Blog 5 minute read
Here's a new weekly feature that aims to give you a tour de force of public relations related stories.
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📷 Instagram is 10 🕵️♂️ Surveillance technology 🚧 Reputational risk 🎾 Fred Perry 🏳🌈 #proudboys 🔎 Google 📰 Regional media 📚 No budget research ⬛ #BAMEover 👨🚀 Data and AI 🤼 Facebook groups
🎂 Instagram is 10 years old
📷 Instagram’s 10th birthday | On Tuesday 6 October Instagram celebrates its 10th birthday. Despite being iPhone only it gained one million user in its first two months. Today it has more than one billion users and its most followed user has more than 239 million followers. National Geographic is the most followed non-celebrity account with more than 145 million followers. My long read article looks at the growth and potential future for Instagram.
🏡 Working from home
🕵️♂️ Surveillance technology | The BBC reports that working from home has alarming aspects for some workers as employers use software that tracks “workers’ hours, keystrokes, move movements and websites visited”. A company called Sneek (even the name is creepy) provides software that “takes photos of workers through their laptop and uploads them for colleagues to see.” Prospect trade union is at the forefront of looking at how new technology can be used ethically for the good of both employers and employees. It has published new research revealing how concerned workers are about surveilance technology. PR and communication professionals should be alert to the negative impact such technology will have on employee wellbeing and engagement as well as the huge reputational risk of using overly intrusive technology.
🚒 Crisis communication
🎾 Fred Perry | Fashion brand Fred Perry has withdrawn one of its iconic polo shirts after it was appropriated by the '‘Proud Boys’, a far-right group in the USA. I wasn’t convinced this was the right thing to do as if an extremist group tries to appropriate your brand or products then a company with strong values would stand up to it rather than give in.
🏳🌈 #proudboys | Has the Twitter community shown Fred Perry how to respond to issues like this? It has created a trending hashtag for #proudboys which isn’t the far-right male-exclusive Proud Boys group but celebrates the LGBTIQ community
🔎 Google | As advertisers plough their money into Google and Facebook traditional media has to compete with itself for a smaller slice of the cake. It’s good new therefore that Google is ‘giving’ $1 billion to news publishers in six countries to “licence publishers’ content for a new feature in Google News”. This isn’t an altruistic move by Google as it is facing increasing scrutiny by legislators. It has already had to pull back in one of the six markets because since the launch because the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has pushed for Google to pay royalties to all publishers, not just the chosen ones in its News Showcase programme. [Disclaimer: Google is a former client].
📰 Regional media | I’m a huge fan of regional media as local newspapers and broadcasters play a vital role in society. The Ayr Advertiser wins my award for the best headline of the week with the startling news that a Turnberry hotelier test positive for conronavirus.
🥇 Best practice
⬛ #BAMEover | There is an ongoing, and often heated, debate about the use of the term BAME and other terminology to describe communities. As a white male I’ve thought about it deeply, but don’t feel it’s my role to decide. Inc Arts UK has conducted extensive research amongst those communities to find out what they think and has published #BAMEover - A statement for the UK. It concludes that neither BAME or ‘people of colour’ are appropriate for the UK. The statement is an important resource to help PR and communication professionals review how their organisations describe communities. Since I shared this it has caused some heated debate, particularly amongst fans of the ‘people of colour’. I was alerted to the report by Alison Lowe, CEO of Touchstone who is someone I respect and take guidance from on this issue.
🚀 Social media
🤼 Facebook groups | At its annual Communities Summit Facebook announced a raft of new features for Facebook groups. More than 1.8 billion people use Facebook groups every month which is why they are so important for PR professionals as source of insight and a channel for engaging with people. Many of the improvements are to support group administrators while others are designed to improve the visability and vitality of conversations. I’m an admin of several no-work related groups and would recommend other PR people professionals do the same as it is a great way to learn about Facebook groups and community dynamics.