Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Saving Irish companies from Social Media Crooks

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I think the IIA Social Media Working Group which has just been formed has come out just in the nick of time. “Social media” is the new hot thing (despite being around for a few years) and just like in every gold rush you get the devious, duplicitous, defrauding, dodgy types who will tell you and sell you any lie they can in order to remove you from your money, “social media” already seems to have the scammer types in this new field. This probably won’t be the main remit but I do think this group will stop SMEs and larger companies from being ripped off and conned just by existing. Thank the gods. Imagine if we had such a group when SEO and Search Marketing started off. Or blogging? Maybe less people would have gotten screwed on blog installs?

The lineup of people in the group is impressive too with a good deal of people (most in fact) talking the talk walking the walk (edit: apologies, I meant walking!) and they are blogging, podcasting, twittering, facebooking and friendfeeding. This is exactly what’s needed. A group that’s already immersed.

Some of the folks on the Social Media Working Group are:
Krishna De, Bernie Goldbach, Niall Devine, Fred Herrera, Brendan Hughes, Gordon Jenkinson, Mike Kelly, Fintan Lonergan, Philip MacCartney, John McGuinness, Aisling McMahon, Kieran Murphy, Bartley O’Connor, Kieran O’Hea, Joy Redmond, Keith Shirley, and Roseanne Smith.

Thieves Ladder
Photo owned by unusualimage (cc)

I’m sure the IIA will bring out their whitepapers in time but here’s a short list of things I’d suggest in order to spot the clueless “consultants” who are pitching to you:

  • If people tell you creating a skinned mySpace profile or Bebo profile is social media “engagement”, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you stuff on social networks can’t be measured, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you to create a company “personality” as a profile on Facebook and add people to it then shoot them in the face. FB will crucify you for this.
  • If their only suggestion about social networks is to buy banner ads, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you set your blog up on or, don’t hire them and tell me where they live.
  • If they tell you that you can buy links for your site, don’t hire them.
  • If they tell you to ghostwrite your blog, don’t hire them.

That list could go on and on.

Anyway, three cheers for this IIA Working Group.

Google Cache helps leak new Google AdPlanner Product

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

via the NYT Bits blog:

Google To Announce New Audience Measurement Initiative @ AM 3.0

At 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, June 24, 2008, at the ARF AM 3.0 Conference in New York, Wayne Lin, Google Business Product Manager, will introduce Google’s latest initiative in internet audience measurement. This public announcement will be followed by moderated panel and audience reaction.

The ESRI Recession Scoop

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Recession is official. As seen on first!

Is it the job of a PR company to make their clients more “connected”?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Piaras once again has a great post on his blog about the PR industry and possible futures. This will probably come across as talking the guy down but the quality of his blog posts have really risen in the past year or two and his site is now a destination for insights in to Public Relations for me. Piaras’ blog is a great educational resource. It’d be nice to see him get more comments and attention for it. Also, while we’re on a roll, various people in the media keep chattering amongst each other how impressed they are with his professionalism for organising events and launches and getting the press what they need before they even know they need it. (How’s that swelled head Piaras? 🙂 )

Anyway, to my point. Piaras talks about some PR agencies in Ireland that are using Facebook for advertising some events and the PR agency staff inviting people to various launches and parties.

So ultimately will PR agencies win new business based, not simply on their knowledge of communications techniques, but on how well connected they are with specific audiences?

Slattery Communications in Dublin do this for example and it’s really effective as it gets real people inviting real people to events, it feels more friendly that way but also it turns everyone that accepts an invite to advertise it to their network as well and by publicly listing who is also going, it will probably get people to go based on who else is going. It makes these events more networking focused. Win, win, win.

Queen Elizabeth Park Observatory - 010620082134
Photo owned by roland (cc)

I left a comment on Piaras’ post with my own thoughts but on further thinking I wonder is it also the job of a PR company to make their clients more connected too? Maybe this is already part of their job, I dunno. With the examples of those events on Facebook for example, I wonder should PR companies just run monthly networking events where they bring their clients together to simply network and maybe bring in other people to the event too. Not a sponsored by event or launch of anything event, just a get to know each other event and have their clients get to know more people which can only lead to more connections and a better business environment. PR companies have fantastic contacts as far as I can see and increasing the connections between these contacts would surely enrich everyone?

Porter Novelli’s Guide to Approaching Bloggers

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Porter Novelli put together a really good concise guide on how to approach bloggers if you want to pitch to them or do business with them or send them/us something interesting. They contacted me and asked was there anything I’d like to add and there wasn’t, I think they’ve got it all covered. Anyone that’s in business should take a look at this because more and more you’ll probably be reaching out to bloggers. Well done Kerry et al.

Photo owned by charkesw (cc)

Baba O’Reilly takes on Greenslade

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Here we go.

Greenslade blogs:

In many ways the O’Brien saga is a distraction from the stark reality facing a company that has put its faith in the longevity of newsprint and averted its gaze from the digital future. It has invested online, of course, but it is way behind many other newspaper companies.

The consequence of playing the digital ostrich is that INM is hurt more by the newsprint advertising downturn than those publishers who have been chasing online revenues fo several years.

Note the tone of INM’s trading update. While claiming that revenues were “marginally ahead in constant currency terms” so far this year, advertising conditions remained volatile in the second quarter. Volatile is usually code for problematic. So, in plain-speak, revenue is falling and likely to fall further in the second half of the year.

Baba O’Reilly replies:

Firstly, for the record, at INM we make no apologies whatsoever for putting our “faith” in newspapers/ newsprint, as our record 2007 results speak to (advertising growth, circulation growth and record profits)… On the face of it, that’s just good business and that might just appear to your readers to be a winning strategy (and perhaps, other media groups should follow our lead?)


Being at the vanguard of digital developments as we are, your somewhat strident (and mistaken) views on INM might have been suitably moderated by revealing (or at least reflecting) some of INM’s other digital ventures/ investments, such as the hugely successful creation, expansion and flotation (and subsequent profitable sale for c. €100m) of iTouch PLC (mobile content), as well as INM’s recent investments in price comparison (Germany), mobile VoIP, image search and online bingo/ gaming.

Denver the last dinosaur:
Dinosaur and Astronaut
Photo owned by Tom Hilton (cc)

Business Blogging Training – Open sourcing it

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I’ve been doing this Business Blogging Training lark for over a year at this stage both privately and in public training events and it’s a lot of fun and you get a great kick when you see new bloggers come online from these events. There is however a lack of good trainers in this area and too many “consultants”. Ones without blogs! I’d like to see more competition in this area as it’s healthy for companies and healthy for me to have competition. There’s a need for fresh air and new thoughts in this area.

To help this along I’m going to “open source” my training, in a way. I’ll give away all my course material (once I add some of the latest additions after recent courses) and put them online but in addition to this I’ll happily train up to 12 people (for free) in how I train people in Business Blogging.

Are you interested? I’ll be doing this course on a Saturday and more than likely in Cork. Probably everyone’s fav funky Hotel. But I might be convinced to do another in Dublin or elsewhere. 🙂
There are of course some conditions if you want to sign up:

0. You’re a blogger already.
1. You agree to start offering the courses after being trained and give at least one free public Business Blogging Training Course (like I did in Cork and Dublin).
2. You agree (though it’s not enforceable and screw is subjective) to not screw people over on charging them for your courses.
3. If you use my material you give attribution somewhere and you should strongly consider also open sourcing your training material.

The more people with a clue giving these courses and updating training material and giving it away, the better for those giving the training and receiving the training.

Send me an email damien < at > with the subjectline “Train the trainers” if you want to take part. There are no guarantees you’ll make the cut. I’ve a feeling there might be an over-subscription. 🙂

marco free bike good friend
Photo owned by frankh (cc)

Report: Internet nearly twice as influential as TV in Europe

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Read this highly interesting post from Matt Dickman about his employer’s report on digital influence.

As you can see the internet is more influential in each country than any other type of media. It’s nearly twice as influential as TV and eight times more influential than traditional print media. Interestingly, consumers spend a marginal amount more time on TV than the Internet, but it’s not effecting their decisions proportionally.

The study found that consumer behavior falls into one of five categories. They are research, commerce, communication, mobility and publishing.

Teatime TV
Photo owned by dominiccampbell (cc)

Upcoming Blogging and Online Marketing training events

Friday, June 13th, 2008

In association with the Irish Computer Society I’m doing a Business Blogging Training course on Tuesday June 24th and an Online Marketing training course on July 8th. If you’re interested in attending then contact the ICS.

Both the Blogging course and the Online Marketing course are interactive and you’ll be doing practical stuff. Watching Powerpoints wastes everyone’s time.

Balloons at Luminato
Photo owned by paolo.demarchi (cc) get it right

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

So my Blacklisting post got a lot of attention, here’s an example of getting it right when approaching bloggers or anyone really:

Hi Damien,

We viewed a link from for Cava Restaurant to – and just want to say ‘thanks’ for the link – your site is very informative.

Again – many thanks.

Warmest regards,


Imagine if every company thanked someone for a link, just like bloggers do when someone links to them. It says a company is listening, they’re thankful for the link and they don’t try and sell you anything in addition either.