Post written for the CIPR Conversation Friday Roundup:

Regular readers will know I've argued for some time that we've really past the point where we can talk about digital media as if it's the exception. The majority media is now digital, or has a digital component via something like a QR code, image recognition and augmented reality. If anything, we should be calling out analogue media in its minority role by now.

And yet in 2011 it's probably still pertinent to make the distinction between 'being online' versus 'offline'. Sure, your smartphone is always on; and sure, it always knows where it is and reports that data back real-time to all those app vendors that demand this data (even if it's just to allow you to chuck an angry bird around the screen). But you'll find yourself hard pressed to find someone who considers themselves to be actively online 24/7.

However, this is changing. And fast. In just a few short years we're well down the line in moving from so-called 'click and type' interfaces to 'touch and swipe'. Think about someone just like you living a century ago... the actions of clicking and typing would have been alien to them, yet touching and swiping are quite natural.

There's a reason that, following the outstanding successes of the motion sensing Nintendo Wii and touch sensing iPhone, the Microsoft Kinnect became the fastest ever selling consumer electronics device, selling 8 million units in 60 days. In simple terms, we love stuff that brings us the power and excitement of computing without the hassle; without the burden of having to learn specialist skills.

We are entering the decade of pervasive computing, a term describing a reality where everything is an interface. Employing technologies such as haptics, eye tracking, speech analysis, emotion recognition, gesture recognition and gait analysis, there's almost no limit to the ways in which we will all interact with services and resources delivered over the Internet.

Now I invite you to reconsider your definition of social media and the manifestations of public relations.

Best regards, Philip and the Conversation team.


Please note, this Conversation Roundup is written in my own capacity. I am not a spokesperson for the CIPR.


In praise of publicity - a woman's history

by Heather Yaxley of Applause Consultancy

I’ve yet to come across Constance Hope in any public relations textbook – perhaps not surprising as women are largely missing from the history. Indeed, apart from Doris Fleischman, I am unaware of any female voices writing about early experiences of the practice in the US; and Fleischman’s contribution inevitably is linked to her husband Edward Bernays.

So exactly who was Constance Hope and why should we care about her story? Well she authored a book called: Publicity is Broccoli (published in 1941) a title which has to be worth a bit of our attention – More...


The failure that is the UK government on YouTube

by Mark Pack of MHP Communications

Mention "YouTube" and "British government" and "failure" to most people interested in online politics or comms and the chances are they will think of Gordon Brown and that YouTube film with the unusual smiles.There is however a quieter failure, going on every day and hitting many Whitehall departments. It is quite simply this: lots of films made, almost no-one watching.

Take the example of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Plenty of films on its YouTube channel but not many viewers. More...


Facebook or Bust, The Audience Is Listening

by Julio Romo of twofourseven

George Lucas was right, 'The audience IS listening'

Facebook has brought together an audience of incredible numbers. The social networking giant is today a community of people that keeps on growing, creating for businesses an opportunity to reach out directly to consumers. But here lies the question, why are businesses still looking like ‘rabbits in the headlights’ and failing to truly engage with audiences that can help many survive during these hard economic times? Today, Facebook has over 750 million users worldwide. More...


It does not really matter where you place your links online

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Colonel Gaddafi probably isn’t top of your mind at the moment. Yet he is in the news. Equally, Keira Knightley probably isn’t your hot topic of the moment, yet she too is making headlines today. And while we’re at it, spare a thought for George Osborne; he’s been getting a bit of stick lately. Topical news stories, but we hardly give them a second glance after we are done with them. We read them, then move on. Unless the media keeps on reminding us the “half life” More...


How to make Social Media social in enterprise

by Sean Trainor of Uber Engagement

It makes me smile when I observe the amount of content on social media sites that is taken up discussing social media. Marshall McLuhan did coin the phrase "The medium is the message" but this observation stretches that thought a bit. Great as this site is, it is no different. It highlights the navel gazing obsession that mainstream media have about reporting on media.Which makes me question how "Social" this stuff really is. As I look over the other side of the room, my teenage son is absorbed in a virtual world which seems to be dominated with pimping fast cars and prostitutes. More...


Mobile Coupon Use Growing at 118 Percent in U.S.

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

Mobile coupons currently represent a small portion of marketer's digital promotions, but usage is growing at a fast pace. The adoption of redeeming retailer coupons extends the trend of searching online for product discounts -- which emerged as a widespread, money-saving activity during the U.S. economic downturn.

"Even as the sputtering economy attempts its recovery, the popularity of couponing has continued, spurred in part by the burgeoning daily deals space," said Noah Elkin, eMarketer principal analyst. More...


Putting conversations at the heart of business

by Rachel Miller (née Allen) of

BBC coverage of Manchester and Salford riots

Last month riots and chaos erupted in the UK with people taking to the streets to loot buildings and shops. I contacted Amanda Coleman, Head of Corporate Communications for Greater Manchester Police, where she has worked for the past 10 years, and asked her to write a guest article for Diary of an internal communicator about the events in Manchester and Salford (in the north of England), from a professional communicator's perspective. Here she looks at the role of social networks, how communication plans were developed and how the force reacted and responded. More...


Copyright Tribunal to rule on newspaper web licence dispute

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Meltwater and the PRCA are making a final bid at countering the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) licensing scheme at the Copyright Tribunal in London this week.

The Copyright Tribunal is an independent body which adjudicates in commercial licensing disputes.

Earlier attempts by Meltwater and the PRCA to quash the scheme in the High Court in November 2010 and the Court of Appeal in July 2011 were unsuccessful.

The NLA Web End User Licence scheme introduced in January 2010 requires any party involved in distributing or receiving links from one of the NLA's newspaper members on a paid-for basis to pay a fee. More...


Social media policy video from Australian government department

by Stuart Bruce of Stuart Bruce Associates

Over the last six years I've worked on developing a lot of social media policies – for multinational companies, large and small UK companies, public sector and voluntary/not-for-profit organisations – but I've got to confess this is the best idea I've seen so far. It's one of those killer 'wish I'd thought of that' moments: from Australia's Department of Justice in Victoria Every company and organisation should have a social media policy. It's protection against things that might go wrong, but more importantly helps to ensure that social media and social networks aren't a threat, but an opportunity. More...


Why Retailers are Targeting Ads at Tablet Owners

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

Media tablet owners are more engaged with retail brands, making more purchases and website visits compared with mobile smartphone users, according to the latest market study by eDigitalResearch and IMRG in the UK.

The results show that 30 percent of tablet users have used their device to shop online, while currently only 25 percent of smartphone owners have used their phone to do the same. Similarly, almost half (48 percent) of tablet owners have used their devices to research products in-store, but only 29 percent have done the same via their smartphone. More...


A Barometer on the Sunday Paper Market

by Simon Hilliard of Racepoint Group

Since the closure of the News of the World over the phone hacking scandal, the Sunday newspaper racket “doesn't have enough competition [or] enough alternatives”. That’s according to Sir Martin Sorrell, chief exec at WPP.


Sir Martin told The Guardian today he is keen for News International to launch a Sunday version of The Sun newspaper to plug the gap left by NOTW’s closure. Without the default Sunday tabloid, he believes the Sunday paper market, and therefore his own media buying empire, is suffering from a lack of choice. More...


Nielsen: Social media report Q3 2011

by Michael Litman of Poke

nielsen-social-media-report.pdf Download this file Key findings courtesy of We Are Social: Across a sample of 10 global markets, social networks and blogs are the top online destination in each country, accounting for the majority of time spent online and reaching at least 60 percent of active Internet users
US – Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans' time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet. At over 53 billion total minutes during May 2011, Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other website
US – More...


Five Psychological Tips for Websites

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Getting people to engage with your website and to click on anything is an ever increasing problem. The number of available web pages is rising dramatically – 40 new websites are created every single minute of each day. And together with the existing websites (all 260 million of them) Google reckons there are more than 1 billion pages of new content being added every day…! We are swimming against the tide of never-ending information it seems. On top of this, there is some evidence that our attention span is shortening. More...


Being inclusive about PR ethics

by Neville Hobson of

One of the great things about the Ethics Awareness Month initiative from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is that it helps focus clear attention on a core issue in the profession that, in many people’s minds, needs that attention.

It doesn’t matter a bit that the PRSA’s initiative happens to be organized by the professional body that represents practitioners in the USA. To give full credit to them (as well as recognize some good common sense at work), it’s very open – More...


Ten examples of QR codes for real time marketing

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post titled QR codes deliver buyers in real time. In comments on the post as well as via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ a few people mentioned that QR codes are not very popular. In fact, some said that many people don't even know what they are or how to use them. While I do agree that the average person wouldn't know what a QR code is, I also recall in 1995 when web site URLs started to appear in offline advertising and again in 2008 when Twitter IDs started popping up, people didn't know what they were either. More...