News is bad for you?
“News is toxic to your body” – according to Swiss writer Rolf Dobelli in a recent article published by the Guardian.
As communikate et al’s Media Monitor, I’ll admit this statement came as a bit of a shock to me considering reading the news is a big part of my daily work. So, does that mean that I’m constantly harming my body?
Reading on, Rolf Dobelli had even worse news for me. He suggested that by consuming news I regularly put my body in a state of chronic stress, which could lead to impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, and bone), nervousness, and an increased susceptibility to infection.
Well, this news really alarmed me. My stomach started to rumble, my nose started to run and when I touched my hair I was suddenly convinced that it felt pretty thin!
But as I continued reading, my resistance to his idea grew. I came across some points I would definitely not agree with: for example Dobelli’s suggestion that news makes us passive.
Since I’ve been working at communikate et al I’ve come across some pretty amazing and touching stories of people who started charities after getting the worst possible news. Just take the founder of the Jodi Lee Foundation, Nick Lee, for example. He started the Foundation just months after losing his wife to bowel cancer to raise awareness of the disease – he needs people to follow the news.
As for me, I now dedicate some of my free time to the YWCA of Adelaide, after reading about the shocking number of women experiencing violence in our society. These stories made me anything but passive and I think there isn’t enough in the news about this cause to make people sit up and take notice.
I guess Dobelli’s article is a good reminder of how bad news can get you down if you allow it to. But in the end I think it is all about balance and everybody has to find their own way to consume news responsibly.
Cutting out mainstream news completely as Rolf Dobelli has done is a little extreme, but maybe just make sure you are getting an even balance of the good and the bad. I can assure you, there is plenty of good news out there too!0 comments
What I am liking in the world of social media & digital marketing at the moment…..
I recently came across the musings of Irish social media expert, Ian Cleary, and his blog RazorSocial. In particular I am a big fan of his weekly e-newsletters as they are filled with gems of information about all things social media and he presents it all in a concise and simple email. The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle at its best - love it!
So I am going to take a leaf out of Ian’s book and keep this post brief. Here are some of the things that are floating my social media boat at the moment:
Twitter management (app) - Twittelator
While I used to find TweetList a good one to manage several Twitter accounts in the one app on my iPhone, Twittelator has knocked it off its perch and is now my go-to app for Twitter. It provides a much better user-experience and aesthetically pleasing interface. The only downside is that it does not send me push notifications to alert me to a mention etc. Apparently this was only available “to our early adopter who have previously paid for them. We apologize for the inconvenience, but note you can get free push notifications from the free Twitter for iPhone client.”
Photo-editing tool (website) - PicMonkey
Thanks to Ian @ RazorSocial for the heads up on this one. I am still exploring this newfound fave, but looks like a goodie. It is a free website in which you can edit your photos with a number of different free and paid functions. Some of the basics, such as the resizing tool, is helpful to get those pesky dimensions right for your images for your Facebook / Twitter / LinkendIn accounts.
Personalised iPhone address book (app) – Brewster
Brewster personalises your address book and uses your social media channels to turn your A-to-Z contact list into one that understands your relationships. There are a number of features I like on it, including the fact you can search people by anything (name, city, even favourite band) with quick access to the people you contact the most. I have also found that sometimes there are more contact details on the person’s social media account, than the info I have in my personal address book.
Check out some screen shots of how my colleague, Vic, comes up in my Brewster address book. All of this has been pulled from the social media channels I am connected with her on, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
I hope you find one, if not all, of these useful and if you have any fabulous social media apps, websites or other to share, please pop a comment below or share it on one of our social media channels – www.facebook.com/communikate et al or @communikateetal0 comments
Changing lanes: Journalism to PR
Journalists call it “going to the dark side” – making the move from the worthy heights of journalism to the dark arts of public relations.
I’m four months into a new career in PR after more than 15 years in the newspaper trenches, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to adapt.
PR is also, after all, the business of communication.
It’s still about finding a newsworthy angle and pitching it (though in this case to busy journalists, in dwindling numbers, rather than a busy chief of staff) but you are simply looking at a story from the other side of the glass.
That is, you can’t enthusiastically run with a good story without first weighing it against what a client wants to achieve.
And, in this office anyway, there is no stereotype of people who simply “fanny around with press releases” (to quote a line from Bridget Jones’ Diary). We are constantly immersed in project management, strategy, event planning, marketing activities, liaison with suppliers, copywriting, media training, devising and implementing social media plans, being a source of advice and guidance on publicity and stakeholder engagement, and more.
I work as hard as I did as a journo. The days can be just as long, and while half the attraction of being in media is that no day is predictable, I haven't yet had two days the same in PR either.
I can see why so many journalists move almost seamlessly between the two fields (though it does require some adjustment, such as learning to temper the “deadline” mentality, bred from a career in newsrooms, that makes journos such a brusque lot!).
Journalism breeds great skills. There are the practical ones, like how to spot a good story, write quickly and well, and to ferret out information from hidden corners and reluctant sources. But it also breeds tenacity, determination, familiarity with hard work and passion for what you do – valuable skills in any field, particularly in PR.0 comments
The power of your post
When ‘Jimmyob88’ took to Twitter to berate light welterweight boxer Curtis Wood on the quality of his latest performance, he obviously felt quite secure in the comfort of his living room.
However, when the boxer turned up on Jimmyob88’s street to hold him accountable to his comments he was pretty quick to backtrack. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/mar/12/english-boxer-curtis-woodhou...
Much like the tendency to swear at people while we are driving, the perceived anonymity offered by social media can make some of us act outside the realms of common decency.
Social media has opened up fantastic avenues for consumer activism - offering the general public a voice and bringing new levels of accountability to previously untouchable organisations.
But the onus is now on us to use this newfound power for ‘good’, rather than weighing in on conversations that have nothing to do with us, or simply being nasty.
If you experience shocking customer service, or take umbrage with the angle of a news story, then by all means take to Twitter or Facebook to make your feelings known.
Organisations are placing greater importance on the comments of their customers and adapting their services accordingly – which is excellent.
But remember, social media is often the first port of call for people wanting to know more about an individual or organisation. And one misplaced or inaccurate comment from you can make or break careers and reputations.
Not to mention the very real possibility that you could find yourself in court answering to libel charges. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/technology/26iht-twitter26.html?_r=1&
Don’t be fooled into thinking there is anonymity in numbers. As soon as you press ‘send’ that post is no longer your private property. It is out there for all to see – and can absolutely be traced back to you.
As social media users, it’s up to us to add something constructive to the conversation.
I’m not saying don’t comment. Just understand that your post has consequences and use the power of your post wisely.0 comments
South Australia's new brand - a doorway to where?
Last night, South Australia's new brand was launched by Premier Jay Weatherill in a public light and sound show at Elder Park which included the new brand being projected onto the Festival Theatre sails. A great way to launch it, sure, but do we like it? Will it work? Does it fulfill the brief to "communicate our unique identity"?
As with any rebrand, there will be detractors. Realistically, it's virtually impossible to please everyone. As was the case this time around, a rebrand of the state tends to be a somewhat fraught process. Too many people and organisations want and expect to be able to contribute their two cents, and passionate opinions from too many different directions can end up compromising the end result.
There's also been a lot of build up and a carefully executed communications plan preceding the launch. With this hype comes high anticipation and expectations - we all wanted to be inspired and excited by what we saw.
Unfortunately, in the eyes of many of us, the new brand has fallen well short of expectations. Twitter lit up and parody images started circulating immediately, with comparisons to a folded milk carton, origami, a cartoon house and a monopoly hotel rife. And where's Tasmania? Where's Kangaroo Island and our unique coastline? If we're going to identify South Australia through the use of a map, shouldn't we include all states and one of South Australia's most iconic and well-known tourism destinations?
I can't say the new brand is making me jump out of my skin with excitement. It says “doorway to Australia” to me - but not in a way that identifies South Australia unless you already know where the state is. It looks like you pass straight through South Australia and don't look back – “last one out please shut the door”, as one journalist commented via Twitter. The symbolism of South Australia as an entry point to Australia is also somewhat flawed - our international connections when it comes to air travel are far from envious. It lacks creative flair or zing. To me, it looks like a logo that has gone through so many review processes and has been tweaked so many times that it has lost its original spark. And yes, it looks like a house.
However, at the end of the day, it's just a visual and there is a lot more to selling South Australia than this one visual. Admittedly, it’s an important element but it can hardly be expected to "make a bold statement about our place in Australia and our place in the world" by itself. That's a very lofty ambition. Its success or failure will ultimately rest more on how we use it, what we communicate with it and how it is interpreted beyond our borders. By itself, it is not going to communicate that we are creative, innovative and can-do. But if it’s used the right way it might help to support that message and positioning.
I am heartened that there appears to be open encouragement to industry to use the new branding. State and government department branding is often fiercely protected by strict branding guidelines and arduous approval processes. I completely understand the need for those brand guidelines (I write enough of them myself) but past experience has shown too much bureaucracy simply results in the brand not being used at all - or being misused more than it would have been if guidelines and approval processes were characterised by just a bit more freedom and a little less bureaucracy.
So, here's to the new South Australian brand - the reality is it's here to stay, at least for a while - and now it's up to all of us to make it work the best we can. I think we all know it's no maple leaf or 100% Pure. Whilst those brands took a while to reach the iconic status they now occupy, I for one don't think we'll ever get there with this logo. But that doesn't mean I won't support it because ultimately, I want to support South Australia and South Australian businesses - and supporting the brand is an integral part of that.0 comments