Friday, 4 May 2012

Visiting the local



When you think of targeting the press do you think of magazines that cover your industry and maybe the national newspapers for a big story? It’s sometimes easy to forget the local press and whilst each title may cater for a narrow geographical audience, in a densely populated region this can equal a considerable large number of readers. Additionally many local titles are syndicated; meaning news gets shared around the group and ultimately reaches a much broader readership than might initially be recognised. We’ve had a good reminder of the importance of the local press this week as we’ve continued to help promote Britain’s Got Talent hopefuls Latin-American and Standard Ballroom Dance partners Kai Widdrington and Natalia Jeved from Southampton, pitching to the local Southampton Echo and Meridian TV. We have also been conducting PR around the visit of a local MP to one of our IT clients, which also garnered local press attention. A successful local business being recognised by a prominent politician is an ideal photo opportunity for the regional press, giving just the kind of local angle that makes local newspaper editors sit up and take notice. The key, of course, is to make sure stories appeal to the local interest – local people, photos of people in the area, local issues or campaigns, charity events - anything that has local connections or connotations. We have had clients gleefully tell us of the pleasure of receiving praise from their customers and partners for good local coverage. For many businesses it is a superb reputation enhancing experience that makes the effort all the more worthwhile.

Turning to technology news, Samsung has this week launched its new flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone, which offers a raft of new features, as reported on the BBC News website and The Guardian to name but two. In the past, headlines tended to concentrate more on big launches of software like MS Windows, but more recently Apple has become the master of big product launches as mobile technology has taken centre stage in consumer IT. It is testament to the importance of Samsung as prominent brand in smartphones that it was able to conduct such a big, well attended launch event that could rival its big fruit-named rival. Along with its tablet range, Samsung seems to have its eyes firmly on offering a credible alternative to the iPhone and in the tit-for-tat world of spec one-upmanship, intends to leapfrog its competitor. The press love a bit corporate rivalry and we’re sure none of the parties involved will suffer from the increasing press and public scrutiny of a sector that seems to be becoming more and more dominant in the world IT.

The old technology and political hot potato of Internet Porn hit the headlines again this week, as PM David Cameron waded into the debate by pledging support for an ‘opt-in’ system for anyone wishing to view adult material, following a cross-party inquiry into the subject. The Telegraph ran an article on how campaigners are celebrating the high profile support for the idea, whilst civil liberties groups have attacked it claiming it will censor all manner of normal websites and that parents should take responsibility for protecting their children. It’s a highly emotive argument and one that was perhaps inevitable as the Internet has come to mirror the human population that builds and maintains it. It’s a classic example of technology and morality colliding and the only thing that is certain is that whatever happens it won’t please everyone.



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