Wednesday, 28 November 2007

New Zealand Tech Blog gears up for CeBIT 2008

We're working for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise again on how they promote their ICT companies at next year's CeBIT. To provide another channel of information the NZTE team are experimenting with a blog to capture what's happening in New Zealand ICT and their plans for the March 2008 event

Friday, 23 November 2007

Corporate citizenship is the way forward according to US survey
The recent US PR Week survey highlighted interesting trends with regards to corporate citizenship and the environment.

Refreshingly corporate citizenship and environmental issues are becoming increasingly important for bosses and employees alike.

One company interviewed ensures that all their products are eco-friendly and all their new buildings have an ‘eco structure’. The company also supports volunteerism by its employees and donates money for the hours employees donate to charitable efforts.

The survey also highlighted that new recruits just coming out of school have been raised to be socially aware. So for them joining companies that are looking after the environment is very important. In the US, the survey revealed that the fastest growing sector is the non profit sector because people want to do work that has a social impact….for this new generation a socially beneficial role is amongst the most important criteria for their long-term careers.

Good corporate citizenship and looking after the environment are fast becoming at the top of most peoples’ agenda, both at home and in the workplace. I suspect we are just at the start of something that will change our lifestyles forever.


Monday, 19 November 2007

US CEO media doesn't play a role!

Last week’s US PR Week annual survey of CEOs produced in conjunction with global PR giant Burson Marstellar, reveals some interesting or should I say disappointing facts about todays CEOs running some of the world’s most successful organisations.

It seems that these more ‘traditional’ CEOs aren’t quite there yet when it comes to social media and embracing our new online world. Whilst they cite their own ‘accessibility’ to customers and employees as being crucial for good communication, they don’t consider social media as being a useful tool in achieving this. Instead they’d rather consume many hours on planes, airports and hotel rooms (adding to our environmental problem) and zooming from one office location to the next (when they could be doing podcasts, webinars or even communicating via Facebook and YouTube). The research simply brushes over the new social media tools (and in fact blogging comes bottom of their list).

“We are still in the analogue world when it comes to communication”!!!!!What...did I really read that correctly?

Instead high on the list for influential PR is the non-controversial stuff like speaking opportunities at community events and trade shows, traditional sponsorship and networking events. The CEOs considered these to be the most important PR tools.

Thankfully not all companies are so traditional when it comes to communication. Serena Software has just announced to its staff that Friday is a Facebook day, when all staff downtools and collaborate on Facebook (BusinessWeek) with the objective that it builds teamwork and camaraderie amongst the teams. Now, I’m not suggesting we all do that, but what a refreshing approach to internal comms.

It will be interesting to see how CEOs views change in the next three to five years as social media comes more into the mainstream.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Next stop….Rehab!

“We only have 300 test tubes, do you think that will be enough shots on the door?”

This was the question my colleague was asking me this time two weeks ago, as we prepared for the infamous GBC and Chocolate Communications media party. To be honest I was unsure, we had an unprecedented amount of media RSVP this year, ranging from influential UK bloggers to journalists who had once upon a time received all press releases in the post.

The tongue in cheek ‘Break Free from Rehab’ theme had already resulted in a real buzz about the party and we didn’t want to disappoint. In retrospect we had nothing to worry about, even though we had almost 200 journalists in attendance we were well prepared.

The venue was perfect; a new place in Soho, London called Club 49. The staff were also fantastic, quickly creating an assortment of tasty shots for consumption by the attendees who didn’t have an early start the next day (or had simply forgot). The role of these shots in the decision to have a break dancing competition at midnight is also still up for debate.

The only complaint of the night – that the next party isn’t until the new year. But at least some comfort can be taken from the fact they can still check out the pics on this Flikr site.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Hello?....I'm on a plane right now

So... using a mobile on board a flight is becoming a reality, according to not only Ofcom but Ryanair who were pleased to announce the new service to passengers on their entire fleet from 2008. While some airlines seem to be excited about this, I have so far not come across anyone who thinks this will do anything in the way of improving their in-flight experience. In fact, I recently saw that The Daily Telegraph started a petition to keep airlines mobile free citing passenger sanity and security reasons and so far 5,332 readers have signed up.

Having travelled by plane only yesterday and experienced voicemails, screeching ringtones and reminders beeping through the cabin seconds after touch down, the potential horror of allowing mobiles on planes hit me. It's hard enough to sleep on any flight or even relax with a good book. Imagine trying to sleep with the sound of your fellow passenger making a call explaining what he's just had for lunch, where he is on the world map, what films he'll be watching.. the list is endless and we know these types of conversations too well from train and bus journeys.... Now imagine a Boeing 747 with 490 mobile phones on board. While I'm all for technology, in this case I really do enjoy having a mobile free in-flight experience.