The latest issue of Peter Kirwan's FullRun newsletter is bursting at the seams with good material.
However, his piece on the audience breakdown of leading UK national newspaper websites really does have some big implications for PR (sub required - so get one).
The thrust of the argument is that the unique readerships of most of the top UK national newspaper websites are actually less than their print equivalents. In other words, print isn't dead by a long shot - and everyone questioning whether print media is still worth targetting ought to think again.
I hope Peter doesn't mind me quoting the following at length - this is something that deserves to be discussed far and wide.
"Neil Thurman of City University has tapped up NielsenNetRatings for data on how many US readers visit the major UK nationals' sites each month as a proportion of total unique users. Here's what he found: * Independent.co.uk: 73% * TheSun.co.uk: 42% * TimesOnline.co.uk: 41% * FT.com: 39% * Guardian.co.uk: 39% * ThisIsLondon.co.uk: 33% * Telegraph.co.uk: 28% * DailyMail.co.uk: 11%
It seems fairly clear that most of the UK nationals receive between 30% and 40% of their unique visits from the US.
That's higher than the numbers revealed by the Times and the Sunday Times nearly a decade ago. Factor in traffic from the Rest Of The World, and the proportion of non-UK traffic arriving at UK news sites on a regular basis could be as high as 60%-70% of unique visitors.
In the case of tech-focused sites, which carry a large amount of what might be described as globalized news, the proportion could be even higher.
For PRs based in the UK, the implications are interesting. To tease them out, it's worth taking a look at a recent column written for Press Gazette by John Duncan, a former managing editor of the Observer. Duncan argues that "every single British national newspaper website still has a lower audience in the UK than the newspaper it is supposedly killing".
The claim will sound discordant to anyone who has bought into web triumphalism. But in the case of the Guardian -- the UK's best-trafficked newspaper site -- Duncan is able to demonstrate it convincingly. Duncan argues that only 34% of the unique users who visit Guardian Unlimited originate in the UK -- a figure that sits well with Neil Thurman's data.
On this basis, he suggests, Guardian Unlimited attracts 270,576 UK-based unique users on a daily basis. By contrast, the Guardian's print edition sells 20,000 copies *more* than that on an average day. If you take print readership -- not just circulation -- into account, the disparity grows even larger. According to the National Readership Survey, the Guardian's print edition attracts an average daily readership of 986,586. That's almost four times the size of what we might describe as Guardian Unlimited's audience of UK-based unique users.
The dynamics won't be different for any of the Guardian's rivals. And it seems reasonable to suggest that similar principles apply to UK-based B2B and consumer tech publications.
These days, it's becoming fashionable for tech PR agencies to quietly criticize clients who display a continuing preference for print-based coverage. But if Thurman and Duncan are correct, it's hard to criticize anyone who thinks that print still plays a major role in influencing buyers and significant others.
The bottom line is that PR professionals working in the UK are paid to get their messages in front of a UK-based target audience. In many cases, print remains a highly efficient way of doing just that.
Anywhere FM allows you to upload your own iTunes library online - so you can listen to your own music library anywhere via a broadband connection. It also has a very slick iTunes-esque interface. And the novel social music twist is that you can listen to other people's music libraries - or rather, you can stream their playlists as a personal radio station. Like last.fm, you get a "compatibility" rating to see how you compare with your fellow Anywhere FM listener's tastes.
As others have pointed out, it enters a crowded market, competing with the likes of MP3 Locker - but it is free. And the social music angle is quite interesting.
It is early days for the service - though as of this evening, there have been 350,000 songs uploaded. And the music selections it provides are good.
Would be good if they added the ability to scroble to last.fm though.
Having just installed the new Documents app on Facebook, I was reminded that this kind of collaborative doc sharing has been around for a while ie Google Docs. On the surface, you'd have thought it is the kind of thing that PR companies might make routine use of for drafting and approving releases. Perhaps they do, but I haven't heard much talk about it.
However, given the general downer that journalists have on press releases, it occurred to me that some entrepreneurial hacks could offer to edit, advise, etc on draft press releases - for a fee of course (or for free in they are feeling charitable). And all this could be achieved in a confidential way as only specific people can have access to the documents. PRs would learn how to write better releases as well as get feedback on whether their stories are any good.
Dunno - maybe it's a stupid idea - then again.......
I've always had a copy of The Economist Style Guide close to hand - of course, I can't swear I've always abided by its rules - but it has been a valuable aid when people question why you've written something in a particular way.
I should therefore have guessed it would be online - and sure enough, it is (albeit a condensed version). I commend it to all right thinking PR and marketing people. The following section on use of jargon is particularly helpful:
Avoid it. You may have to think harder if you are not to use jargon, but you can still be precise. Technical terms should be used in their proper context; do not use them out of it. In many instances simple words can do the job of exponential (try fast), interface (frontier or border) and so on. If you find yourself tempted to write about affirmative action or corporate governance, you will have to explain what it is; with luck, you will then not have to use the actual expression.
Avoid, above all, the kind of jargon that tries either to dignify nonsense with seriousness (The appointee...should have a proven track record of operating at a senior level within a multi-site international business, preferably within a service- or brand-oriented environment, declared an advertisement for a financial controller for The Economist Group) or to obscure the truth (We shall not launch the ground offensive until we have attrited the Republican Guard to the point when they no longer have an effective offensive capacity — the Pentagon's way of saying that the allies would not fight on the ground until they had killed so many Iraqis that the others would not attack).
What was meant by the Israeli defence ministry when it issued the following press release remains unclear: The United States and Israel now possess the capability to conduct real-time simulations with man in the loop for full-scale theatre missile defence architectures for the Middle East.
Try not to use foreign words and phrases unless there is no English alternative, which is unusual (so a year or per year, not per annum; a person or per person, not per capita; beyond one's authority, not ultra vires; and so on).
Good piece by Alex Benady about the current state of the advertising industry in the latest issue of Management Today. The following excerpt makes for sobering reading - and not just for ad execs. It also doesn't include any reference to Internet channels either:
In 1980 there was just one commercial TV channel.
there were 58 pay-TV channels, 172 radio stations and 7,088 periodicals.
By late 2003 there were 296 pay-TV channels, 263 radio stations (and a
further 43 digital multiplexes with nine channels each) and 8,338
Today, 797 TV channels are licensed to broadcast, making it
harder and more expensive to reach consumers. And with fragmenting
audiences, advertising is losing much of the cultural currency that
comes from critical mass.
Perhaps the most ignominious sign of the adman's descent in the
corporate pecking order is the fact that, increasingly, it's the
procurement rather than the marketing department's job to buy
advertising. The intrusion of purchasing professionals into advertising
contracts drives many in the agency world to distraction.
know the price of everything and the value of nothing,' fulminates a Top
30 agency chief. 'How on earth can you value imponderables like a great
film script when you are talking to someone who was buying bog rolls by
the yard just an hour ago?'
Even if Saul Hansell isn't going to use Facebook for PR purposes, some journalists clearly already are. Marc Brenner, Editor of The Research Magazine, has been requesting editorial contributions via the title's Facebook forum members. He refers to "a good slab of response" to this already - a possible pointer as to how Facebook can be made to work for both journalist and PR.