Have you seen some of the stuff the Scottish Catholic Church has been putting out recently? Linking a MP’s death with his homosexuality and callling for incest to be approved? Are they deliberately going for the linkbait? Is it easier to do than three Hail Mary’s?
Long story short (as it seems to be going global so you probably know about it): Scottish council bans wee girl blogging with pics. This is a monumental cock-up on a number of levels. Here’s why:
One: Getting kids to embrace social media tools is great (heck, even The Brownies now have a badge for blogging) – it helps develop their language, their writing/photography skills, their confidence, may even get them interested in using technology. To slap that down takes all of that away. It says “Don’t bother, we know best, you’ll do as you’re told. You can only write if we approve what you say.” There goes self-expression eh?
Two: It’s turning PR horrific. There will be those in the council that don’t care this has been mentioned in magazines like WIRED but reputationally? This has got to sting.
Having said that, will it have financial impact? Probably not. No-one’s suddenly not going to the area because of this.
Three: Most importantly, Scotland has a terrible time with food. It’s not a healthy nation, so we’re discouraging someone from taking an interest in food and making things better – we’re also causing a charity to lose out on vital funds.
Four: It’s also a bad day for democracy – making a 9 year old child stop blogging. FFS. Yes, I know all they have done is asked her to stop posting pics of her meals but in essence that hits the blog hard as that form of content is a major part of it.
Argyll & Bute Council were dealt a bloody nose when this blog comes out highlighting the state of school meals. Now instead of coming out and explaining why the meals are so awful and encouraging people to come up with better solutions (you know, like engage with your local residents and perhaps crowdsource a bit), they went old school and tried to stop the messenger. Now they haven’t told her to take the blog down but by stopping her uploading pics of what she’s eating, they’ve killed one of the two main forms of content that goes up.
No. (But I’m convinced there’s more to that than meets the eye – why did it take five months for there to be outrage over that event?)
There’s quite a few ways they could do that, but they could start with the basic idea behind it all: fix the bloody problem, which in this case appears to be school dinners. If you use that as your starting point, the rest falls into place quite easily and creatively.
Ever since picking up my iPad, one app has stood out for me in terms of newsgathering (well, two if you want to count FeeddlerPro as my RSS app) – and that’s PressReader, which provides 2,100 newspapers to your iPad (or Android device) for less than £20 a month.
And it just got better for people in Scotland…
Much chat over the weekend about Scotland and Wales getting their own domain names – .scot, .wales and .cymru. But what does this mean for Scottish/Welsh businesses and should English firms be rallying for a .england or .eng?
Rangers Football Club is having a terrible time of it. It used to have a really easy time in the mainstream Scottish media but of late has been more and more under fire between a tax case and scrutiny of the new owner, Craig Whyte. And there’s crisis social media and PR lessons here for any businesses.
If you’ve read more than 140 characters on social media, you’ll know that many people like myself, Chris Brogan and others advocate a blog as being a main part of your social media strategy. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other sites, what’s on your site (like your blog) is yours and all yours alone with the benefits – SEO and otherwise – that it brings. Another great thing about a blog is that you can write as much as you want – useful in a crisis and you want to get your words across. After all, there’s no guarantee that the local press will pick up your release or use a lot of it.
Which brings us to BrewDog, a young brewing and pub company from Scotland (disclaimer: I’ve done work for them in the past but not at the moment). There’s been grumblings of late from some customers about problems with deliveries from their mail order.
There’s an interesting story over at The Drum about a row having broken out between Liverpool City Councillors and the local press. In short, the council is banning their press officers from speaking to the papers. As you would expect, the CIPR and PRCA have condemned this, calling it daft.
But when you look at circulation and online presence, the council could go online and reach more people than they can through the traditional press. They’d also be more in control of the message. And this is the shape of things to come.
The whole phone hacking issue been covered elsewhere and better in-depth than I can give time to, but this one item did impress me.
While it’s fair to say that until Edelman PR got on board the phone hacking tale was a PR disaster for News International (and has since been turned round really well) there’s been one nice PR touch by the likes of Trinity Mirror and so on… they’ve kept the text specific to ‘phone hacking’ so they can talk about that – and deny it – without talking about the other tricks known to have been used at papers where reporters would receive lists of outgoing calls made by people at certain addresses from insiders at friendly phone companies. Said reporter would then go through the phone numbers and dial away to try and find a story.
It’s not hacking but it’s in the same area – invasion of privacy by accessing data people would expect to be kept confidential.
And again, like phone hacking to be honest, that’s an OK tactic if you’re chasing dodgy types – criminals, corrupt politicians and so on – but not authors, footballers and other ‘celebrities’.
I am utterly delighted to be announcing ex-Digital Editor of the Daily Record and STV Local Editor Iain Hepburn has joined Contently Managed as the country’s first Director of Brand Journalism allowing us to add to our social media package to businesses in Scotland.
This, as they say, is exciting times folks…
Now this is what I call digital democracy. There’s tons that could be said about the Scottish Elections last week (or you can read this post, this post, this post and listen to this Audioboo and that pretty much covers it) but here’s something that’s popped up that gives all online types a chance to be involved (even if just a wee bit)…