Letter from Ledbury: the sharing economy is a work in progress
#CommsSchool, #FuturePRoof podcast, Twistival remembered, PR for Humans, Companies House transparency tool and an essay about the internet.
Sarah and I are in Ledbury this weekend for a wedding. It’s a beautiful part of the country close to the border between England and Wales. We’ve been putting the sharing economy through its paces with mixed results. A cottage rented via Airbnb on a local farm was a huge success but less so the Drivey car rental.
Drivey is a car sharing platform that works on the same basis as Airbnb. People advertise their cars on the platform when they’re not using them. It’s backed by the AA and Allianz.
Sarah confirmed pickup midweek only to discover the individual whose car we’d agreed to borrow was going to be the other side of London rather than a short walk from the houseboat. Communities are reliant on everyone working to the same rules in order to thrive. We cancelled the rental and used Expedia to hire a car from Waterloo Station instead.
🚌 #CommsSchool tackles practical comms skills
Marcel Klebba and I are creating a virtual school to share our expertise in communications. It’s intended to bridge the gap between college and university, and work. Over six sessions we’ll help you create content, build a network and get ahead. Classes will be a mix of webinars and online discussions. Lessons start on 5 March. I hope you’ll join us.
📻 #FuturePRoof podcast: Socially Mobile
In the latest #FuturePRoof podcast Sarah and I ask whether the Netflix Fyre Festival documentary is a PR disaster. Spoiler, it isn’t, it’s just bad business. We explore the Edelman Trust Barometer and find good news for employee advocacy. Professional blogging is changing as people find new ways to create content and build networks. Finally, Sarah’s launching a charity to tackle social mobility through educational grants.
📈 Companies House transparency tool
A beta search service on the Companies House register enables you to check filings for the 3.5 million companies in the UK. It’s a useful transparency tool for checking directorships, ownership, statutory filings and accounts. Other useful features include a company name availability checker.
🤡 How it works: Mansplaining
I’ve never really understood mansplaining until Sarah announced the Socially Mobile Foundation this week. She’s had a bunch of emails and tweets, all from men, telling her social mobility isn’t an issue, it’s the wrong issue and how she should be tackling it. There have also been lots of offers of support. If you’re a man or woman that wants to help tackle social mobility give Sarah a shout.
🐦 Twestival remembered
Twitter used to be a gentler and less polarised platform. Last week was the tenth anniversary of Twestival, the series of local meetups spearheaded by Amanda Rose that took place around the world raising $250,000 for Water Aid. The platform has changed dramatically in a decade and is now more likely to be used as a tool by activists than a community space for fundraising.
👱♀️ New podcast: PR for Humans
PR for Humans is a podcast that you might want to check out by journalist turned public relations advisor Mike Sergeant. He’s written a book with the same name out in April that explores how business leaders use story telling. Recent shows include conversations with Tony Langham, Farzana Baduel, and Annastiina Hintsa.
📱 Your audience with the public
I’ve written an essay about the impact of the internet on corporate communication, marketing and public relations over the past 20 years. It’s inspired by re-reading The Cluetrain Manifesto published in 1999. It predicted the challenge that organisations would face in adapting their communication for the internet. We’ve come so far and yet so little.