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I wasn’t able to attend the Cleraun Media Conference last month unfortunately, but some of the content is available online. Some of the conference papers are available from the website and the audio of the discussion on the ethics of consent is on Soundcloud. Michael Kirke also has a good recap of the conference.
The recent MRBI opinion poll for the Irish Times raised some eyebrows a month ago as it showed that Fianna Fail is currently the second most popular political party in Ireland. Given the public’s contempt with the party for presiding over the boom and bust of the Celtic Tiger era, some people were taken aback at the prospect of Fianna Fail potentially returning to power after the next election as part of a coalition with their arch rivals Fine Gael. The poll was also interesting as it saw Fianna Fail overtake Sinn Fein in the popularity stakes.
The poll should read as good news for Fianna Fail. The party has moved past hitting rock bottom, floating Fine Gael voters have started to return to the fold and they are seen as a more credible opposition party. Similarly, it should be read as bad news for Sinn Fein, who were previously on a bit of a roll. They outmaneuvered Fianna Fail during the Presidential election and have garnered a lot of support for their anti-austerity position, but this latest poll is a bit of a blow.
Here is an alternative view. In the short term the poll is good news for Fianna Fail, but if they are returned to Government after the next election then their resurgence will be nipped in the bud, while Sinn Fein will profit at their expense in two elections time.
Fine Gael and Labour have shown themselves to be almost as equally inept at reform as their predecessors. While the Government’s hands are largely tied when it comes to austerity measures, they have failed to show the leadership required to deliver change. Failure to deliver savings by abolishing a large number of public sector allowances, while cuts to home care and home help are to proceed is just one reason why the public’s satisfaction with the Government continues to fall.
Fine Gael may continue to top the polls but the party will eventually decline due to a death by a thousand cuts. If Fianna Fail swap positions with the Labour party, then they can expect a similar fate as a one-term coalition partner if the current manner of governing continues.
On the other hand, the longer that Sinn Fein can stay out of Government the better for their prospects. The reason for this is simple. If Fianna Fail enter a coalition Government, Sinn Fein will be left as the only alternative in the eyes of the public following Labour’s decline and the failure of an independent movement to emerge. Staying out of Government in the medium term also allows the party to break its ties with the past as the likes of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness step down and a new generation emerges to compliment the likes of Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty.
Buried in the middle of RTE’s announcement about the changes in their Current Affairs team was the note that RTE is to create the role of Science and Technology correspondent. It is a long time coming and another sign that RTE is starting to take its commitment to science broadcasting seriously.
Prior to this, RTE had an Education and Science correspondent, but even they admitted that there was more of a focus on education. When you consider how many sports journalists RTE have, it is very peculiar that the state broadcaster has managed to neglect Science and Technology for so long. We may not excel on the world stage in sport as our performance at EURO 2012 highlighted, but we have made strides in the scientific world where we have ranked in the top 20 since 2008, in terms of international rankings for research quality.
While the move is to be congratulated, I hope that the role does not end up as a correspondent who reports on the latest gadget launches, but struggles with the science brief. If anything, RTE should appoint a journalist who has a better subject knowledge of it.
While science is a difficult brief to manage, the challenge for all journalists is to make the complicated interesting. When you consider how science and technology are integral to our everyday lives, let alone the economy, it is vital that the State broadcaster puts more of a spotlight on the STEM sector in order to encourage more young people to pursue careers in related fields and to ensure that we are better informed about relevant issues.
NoHomophobes is a website that is designed as a social mirror to show the prevalence of casual homophobia in society. It is a very simple and effective means to highlight how offensive words are used very casually.
Here’s a video case study of Paddy Power’s recent publicity stunt at the Ryder Cup, which consisted of a ‘sky tweet’ campaign in support of Team Europe. A selection of tweets submitted by fans were ‘sky-written’ by stunt pilots flying at 10,000ft in the first campaign of its kind.
Here’s a rather gruesome pop-up shop to promote the latest release in the Resident Evil zombie video game franchise. It is a bit gorey, so if you are squeamish don’t follow the link. Wesker & Son, a fictional butcher with a penchant for human flesh, invited members of the public to sample an array of edible (fake) human limbs.
To mark Audrey Harrison’s ill fated return to professional boxing, Betfair took advantage Harrison’s unpopularity to offer boxing fans the chance to watch a wall of pain dry on Facebook instead.
It’s an interesting thought and the article includes some good examples, but I’m going to simply say no. For starters, I still remember people harping on about how blogs were going to replace press releases seven years ago. Fast forward and we’re just swapping around some names.
The press release despite all its faults is still an effective tool. I use them everyday, my clients get coverage, they are discussed on social media and life goes on. The problem is that there is so much information out there that it’s getting harder to be heard.
That’s where Twitter fits in. It is a platform, it is not content. Regardless of whether you are publishing a tweet or a press release, if what you have to say is not interesting, then no-one will listen to you.
Once you have information that is newsworthy then you can tailor it for different audiences and channels. A press release for journalists, an infographic for bloggers, etc.
Yes Twitter is a fantastic communications channel. A replacement for the press release though? I don’t think so.
I gave a presentation to charities about social media a couple of weeks ago and one of the things I stressed was that they should actively follow organisations they thought were creative. The simple reason for this is that they could learn from them and at times simply copy them.
Good ideas get ripped off all the time. The mp3 player wasn’t invented by Steve Jobs. The Departed is a remake of a Hong Kong film. Concepts that can be improved upon will always be used again and again.
A popular new YouTube video promoting an anti litter campaign in Ireland proves my point. Here’s the video:
Now watch this Reebok commercial or simply search for Terry Tate on YouTube. Notice any similarities?
Now repeat after me – if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it…
The National Marketing Conference takes place on
Wednesday 7 November 2012 at The Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin.
This year’s conference will explore the emerging discipline of country branding, highly relevant from an Irish perspective given our economic woes.
The conference press release reads: “It is increasingly understood that countries must be proactive about managing their reputations and brand positioning in order to compete effectively on the world stage. Marketing professionals have the essential skills and experience to contribute to effectively managing how we are seen abroad, and how we see ourselves, and so are a key part of the solution that can lead to earlier economic recovery.”
Speakers include Lorraine Twohill, Google’s Vice President of Global Marketing based in California; Oliver Loomes, Guinness Global Brand Director; and Tom Adams of Futurebrand. The conference will be chaired by Shane Coleman.
For conference booking contact Cecilia McLernon at The Marketing Institute of Ireland, Tel: +353 1 216 0156, or book online at www.mii.ie/conference
The Cleraun Media Conference will take place in Dublin between 19 – 21 October. The full conference programme can be viewed at this link. Highlights include:
Paul Conroy, very badly injured in Syria last February as his colleague Marie Colvin was killed, will speak about the ethical challenges in conflict photography.
A keynote address by the new Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs, Kevin Bakhurst.
Oscar Mayer launched a great campaign recently after challenging a man to travel across America using their bacon as currency. Here’s the campaign video below.
Powerful advert from Finland about how children view drunk adults in order to encourage responsible adult drinking.
Grey Poupon, the mustard brand, has launched the most exclusive page on Facebook by becoming the first company to reject fans from its Facebook page. It’s a clever stunt to highlight that its customers have extremely good taste and only others with refined tastes can also become a fan.
In order to help promote the launch of the third season of Boardwalk Empire, HBO partnered with Uber, the on-deman car service, to offer free rides in vintage vehicles in New York City last week.
In order to generate publicity, a French dating agency recently opened a pop-up store which had male models in doll-like boxes similar to Ken dolls.
PressPausePlay is a documentary which questions whether the digital revolution has led to better art or whether talent is being stifled. It’s embedded below and is worth a watch.
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