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We’ve moved July 30, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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Now we’re no longer on Kewroad but in lovely downtown London (or Frith Street, Soho, to be precise) we’ve decided to move our blog too. And we’ve got a new name too –onechocolate communications – matching the agency’s new brand identity onechocolate communications that unifies our old identities of GBC and Chocolate Communications

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Copy and Paste Culture of Social Networks July 16, 2010

Posted by billyburnettgbc in social networks, Uncategorized.
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Mashable.com confirmed today the rumour that MySpace has begun demoing a completely redesigned version of its profile pages to select users. Despite a couple of nice new features (well new to MySpace anyway) is this really enough to turn things around?

Site analytics show the site has been in steady decline for the past 12 months and recent departures from the senior management imply a lack of clear vision moving forward. Facebook continues to lure away MySpace users whilst the rumoured entrance of Google into the space should also be cause for concern.

Although the introduction of these new features may interest a few users and capture some headlines this is unlikely to change the fortunes of the company. We have already seen this exact same scenario play out in the mobile handset world, where handset manufacturers look to emulate the features of the market leader (ok then, copy) instead of innovating and differentiating their product. It’s not they are bad, it’s just their competitors do it first and often do it better.

Facebook won’t be around forever and the next “big thing” is probably being developed in a garage somewhere right now, but with this copy and paste culture it’s unlikely to be from MySpace.

Holiday Reading July 4, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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Summer holidays are here and what to pack to read on the beach?  Leather bound collections of PR Week? A costing document?

You could pluck for some worthy PR or business tome but my recommendation for the right blend of entertainment and PR education is grab one of the latest revisionist biographies of the Hollywood stars.

William Mann’s biography of Katharine  Hepburn fits the bill. Why is it relevant you ask? Well this and other biographies of this genre take the lid off the careful PR processes that built the star’s brand. In the case of Hepburn, a decade’s worth of awful PR in the 1930s was remedied by a carefully placed article or two that defined much that we now have of Hepburn. there’s also a great technology angle too. A perfect storm of movies, radio and print meant the army of journalists desperate for a story was huge in Hepburn’s day. So the PR role wasn’t small either.

What’s also illuminating is how much Hepburn colluded in her own PR right up until her death while espousing that she avoided the Hollywood publicists. The reality was that her image was deliberately created and protected. Well no surprise there you might say. That’s a fair point but read the biography and you’ll find that the PR process concealed a complex character with a complex sex life too.

Elephants take over London with the support of Chang June 23, 2010

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As you would be aware from our previous blogs, onechocolate is a huge fan of the Elephant Parade – London 2010. Over the weekend, we took Chang Beer’s elephant Cha-Chang exclusively to Taste London to introduce him to the media and fans alike.

 Sadly, the Elephant Parade is coming to a close in the coming weeks. Check our Mary and Ruth Powys from the Elephant Family talk about the event and the reason behind the influx of 250 brightly coloured elephants that took over the London streets.

The beautiful (and highly social) game June 14, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Facebook, Twitter, Uncategorized, video, YouTube.
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by Sophie

Now that the whole nation is well and truly immersed in World Cup fever, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how we’re keeping ourselves up to speed with the latest updates and news.   It’s been two years since the latest major football tournament (Euro 2008) and oh how the media landscape has changed in this time.  More traditional forms of communications have paved the way for apps, videos, fan pages, Twitter feeds.  So for all of you that haven’t already dumped England off at the first hurdle, here we take a look at three of the best ways to follow the beautiful game:

1. On the 1 June, the FA launched their biggest campaign to date in an effort combine the public’s enthusiasm for football with actual participation.  This has included a Facebook app where users can create their own Official England Shirt and then post it as their profile picture.  You’ll have to move fast to get the number you want though. 24 has been taken by Stuart Pearce, 25 by Ray Winstone, 30 by Stephen Fry and 67 by Nick Clegg.  Other numbers include 66 by the Bobby Moore foundation, 2012 by The Olympics and 2018 by Back the Bid

2.Twitter has launched their official World Cup Tracking page.  Twitter staff select the most interesting tweets using the hashtag tool and algorithms.  You can also view the latest country updates by clicking on the flag of choice.

3.Video had to feature in this list – so here you go!  If you’ve missed any of the action or fancy a cheeky lunchtime watch of any of the games go to Footytube.  It’s not completely new for the World Cup – you can watch league teams (even smaller ones) in action – but they have a dedicated World Cup page so that you can make sure that you’ve always got some good footy knowledge to share down the pub at the end of the day.

So, great news for us – these are just three of the many ways we can stay up to date with all the action via social media.  Check out Mashable’s Social media hub here

 

 

Not so great news for our players where the teams from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Holland, Germany, Argentina and England are forbidden to use any social media tools including sites like Twitter! Shame, would have been interested to see what Green would have tweeted after Saturday’s match.

The value of a great story teller May 26, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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by Sophie

As everyone in the world of PR and communications knows, nothing beats having a great spokesperson or as I like to call them… a storyteller.  Storytelling is all about sharing experiences and moments. We use storytelling in our everyday lives – at work in the office, at home with our family or over a beer (sometimes several!) in our local.

But great storytelling is almost an art form and there are few people out there that can do it really well.  I was lucky enough this week to meet Horst Brandstatter (the father creator of toy company Playmobil) or as I now like to call him – my storytelling hero!

During a UK media tour to Germany last week he told a group of journalists what creative play and toys meant to him.  He talked eloquently about the power of imagination – pointing to his head as he described that real child’s play happened ‘in here’. 

His amazing ability to capture the essence of what Playmobil is all about, using real life stories and memories, did more for the brand than any fancy media party or PR stunt could ever do.  This magical storytelling not only impressed me but also the journalists that accompanied me on this visit.  Check out Telegraph TV’s coverage of what has been described as the ‘best media visit ever’

The elephants have arrived! May 14, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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If you are a London-dweller, they you probably would have noticed a major change in the landscape over the past week – ELEPHANTS!  We have been invaded…. by cute, brightly coloured, designer sponsored elephants, and they seem to be popping up all over London – from Green Park and Soho to the City and Southbank!

In their words the – “Elephant Parade is a conservation campaign that shines a multi-coloured spotlight on the urgent crisis faced by the endangered Asian elephant. Brought to you by www.elephantfamily.org, the event sees over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants located over central London this summer.”

As well as its imposing yet adorable presence on the London landscape, the Elephant Parade is a great example of how to use social media platforms (in particular Facebook and Twitter) to  generate consumer engagement. This campaign really demonstrates the power of building an emotive buzz around a subject and generating ‘true’ audience engagement from the outset.

 Having seen this campaign from both sides – as a consumer and a sponsor – Chang Beer has sponsored an elephant on the South Bank (pictured), it is easy to see what the campaign has managed to gather so much momentum.

 The Elephant Family’s Facebook page is a smart collaboration between ‘fun’ and ‘fact’. They provide regular updates on the campaign successfully using exclusive teaser images, sponsor and news updates to drive and maintain interest in the Parade, and interweave it with the hard hitting facts and images about the harsh reality of the plight of the Asian elephants.

 They have also used the newly created ‘Donate Now’ function on Facebook to drive revenue and created online petitions to generate support for the cause.

 On the launch date, May 3rd, when the 250 something elephants popped up across London, their Facebook page transformed itself into a community of fans sharing images of the elephants near their homes and offices, which elephants were their favourite, and shout-outs for people to help users find their favourite elephant in London.

 The entire campaign has been supported by regular updates on their Twitter feed, which drives traffic back through Facebook or to their microsite.

The Elephant Parade is a great example of how brands can create a successful, content-driven strategy through social platforms and generate ‘word of mouth’ for their campaign. 

 Definitely one to watch in the coming months!

Napster Goes Social May 7, 2010

Posted by kewroad in social networks, Uncategorized.
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Despite the news last month that social networking site Bebo was closing its doors and the continued decline of MySpace over the past year, the opportunity around social networking sites is considerable when done right. According to a recent report by Nielsen, the total time spent on social networking sites by users worldwide grew more than 100% over the past year, as Facebook and Twitter posted large gains in unique users.

Napster, the pay-to-use streaming and download web application, which has recently lost market share today to both legal and illegal alternatives, yesterday announced the integration of social media tools to give a new attraction to its online activities. Napster will now allow users to share their music interests with online friends and consume social media content from applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

The runaway success of Facebook is indeed based on the relationship forged between Internet users who declare themselves “friends” but also on the preferences expressed by each user. This strategy of socialising existing services is likely to be adopted by many consumer facing industries in the future and these changes to the Napster service are significant and offer functionality that is likely to resonate with their intended audience.

However, with Facebook continuing to grow and looking at new ways to monetise their user base what’s to stop them doing the reverse and entering the digital content market and blowing services like Napster out of the water, or perhaps even just buying them? The digital opportunity is huge but toppling the current major players requires innovation and differentiation rather than emulation.

Wikipedia due for a face lift but is its beauty more than skin deep? March 26, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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So, Wikipedia is getting a makeover. The idea is that easier editing will encourage more users to contribute and change articles, and, let’s face it, the old Wikipedia as we know it does look a bit antiquated. But then that’s also what’s nice about it, a trusted encyclopedia a bit like that dusty leather-bound version on your bookshelf that answers just about any question.

While Wikipedia has often been praised as one of the very first true Web 2.0 applications, it looks like the rest of the web has continued to evolve at break-neck speed while Wikipedia has been left behind. However, I doubt it’s anything to do with usability and more to do with the fact that it’s actually pretty good as it is. We’ll see if the new look makes any real difference.

CeBIT still calling in 2011 March 15, 2010

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4,157 companies from 68 countries exhibiting at CeBIT 2010 in Hanover. 3.7 percent more visitors than last year and the same 80 percent of business people. Those are the positive facts of the “international economic policy platform” as the organisers call the 5 day-IT-event. Wriggling through the halls you found busy places packed with people and some interesting key notes. In other halls you felt sorry for the staff with no chance to talk to anybody due to the big space between the stands. 

And what did the exhibitors think of it? The same. Some were really pleased and had more than 200 leads out of a few hundred meetings that were set up before the show. Others felt they were in the wrong area or at the wrong show. CeBIT is still a very general IT show with some specifics like the reseller area (packed), SAP World (quiet), public sector (ok) and the hall with the big players (always interesting for many people).

So despite some bad forecasts CeBIT 2010 seems to have rebuilt some profile, but for next year the organiser Deutsche Messe will need to think about new concepts. One seems to be more emphasis on the consumer side. But even that won’t change the overall trend that CeBIT is not paralyzing the city of Hanover anymore: the traffic outside the fairground was normal, the taxi drivers had expected a lot more business and in the mornings you could easily find a seat in the underground.

Let’s see what 2011 will bring to Hanover.

Bettina Joedicke

Grant Butler Coomber

Germany