Do you remember your first time?
What were you thinking? We were thinking about all the times we were the first or one of the first to do something in public relations or communications.
We were reminded of this by all the Twitter turmoil. We both joined Twitter in early 2007 and within a couple of months were using it to run a national political campaign. It's not the only first in communications that we've done, and Stuart has done even more. These are just some we can remember:
- UK's third political blog - Stuart in 2003
- One of the world's first 10 PR blogs - Stuart in 2003
- UK's first Twitter political campaign - Stuart in 2007
- World's first multi-language multimedia newsroom - Stuart and Tim in 2008
We could keep going with things like the UK's first 'mummy blogger' meet-up (what we now call influencers), and the UK's first 100% digital lobbying campaign (which was successful), but you get the idea.
The new hot spots in PR and communications that we're using, exploring and experimenting with include online communities, augmented reality, blockchain, data and analytics.
Earlier this year we launched an invite only professional community for public relations and communications professionals. We've just relaunched it and invite you to join. If you are a PR, comms leader or aspiring leader then you're welcome. Read more about the Comms Leaders Club below.
Comms Leaders Club for in-house comms leaders and aspiring leaders
Comms Leaders Club is a global community where public relations and communications leaders and aspiring leaders can share ideas, ask questions, and discuss the future of our profession.
It's a safe space primarily for in-house communications leaders and aspiring leaders to connect, communicate and collaborate.
We are focused on the future of our profession. What innovative ideas for professional practice are emerging? How we use technology effectively to revolutionise our work? How do we use data and analytics? How do we measure and evaluate communications? How do we show our real value? What is the future of work?
What happens in Comms Leaders Club, stays in Comms Leaders Club. It's your community. It's where you can talk about anything that will help you to develop your professional career.
Most of our members have 10+ years' experience of communications and public relations.
Click on the link to request to join Comms Leaders Club.
The UK's first political campaign on Twitter was nearly the world's first
The descent of Twitter into a tragic soap opera reminded me of the early days of Twitter. Twitter started in 2006, and I joined at the start of January 2007. Within months, I was already using Twitter as part of a national political campaign. We were nearly the first major political campaign to use Twitter, but Senator John Edwards beat us to it with his bid to be the Democrat's nominee for President.
I was director of communications for Alan Johnson, who was bidding to be deputy leader of the UK Labour Party. This article in The Guardian was the front page lead of the Technology section and provides details of what the early days of Twitter were like.
I was reminded of all this by Antonia Bance, who is now head of communications and campaigns at the TUC (the group for trade unions in the UK). She tweeted about remembering a 'Tweet-up' where the handful of Twitter users at the Labour Party conference got together for a drink and a chat.
Jen Psaki on winning the war against fake news
If there is one speaker I'd love to hear in real life, it's Jen Psaki. When I saw she was speaking at the PRovoke Global Summit it tipped me into deciding to go... until I realised the dates clashed with speaking at an internal conference for the 200+ communications and marketing team of a client.
This is a great write-up of what I missed.
Data, measurement, analytics
Measurement Month is 25 years' old
No apologies for the hair and the suit. It was the early 90s.
It's the nostalgia edition of PR Futurist as it's always worth looking back into history to see what we can learn about the future. November is Measurement Month for the public relations and communications industry. It's 25 years since the first one.
I've always been fascinated by the importance of measurement. As can be seen from this PRWeek article from 1991 about a measurement system I invented for the consultancy I worked for at the time.
Research and reports
New report analysing content from 600k journalists to help you pitch
A new report from BuzzSumo claims to help you "understand what sets journalists apart from other creators, how likely they are to mention your brand, and how to make your pitch perfect."
It's well worth a look.
Collaboration, innovation and great people: The GCS Strategy
Not only did I miss the PRovoke Global Summit in Washington DC, but I also missed the CIPR National Conference in London. Luckily Simon Baugh, the chief executive of the UK Government Communication Service, has shared a copy of his speech.
I'd have enjoyed hearing my old friend Simon talking about the communication challenges of Omicron, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Cost of Living, and the death of Her Majesty The Queen.
I think you'll agree that would be a heck of lot for any communications team to deal with in five years, let alone one year!
WhatsApp officially launches its new discussion group feature, Communities
It seems there isn't a month goes by where there isn't another important new announcement about online communities. This time it's WhatsApp which has officially launched Communities. The new WhatsApp feature offers more structured discussion groups aimed at clubs, organizations, teams, and more.
Our take is that you're still definitely best off using a platform that has been specifically created for hosting professional and branded communities.
It's yet another indication that McKinsey's prediction that communities would be the "big idea" for the 2020s is true.