Govt axe on PR best avoided by measurable productivity

By Tim Marshall

This morning’s front page lead in the New Zealand Herald headed “Spin doctor jobs on line as Govt orders cuts” begs for a blog post.

My first thoughts are on measurable productivity. If Government PR and communications people are making a measurable difference then why would any rational person want to get rid of them?



March 27, 2009 at 11:36 am 3 comments

Privacy law review

By Tim Marshall

I hear in an interview with Kathryn Ryan on National Radio that PRINZ’s friend John Burrows (formerly PRINZ’s Ethics Panel chair) is leading the Law Commission’s review of privacy laws.

Privacy rights are an issue for PR practitioners, particularly those who work with celebrities including stars of the sports, music and acting worlds and high profile politicians. Privacy laws are also relevant to media advisers of people who are thrust into the media spotlight like British couple Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of Madeleine who went missing in Portugal.

A big chunk of PRINZ’s Code of Ethics is concerned with balancing the privacy rights of individuals and organisations with the public’s right to information and a commitment to open communication.

In his radio interview John Burrows says “galloping technology” such as the increasingly widespread use of surveillance devices like closed circuit television has highlighted anomalies in the law. And a news release on the privacy law review asks: Should the media be subject to any greater or lesser legal restrictions concerning privacy intrusions than any other members of the public?

John Burrows is calling for as many high quality submissions as possible for the privacy law review. Submissions close on 29 May 2009. So if your experience is that privacy law is an ass, or just a bit behind, now is your chance to influence change!

March 26, 2009 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Copyright law and the internet

It has been interesting to watch the debate regarding copyright law and internet providers (ISPs) responsibility to terminate accounts of repeat copyright infringers.

You have to ask yourself how could ISPs actually have enforced it given that for years people have downloaded images, music and videos?

No doubt many will be pleased with the government’s decision to rewrite Section 92 but it still asks the question what can be done about protecting  copyright in an electronic environment?

March 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm 1 comment

Clean up Greenwashing

The Commerce Commission has published a set of guidelines for businesses on how to avoid making untrue or misleading statements about the ‘green’ credentials of their products and services.

Published in December 2008, The Fair Trading Act Guidelines for Green Marketing aim to help businesses comply with the Fair Trading Act when making environment related claims.

Source: Talk Sustainability, 17 March 2009.

March 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

Tough out the recession, communicate

By Tim Marshall

If in these tough times your organisation is questioning the value of communication, you should read this New Zealand Herald article by Tom Davies, director of professional support for the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

With “the economic ice age upon us”, Tom outlines seven key focus areas that will enable companies to stay healthy and survive the recession.

As you might expect, Tom’s first three points involve money matters – improve your cashflow management, get more out of your working capital and consider debt restructuring.

But his next three points are heartland communications and public relations – look after your good customers, keep communicating with your staff and keep communicating with your other stakeholders.

Who would have expected an accountant to say three of the seven most important things a company should do in tough times involve communication and relationship management?

So if fellow PR people and communicators are looking for some independent support for the necessity of your work in bad times (as well as good) you could point any doubting Thomases to a Tom who doesn’t doubt your work is crucial.

March 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

PR builds brand for complex products better than Ads

By Stephen Knightly
Text 100’s  ( Media Prominence Study suggests that public relations (they evaluated media relations specifically) may have a greater impact than advertising on brand value – especially for feature-rich, high-involvement and complicated products such as consumer electronics, and financial services and vehicles

The study calculates brand value based on Interbrand’s 2008 Best Global Brands report, show that on average 27% of brand value is tied to how often the brand name appears in the press.  For technology and computing brands (eg, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Dell…) 48% of brand value was explained by media prominence. 23% for car brands, 20% for consumer electronics and 19% for financial services.

The full report is available from Text 100’s local partner Pursuit PR’s website.

March 20, 2009 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

94% of US journalists use info from PR professionals

Post from Tim Marshall

A just published survey of 750 US journalists shows 94% of respondents use information from PR professionals and 87% regularly use press kits. For journalists/editors under the age of 30 the figures are higher with 99% saying they use information from PR professionals.

Not surprisingly 100% of respondents said they regularly used websites for editing and reporting. Social networking sites were rated relatively unimportant as a news source.

The survey was carried out by media intelligence company Cision and George Washington University and was passed on to me by colleague Rob Warner.

March 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm 1 comment

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