An insider’s eye on the murky, surprising, funny and sometimes shocking history of the fame industry

Fame Formula Update

Mark My Words » Apple’s Tim Cook

Posted 4 days ago

Apple’s Tim Cook: Martyr Or Visionary? Steve Jobs’ suited successor, Tim Cook, may not excite the same quasi-religious fervour, but those who lament that Apple’s heyday is behind it may yet be proved wrong. [Link]

Mark My Words » We’re not that Isis

Posted 4 days ago

‘No, we’re not that Isis’: when news taints your brand A Sunderland pub, a Malvern clothes shop and even Downton’s dog are learning that not all publicity is good [Link]

Mark My Words » Lego

Posted 4 days ago

Lego ends Shell partnership following Greenpeace campaign. Toymaker will not renew current multimillion pound deal, that sees Shell-branded Lego sets sold at petrol stations, following a viral video against Arctic drilling by the green group [Link]

Mark My Words » The Distraction Strategy

Posted 4 days ago

I would argue there are some things you can teach and some things you cannot. I am still not convinced you can teach creativity for example, but you can certainly pass on how to be an appreciator and maybe that is the point here. PR is a craft. At the heart of that craft are three muscles that must be trained and flexed on a daily basis. Listening, appreciation and curiosity. Now, more than ever, this world demands a concession to conversational instinct and that comes from a lifetime of building and nurturing relationships and of understanding human nuance. But then conversely, experience though of great value, all too often fails to change the world. What does change the world is open mindedness and a healthy dose of distraction! Imagine suggesting a module focusing on distraction should make the PR degree syllabus – and yet, being open to disjointed impressions … [Link]

Mark My Words » The way PR engages has changed and trust is key

Posted 10 days ago

Many of us have felt the shifting sands for some time but the Greenpeace, Lego and Shell narrative really does signal the last warning shot. This world demands trust above all and, alongside that, the right people in positions of power who understand the pressures. Traditional methodologies are no longer fit for purpose. A younger, more knowing generation cannot be moved in the same way as before. Legacy industries have to touch the same consumers they once bought. Fifty years ago corporations could hide behind expensive public image campaigns. But now thanks to social media they actually need to connect properly. This is the first time in modern business when success or failure depends not on what you say, nor even on what you produce, but on who you are. In days gone by, trust was at best viewed as subsidiary to the all-pervasive focus on better sales and market … [Link]

Mark My Words » Fashioning a stunt

Posted 19 days ago

Textiles and fashion occupy a central position in the realm of material culture. Apart from fulfilling the basic human need for clothing and protection, textiles play important political, economic, and religious functions. Through variations of construction and patterning, cloth also has a great capacity for communication and serves as a significant site of personal and cultural identity. How we dress in particular is, by its very nature, one of the most visible of the arts. Given the nature and role of textiles, it should therefore come as no surprise to discover that they can serve as powerful visual metaphors for all sorts sentiment and propaganda. There’s a point. This week Karl Lagerfeld sent a parade of waifs down the runway brandishing placards for women’s rights (of a Barbie doll kind of flavour) Lagerfeld certainly knows how to pull off a stunt, but is this really the best fashion can do? … [Link]

Mark My Words » Sainsbury’s

Posted 21 days ago

Sainsbury’s sales strategy slip up The supermarket is exhorting staff to get shoppers to spend an extra 50p on every visit – but it accidentally made the plan public. [Link]

Mark My Words » War of the Words

Posted 4 weeks ago

The political banners under which we operate may be different, but the forces that drive our world are still the same. After many years enjoying comparative warmth and reconciliation following the fall of the USSR, the imperial eagle of Russia is narrowing the eyes of its Western head and turning once more towards the East. This week, the New York Times reported that Russia is set to “limit foreign ownership of Russian media outlets to 20 percent, targeting several prominent publications critical of the government and extending the Kremlin’s control over the nation’s independent news media”. Russian lawmakers claim that the West has been using the media to attack the Russian government, particularly in light of the situation in the Ukraine. Whilst this may seem like a political grizzly bearing its teeth at basic freedom of expression, there is an element of truth in the lawmakers’ claims. Media Land has … [Link]

Mark My Words » Curiosity about what we don’t understand needs to exceed that which we do!

Posted 5 weeks ago

So Scotland has voted. All the hype, the rhetoric, propaganda, and social chatter boiled down to one thing. In the end the majority are still cautious and rather than embrace uncertainty and change (an opportunity some did in this case) stick with the status quo. The crowd certainly has the power these days to change opinion and spin a media charge, but arguably only up to a point. The loudest voices aren’t always the pioneers and there is a big question around data, but that’s another blog altogether! Anyway, this is not a radical new thought. But it’s one I keep coming back to. It’s the listeners, the doers, the seekers and the questioners that don’t sit with the status quo that make change happen. Yet in an ever changing media landscape it’s more and more impossible to allow for distraction and time out to reflect on new ideas and thinking. … [Link]