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One More Reason For Damien To…

Posted in: New Media,Online Marketing,Social Media by Richard Hearne on June 29, 2008
Internet Marketing Ireland

…set up shop and offer commercial PR services to Irish companies wishing to engage the online channel.

Not wishing to be outdone by Grandad, and just to tell the world that I too joined the illustrious list, I can announce that I too was on the distribution for the PR detailing the latest news about the Irish Times.

No more Pay-Wall, and moving to IrishTimes.com

I had heard about the changes when I met Roan Murphy (Commercial Analyst at Digitalworx) at the inaugural meeting of the IIA’s Internet Marketing Work Group. Nice guy, and I’m sure quite busy right now. At the time he mentioned some of the forthcoming changes, I of course had to ask about how they intended handling the migration (my mind has now been programmed to think first about crawlers…). It will be interesting to see how that’s all set up tomorrow when the sites are separated out.

But Back To Damien…

I don’t think there’s a brighter mind in Ireland when it comes to using the social aspects of the Internet to create dialogues. Not one that I’ve connected with anyway. I use the word ‘dialogues’ because that really is the basis of the social web – multiple interactions between parties. No more of this push-marketing now you know.

The PR I received is a great example of how old-school media technicians are still grappling with how the rules change online. Here’s a short list of what I see wrong with the Irish Times PR, and why I’m talking about the PR rather than the message:

  1. Email had no message – just the boilerplate signature of the sender;
  2. Not personalised in any way (nothing to personalise) – unlike SeedCorn
  3. No introduction or overview – it’s nice to get a short overview of what I’m looking at (like most people, time is at a premium for me). The PR could easily be paraphrased in a few bullets, followed by why this might be of interest to me, and then close by mentioning that more detail is attached if I need it;
  4. Email was sent from a @yahoo.co.uk email address, even though the boilerplate included a @q4pr.ie contact email. Very weird, and unfortunately spammy-looking;
  5. Combine (1) and (4) above and I cold be forgiven for thinking twice about opening that attachment;
  6. All recipients listed to To: field. Well at least we all know each other now. Not to mention that Grandad got a good chuckle out of it :mrgreen:

The distro list on the mail was quite small, and I saw 6 bloggers on that list. So far it hasn’t been such a successful strategy – Grandad took the mickey out of the distro list, Damien used his usual down-to-earth language in describing the PR, the other 3 blogs haven’t carried anything yet, and I’m being me LOL.

So Seriously Business People…

Use your good-ole PR agency for doing the good-old fashioned PR ‘stuff’. Talk to someone who actually really understands online PR for all this new-fangled Interweb stuff. He might be outspoken, but if you appreciate someone who calls it as they see it, and who really ‘gets’ this stuff, then you need to speak to Damien.

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  1. I must confess that I was within an ace of deleting that mail. It rang all the alarm bells, but I was intrigued. I checked out the sender against their website before opening the attachment, but it was the list of recipients that finally convinced me that it was genuine.

    It was unprofessional in the extreme for all the reasons you mention above. Another thing that occurred to me – why send out a press release after it has appeared in their own paper?

    Comment by Grandad — June 29, 2008 @ 11:03 am

  2. But let’s all be honest here – the most important thing will be how TwentyMajor blogs this. Let’s see if he can light the sky purple in his usual style LOL

    Comment by Richard Hearne — June 29, 2008 @ 11:09 am

  3. Knowing him, he’ll completely ignore it! :)

    Comment by Grandad — June 29, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  4. Is there a possibility that it wasn’t actually sent from a PR person at all (given you say it was from a yahoo.co.uk email address)

    Comment by le craic — June 29, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  5. @le craic – it came from [person's name]@yahoo.co.uk. [Person's name] was identical to the signature block in the email, and judging by the distro list this was for real. Pretty sure it was genuine.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — June 30, 2008 @ 3:59 am

  6. that’s a bizarre way to send an email – crazy stuff

    Comment by le craic — June 30, 2008 @ 6:17 am

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