Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Abu Dhabi to attend the Institute of Travel and Tourism annual conference. It was my first visit to the Emirate and apart from being overwhelmed by the heat, I was struck by the sheer scale of the development of the area. Abu Dhabi is less high rise than Dubai and the city spreads over many square miles, but the quality and ambition of the development matches that of its sister city. I was not there as a tourist but I did manage to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and would recommend that to any visitor to the area, as it is extraordinarily beautiful.
The main reason for my visit was to network with those in the travel industry, a market where we have many clients and depth of experience. I attend many industry conferences – the travel ones are often the best as they are frequently in lovely hotels overseas – and so I thought I would share with you my top tips for maximising the opportunities.
Decide why you are there
It might sound obvious but it is important to mentally set yourself objectives and maybe even some targets in[…]
Last week Forbes writer Eric Jackson published an article titled “Facebook Still Seems On Track To ‘Disappear’ In 4 Years From Now”. He suggests that in the next four years it could follow the same fate as Yahoo! and MySpace into the ‘has-beens’ section of the world-wide-web. Since Mark Zuckerberg carried out Facebook’s IPO in May 2012 and the collapsing share price that followed, we have seen much discourse as to the company’s future direction and success. The FT reported this week that Facebook shares have fallen nearly 21 per cent in the past month. So what is troubling Facebook and what can we expect from the world’s most famous social media platform?
The main threat for Facebook has been the birth of mobile based browsing. According to Morgan Stanley, in 2013 the number of internet-connected mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, will exceed the number of desktop and laptop computers in use. This is where Facebook has encountered its biggest problems. Other social media platforms such as Twitter offer a far quicker and enjoyable user experience than the slow and lagging one offered by Facebook. Social sites that provide a far simpler platform and largely rely on the[…]
A great deal of public relations effort still goes into courting media coverage and to maximise your chances you naturally need to be media friendly. So try comparing your organisation against this ten-point checklist and see how you perform. I’ll be very surprised if you can say you’re doing all of this and more!
1. You have helpful people who know the organisation inside out as the first point of contact for journalists. These people see themselves as facilitators not gatekeepers, and are known by your switchboard, whatever the country. Their contact details are easily found and include direct-dial phone numbers and out-of-hours mobile numbers. These always get answered and never go to voicemail. The nominated out-of-hours person has the personal mobile phone number of your organisation’s chief executive.
2. Part of your website and content is dedicated solely to visitors from the media seeking information and resources. It doesn’t mandate registration, qualification or log-ins. It includes a well-thought out FAQ, RSS feeds and searchable content, intelligently tagged to deliver the best results quickly. Sweden’s Swedbank clearly understands this. These media resources include company logos and images, but make sure you deliver what you promise, unlike airports operator BAA in[…]
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has dropped Luther Pendragon, claiming it did so as soon as it learned the agency has decided to work for tobacco company Phillip Morris.
Good! I’m glad that the ABPI has distanced itself from an agency that is prepared to promote a company that sells products that kill and injure the health of millions each year.
But why would a firm like Luther Pendragon be willing to damage its own reputation? Taking cash from PMI comes at the same time as a new graphic ad campaign showing a cancerous tumour growing from a cigarette.
Perhaps this conversation that I once had with the leader of an international PR company sheds some light.
Me: With the rapid expansion of the business across the world, how can you be sure that the company is acting ethically in each territory? For example, how do you know that there is no “rogue” office working with the tobacco industry? Or working with a despotic regime?
Leader: It is not as easy as you make it sound with obvious Good Guys and Bad Guys. Many believe that everyone has a right to PR representation, including the tobacco industry. Some people might feel uncomfortable[…]
If someone won't look you in the eye when they tell you something, you are less likely to believe them than when they do. A 'shifty' eye-line darting from one side to another makes people look particularly suspicious.