Letter from Newcastle: There’s a tool for that but be wary of free stuff

Letter from Newcastle: There’s a tool for that but be wary of free stuff

Marketing in markets without media, tool databases, Google graveyard, reframing Brexit, internal meets external comms, #CommsSchool makes blogging a habit, and the March #FuturePRoof podcast.

Jonathan Hill hit reply when he received my letter a couple of weeks ago. It’s how we ended up catching up for a coffee in Newcastle this week. He’s a journalist turned PR practitioner who has worked all over the world. He’s also an inspiring storyteller and author.

Jonathan’s book Marketing in the Dark explores how organisations communicate in markets where infrastructure is poor and literacy rates are low. Rates of internet and mobile adoption may be accelerating but 40% of the world is still not connected to the internet according to We Are Social’s Global Digital 2019 Report.

Unilever’s response is an initiative called Project Shakti that has created 80,000 micro influencers as advocates for its products in India.

Jonathan cites Project Shakti as his inspiration for a charity he’s founded called The Road to Parity. Its goal is to help fund individuals in developing markets to set up their own businesses.

I thoroughly recommend that you seek out Jonathan and his work.

🔨 There’s a tool for that

The market for technology in marketing and public relations is exploding. There’s seemingly a tool for every aspect of our work. Capterra is a useful resource that lists software, research and reviews across a variety of categories such as marketing automation, influencer marketing and PR. #PRstack is a crowdsourced project that I ran for a couple of years that focused solely on PR tools. It includes a database of tools and how to articles. The CIPR #AIinPR panel is working on a project to do the same for AI tools for marketing and PR.

👻 Google graveyard

I still haven’t forgiven Google for killing its RSS reader Google Reader in 2013. Google+ will close to consumers on 2 April. Killed by Google is a website that does what it says in the URL. It’s an open source list of 150 apps, products and services that Google has killed. It lists products such as Google Glass, Google URL Shortener, Picasa and Orkut. It’s another reminder not to rely on free products and services for business-critical activities.

🇪🇺 Navigating UK beyond Brexit

I’m a long-time fan of Julian Stodd’s work including The Social Leadership Handbook and Social Leadership: My First 100 Days. He works out loud on his blog exploring the impact of connectivity and social technologies on organisations and society. A recent article tackles the fractures in the UK exposed by Brexit. Julian suggests that we need to find a common space to agree and understand our differences. We need fewer partisan lines and more collaboration to come to terms with our differences. It will almost certainly require a new type of politician to provide leadership to help the UK thrive. It’s among the clearest thinking I’ve read on the political crisis that the UK currently finds itself in.

📻 Internal meets external comms: Zurich Insurance

In the past 10 years organisations have slowly shifted from trying to lock down employee social media activity to promoting policies and procedures that actively promote its use. Shutting down social media access is futile when everyone in the modern workforce has a mobile phone. It also misses the point. Employees have the potential to be the most powerful advocates for an organisation. Keith Lewis shared the story of this shift from social media lock down to employee advocacy at Zurich Insurance with Paul Sutton for the Digital Download podcast. It’s a recommended listen.

🚌 #CommsSchool on how to build a blog and make blogging a habit

In the second Comms School session this week Marcel Klebba and I explored third party and owned blogs, how to build a blog and post content and how to make blogging a habit. It’s been great to see students inspired by the sessions start to post their own content. Jessica Pardoe has written about her blogging habits and India Minton-Barker has turned her writing schedule into an infographic. The next Comms School session at 630pm BST on 2 April will cover how to build a personal brand online. You’d be welcome to join us. More than 500 people have so far.

🎤 #FuturePRoof podcast: LinkedIn porn, don’t do it kids

In a packed edition that is the March #FuturePRoof podcast Sarah Hall and I discuss: LinkedIn blog porn, Tim Berners-Lee and the Internet at 30; the House of Lords Select Committee report on Internet regulation; Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s blast at tech platforms in Presidential bid; Facebook and Instagram outage; the Organ Donation 'opt out' bill; Red Nose Day backlash; International Women’s Day washing; #CommsSchool on how to blog; and environmental activist Greta Thunberg. That’s got to be worth 20 minutes of your time, surely?

More than five million people have signed a Parliamentary petition calling on the Government to Revoke Article 50, the legal document that triggered the UK’s exit from the UK. Make sure you add your name if you haven’t already.

Have a great week. I intend to.


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