www.fiercepr.co.uk is born!

28 05 2010

Good news, www.fiercepr.co.uk is up and running, feel free to pop in and look around and, of course, comments welcome.





2010 – The Year of the Virtual PR Team?

6 05 2010

The concept of the virtual PR team is not a new one but it’s one that seems to be resonating within the client community at the moment. This week, Paratus Communications won Vodafone’s £500,000 B2B and social media account based, in part, on a mix of core in-agency experience and specialist skills picked from the UK’s freelance network.

The Virtual Team

The move is indicative of a move towards a more tailored, skills-centric approach to communications. In the last six months, myself and my freelance / virtual colleagues have spoken to a number of large organisations looking to rationalise their approach and choose support from companies and individuals with the right skills, rather than settle for the team that their agencies provide.

For many organisations this might be a step too far – many still prefer the ‘safety’ of a traditional agency set-up but,  for an increasing number, it’s more important to ensure that the team is right and fit for purpose. In Paratus’ case, they have provided Vodafone with a team that perfectly fits its needs and won the business as a result.

This is good news for a growing number of ‘virtual agencies’ both old and new and the growing number of, what I call, IVANs (International Virtual Agency Networks). It’s also good news for freelancers who have something to offer big corporate accounts but have, until now, perhaps not been considered. There’s such a wealth of quality support and experience out there that there’s no longer any reason for pitch teams not to involve external parties – especially if the skills fit the brief.





Internet of Things: inspiration lies in B2B apps

5 05 2010

Last night’s Internet of Things mashup* event, hosted by BCS, was illuminating. What’s clear is that there is a varied level of understanding around M2M; what it is, what the technology comprises and, crucially, its usefulness to business. It was interesting, therefore, that the debate started with the idea we are at the start of something big, rather than, as some would argue, at the point at which tried and tested technology becomes a mainstream concern.

M2M in the field

I agree that the market sits at a tipping point of sorts. M2M / Internet of Things, or data connectivity and analysis at its simplest, isn’t a new idea. Two of the companies sitting on the panel – Wireless Logic and Arkessa – have been designing, implementing and mangaging B2B M2M projects for 10 and eight years, respectively, Wireless Logic focusing on mobile data connectivity, Arkessa focusing more on Fixed Line. But what is new is the idea that embedded data connnectivity solutions have a use outside of sector applications and have a role to play in consumerland.

I can see it but I think it’ll be a while before we’ll start seeing our home appliances chatting to eachother. The final discussion around privacy and data protection identified a key concern for companies looking to extract data from consumer M2M implementations which needs to be worked through – as well as the thorny discussion around standards – that one could run and run.

This also doesn’t mean that there isn’t serious money already being made in M2M. Companies like Wireless Logic, in harmonious partnership with the four major networks, are forging ahead in the development of interesting and innovative applications, designed with a particular need in mind. Companies like Tunstall are pioneering the use of Fixed IP SIM cards in patient monitoring, online fast food outlets such as Just Eat are using Fixed IP SIMs to cut out the need for unreliable fax-printers and companies like Konica Minolta are saving thousands being able to remotely diagnose printing problems and remotely re-order consumables.

I also think that some of the tried and tested business models / management platforms / provisioning / SIM estate management and analysis tools already being used in industry provide useful benchmarks against what can be acheived. There are now ways for companies to create their own private networks, alongside the MNOs in a fully managed and guaranteed environment. I can’t help thinking that the inspiration for the growth of the maket already exists amongst the collective experience of those that are already doing good business in M2M.

If you need any evidence of the size and scale of the M2M opportunity, this is a good starting point.





Tory Manifesto Falls Short on Gay Issues

13 04 2010

David Cameron took to the web the other day to answer an assortment of questions put to him by the readers of Pink News around his, and the Conservative Party’s, views and manifesto promises surrounding the rights of gay people in the UK.

If you read the article yourself, you will have noticed that David set out a number of promises, including a pledge to strike out the the criminal records of men convicted for ‘homosexuality offences’.

Today, Cameron and the Tory party issued their election manifesto and, surprise, surprise, only one of the election promises made to Pink News readers was honoured.

Take a look for yourself at the latest article posted by Pink News today. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the promise to strike the previously mentioned erroneous convictions, and a number of other pledges, were nowhere to be seen.

CamSham

CamSham

This manifesto has clearly set out the further marginalisation of the community. How can you expect to be respected as a contender for the top job when you can’t even honour the promises you clearly make? It wouldn’t matter if it were any other community in society – to marginalise one is to set out a policy of overall marginalisation. You can’t be fully inclusive if you exclude one group.

It’s a massive and obvious hole which, if people take human rights seriously, should mean that overall Tory policy on inclusion and equal rights is called into question.

The worrying part is that young voters are seeing the bright, shiny lights of the Tory collective as new and fresh, and are pledging votes based on a small minority of young and thrusting Cabinet MPs that simply don’t represent the real picture within the constituencies.

Potential Tory voters should take a look at their local constituency MPs to get a really clear view as to what’s on offer. As always, the Tories will hope they will win the vote at ‘national policy’ level but, what nobody realises is, that won’t matter a fig if you’ve got some 60 year old dyed-in-the-wool, shotgun toting, braying ‘Captain’ ‘working’ for you at a local level.

I can’t see Sir Farqhuar or St-John Smythe wanting to open the doors to the surgery to a queue of disaffected gay constituents. Well, can you?





Nokia kinda didn’t come with music….

2 11 2009

I’ve been on about this on Twitter a bit lately as it’s something that is really mystifying me.  We bought a Nokia ‘Comes With Music’ phone a little while ago now, having seen it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year.  When we got it home we found out that, because we’d bought the phone a week before the advertising campaign started, we weren’t entitled to our free tunes.  And we’re not the only ones.

Nokia fails to come up with much

Tune-free zone

I have spoken to a few people, mainly by accosting people on the street, who tell the same story.  There are others that claim the service is tough to use and increases in price the more you use it.  I don’t know how representative those views are but the figures speak for themselves.  A recent article claims that, although Nokia says it sold 3 million units by end April, only 32,728 had used the service in the UK by the end of July.

It strikes me that a great many of the millions of us that bought a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic or Nokia N96 may have fallen the victim to the ‘ad campaign’ loophole.  The public new about Comes With Music a long while before the ad campaign started, in fact many of us had been waiting impatiently after Mobile World Congress.

The XpressMusic phone was sold on the basis of Comes With Music, regardless of when the marketing campaign began – removing this privilege negates the reason for buying it in the first place.  Or am I being naive?

I’d be very interested to know how many others have been affected in this way!





Welcome to Fierce PR

1 11 2009

I’m Caroline Tarbett, I am a freelance corporate and technology PR specialist living in London.  I help in-house and agency PR teams manage their busy workloads, manage their client portfolios, grow and attract new business.  Having worked in PR agencies for nearly 15 years, I decided to set up my own small but perfectly formed PR consultancy, Fierce PR – and here’s my blog.

I’m forever enthusing about other people’s blogs and, some would argue, have plenty to say for myself.  This is a place for me to share some of the stuff I find interesting, both techy and not, and that I hope you find interesting, too.  I look forward to reading your comments!

What makes Fierce different?  Well, I offer simple but effective, results-driven consultancy and flexibility where many bigger agencies sometimes make things..well…more complicated.  I believe that a company’s requirements change all the time and so I offer a flexible service, based on individual need, at a time that suits my clients.

I offer a range of services designed to help companies and agencies of all shapes and sizes – everything from press release writing to advice on winning new business.  There’s more information about my experience over on the ‘about me’ page and, if you’d rather know what other people think about me then click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Caroline.