My personal API

Another day and another cold call from a automated service telling me about a PPI claim that I might have. I realise that companies all have to make money and trim costs wherever they can. Having ACTUAL people cold call only to be told no is an expensive business.

This post isn’t actually about that. I don’t mind people calling me. Well… I do when it’s inconvenient but if they catch me at the right time I’m happy to have a chat (and then say no).

This post is more about defining the terms of condition through which I’ll be marketed to. Hell having worked in PR for years, I’ve done the ‘media pitch’ only to catch journalists at an inopportune time thereby pissing them off. I know what it’s like being on the other side.

For those active in social media marketing will know, we talk a lot about the customer journey and optimise the customer touchpoints (phrases I hate). But as a customer, I feel that I should take responsibility for telling those that want to sell me something the terms of conditions by which to do so. A kind of personal API if you will

So with that in mind, here’s a typical online journey for me complete with the appropriate touchpoints (another word I hate).

Wake up (Between 6am and 7am)

  • Check Twitter for Arsenal news, whoever I spoke to last night, any interesting trends
  • Check Flipboard and Feedly for Sports news and other feeds on marketing, business, and technology news
  • Check Timehop
  • Possibly check Facebook

Bath time (7am ish)

  • Listen to Talksport (unless it’s been a bad day for Arsenal then it’s Radio 4 or LBC)
  • Watch a bit of BBC Breakfast following by Peppa Pig and or Noddy/Postman Pat/Thomas the tank engine (I have 2yr old in case anyone is wondering)

Journey into work (8am to 9am)

  • Listen to Talksport (unless a bad day for Arsenal then see above)
  • Listen to podcast by Mitch Joel /HBR/Jay Baer

Arrive at work (9am ish)

  • Check Twitter,
  • Check LinkedIn on any contacts I’m meeting or prospecting
  • Feedly for industry related topics

Lunch at desk (bad I know) (1pm ish)

  • Read latest Kindle book

Leave work (6pm ish)

  • Listen to Talksport (chances are I’ve gotten over the bad Arsenal news)
  • Listen to podcast
  • Read book (kindle)
  • Write blog post via WordPress mobile (as I’m doing now)

Get home (7pm ish)

  • Watch Peppa Pig (urgh)

Evening chill out time (ie once daughter finally sleeps) (9pm ish)

  • Watch TV (Comedy, drama or sport)

Bedtime (11pm ish)

  • Check Feedly/Flipboard
  • Check Facebook

That’s roughly it. If you’re a marketer and think you can find an gap to ‘interlock’ with me, feel free.

UPDATE:

Since writing this post I’ve discovered a great tool built by Visual DNA  that allows you take simple personality test that ascertains what brands you’ll likely be receptive to (amongst other things).

Mine is scarily accurate….

Who is EbA

 

Thoughts on Sun+ paywall and brands becoming media companies

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Sun+ blogger event held at News UK offices yesterday. The event was hosted by News UK CEO Mark Darcey and we were given a glimpse into the Sun+ paywall, what it offers readers, what it means for the Sun (print, desktop and tablet) and, more interestingly for me, the Goals app.

For a more detailed wrap up of the media implications of the paywall, there are some good analysis here and here.

For me there were a couple of takeaways (amongst the actually takeaways of Wayne Rooney’s biography, a notebook and a quirky USB thingy).

Firstly, it’s clear the popular phenomena ‘digital transformation’ is weaving it’s way through the media industry. When the Times launched it’s paywall back in 2010, it was met with much scepticism. The world has moved on dramatically since then. We all have tablets now. Wi-fi is pretty much wherever we need it. And more recently 4G means a much better browsing  experience. We’re much less ‘suspicious’ about paying for things online.

Against this backdrop, the Sun+ team is unlikely to face the kind of uproar the Times team did (Also being part of the same means they won’t have to go far to learn their lessons.) Much of that uproar was around would people be prepared to pay for news they could get for free and what impact it would have on circulation.

While there is certainly still some debate on the ‘paying for news’ aspect, Mike Darcey (News UK CEO) made a very interesting point on the circulation discussion. Yes there will be a drop off in figures. But why is that a bad thing? In the corporate world, we constantly tell brands it’s not about the number of ‘likes’ but the quality of fans. And that’s the point many media companies are coming round to. Who cares about a 32 million uniques if the majority of them only read one article occasionally and leave? (And I’m actually one of those).

My second takeaway is related to that. Brands and companies are very keen to become media companies so it’s very interesting to see how media companies are innovating themselves. Newspapers have for years prided themselves on really knowing and understanding their audiences. What makes them tick, what makes them angry, what makes them buy more papers. of course, delivering relevant content is a key component but for me, getting under the skin of your audience is really what it means for a brand to become like a media company. The other aspect media companies have is a strong sense of who they are and who they are not. Far too often, companies don’t really know what they stand for and what they don’t stand for. This really needs to change if brands are to adopt the media company model.

All in all it will be very interesting to see how the Sun+ move goes. The team have lots of ideas about how to evolve the offering over time. Now I must check out their Goals app to see if Arsenal have signed anyone….

MMR frenzy 2.0?

I remember the debate vividly.

The notion that if your kids have the MMR jab, there’s a chance they get autism was being touted around by the press. They was one problem with this. It was the opinion of ONE scientist.The whole point of science is that it constantly calls into question theories which are then reviewed by other scientists. It’s only when there’s a general consensus that the theory is put forward as policy. (Kind of like the way democracy works).

It never seizes to amaze me how ignorant the press can be when it comes to understanding how science works. Roll on seven years and this ilk of debate has reared its ugly head with the dreaded swine flu and its advised treatment Tamiflu. The press once again have resorted to taking the advice of ONE paper in a journal to stoke up some public hysteria. The point of peer review is that other experts give their opinions on the research for a consensus to be reached.

But then again, I suppose that doesn’t get headlines like “Tamiflu is risk to pig virus kids”

About time

Well I finally decided it was time to set up a blog.

Hopefully this will be more of a fruitful exercise than when I last tried blogging about five years ago. That ended pretty quickly after I went through the rigmarole of setting up one only to realise I didn’t have a lot to say.

A lot of time has passed since then. I’m older and wiser, and the older I get the more I have to rant about. Most of my rants/pearls of wisdom will probably center around PR, corporate communications, technology and the media. There’ll probably be a bit of sport thrown in for good measure.

Wish me luck