Monday, 21 January 2008

Tell me why I don’t like Mondays…please Dr. Arnall

The papers, the radio, the telly and my mates have been part of the great conspiracy to make me, and the public in general, aware that today, January 21st, was going to be the bluest day of the year.

I decided to scour the Internet to discover who is behind this all this negative psychology. Thank you Dr Cliff Arnall, of Cardiff University Psychology department, who reached this conclusion based on research encompassing a variety of factors.

I’m no psychologist, but even I can work out that January is midwinter, where we’re all fighting hibernation and thinking that the winter layer might have to see us through the hard times inflicted by December’s overspending. But the idea that today was destined to be the worst sounds a little pessimistic and, dare I say it, a gem of a PR campaign – not a bad one though.

As I trundled through town in my decidedly chirpy red coat I can’t say I noticed my mood was any different to any other day, and work was pretty normal too. Granted, I was greeted by an overflowing inbox, but if you work in an office, you’ll know that’s a Monday thing, and there was nothing very nasty about today’s.

If you disagree, and the early sunsets are getting you down, perhaps you’ll be tempted to do one of the following: (or if you’re a bloke you might prefer a pint at the local…)

- book a week in the sun
- join a gym (release those endorphins)
- indulge in retail therapy in this fine bargain season
- eat chocolate (containing anandamide to make you happier)

If I were a glass-half-empty kind of girl, I might conclude that the common impact of these three remedies is the negative impact they have on my bank balance, and the simultaneous boost they give to the retail industry (coincidence?)

So, was the mood in the air, was it infectious or are the media responsible for your bad start to the week? I say, if it hit you, claim it was inevitable, and rest assured that that’s as bad as it’ll get all year! You survived!

The PR industry makes me laugh

The PR industry makes me laugh (yes, indeed, the very business I work in). Agencies have banged on for many years now about wanting to be treated and valued like other professions and senior business advisors. ‘Why aren’t we respected like management consultants’ being the common question. Well when did you last hear of a management consultant offering their services for free?

We be moan the fact that we never seem to able to charge for pitches (unlike the ad industry), we debate for hours why our client fees aren’t as high as the advertising world (I sat on a PRCA committee for a year which was very busy discussing all of that) - but then what do I spot, one PR agency offering to work for free!

Now if that’s not devaluing not only your own business but the whole industry in one fell swoop. I know the whole argument about enticing a client in and being able to prove what you’re worth…but surely that short term gain is not worth the long-term damage it does to the profession?

What’s even worse is that this particular agency was rewarded for its positioning by winning a couple of highly acclaimed PR Week industry awards. So PR Week is actually endorsing undermining its own profession…interesting.

I ask you.


Monday, 7 January 2008

Don't bloggers need legal protection?

The front page of last week's USA edition of PR Week has reported that the blog,, has agreed to shutdown after a lengthy 3 year lawsuit with Apple. The problem stemmed from the fact that the site received leaked information about Apple products from an unknown source. The details of the settlement are unknown with the two parties settling out of court.

In this ever changing social media world, this latest news regarding surely emphasises the need for bloggers to have more protection legally just as regular journalists already have.