As a new graduate, I now face the big wide world full of exciting opportunities and the decision of what to do next. Like many students, my degree subject didn’t come with an obvious vocation and it appears my options are endless. On this count, I think myself particularly lucky as it has always been clear to me that my career path lays within the media industry.
Whilst I had previously set my sights on the creativity of advertising, a work experience placement with Turn Key last summer changed my focus. Having been taken under the wing of the TK PR team, Claire and Charlotte opened my eyes to the exciting world of PR and that it can be just as creative and stimulating as advertising – if not more so! The team involved me in many projects, giving me a feel for various aspects of the industry. A public consultation event for Hammerson was a fantastic way to experience press interviews, event management and networking; not to mention how fun and exciting it was to be involved in such a major event! After having my first taste of the industry, I was hooked on the invigorating, busy and rewarding world of PR.
This placement ultimately led me to the decision to pursue a career in PR and the friendly atmosphere of Turn Key drew me back in and I requested a further period of work experience with the team whilst I search for a graduate role. Now back in the Turn Key office I aim to further develop my industry knowledge, understanding and, I’m finding the social media side of PR really interesting.
Social networking has become hugely influential and is now part of day to day routine. We already know that facebook is taking over the world but according to the social networking site, it claims that a third of young women check their profile before even going to the toilet in the morning! Not letting the fact that you are out and about stop you, smart phones now enable us to ‘tweet’ and ‘post’ on the move and as a consequence social networking sites are now widely used as a feature of PR. It gives businesses a way to communicate with people on a personal level in real time. I’m always tempted to tweet Coca Cola on my 3pm Diet Coke break! This is just one of the many things I am discovering with the team, and it has opened my eyes to the PR world and what it entails.
I still have much to learn and understand, but my experience so far has only intensified my desire to pursue a career in this invigorating and ever developing industry – so thank you Turn Key!!
Another privacy furore or candid admission of defeat?
Places was always going to be a risky move for Facebook, for two reasons;
1. An incredibly chequered record on user privacy.
2. Incredibly focused, powerful competition from Foursquare and Gowalla, two location based social networks.
Still, they danced along the rim of the spinning wheel of chance and unfortunately have fallen flat on their collective faces. So why didn’t Places work for a network that has been so universally successful in almost every other respect?
We all secretly, in the deep crevices of our minds know that Facebook is just one gargantuan marketing database, but we do not appreciate that fact rubbed in our faces when Facebook stretch the word ‘liberal’ to its very limit with a new privacy update.
So we can now see how users responded almost a year down the line “No Facebook, no.”
Don’t be fooled however, you have always been able to restrict who can tag you at a location, it was a feature when Places launched last year. I believe the real reason that Places is getting taken ‘out back’ is because of incredibly poor uptake, which leads me nicely on to…
Facebook massively underestimated the strength of the competition in this arena. Anecdotally I don’t think that the Facebook audience was ready for location based functionality, I don’t think they wanted it and personally I got little or no added value from it.
I’ve been a member and user of Foursquare for the last couple of years (come see me if you are too). If I want awesome location based fun, that’s where I go. I have had neither the desire nor interest in sharing my location on Facebook in any way other than in a status update.
Here is a little peek at the titanic growth that Foursquare drove through 2010
Check out the full amazing infographic here.
Where Facebook and Foursquare differ however is over our old friend privacy. Foursquare doesn’t leave every option as ‘Opt In’ or allow people to speak for me. It simply empowers me as a user to tell people where I am, what I’m doing and who else is nearby. It is the location based marketing tool, Facebook really, really wanted to have and just failed to launch.
While Foursquare has totally understood concerns about privacy and continue to flourish in location based social marketing, Facebook has sailed past the lighthouse and crashed on the jagged rocks of failure.
So why has it taken Facebook users so long to be concerned about the lack of control over location (as well as photo based) tagging?
The reason I believe it has taken so long for this basic privacy concern to come to light is that social networks simply didn’t feature in the public eye until recently. The increasing amount of interest social networking has received over the past two years has seen internet interaction grow from a furtive, socially unacceptable back room activity into a perfectly acceptable mode of communication, no more exciting than sending a text.
As social networking (and the Internet as a whole, let’s be honest) continues to spill into everyday life, it is becoming the subject of everyday concerns and particularly in the UK, privacy is a big one.
Inevitably during a paradigm shift in the way we interact, there will be some teething problems. This kind of openness takes some adjustment in the public conciousness and privacy always will be a concern. We have seen that for years with the Government, with Google Streetview, and recently with the phone hacking scandal.
As we become more data reliant, we must ensure that the people we give our information up to use it responsibly.
So Facebook; I applaud your diversification, I love your network, but please, please learn from the last six years of privacy misery – let me do the opting in.
Don’t believe the rumours: with over 8.7 million people in the UK not yet online*, print is definitely not dead.
At Turn Key, digital forms a very important part of most integrated marketing plans, but we haven’t forgotten about print. In many cases, reaching your target audience would be impossible without print media. However, you must be aware that consumers and customers alike are becoming more discerning and are demanding print services with strong environmental credentials.
So, what are the best ways to create printed material without damaging your CSR principles and further boosting your green credentials?
We’re working closely with our print suppliers to develop solutions that are as environmentally friendly as possible, and maintaining high quality stocks without compromising on print finish. Many of our clients have a great interest in upholding their environmental credentials, especially through their print service, as this often comes under immediate scrutiny. The addition of an FSC or recycled logo can be a fantastic way of alleviating concerns among both employees and stakeholders (an FSC stamp ensures that the required standard of care has taken place throughout the whole supply chain by forest owners, timber processors and manufacturers).
Top tips for ensuring that your print is sustainable.
1) Make sure that all paper is FSC certified at the very least – and tell people about it! The addition of an FSC or recycled logo on your brochure will show you care
2) Check to see if your printer is using vegetable based inks (rather than oil based) as standard, and if not then request that they use them for your application.
3) Ask your printer and see if they have methods in place for the safe disposal and recycling of all materials used in print production, including inks and chemicals. If not, ask why not.
4) Try and work with your printer to ensure that environmentally friendly alternative specifications are incorporated from the start – they should always be happy to help. For example, enhanced gloss varnish is an environmentally friendly alternative to gloss UV varnish, whilst also being better quality and much more cost effective!
Of course, it’s all about small, smart changes to what you’re already doing that creates added value. Set yourself apart as a leader and show customers your green credentials, whilst also influencing their behaviour for the better.