Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Taking into consideration Siggy’s post about RSS feed’s usefulness and convenience for readers and organizations, as well as, Mattias’ and Yiota’s brilliant comments on that post, I would like to emphasize RSS biggest benefit for web audience and that is update notification.

From my personal experience, I have spent a lot of time constantly visiting a particular website to see if there is something new in it. For instance, when my favorite brand of clothes is going to put 70% sales only for one weekend??

Check out my search Diary :)
14/04, Monday: Enter my favorite’s brand Official website, Results: No Sales
21/04, Monday: Enter Official website for second time, Results: No Sales
28/04, another Monday: Enter Official website for third time, Results: No Sales :(
04/05, Sunday evening…after an exhausting weekend..: Enter Official website for second time this week, Results: Sales were running this weekend…%^$#%* I missed it!!!!!!!! :( :(:(

I will have to totally agree with what Bill Gates indicated in a speech at the Microsoft CEO Summit 2004 in Redmond, Washington: “if you just put information on a Web site, then people don't know to come visit that Web site, and it's very painful to keep visiting somebody's Web site and it never changes. It's very typical that a lot of the Web sites you go to that are personal in nature just eventually go completely stale and you waste time looking at it; And so, getting away from the drawbacks of e-mail -- that it's too imposing -- and yet the drawbacks of the Web site -- that you don't know if there's something new and interesting there; this RSS is about solving that”. (source: About.com)
He knows better…..right?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


RSS is considered to be another effective PR tool that can provide organizations a useful way to communicate and deliver information internally and externally. The increasing number of subscribers to RSS feeds has made RSS a new communication channel that, by using it properly, can make the lives of PR practitioners easier!

EWeek is providing a successful story, on how Triple Point Technology is using RSS as a tool for maximizing internal communication across departments.
It worth take a look at it and see how RSS actually works!


“When web site usability guru Jakob Nielsen tested how well major corporate sites met the needs of reporters last year, he gave them a "D" grade. Journalists who tested sites for him located basic information such as the companies' financials, management team, commitment to social responsibility and a phone number for a PR contact only 60 percent of the time.” (Online Press Rooms Save the Media Time and Frustration, by Marcia Yudkin)

Journalists are using more and more online sources to collect information about an issue or an organization that is of interest for their news articles. For that reason, companies provide online press rooms in their official websites. In these online sections, press materials are provided 24/7 to satisfy the needs and demands of reporters and editors. Using these online press rooms as a source of information by journalists, companies, in one extent, can control the nature of media coverage they gain, by choosing the information and material that is supplied.

The press material is offered in companies’ sites as a subcategory under “About Us” section or others offer it as a different category with the name “Press Room” or “Online News Centre”. Another way to offer it is as a distinct site called “[company’s name] Online Press Room”. An example of the last is Nintendo's Online Press Room, defined as a “dedicated resource for US-based media professionals seeking information about Nintendo of America Inc.” Media people, registered to this site, are provided with news and information, as well as, a continuous media contact with Nintendo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Successful PodCasting Stories

Hilary in her last post PODCASTING is wondering about the influence and effectiveness of podcasts in public relations programs and I have to admit that I also doubted about that. Searching the net for successful podcasting stories I found out that this simple technology has surprised the field about its popularity. The number of listeners downloading podcastings is just remarkable!
Some examples include BBC: “In early 2004, the BBC tried out podcasting with Radio 4’s In Our Time. It’s a heavy weight programme presented by the intellectual, Lord Melvyn Bragg. 30,000 people a week were downloading. The Guardian: “has been publishing a podcast by Ricky Gervais (Of The Office). It’s been receiving about 180,000 downloads a week, and is top of the iTunes podcast parade. The Daily Telegraph: “has appointed a former BBC Radio Presenter to edit theTelegraph’s podcast , which currently is an audio rendition of various stories in the newspaper”.
(source: Blog Relations)
It’s amazing how well some programs have taken to all this!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wikis as Battlegrounds: Who wins?

Taking into consideration Giota’s post in 09/04/08, titled “wikis used in internal communication” I made a search about the credibility of wikis as an information resource and how Public Relations try to twist them.
For millions of users, wikis are trusted resources when they are looking for information about a topic. Indeed, its article covers so many topics that anyone could imagine and this was wikis’ first purpose when they were introduced; to work as information search machines/resources.
But despite its first purpose and the efforts of the authors to keep it neutral and credible, wikis have ended up as a battleground between truth and lie and its articles are becoming targets of everyone who is affected by or can affect a controversial topic. This is where Public Relations get involved and manage their clients' wiki reputation in whatever topic their corporation’s name is mentioned. So, companies change their own wikis entry and edit whatever violates or attempts to spoil their reputation or image and others contribute to wikis to promote their own interests.
This kind of use tends to violate the wikis’ basic purpose and making it another promotional tool, in the hands of those that know how to take advantage of it.

Here are some tips taken from Consumer Reports WebWatch to help consumers take the most out of Wikis:
1. Take note of any warnings or cautions posted at the top of article by Wikipedia's administrators. They often flag articles that violate Wikipedia authorship guidelines.
2. Review the article's sources. Do they include citations from the mainstream media or peer-reviewed journals?
3. Use the "history" tab on each Wikipedia page to review edits made to its content. Click on the "discussion" tab to review users' debates on matters of accuracy.
4. If you're in doubt, step back and use a search engine. Review at least one page, preferably more, of search results to increase the likelihood of finding relevant information. Consider "sponsored links" that may appear within, above or to the side of "organic" search results (or all three) more carefully, since they are advertisements. A third party paid the search engine to place those links.
5. For another way to look under the hood of a Wikipedia entry, try using the Wikiscanner, to see who has been editing the encyclopedia. And scan the list of "salacious edits" Wired's readers have found using the Wikiscanner, revealing suspect contributions from employees at organizations ranging from Amnesty International to Scientology, the United Nations and Wal-Mart
taken from :
[ accessed 09/04/08 ]

Friday, March 28, 2008

Are Social Networks For You?

Social networking has been given a lot of attention from non-profit organizations that want to reach a larger number of publics. Indeed, many non-profit organizations use Facebook, Bebo and other social networks to recruit new volunteers, communicate with audiences that are interested in their cause, gain support from authorities or even raise money.
From the other hand, many non-profit organizations that used social networks as a tool to help them on their cause, not only failed in meeting their expectations but also lost a substantial amount of time (money) and effort in trying to maintain an online social network.
Brett Bonfield, in his article “should your organization use social networking sites?” published in IDEALWARE, explores how and whether social networking sites fit in an organization’s non-profit goals. He had resulted in six guidelines for the non-profit organizations on how to know if social networking isn't right for them.

Six Signs that Social Networking Isn't for your Organization
1. You're still trying to get a handle on your basic software infrastructure.
2. Your target audiences aren't using social networking tools
3. You don't have time to experiment with something that might not work.
4. You're not willing to deal with technologies that don't work as well as they could.
5. You're not ready to invest in gaining a real understanding of the medium.
6. You want clear editorial control over your brand and message.
Taken from http://www.idealware.org/articles/should_you_social_network.php [accessed 28/03/08]
In my opinion, the above reasons are guidelines not only for non-profit organizations but for all the organizations that are considering using social networking as a communication tool. Just because it works for another company’s priorities this does not mean that it can work for everyone. Organizations should take into consideration many things before deciding to use social networks as a communication tool.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

..To Be or Not To Be?..

Although social networks has many implications on Public Relations and all its activities, several ethical issues have risen relevant to this relatively new phenomenon of communication. As Hilary commented in my previous post, “SOCIAL NETWORKING: A NEW PR TOOL”, many employees are using social networks and employers are really worried that some information or bad rumors relevant to their companies might reveal with but consequences for the organization’s image. From the other hand, everybody has the right to voice his/her opinion on a subject even if he is an employee who disagrees with the organization’s activities. Is it??
Ethical questions arise about social networks and employee communications like:
· Is it ethical for an employee to comment on the company’s social network negative things about the organization he/she works for?
· Is it ethical for an employer to monitor or even “punish” an employee who has written negative things about his organization?

Could someone comment on this dilemma?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Social Networking: A new PR tool

Social networking has been long gone far away from a teenage-activity to online environments with many impilications for Public Relations. Millions of users spend enormous amounts of time in MySpace, FaceBook etc. and many business have been interested in creating their sites in these social networks. Their purpose is communications, keeping their clients informed about company’s changes, campaigns, events, general news, introduce new products etc. At the same time, consumers join to get information, exchange and voice their opinions (positive or negative) more easily.

Social Networking is definitely a challenge for corporations that they should use it effectively for their communication strategies. Generally speaking, the impact of technology in Public Relations practices is a fact and a subject that is widely researched in the PR industry. In the official site of IPR many researches have been published concerning PR and the effects of technology in communication strategies.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

UK Facebook users soar to 3.5m

Facebook has enjoyed huge growth in popularity in the past six months and now has more than 3.5 million users in the UK.
Londoners make up the social networking website's second largest regional user group worldwide, with around 450,000 in the capital.
Figures compiled by comScore for MediaGuardian.co.uk showed a steady increase in UK unique users up to just over 500,000 in October 2006.
But since then UK user numbers have rocketed, to 1.35 million in December and 2.67 million in March.
By the end of April, comScore estimates Facebook was being used by an estimated 3.69 million people in the UK.
The figures record a year-on-year traffic growth of 1,617%, but still put Facebook behind MySpace, Bebo, Windows Live Spaces, Blogger and Piczo in terms of UK social networking websites.
Facebook's audience share among the top 10 UK social networking sites is around 16%, compared with MySpace's 43%.
The website estimates that 1.4 million of its UK users are "active", defined as someone that uses that site at least once a month. Globally, Facebook has 23 million active users.
"We've seen phenomenal growth in the United Kingdom over the past few months," said Matt Hicks, the senior manager of corporate communications for Facebook.
"I wouldn't be able to pinpoint a specific reason for the recent growth in the UK, other than our overall pattern of growing exponentially. We're growing at a rate of 3% a week."
Mr Hicks said that Facebook's network of London users was accessed by 450,000 people.
Strong international growth this year has been driven by English-speaking countries, with the UK third behind the US and Canada.
Growth has also been strong in Norway, Australia, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Sweden and India.
Facebook this week stated that its users have uploaded 1.7bn photos - with more than 60m added each week.
"While still small compared to MySpace, Facebook is showing phenomenal growth numbers," said Bob Ivins, the comScore executive vice-president and managing director for Europe.
"What we see is that sites in this space get to a tipping point and create a virtuous cycle, so the larger they grow the more people that want to check it out.
"And the more people that check it out by visiting the larger they grow - and so on. It looks like Facebook is getting to that point," Mr Ivins added.

This article is taken from guardian.co.uk

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hello Everyone!!

My name is Irene Zevgoula and I am a post-graduate student for MSc Public Relations in the Department of Film & Media Studies at the University of Stirling.
(Here is a link to Dept of Film&Media Studies : http://http//www-fms.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/rrpp.html ).

In this blog everyone can take part and express his/her opinion in the ongoing discussions about the influence that technology is having on public relations theory and practice.

So, be my guests and post your comments!!