Monthly Archives: February 2009

Customer service and brand reputation. Ah-haa!

for not blogging over the last couple of weeks, but we’ve got builders tearing my house apart – and finding a temporary
home for the family has been taking up a lot of time (outside of work
of course)!

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Business Speak – What’s Your Most Detested Phrase?

While I was on hols the IAB published survey findings into which was the most unpopular bit of boardroom jargon.

By far the most irritating was found to be “blue sky thinking”!

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Trend for strong to grow stronger is set to continue

The release of The Nielsen Company’s annual agency billings table is always an eagerly awaited event in media-land – and this year is no exception.

The data is not 100% foolproof, especially for digital spend, but it does provide a bellwether for how each of the media agencies and their networks did in the previous year’s trading.

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How’s Your Brand Reputation Doing?

Gotta be careful here as I’m taking Kevin May’s word for the verification of the commenter being from Ryanair. BUT if it IS someone from the company, this is a really good example of how NOT to comment on a blog post or on a forum on behalf of your company/brand.

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Which magazine publishers will dare to be brave?

It was somehow appropriate that I found myself interviewing Guardian News & Media managing director Tim Brooks and ShortList Media chief executive Mike Soutar as the latest magazine ABC figures were released. But at Publishing Expo last week, the former Emap and IPC executives displayed distinctly different attitudes to the future of print media.
Brooks reiterated his view espoused in Media Week recently that he couldn’t see himself launching any more print products. Soutar, on the other hand, still sees print as an opportunity. Soutar’s views merit respect, but fly in the face of popular opinion. From his early days editing Smash Hits to the editorship of FHM and becoming editor-in-chief of Maxim USA, he gained the experience that stood him in good stead as editorial director of IPC, where he led the development of Nuts, Pick Me Up, TV Easy and, two years ago, women’s weekly Look. A year ago, he took a step into the unknown by launching ShortList, the ad-funded free magazine that has defied sceptics and now distributes more than 500,000 copies in 11 cities across the UK.
ShortList, Sport and Look are the only significant consumer magazine launches of recent years. Condé Nast is keeping the flag flying in the coming months with its biannual Love offering and a UK edition of Wired – but these could hardly be described as being in the mainstream. The rest of the magazine industry has pulled in its horns.
As Soutar pointed out at Olympia, the days of nurturing a launch carefully and gradually impinging it on the public’s consciousness, as Emap did with Heat and Bauer had a habit of doing in the past, are gone. For a launch to be successful now, a title has to make an immediate impact from day one. Otherwise, like Chelsea football managers, they quickly find themselves on the scrapheap.
Soutar recalled the first issue of ShortList as the lowest point of his career, as bundles of copies of his beloved new magazine reappeared at the depot after the first day of distribution. The target audience just wasn’t familiar enough with the concept of a free magazine. But Soutar persevered and has seemingly established the title as an attractive proposition for advertisers. How many other publishers will have the courage to make the same leap into uncertainty over the next 12 months?

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Data’s Dull Unless You Tell a Compelling Story!

I hope you’re reading Mark Howe’s blog on Media Week!

It’s great that Google have allowed someone so senior and, dare I say, so colourful to jot down their thoughts on online marketing.

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Search: The Snow Day Barometer

During “Snow Day” as I was building a terrific snowman with my kids (if I say so myself), I got thinking about the behaviour of all those like me that were stranded for the day (and just how good my snowman was – see right). It also got me thinking about the great opportunities that were afforded to me and the kids by the Internet: to continue communicating and engaging with work, friends and brands alike from the comfort of home.

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When it comes to football, Sky is in a league of its own

Last week’s fiasco during ITV’s FA Cup football coverage was another reminder of how far ahead Sky is when it comes to covering our national game.

Viewers missed Everton’s winning goal in a high-profile tie against Liverpool because ITV inexplicably shelled out to an ad break two minutes before the end of extra time. When pictures returned, Everton fans were celebrating the winner. It was not ITV Sport’s finest hour.

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Jones departure will leave a big void at Carat

One of the most telling bits of this week’s profile of Carat’s outgoing managing director, Neil Jones, is his description of a typical working week.

Jones, who is leaving the Aegis agency to take up a commercial strategy director role at News International, is hard at it by 7.15am each day and doesn’t leave until 7.45pm. It’s typical of his no-bullshit approach and underlines the dedication needed to get to the top in media. There are those who say if you cut Jones he would bleed Carat, so it was a big decision to sever the umbilical cord and decamp to Wapping. After 18 years at Carat, Jones probably felt the next move would be pivotal and couldn’t see an upward path.

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