Posts Tagged ‘blog’

“The Director General opened her Twitter app…”

December 7, 2012

N.B. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Director General switched off her television and sat quietly for a moment.

She was shocked. The allegations in the programme about one of the BBC’s most iconic stars were appalling.

She took a breath, and gathered herself together. She reached for her iPhone and opened her Twitter app. The BBC_DG account which she had set up two months ago already had forty thousand followers, including many BBC staff.

She tweeted:

“Just watched programme. I’m horrified by these allegations. More on the blog shortly”.

Opening up her laptop she logged into the BBC’s content management system and began writing a blog post. She expressed her shock and concern, asked for the sympathy for the victims, for reaction from readers and said that over night and the following day she would coming up with a plan for what to do next.

She then made two quick phone calls. One to her official spokesperson to sense check what she’d written and to give him an early heads up for press enquiries, and one to the BBC’s moderation service: they would need to take extra care moderating comments on this post.

Then she pressed the publish button. Her post appeared instantly on the DG blog.

For the next half hour she monitored comments and responded to some. Although some were the usual off topic abuse, others were sympathetic and one or two sparked ideas in her mind.

After signing off, she closed comments and went to bed. In the morning she’d draw up a plan of action, a plan already forming in her mind…


Social Media: What Does “Good” Look Like?

January 22, 2010

“What does ‘good’ look like?” is a phrase I hear from time to time at work.

What good looks like in social media is “engagement”.

“Engagement” is a slightly pretentious word. One thing it means is that if someone writes a blog post with an opportunity to comment, then if you leave a comment then you kind of expect that they might comment back.

There were several good examples of “engagement” last week on the BBC Internet blog.

1. Andrew Bowden responding to comments on his post on iPlayer on Freesat

2. Matt McDonnell in comments on his post about Enhanced Search

3. A quick response post from Seetha Kumar reacting to comments on her post on E20

4. And last but by no means least – comment 817 by Andy Quested in the long running comments thread on BBC HD PQ. Andy still keeping his sense of humour:

“817. At 08:49am on 14 Jan 2010, Andy Quested wrote:
Dear Nick Mason (and all) I do try and answer all question and usually do.

Re 728/29, the AV sync signal is an interlace signal and will be displayed differently on different flat screens – there is no motion blur in the signal.

734 – Cranford looked very good – I am not sure what camera they used but it certainly met our HD delivery requirements and directors or directors of photography are free to choose any camera that does.

739 – not sure what I can say to this one at all!

800 – as for Survivors, I have to re-record due to “someone” deciding to override a clash and record a film on my PVR!”

I like and encourage people to respond to comments. I feel it gives the blog more influence and credibility.

But while I can point to good examples, I can’t really measure them. I can say “this is good” but I can’t say by how much, or whether the effort put in is worth it.

Any ideas for measuring “engagement” would be gratefully recieved.

Don’t Mess With Guido!

April 21, 2009

The news agenda has moved on. We’ve entered a period of quiet reflection.

What can be learned from the McBride/Guido Faukes affair (or “smeargate”)?


Don’t make it personal.

Hazel Blears attack on bloggers included a swipe at the “vicious nihilism” of Guido Fawkes and Staines has claimed McBride tried to smear him. This gave Staines real personal motivation to get back at McBride. So attack your opponents arguments, but not them personally. Play the ball, not the man.


Don’t put anything in an email you wouldn’t want made public.

This is blindingly obvious, but people still forget it. If McBride had made a telephone call to Derek Draper instead, he’d still be in a job.


Don’t mix up different types of information.

In McBride’s email he said he has one possible real story and a lot of (unpleasant) gossip. Ditch the gossip and if you think you have a good story just find a sympathetic journalist.


Don’t take on someone who has better skills than you.

We still don’t know how Staines got hold of the email. So he either has very good contacts or very good computer skills. We already know he has good social media skills. Regardless of the morality or legality of how he got the information Staines was a digital native, while his enemies were not. He won.


Think about the best vehicle for the information.

Staines didn’t just stick the email on his blog. He gave it to newspapers, maximising the public impact, and minimising his own risk. He used his blog as a teaser to build up anticipation knowing that people would find it when the story broke.
This is not about bloggers versus mainstream media. Staines has simply shown himself to be a master at using media (digital and print) to achieve an end. He’s proved himself more effective at this than most people with jobs in Comms and Government and journalism.

My guess is that he probably dislikes the BBC as much as he dislikes politicians.

If it wasn’t for that, I’d hire him.

My Brother, Broadband and Sewers

September 13, 2008

My brother has started a blog.

And he’s blogging about broadband.

So I’m giving him a link.


April 14, 2008

OFCOM have a blog. I wonder if Ed Richards will write anything?

Good Lord!

April 8, 2008

The House of Lords have a blog

Blogs In Action: Nick Robinson

February 26, 2008

Nick Robinson’s blog seems to have provoked a reaction from MPs.

It’s unusual for an MP to comment directly on a blog.

I’m wondering if this is a small but significant breakthrough. If MPs start to join the conversation things may be changing faster than I thought.

More Whys

February 12, 2008

Blackwater over at Roy Greenslade’s blog has disagreed with this previous post from me.

So I thought I would explain further.

1. Steve Rubell has a better idea of what’s going on in new media than the average journalist. Most importantly he understands the value of the link. There are still too many journalists who think a story ends when they publish it on the web and don’t bother to link. A story without links on the web is dead (see this). Bloggers always link, which gives them an advantage.

Steve Rubell has also said “transparency is critical”. This is an unusual thing for someone working in PR to say. How many journalists would be prepared to say it, not just about the subjects of their stories but their own working practices?

2. I don’t think “the pursuit of truth” is a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing. Working for the BBC I abide by the BBC’s values of impartiality.

But journalists need to come off their high horses and accept that they are not the only people with a committment to the truth.

Blackwater asks: “Do journalists and PR folk really inhabit the same moral sphere? I mean, traditionally or ideally, at least?”

Traditionally they don’t. But the internet is changing all that. Ideally, they should. Indeed this may become essential.

I trust Steve Rubell even though he works in PR. I trust James Cridland and Hilary Perkins – not journalists, bloggers. I trust Jemima Kiss and Nick Robinson (journalists who use blogging tools). I trust them all not because of what they are called, or because I agree with them all the time but because of how they behave.

Can PR be done openly and honestly? I suspect like journalism, it will only survive if concentrates on building openness and trust.

3. Blackwater says:

“The lines between journalism and PR have been purposely blurred by those in the PR industry, carelessly mistaking a writer’s remit for the PR man’s brief. One manipulates a story to sell something and one manipulates something to tell a story. There is a subtle but meaningful difference.”

Blackwater should read today’s Daily Mail. The Daily Mail has a particular view of the world, a line like most newspapers. Does today’s Mail contain examples of stories “manipulated to sell something” i.e. The Mail?

Doesn’t the Independent do something similar? Aren’t both looking for stories and angles that support their readers’ world view and emotional preferences, and is “the truth” always revealed or does it sometimes get lost?

Bloggers, journalists, marketeers and PR people are a network, even a community who rely on each other and increasingly use the same tools and techniques.

They all need to be truthful and honest. The internet is forcing them to be.

Why Ed Richards Should Blog

November 20, 2007

Emily Bell’s column in the Guardian on Monday about OFCOM set me thinking.

I went to a Media Literacy Summit recently and then a week afterwards to a BBC Innovation day (which I will blog about shortly).

What struck me as a result was this.

There is a big gap between what people (like Jelly Ellie) are doing with these new media tools and broadcasting policy makers and regulators who don’t use them. As Euan Macintosh points out the people who make the decisions about media are illiterate in these forms of media themselves.

Among the many things on its agenda OFCOM wants to increase media literacy and safeguard public service content (through its’ proposal for a Public Service Publisher).

So Ed Richards (Ofcom’s Chief Executive) should start a blog.

This would increase media literacy in that one more person (i.e. Ed himself) would become more media literate. And the fact of him doing it might make the people around him more media literate.

It would also increase the amount of public service content. A sucessful blog from Ed might contain his thoughts on broadcasting, strategy and regulation (very public service). Even if he didn’t want to do that, Ed is a cultured man so his cultural tastes would also be public service. A blog from Ed is unlikely to contain porn, guns, tobacco or abuse.

I’m not expecting this to happen. And even if it did it would be a minor miracle if Ed had the kind of “inner blogger” that would make for a good blog.

But if would be much simpler, easier and cheaper than media literacy initiatives or a PSP.

BBC Internet Blog Live

November 2, 2007

The blog I’ve been working on has now gone live.

Alan Connor, David Felce and Jem Stone deserve extra doughnuts for pulling it together so quickly.