Friday, 23 March 2012

PR on the case!

Photo: EPA
The case study is a staple of the PR and Marketing world, a third-party endorsement that is a valuable asset both for the press and your sales team alike. At MCC International we relish the chance to write a good case study, it not only gives us a good opportunity to speak to real customers about their experiences, but also gives a great refresh on the strengths of the products/services of the company. That’s not to say it is always an easy experience. Getting approval (especially when multiple parties are involved) can be a challenge in itself, but ironically this is part of what has driven up the value of a good case study. Precisely because of their relative rarity, an interesting, relevant, well written case study will have the right press chomping at the bit for an exclusive. If you can get some good quality photography to accompany it, the chances are that a relevant publication will sit up and take notice, especially if it covers a key sector or product that is getting your industry buzzing. It can also be a win-win situation for your client too, a nice bit of free PR that catapults their name into the press too – another excellent excuse to make the most of the goodwill from happy clients.

The biggest story this week was always, inevitably, going to be the UK Budget as it affects all parts of our society. Debate is always fierce on the outcome of a Budget, many people complain about tax rises in luxuries such as cigarettes and alcohol (surely an old Oasis lyric), rises in fuel costs and changes to social security. From a technology point of view, our eye was caught by the announcement of government support for broadband upgrades and tax breaks for the video games industry - which will probably be welcomed whichever side of the political chasm you reside on. However The Telegraph’s Emma Barnett felt IT education was a better route to follow to encourage growth, something which has been echoed throughout the education sector lately. There is no doubting the UK has a huge potential in the IT industry but debate rages as to the best ways to nurture and promote this. Aside from the political debate, did anyone else notice that George Osborne is now using a new red budget box? (replacing the classic battered Gladstone one which has always been a favourite photocall for the press). Perhaps the old one did give the wrong impression about the UK economy, despite the challenges we face!

The Daily Mail ran a story this week claiming that 27% of Americans get their news via a smartphone. To those of us who work in IT circles this probably isn’t a surprise. How many of us use our smartphone as a micro version of our main internet access? And is this in any way a bad thing? The rise and rise of the iPhone and iPad, plus a whole industry of alternative products, have undoubtedly promoted this still further and mean that now we have access to as much news as we want from whichever source (or sources) we choose. A completely different story that also caught our attention this week was covered by the BBC news website. A British woman wants doctors to fit her a cutting-edge bionic hand, the catch being that she would need to have her own hand amputated to do so. An accident has left her own hand virtually paralysed but visually normal. It certainly raised some debate in our office as to the merits of form over function and vice versa, but it is a good reminded that technology always has a human and moral cost – something that is worth bearing in mind with technology PR.
Don’t forget to put your clocks forward one hour this weekend. It means an hour less in bed but equally the benefit of lighter evenings – enjoy!
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