The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations hosted last week it’s annual Social Media conference. Focusing on how social, digital and mobile channels are changing communications and business, the #CIPRSM team brought together some leaders from the worlds of mobile, analytics, finance and international diplomacy to discuss the future of our profession.

I attended and chaired the panel on #SocialMedia across international border with Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director for Corporate Communication’s Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) and Noriyuki Shikata (@norishikata) who is the Political Minister to the Japanese Embassy to the UK.

I put together a review of the conference on Storify (#CIPRSM Share This Conference: A Review). If you are on this network then do follow me.



#CIPRSM Share This Conference: A Review

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) this week hosted a social media and public relations conference in London. Speakers shared insight on how technology is reshaping pr, reputation management and management consulting.

  1. Technology is reshaping the public relations and communications professions. Social networks have connected people, they have empowered them and given them a platform through which they can share their thoughts and opinions. And because of the rapid adoptions of smartphones and tablets consumers and stakeholders are sharing their views from wherever they are.

    Delivering the opening keynote to this conference the Economist’s social media editor Tom Standage shared with us the real history of social media, all the way back to Roman times!
  2. Literacy widespread in Roman world & Tom Standage comparing it to social media of the time #ciprsm conference
  3. Fascinated by @tomstandage keynote at #ciprsm on how social media “has been around since Roman times”
  4. What did the Romans ever do for us? Social Media says @tomstandage illustrating his point with a Roman iPad #CIPRSM
  5. Tom (@tomstandage) didn’t waste any time in telling us that social media is not a fad. In fact, what social networking channels do is return us to communicating before the recent era of broadcast mass media.
  6. “Coffee houses were the hubs of choice in the past” – nothing changes! @tomstandage #ciprsm
  7. Fascinating argument from @tomstandage that social media as we know it is a rebirth, cycling back to pre-mass media, pre-19 century #CIPRSM
  8. “Social media doesn’t cause revolutions but helps them along by synchronising opinion and acting as an accelerant” @tomstandage #ciprsm
  9. Social media is at least 2000 years old. Mass media in 20th century was an anomaly says @tomstandage #ciprsm
  10. @tomstandage Brilliant, but a question – should’ve asked, has old ‘broadcast media’ times tought people (orgs) to ignore listening first? 🙂
  11. @twofourseven Yes, I think it has. When you’re used to one-way/broadcast, it’s hard to adapt to two-way/social
  12. The conference was then divided into two work streams in the morning, the first of which focused on Mobile Media and the Visual Web. Running concurrently, work stream two looked into Audience and Online Habits.

    In session one we had Founder and CEO of Kred Andrew Grill (@AndrewGrill) and #CIPRSM’s own analytics expert Andrew Smith (@andismith). The conversation was all about analytics and understanding influencers and the capital that people gain through social networks.
  13. Panel sessions are under way, with @AdParker @AndrewGrill @andismit on ‘Understanding social capital’ #ciprsm
  14. “CMOs want to see big numbers for impressions, it’s b**l s**t” @andrewgrill #ciprsm
  15. @AndrewGrill says we need to package #social propositions to the C-suite in their language #CIPRSM
  16. Need to speak C-suite’s language says @andrewgrill – slide showing how ‘Digirati’ organisations 26% more profitable as an example #ciprsm
  17. As you all know, I am a big evangelist of mobile in communications and business development. Mobile has positioned itself to be at the heart of how businesses and services are developed and delivered. They are also at the centre of how people today share insight and information. Mobile can crunch the time it takes to build or break reputations.
  18. Mobile has changed everything in comms, pr, #socmed and digital @ilicco tells #ciprsm. Of course he’s right….
  19. LBI’s @ilicco discussing digital dualism at #ciprsm – we are the same online as we are offline. @Pontifex agrees:…
  20. The big debate came with regards to how mobile is used – an essential question that is often ignored. Ilicco Elia (@ilicco) highlighted the case of Starbucks that has started to pull people from across departments to work on solutions for their customer base. Of course, for us, the consumer, we don’t see them as solutions. I see seemless interaction as common sense!
  21. How many departments need to be involved with mobile? All of them – @ilicco #CIPRSM
  22. #socmed engagement forces organisations to collaborate internally to to deliver a better consumer experience -insight from @ilicco #ciprsm
  23. The brilliant @illico talking about mobile at the CIPR social media conference #CIPRSM
  24. Meanwhile 33-Digital’s Peter Sigrist (@psigrist) discussed the rise of wearable technology. Sigrist says that PR agencies need to stop recruiting art graduates or those with a PR 1.0 degrees, a point that I’ve been echoing for 3/4 years.

    I’ve been arguing that our profession needs mathematicians, coders, designers, analysts, data scientists. Yes, like 20 years ago it was all about social psychology, today it is about understanding our audiences and designing experiences that resonate with how they have been conditioned.
  25. @psigrist now up at #ciprsm talking about mobile and the future, wearable tech and how information flows fast and free.
  26. The public does the talking in today’s world of media campaigns says @psigrist. Linear 1-way broadcast is ineffective. Damn right #ciprsm
  27. “PR firms need to better understand data and start employing mathematicians not art graduates” says @psigrist. #CIPRSM
  28. After lunch we had two further work streams. As an International PR Social Media Consultant and Digital Strategist I brought together two leaders in their respective fields, Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director for Corporate Communication’s Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) and Noriyuki Shikata (@norishikata) who is the Political Minister to the Japanese Embassy to the UK. Up for debate was how to use social media across international borders. An essential point given that social channels today cut straight through borders and jurisdictions.
  29. For Financial Services, China matters on social, says @allanschoenberg. Deliver local language content there. #CIPRSM
  30. @CMEgroup‘s social media timeline. Innovation is what @@allanschoenberg does in terms of comms. #ciprsm
  31. Importance of using the right platforms in different regions vital to success in financial markets says @allanschoenberg #CIPRSM
  32. Following Allan we had Noriyuki Shikata, a leader in eDiplomacy. Nori shared with us his insight on how social networks were used by the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan following the great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. For the government of Japan it became an essential tool in engaging with the international community.

  33. @norishikata talks about Social Media strategy for Japan and fitting this with western concepts and crisis comms #CIPRSM
  34. Social media is one important element of public diplomacy, global comms and global comms engagement. Totally agree with @norishikata #ciprsm
  35. Lessons from @norishikata on international crisis comms in aftermath of Japan Tsunami – put data in context, use 3rd party voices #CIPRSM
  36. “Effective social media use in crisis management from CEO/leaders could be way to demonstrate leadership” @norishikata #ciprsm
  37. @norishikata talks about combining traditional and social in international comms. Not understanding cultures cannot be an excuse! #CIPRSM
  38. Really enjoyed hearing @norishikata – has a calm, measured way of presenting & is gently persuasive: powerful combination! #ciprsm
  39. The session following ours focused on digital and social commerce. Speakers focused on using social and digital channels to support sales and how sales should be owned by everybody in an organisation, especially with the influence of social channels.
  40. To use social as part of sales process you need to understand customer behaviours says @katyhowell #ciprsm
  41. Rounding off the conference we had Nick Jones (@NJones) from Visa Europe. A former head of COI.
  42. #ciprsm Keynote @njones ‘BAU is the things we do again and again that make money’. Social Media BAU
  43. Liking the phrase “business as unusual” from @njones #ciprsm
  44. At #ciprsm @njones cites @brands2life research that says more and more journalists are being measured on social media sharing of content.
  45. Fact is that reviewing this conference, we can see that the communications landscape has already changed. It has changed because people have adopted technology, they have turned to social networks and mobile devices to share more, to discuss and debate, all through channels that we can listen in.

    Organisations though still retain their 20th Century broadcast mentality. They talk and expect you to listen. Yet the more that people talk, the more that people share the more empowered they become. The faster they expect answers and service, let it be from the private or public sectors.
    As a result, business has to change, the delivery of public services have to change. Digging your heads in the sand only goes and creates opportunities for others. And those that are risk averse have more to gain.
    Public relations today is more than just about reputation building and management. It is about business development. People who work in public relations need to remember that it is our skill in understanding the public that sets us apart. Let’s change how we work.

Did you find this story interesting? Be the first to
or comment.
(turn this feature off)





Click on “Distribute” above for more embed options.



The opening ceremony to the London 2012 Olympics is less than a week away.  The venues are ready and after months of rain the sun appears to have arrived in the capital for what is being described as the first true social summer games.

Yet in the past week, it’s been the social media guidelines and strict rules on what athletes and sports fans can post on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other networks that has got social media influencers and the public talking.

The terms and conditions on London 2012’s own website also generated a lot of debate after it was noted that individuals could not link back to the site if the link portrays London 2012 ‘or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner.’  So there, you can talk badly if you so want about the games, but you cannot point people that visit your site to the corporate clean London 2012 site.  Interesting guidance that is an example of how to start an ‘online wildfire.’

USA Today reports that ‘In the four years since the Beijing Summer Games, Twitter has grown from 6 million users to more than 140 million. That’s 400 million tweets sent each day.’ Before adding that, there were more tweets about the Olympics on a single day last week than during the entire 2008 Games.’

Twitter has become the de-facto channel for real-time news for people.  It has become part of the glue that helps people share their thoughts and opinions.

In a PaidContent interview with Editor Robert Andrews on YouTube International Olympic Committee Head of Social Media Alex Huot tells why Restrictions on athletes’ and spectators’ stadium photo uploads are necessary.

The International Olympic Committee though has been working hard to aggregate all the social network feeds onto a user friendly platform to which users can subscribe to and will be subject to rules.  The IOC will be pushing content out on Instagram, Tumblr, Foursquare and Google+.

As for the rules and regulations, especially those for athletes, well, they are based on common sense.  In my opinion they are needed.  Athletes are in London to compete and win.  Their use of social will also give insight into their lives during these Olympics.

There will be scandal, there will be a backlash and I am sure that there will be some guerrilla marketing campaign.  But so what, it is what will make these Olympics so much better.  Next week, it is time to #TakeTheStage and #MakeItCount. | Sentiment Analysis of G4S Security Firm on 17 July 2012

London 2012 Security firm G4Sreputation is going from bad to worse with a stream of stories breaking daily on the non-appearance of contracted staff at Olympic venues in London and around the UK.

The firm, which has been under immense scrutiny since it admitted to government that it was going to be unable to provide the full numbers of contracted staff, has become the subject of many conversations on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.  News organisations like the BBC are encouraging the gathering of views on their own BBC News Facebook Page.

One of the key rules for security firms is to maintaining of trust.  This is central to their business model, brand and the value that, as a UK publicly listed company, is expressed in it.  For G4S the problem lies in the fact that their services should be taking place with very limited public knowledge of this.  Limited discussion by the public can signal a smooth operation and so position them for further contracts.  But this is not the case, as the public have taken to Twitter to express their anger at how the company has let the country down during these London 2012 Olympics.

Research from social media analytics firm Topsy and sentiment analysis site gives us insight into the public’s opinion of security firm G4S, data that will influence politicians.

Topsy | Analysis of Mentions of G4S

Shortly after news broke on Wednesday 11 July, Twitter saw over 9,700 mentions of G4S at 11.36am.  By Thursday 12 July G4S was being mentioned over 20,000 times, with the most popular shared link being to the BBC’s coverage of the story.  Coverage by other news providers including The Guardian, Sky and the NewStatement were being shared by the public.

Analysis of links shared on people mentioning G4S on Twitter

Today, the sentiment of G4S stands in negative territory, with 69 per cent of Tweets being classified as negative.


Chief Executive Nick Buckles at the Home Affairs Select Committee said, after Keith Vaz MP asked him why he was still in his job, that he was the best person to lead the organisation through the troubles, with it’s “reputation intact.”

Reputation gets damaged in real time and for G4S and it’s Chief Executive Nick Buckles the more the public – voters, talk about it, the more politicians and the media will question their services.  It’s not looking good for this company. Social media smells failure.

City of London at night
City of London ready for Olympic Business Deals (Pic.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson today welcomed the opening of the London Media Centre (LMC), which will host over 6,200 accredited and non-accredited journalists from 832 media organisations from around the world during this summer’s London 2012 Olympics.  The centre will be a home to journalists visiting London to capture the numerous business deals that are likely to be signed during the Olympics.

While journalists covering the sporting events will be based at The International Broadcast Centre within The Olympic Park, non-sporting international reporters and bloggers from 66 countries visiting London during the Olympics will have access to a state of the art media centre in the heart of Westminster.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘This will be a summer like no other, presenting an unparalleled opportunity for London to show off its wares to a global audience of billions. An inquisitive army of reporters, camera crews and photographers are migrating to our city to see not only sporting history in the making, but everything that makes a host city tick. From the iconic to the little known, we want these media professionals to be offered an unparalleled experience of the capital and a smorgasbord of great stories. This will ensure that future tourists and businesses get a taste of why London is the best place in the world to visit and invest in for years to come.’

London hopes that this summer’s Olympics will also provide a marathon of deals that will showcase the city as a creative business-friendly destination.

The capital will not just see an influx of journalists from around the world, but of public relations practitioners who will be managing the communications for clients and employers alike during the games.

UK Trade and Investment recently stated that the games could see a boost to UK Plc worth £13bn over the next four years. But this figure might not include the deals that will be sealed during the games and will act as a tonic during the current global business malaise.

With under 20 days left until the opening ceremony, it will be the business pages that will be worth looking through during the #London2012 games.