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Net Neutrality explained, CIA goes social, Sainsbury’s and Google launch Food Rescue

John Oliver explains Net Neutrality…

Veteran Daily Show and Senior Britishness Correspondent John Oliver has made a name for himself in the US during his time on Jon Stewart’s (more or less) daily comedy news show.

Oliver recently landed his own weekly show on HBO called ‘Last Week Tonight‘, essentially The Daily Show, but longer and without studio guests.

In a recent episode, Oliver produced the best summary of Net Neutrality I have seen. Period. From how and why it came about, to what it actually means, how ridiculous and wrong it is and – here’s where it get’s interesting – to what people can actually do to stop cable companies and ISPs from ‘fixing a system that isn’t broken’.

Utterly brilliant and this week’s must watch clip:

Not only is Oliver’s summary bang on, but his call to action to “Internet commenters, monsters and trolls” is likely to have been the cause of the FCC’s website going down, as he directs viewers to unleash their vitriol on the FCC which is accepting feedback on the proposed changes until July 15 (or, as it’s called in FCC Doublespeak: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet).

… or why I get my news from satirical news media

It is bizarre when a comedy news show such as Last Week Tonight does a better job of explaining what’s going on in the world that ‘traditional’ media.

In fact, a study found that another Daily Show alumni, Stephen Colbert, did a better job of teaching viewers about the role of money in US politics on his satirical news show than the actual news. The University of Pennsylvania found that viewers of ‘The Colbert Report’ were more informed about campaign financing than viewers of CNN, MSNBC and FOX News (OK, no surprise at the last one).

Now, I tried finding a clip of Colbert apologising to his viewers about actually informing them about the news. What I found instead is a clip of Hapless CNN Anchor and Marginally Less Hapless Media Pundit ‘analysing’ how Colbert does a better job of what CNN and news outlets should be doing.

My favourite part is when Hapless CNN Anchor says: “[Colbert] has this certain je ne said quoi, if you will, right, but, but, but, they dedicate, like, chunks of time on that show to something such as [campaign financing] and he pulls it off!

Later in that same clip, Hapless CNN Anchor goes on to concede, that of course a 24 hour news channel like CNN is at a disadvantage, because Colbert has an audience that keeps coming back and a room full of writers who helps him write the jokes!

The mind boggles not only at how oblivious Hapless CNN Anchor is to the words that are coming out of her mouth, that this actually aired on CNN, but that the clip below is hosted on CNN’s YouTube channel!

The CIA goes social

The @CIA joined Twitter and Facebook this week. Looking past the fact that they’ve had a presence on Flickr and Youtube for a while and, let’s face it, have been following all of us for longer than that, it seems they’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about the appropriate tone of voice on social, especially Twitter.

According to the CIA’s website, their new accounts will be used to share “the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook“.

Let’s have a look then, shall we?

It’s generated well over 250k retweets an a wave of public support and praise for an organisation that in recent time has had its fair share of cock-ups.

Despite the brilliance of poking fun at the Glomar Response and thereby harking back to (arguably) the golden days of spying during the Cold War, I really was very surprised at the almost exclusively positive reaction to the tweet.

Well, except for WikiLeaks.

And Gawker – their reaction is perhaps more eloquently put, by Vice.

I find the reaction, especially to the Tweet, immensely disconcerting. Almost as if that cheeky message somehow absolves the CIA from all the other controversies surrounding the Agency. Just have a look at their Twitter bio:

5JOHPoGTfq7OxdjlVU97-j8IwPr95buLZQZnPSXPmXM

Far less cuddly and cute now. We get shit done. That sure gives their first Tweet a slightly more sinister edge.

Over on the CIA’s Facebook, the reaction to Big Brother getting on board has been a little more tempered – both in terms of numbers but also fan-girling. This will be due in part to the nature of Facebook being more of a closed network but also down to the more serious tone in their first posts about the anniversary of D-Day.

Still, the reaction on Facebook is much more in line with the cynical tone that I’ have expected on Twitter:

Yu-Ds7P3NpXEj7pArc2oRrbltB_jhGTb_gHQBzTqggY

Still, spy-hats off to the spooks for a genius PR move – I’m looking forward to more unclassified content and a peek under that trench coat.

Sainsbury’s Food Rescue

We waste 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year in the UK. That translates as a loss of £60 per month for the average family.

Searches for recipes using leftovers have surged by 1/3 compared to last year, with 2/3 of those searches made via mobile devices.

This is why Sainsbury’s and Google have launched Sainsbury’s Food Rescue. The tool gives people practical help and inspiration on using up ingredients that can often lay forgotten at the back of the fridge or cupboard.

Food Rescue will also provide some insight into what food the UK saves and how that differs across the country:

  • the most rescued ingredient is a potato
  • 176 Feed Rescue recipes have been made since launch
  • £1.30 aAverage saving per recipe

Bits and bytes

  • Whole Foods uses an internal photo sharing community where staff shares images from stores to glean insight into which displays work well without giving away a competitive advantage
  • Google now treats brand mentions as links. They’re not like ‘express links, things you can click that will take you some place else, but rather ‘implied links’. Which means that every brand mention is now a link to your website. Or, more succinctly as this marvellous info graphic from MC Saatchi puts it: PR = SEO
  • Twitter is in trouble: losing users, inactive accounts, too much noise. It has lost more than half its market value, a staggering USD18 billion, since late December.  Here’s how Twitter can avoid becoming irrelevant
  • Bit of ad-porn? Cannes Lions 2014 top 100 contenders, compiled by Per Pedersen, Deputy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Grey

Videos of the week

Mexican retailer Coppel teams up with world freestyle champion @seanfreestyle to play a little prank on some unsuspecting kids.

On the slightly less skilled front, we have Zidane, Bale and Moura smashing up Beckham’s house while looking street in their Adidas gear.

And then there’s this fantastically bizarre clip by Polish window maker Drutex featuring Philipp Lahm, Andrea Pirlo and Jakub Blaszczykowski showing students who’s best at keepy uppy only to then find out that great footballers not only have great skills in common, but also great windows. Windows for champions. Seriously. That’s the actual slogan (at least in the German translation).

And finally

Billy Jean on beer bottles

Start Believing with Puma; Agile marketing; The Golden Age of Bullshit and this week’s bits and bytes

Another update on a Sunday – mainly due to being pre-occupied with  Arsenal finally ending its 9-year-wait for silverware. And how brilliant is it to then have them win The Wenger Double of the FA Cup AND Champions League Qualification? The Gunner’s cup truly runneth over…

Right is pink, left is blue

On Wednesday this week, the image above popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. Posted with nothing more than a mysterious smiling emoticon by a good friend who works at Puma, it caught my attention.

Was it a way to help footballers remember which boot goes on which foot? I suspected there was more to it.

Off to the Google I clicked and landed on a Mail Online article published that same day: Arsenal’s boys look pretty in pink ahead of Hull FA Cup final (not only pretty in Puma pink, Santi’s new boots obviously helped him score this belter and Giroud’s new boots helped him set up Rambo’s glorious winner with this cheeky back heel).

The article had some images of Arsenal players Giroud and Flamini wearing mismatched boots, where the left one was blue and the right one was pink.

Source: Mail Online

 

While an assault on the eyes, it did quite quickly then solve the mystery of why Puma had decided to give its flagship store in London’s Carnaby street a bit of a make-over ahead of the FA Cup Final.

Source: Mail Online

Also embedded in the Mail Online article, the video celebrating the release of Puma’s new evoPower and evoSpeed boots.

Replete with international superstars Fabregas, Reus, Aguero and Balotelli, a rousing speech about believing in yourself as said stars are cheered on their walk through pink and blue coloured smoke – lots of smoke – into a stadium in their new boots, the clip takes a rather different approach than Nike’s action packed #RiskEverything approach that launched last month.

But back to Puma’s effort – the clip ends on the hashtag #StartBelieving – which, when I pulled it up on Twitter, delivered messages by the stars of the film as well as other Puma footballers.

No mean feat to get anybody to stick to the script, not to mention an embargo – no matter if it’s a journo of footballer. So kudos to the Puma marketing team for pulling that off.

To complete my brief look at Puma’s superbly executed, multi-channel launch of their new boots, I’ll finish on Puma’s campaign page where you’re driven to purchase the new boots as well as other Puma kit as well as voice your social media support for the different Puma-kitted players and nations.

Well played, Puma.

Agile marketing

A cheeky case study on Econsultancy about how Cancer Research UK went about reacting to the recent #nomakeupselfie to drive a huge increase in text donations caught my eye this week. It talks a bit about how they are set up to make it happen and mentions two rather nifty techniques used in agile software development that help teams deal with change and by enabling them to reprioritise and shift resources quickly and effectively.

  1. Stand up meetings: daily meetings where everyone stands up (no surprise there) and update on what they did yesterday and what they’re doing today. The fact that you’re standing up keeps meetings short and you have a good idea of what people around you have achieved and what they’re working on next

    Source: Econsultancy
  2. Kanban boards: a just-in-time business process originally from Japan that visualises workflow to show what is coming up, what is in progress, and what is done

    Source: Wikipedia

The golden age of bullshit

Marvellous talk by @AdContrarian Bob Hoffman positing that everything you’ve heard about advertising in the last decade is baloney. He states quite clearly that he intends to achieve three things: contradict everything you’ve heard about advertising; annoy you; and to leave the listener a little less comfortable and a little more skeptical.

He doesn’t mince his words either. To the people who think that consumers are in love with brands, or who have things like ‘I’m passionate about brands’ in their Twitter profile and actually believe that people on social media are there to talk about their brands, he says: “What? Dude, get a fucking girlfriend.”

So please, take some time out to listen to Bob and his eloquent rant against bullshit and his plea for all of us to return to the facts.

Bits and bytes

  • Stanford and Facebook have published a study called ‘Rumor Cascades‘ full of advice for public bodies on how stop the spread of misinformation on Facebook. @HelReynolds wrote a great summary in the Guardian and the full study is available for download via Facebook Publications
  • New to Twitter? The lovely @girllostincity has a fabulous guide to Twitter etiquette
  • To launch their new album “Ghost Stories” Coldplay’s marketing team launched a good old treasure hunt to win some exclusive memorabilia
  • Snapchat’s USP of being able to send images to friends that disappear from the ether after looking at them, um, disappeared this week, when the company was forced to admit that images as well as other information like usernames and locations were being saved indefinitely. Also, Snapchat’s non-apology really is quite something: rather than apologising and fix the problem, they’ve ‘improved the wording of their privacy policy’
  • The crazy shit people search for on Google: from how to hide a body, whether or not Lady Gaga is a man, to people using Google to search for the phrase “how do I use Google”. The mind boggles

Videos of the week

David Beckham, Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassador, made a surprise visit to his old primary school in East London for first time since leaving 30 years ago. He meets the school football team who are off to play at Wembley, joins in at lunch time and catches up with lots of very excited kids.

Crass marketing or genuine gesture? To give labourers in the UAE a few extra minutes of happiness, Coca-Cola created the Hello Happiness Phone Booth — a special phone booth that accepts Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins for a free 3-minute international phone call, helping them connect with their families back home more often.

Viewed in isolation, a heart-warming clip – but knowing even a little about the working conditions of labourers in the UAE and the decision to use them as a marketing hook does look like a ballsy (silly?) move. The campaign has been met with strong criticism in the the comments below the film on Coke’s YouTube and on Twitter (via @richmelton).

And finally

Rap shirts for white people

Sharing cool, listicles, an ode to Warsteiner and this week’s bits and bytes

Teenagers want a simple way to share cool stuff: Facebook has not been having a good time lately. An academic study from the University of Michigan has found that people tended to feel worse and less satisfied after using Facebook.

As if that weren’t enough, the article that’s popped up most in my feeds this week has been a piece on Mashable penned by 13-year-old Ruby Karp titled “I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook“.

Bored teenager is bored.

I don’t see this as the death knell for Facebook. Rather more interesting are her statements about how teenagers follow their peers, want what their friends want and prefer simple things.

If that’s true, then the need for complex social interactions and continuous ego-marketing is deemed to be unnecessary and a waste of time by teenagers. Instead, Ruby and her friends prefers to focus on platforms that are relevant to her immediate social circle and allow them to share and curate the stuff they think is cool, new – stuff that their parents aren’t already using or sharing.

Listicles: They’ve been around for ages. On Letterman, in newspapers, the Premier League table. In High Fidelity, Rob spends most of his time compiling them. In Sainsbury’s stores up and down the country, our customers use them to make sure they stick to their budget and don’t forget anything. Hell, this blog is based on the principle of the listicle!

I’m talking of course about the wonderful, powerful and entirely simple list.

We are in The Age Of The Listicle (entire articles based on the the structure of a list). Critics see them as the dumbing down of journalism, as nothing more than link bait and click fodder that generate page impressions to inflate website stats.

Hoever, when you have such perfect executions as this brilliant, entertaining and hilarious effort by Mashable about 15 dating tips from Game of Thrones – you can see why it is that listicles are changing journalism

Fired for taking a photo: Remember a while back when a disgruntled HMV employee live tweeted redundancies in the marketing team? This week saw a similarly painful example of corporate downsizing going viral. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong assembled staff from his hyper local news division Patch (which he founded and brought into AOL) to inform them of impending doom.

During the speech, Armstrong made a point of underlining his view on how leaking information about Patch to the press doesn’t affect him: “I don’t care.”

Moments later, Patch’s creative director Abel Lenz takes out his camera and moves to take a photo for Patch’s Intranet.

Armstrong stops in mid sentence, turns to Lenz and orders him to put the camera down.

Another pause, before Armstrong continues: “Abel, you’re fired. Out!”

Why has everyone from the Indie, Forbes, Daily Mail, Bloomberg to the New York Times covered this story? Because all of it was recorded and uploaded to Soundcloud where over a million people have listened to the moment a guy was fired for taking a photo for the company Intranet.

Armstrong has since issued an apology for the rather crass firing, explaining that Lenz had been warned previously not to make recordings of confidential meetings. Why the whole spiel about not caring about leaks in the first place? Bizarre.

The power of video: A great presentation by @LeslieBradshaw to show why video is the best way to get your message across in today’s time and attention poor environment.

  • With ever smarter phones and portable devices as well as faster data connections, videos are already mobile
  • The moving image grabs our attention and we’re more likely to stick to it. I love the line ‘You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than click on a banner ad’ – it rings true. When was the last time you clicked on an ad?
  • Video bypassess the ‘TL;DR mindset’ – people are scared by long texts are likely to not even attempt reading them. The fact that ‘TL;DR’ is a common web abbreviation for ‘too long; didn’t read’ speaks volumes
  • It seems to always be a video that goes viral (except, of course, if it’s Giraffe Bread…! Imagine if we’d created a video with Lily explaining why we changed the name?)

And while we’re on virulent video: Twitter has published a marvelous piece about how videos go viral, using the examples of “Ryan Gosling doesn’t like cereal”, “Dove’s Real Beauty” and Commander Hadfield’s intergalactic Space Oddity cover.

Why I’ll be drinking Warsteiner from now on: I spent my Wednesday evening watching a rubbish Germany draw 3-3 with Paraguay, and England make hard work of Scotland. Accompanying me were a large stuffed crust Pepperoni Pizza and a bottle of Warsteiner. I felt suitably bloke-ish and decided to tweet this glorious ensemble.

No long after, @Warsteiner_UK responded and retweeted me.

Now. I’ve been doing this social media lark for a good while now, and I know this isn’t hard to do for a company. I suspect that Warsteiner don’t have the biggest market share in the UK (Becks seems to be the German beer of choice here), and a quick look at Sysomos shows that in the last 30 days, 488 tweets from the UK have mentioned Warsteiner – most of those mentions coming from their own account.

Still, I found my choice of beverage validated. I am writing about it here. And you know what, I will be more inclined to keep a look out for Warsteiner the next time I’m at a bar or in the BWS aisle in my local Sainsbury’s (mind you, it also helps that it’s a mighty tasty beer, but that’s another story).

Social media creates many such opportunities for brands and businesses to listen for and respond to the people using their products. I wasn’t looking for a retweet or any other response. I didn’t @ them or # their brand name. But they are quite clearly out there, listening for these types of statements and responding to them. A quick retweet, fave and/or @ response really does go a long way in building a link between a customer and a brand.

Newswires are dead: Google has again updated their algorithm, punishing over-optimised press releases and bad content. Andy Barr from @10Yetis puts it rather splendidly: The murder of PR agencies by Google has been vastly exaggerated

Videos of the week: I’d really be interested to know what women think of the hot, heavy and holy-crap-I-really-shouldn’t-be-looking-at-this-at-work Agent Provocateur ad directed by Penelope Cruz and staring Irina Shayk and Javier Bardem.

The clever chaps at Paddy Power have decided to sponsor the greatest football team in the history of the game, Farnborough FC. Messi, Pele, Beckenbauer, Lineker… you’ll want to watch this great clip (HT @stangreenan).

And finally: Go to YouTube. Watch a video (for this exercise, may I suggest this one). Pause it during playback. Click anywhere on the page and type “1980”. Enjoy.

Twitter trolls and this week’s bits and bytes

Don’t feed the trolls? The big news this week was regarding calls from activist Caroline Criado Perez and others to put Jane Austen on a £10 note. An honour that many agreed was deserved and appropriate. And rightfully, they have received much praise – but also a storm of the most vile and disgusting abuse, rape and death threats via Twitter.

Is it Twitter’s job to police the platform? Yes. Should the police get involved when threats are being made? Absolutely. But as @Euan argues, what about the rest of the Twitter population? More of us should take the often tough decision to stand up and say something when we see others in our circles indulging in unacceptable behaviour.” In the spirit of the age-old mantra for community managers the world over @girllostincity thinks that we’re giving trolls too much attention and should stop feeding them.

Del Harvey on Newsnight

Twitter has been criticised for their slow reaction and for the awkward and desperately defensive appearance on Newsnight of their Head of Trust and Safety, @delbius. It didn’t help that she spoke almost exclusively in corporate bingo phrases, felt it was necessary to outline how long she had been at Twitter in response to the opening question, or that she went on to admit that the “dozens or so” people in her team are essentially playing catch to the “rocket-ship” that Twitter has become.

Critics are calling for many things, one of which is a way for users to report abuse. But is a ‘report this’ button really going to help? @sharonodea argues that it’s likely to create more problems than it solves, as the trolls might treat being reported and banned as a wind-up to be ignored – and confirmation that they are getting attention.

What to do?

Twitter suggests you find the link to the form with which you can report abuse on Twitter on their website – a form that requires you to fill in 11 fields of data and that seems to be largely unknown outside of the US, at least going by the bitly stats on clickthroughs. Definitely needs some simplification here…

However, as @MartinBelam rightly puts it, this isn’t a technology problem – this is a misogyny problem: The abuse directed at woman is a representation of the level of abuse that women are expected to tolerate outside of Twitter as well. It is absolutely right that we should be standing up and saying that this is unacceptable; not just online, but in society in general. We’ll need to work both online and offline to win that battle.

Social media and business continuity: A serious heading for a serious topic – how does social media affect traditional business continuity and crisis communication plans? @stevef2412 notes that the time between an incident taking place and the first tweet about it is about 30 seconds. Depending on the nature of the incident, many more tweets are likely to follow. So what are the critical things an organisation has to get right almost immediately? Read the post to find out.

Hacking your own Twitter: Pretending your account’s been hacked in order to get people talking and increase your followers (what, you think rubbernecking only applies to crashes on the motorway? People love gawking at disasters no matter where they’re happening). Please people: focus on helping, informing and amusing your followers rather than coming up with daft ways of inflating your follower numbers.

Why PR is your best marketing weapon: Not one of the usual posts with top X ways to do Y better. Instead, a helpful and honest piece from @wadhwa about seven ways to get top PR. For those of you who want to TL;DR it – a quick summary below – the rest, I strongly recommend giving it a read.

  • Learn what makes news by – surprise, surprise – consuming news
  • Focus on the needs of the journalist and build relationships
  • Package announcements into a news hook
  • Don’t ignore the small media organisations – they will help build your credibility
  • Make time for journo requests – the first to respond generally get included in a piece
  • Be honest, be yourself and have an opinion

All you ever wanted to know about SEO: A monster deck of 101 slides on the past two decades of search engines (remember Webcrawler?). What we learn is that people figure out how to game Google rankings, they score massive traffic for a short while before Google updates their algorithms and ranking methods and everybody starts looking at ways of gaming the new system. All resulting in where were are today with inbound marketing, where by publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your message becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.

Google Glass is a journalists friend: In my continuing series of possible uses for Google Glass, I’d like to point you to Vice Magazine, which has published a piece about how Google’s wearable computer has helped one of their journalists report from areas of conflict around the world.

Source: Vice

From streaming live video from Glass, accessing files on your home computer through the tiny screen placed in your field of vision while in the field, to tweeting live from rallies through a clever IFTTT recipe – it really is a fascinating look at what remote working could look like in the very near future.

Facebook content will escape the walled garden: Facebook announced this week that it is launching “embedded posts.” Does what it says on the tin: You’ll be able to take any public Facebook post and embed it in any other site that allows embed codes. It’s been rolled out to the Facebook pages of HuffPo, CNN and a handful of others – so keep an eye out for when it rolls out to more platforms and your privacy settings.

All in the same room, but not really: The living room is making a comeback, with more families watching TV at the same time – according to figures releases by Ofcom this week (I can’t embed the interview with a typical family, but it’s well worth a watch to see the difference between the generations).

Source: IBTimes

91% of us watch their main TV screen once a week – up from 88% in 2002. Unsurprisingly though, while we might all be present in the same room, with the one big screen blaring out some vacuous reality show where the latest crop of annoying attention seekers vie for the judges’ affection, we’re not really paying attention to the telly. Instead, multi-tasking is up, with almost one in two of using smartphones or tablets while watching TV and one in four sharing what they’re watching through social media.

Some really interesting stats about how the Great British public consumes the media, however, two stats really stuck with me. The first confirms that tablet devices really aren’t mobile devices (85% of tablet owners keep it at home), while the second just shows that anybody who thinks their website won’t need a touch-screen optimised device should think again (91% of parents said their children use a tablet).

Holiday season and social media: Heading out to some tropical island paradise? The Guardian looks at the pitfalls of annoying all your friends back home with smug photos of deserted beaches, pouty selfies and self-satisfied Hashtags along the lines of #lifeshardbutsomeonesgotodoit. Also, Please do us all a favour and don’t succumb to the ‘legsie’ – if you do, make them look as awesome as this one (HT @a_little_wine).

Shoshone Point, Grand Canyon

And finally: Going through a rebrand to appeal to younger, hipper audiences? Try the Hipster Logo approach

Royal Baby, Loving every naughty mouthful, the art of Vine and this week’s bits and bytes

Royal Baby: I tried to go all Guardian on this, but I wasn’t able to figure out how to install a ‘Republican button‘ to rid my blog of any reference to the Royal offspring. But it was impossible to escape anything Royal Baby related last week, so let’s have a look at how it all goes down on t’Interwebs?

Even though the Beeb and Sky went into Royal Baby screensaver mode and my Twitter feed was absolutely bursting with tweets about the imminent arrival of the little nipper, the news didn’t seem to go that big on Twitter: while #royalbirth generated more than 25,300 tweets per minute at its peak, this was still way behind the new Pope (130k), Murray winning Wimbledon (120k), and Usain Bolt’s 100m victory at London 2012 (80K). Now, this probably has something to do with the fact that the Royal Baby circus was spread out over a number of days, while all those other events were much shorter. Also, 60 million Brits don’t really stand a chance again 1 billion Catholics.

The Internet loves Zombies. Mind you, it does look like something out of World War Z.

In a nice gesture, Clarence House acknowledged that while the world’s cameras were trained onto the doors of the Lindo Wing, there were other children born on the same day and encouraged people to share their photos on the #WelcometotheWorld hashtag.

I admit I watched Wills and Kate come out of Lindo Wing with baby George in their arms as they were greeted by the cameras. But it was only until I saw this amazing 360 degree shot by Lewis Whyld of the couple leaving the hospital that I could even begin to fathom the terror that the three of them must have felt. To remain so calm, serene and happy in the face of a wall of cameras, flashing lights and screaming journalists really was bloody impressive.

What does the Royal Baby mean for PR? Carte blanche for pitches and releases tentatively linked to baby Cambridge: the Daily Mail newsdesk received 22,000 Royal Baby related stories on the day the little prince was born.

Of course marketers weren’t far behind their PR colleagues in coming up with cringe-worthy, branded tributes to Prince George. Buzzfeed have pulled together some real shockers, and there’s a marvellous Tumblr full of Royally Desperate real-time marketing efforts (HT @Victoriadove). My personal favourite though would have to be this shocker from Ryanair.

To finish, I leave you with the brilliant Jon Oliver from the Daily Show to sum up the wall-to-wall media insanity in the lead up to, during and after the birth of the future King George.

#LoveEveryMouthful: Just a few days before the arrival of the Royal baby and on a day that David Cameron announced his (rather ridiculous) anti-porn filter (pushed by a special advisor that doesn’t know the difference between a screenshot and a hyperlink), Tesco launched their newly launched food campaign with a promoted trend on Twitter. Mirroring the strapline of the campaign, they went with the hashtag #LoveEveryMouthful.

I’d like to think that I’d have spotted, flagged and binned this hashtag before it went live – but hindsight is always 20/20. Either way, the hashtag brought out the snickering, pubescent teen many a Twitter user, encouraging them to let their imagination run wild. Tesco’s juicy melons were combined with all kinds of innuendo, naughtiness and – there’s no other way of putting this – flat out porn. It got so bad that Tesco changed the promoted trend to a more safe #TescoFood by mid-day and then removed it entirely.

Perhaps Cameron’s porn filter would mean that we would have been spared this hashtag?

Hacks on flacks: PR agency Twelve Thirty Eight are at it again with a useful – if a bit repetitive and more than a tad hypocritical in places – summary of what journos find annoying about PRs, their view of PR pitches and press releases. Well worth a browse, but if you just want the key messages in one go (thank you @TreebD):

  1. Keep it short
  2. Keep it real
  3. Keep it neat
  4. Don’t be cute
  5. Do be grammatical
  6. Put the news in the first paragraph

SEO is dead, again:  A provocative post from @dangraziano reveals that a Google search may display only 13% organic results; “the rest is ads and junk”. Rather than concentrating on search engine optimisation, businesses would be better served if they focused on customer-centric interactions rather than pinning their hopes on an ever changing algorithm to drive traffic. After all, we all know that recommendations from friends count for more than what Google tells us!

The Social Media Manager has grown up: A great piece from @sweissman about how the role of social media manager within business has evolved along with the ever-changing digital media world, but that these roles have matured and are increasingly about exercising nimble judgement in difficult situations, continuous listening for possible problems and delivering on-brand and human customer service and stories.

Following on nicely from the trend of experienced social media managers, it was great to see that even a leading business mag such as Forbes wants to know if social media is a career? The answer, I am very pleased to tell you, is a resounding ‘yes’. Just don’t call yourself a social media guru, ninja, Jedi or master. Grounds for immediate dismissal, that.

The art of Vine: I’m a big fan of Vine and always impressed at the possibilities of creating six second looped videos on a phone. It sounds so basic, so rudimentary at first, but in the hands of an experienced producer and using the nifty loop feature to full effect, your imagination is the limit. 

One such Vine master is @origiful, who not only produced the Vine above, but he’s also pulled together six really useful tips for creating better Vines.

Video of the week: A brilliant clip to promote Sainsbury’s Back Tu School range featuring some ridiculously talented kids busting serious moves and breakdancing in their school uniforms.

And finally: You can’t write proper English under pressure (HT @usvsth3m).

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