Steinman, director of marketing for Linux and Open Platform Solutions at Novell, feels kind of ok about apologising in a blog? Maybe the pain of admitting on a blog that you got something […]

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Let slip the blogs of war

Last night I heard a piece on Radio 4 by Paul Wood, a journalist of the BBC, covering the phenomenon of blogs posted by allied combatants in Iraq. These aren’t the filtered, considered views of embedded journalists nor are they the thoughts of military strategists. They’re the raw recollections of soldiers often minutes after action which, […]

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Second Life is now sight and sound

It hits my feeds today that at NMC Campus they’re introducing Skype to Second Life. Apparently it sounds like a lot of people saying “Can you hear me now?” but it could be as prescient as Bell’s “Mr. Watson, come here” message. I remember, over ten years ago, setting up my first Quake server with […]

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When core skills go bad

Simon Wakeman makes the very valid point that writing should be a core competency for any PR practitioner. And, for this reason, he’s taken up blogging. Hurrah. It’s an excellent way to learn how to write impactful, direct, relevant, compelling copy, plus you start to learn about what goes on in bloggers’ minds. Not much, generally, but […]

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