Friday, August 25, 2006

Cliche madness jumps the pond

Our cliche campaign continues to amuse, pinging back across the Atlantic, and enjoying a run today in the Guardian's Organgrinder blog and the UK Press Gazette.

It's really cool to see the, ahem, animated conversations taking place on the Guardian's blog post about general usage/abusage of cliches.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Factiva Achieves #1 Market Position According to Analyst Firm

It's an exciting day here at Factiva! US analyst firm Simba has named Factiva as Number One in the Current Awareness News and Research Online industry in terms of both revenue and the number of subscribers.

According to Simba's Electronic Information Report, Factiva leads the industry with 2005 operating revenue of $281.6 million and a subscriber base of 1.86 million.

Achieving #1 market position has been one of Factiva's goals since the company's inception in 1999, and it was a true pleasure to issue the release announcing our success in meeting that goal.

Of course, it makes us all the more focussed on continuing to deliver value to our customers, and ensuring we stay at #1!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A bad, bad, super-bad day…

Gotta love the Oddly Enough section on the Reuters Newsblog. This photo today made me chuckle.

Media Measurement Users Wanted for Market Research

My product management colleagues are calling for people who have media measurement responsibilities for participation in a paid market research study.

Research Plan: A Factiva product-development or user-interface-design professional will conduct the one-on-one sessions, which may include an opportunity for the participants to try one or more Factiva products or prototypes, give comments on their experiences and answer a few questions. Each participant will be asked to attend one session, which will last from 1 to 2 hours and be conducted at the participant’s work place or via web conference.

User Description: A typical participant will be a professional who actively conducts some form of media measurement, using online tools to monitor his or her company, brands, issues or competitors in the mainstream media and/or on consumer-generated Web sites, such as blogs.

Compensation: At the completion of the session, the participant will receive a thank-you gift worth $100US / £60UK. The gift can we waived if the participant wishes.

Please contact Glenn Fannick at glenn dot fannick at factiva dot com if you're interested in participating.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First the cliche, now the Dimwitticism

The Cliche Index has now morphed into Dimwitticism's, which we're helping Vocabula to track each month.

According to the site's editor and publisher, Robert Hartwell Fiske,

"Whereas a witticism is a clever remark or phrase — indeed, the height of expression — a "dimwitticism" is the converse; it is a commonplace remark or phrase. Dimwitticisms are worn-out words and phrases; they are expressions that dull our reason and dim our insight, formulas that we rely on when we are too lazy to express what we think or even to discover how we feel. The more we use them, the more we conform — in thought and feeling — to everyone else who uses them."

Bookmark the page and check regularly if these words are creeping into your writing!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cliche madness in the blogosphere; dissection of an evolving PR campaign

It's fascinating to watch how the relationship between PR and bloggers is evolving. I conceptually understand the viral nature of blogging, and the speed with which something can take off in blog land, but it's a huge rush when one of your company's pro-active PR campaigns shows signs of going viral unexpectedly. It's also fascinating to monitor the way it can swing from blog-initiated stories generating mainstream media coverage, to mainstream media stories spawning blog posts in places you would never have imagined.

As I've mentioned previously, the Factiva Cliche Index is something we developed to have a bit of fun with - to demonstrate the use of language across different media sets; to demonstrate the capabilities of our Factiva Insight: Media Intelligence technology; and to help the media have a bit of a chuckle at itself!

In recent weeks, we decided to start pitching the Cliche Index to bloggers as well as the mainstream media. Jeremy Wagstaff was one of the first bloggers to write about it, and then followed Graham Holliday and Bob Baker on his News Thinking Blog.

Back to traditional pitching to business media, and the Cliche Index ran in the Indian business press - the Hindu Business Line, which prompted a few more bloggers to write about it.

More traditional pitching to Singapore's Marketing Magazine resulted in the Cliche Index first being covered on the publication's web site and then it's blog, The Pitch. What I found fascinating in this instance was that the two articles are distinctly different in tone, with the former being a straight news piece and the latter taking on a more casual tone, in keeping with the conversational style of blog writing. The other interesting learning point was that Marketing ran one of our Factiva Insight charts in the blog article - which reminded me that bloggers love good quality, self-explanatory and free graphics they can drop into their articles. A few days later, Marketing then featured the Cliche Index back on its main website, running a small competition around who could correctly identify the number of cliches in a paragraph.

Over to the other side of the world and back to pitching to blogs, the very funky in New York ran a post, which generated other blog posts and calls from two of the most influential news organisations in the US, requesting updates and some tweaks to the Cliche Index. Stay tuned...we're still working with them, and are obviously most happy to oblige! Then the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a news piece which generated a number of reader comments about cliche abuse and dodgy use of language in business.

Not wanting to be outdone, my Australian colleagues pitched to The Age's Management Line blog today, combining mainstream media and influential blog in one go. Already there are a stack of user comments about the use of language, and we are gaining exposure on one of Australia's premier news sites in a way that is otherwise typically challenging for us.

So many other opportunities have come out of this brief, but frenzied campaign. That it's bouncing literally from one country to the next, day after day, is indicative of the enthusiasm it's creating in our own PR teams, as much as the interest its generating in the mainstream media and blogging community.

It's really reinforcing to us from a PR perspective that with blogs, there are many opportunities to create conversations with the public in a way that has never been possible.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Who Moved my Blackberry?

Absolutely hysterical holiday reading was Who Moved My Blackberry by the FT's columnist, Lucy Kellaway.

I loved Lucy's observations about life in a global organisation from the perspective of one Martin Lukes, marketing director extraordinaire. The story is entirely fictional, but could be true of any large company - the politics, the office romances, the backstabbing, gossiping, email overload and powerpointization of the world. It also presented a pretty amusing picture of technology and "being connected 24*7", via Mr Luke's inbox, Blackberry and mobile phone. Beware of the rogue child who steals your Blackberry!

Interestingly, as I was reading the book and journeying through the stunning Croatian country-side last week, my Blackberry beeped, and a Factiva news alert came in. It was a profile about Lucy in The Independent, Lucy Kellaway: My Life In Media. Nice to know that she references Factiva...

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?
As I make up most of the things I write about I exist in a bubble of ignorance. I do check Google, Factiva and occasionally.

Singapore's Marketing Magazine launches a blog

Singapore's Marketing Magazine has launched a blog called The Pitch, which, the magazine's editor, Tony Kelly says:
"is a forum for Marketing to sound off about a whole range of things loosely tied to the industries we cover. The great thing about blogs is they are meant to be a little bit garage, rough around the edges, not so structured as formal journalism and a little less...accountable."

I like the idea of blogs being a "bit garage"...telling it how it is, without either editorial or corporate restrictions.

It will be interesting to see exactly what types of "gossip, rumours, opinion, lies, slander and humorous anecdotes" they post on the site. I for one, will stay tuned!