Thursday, 14 June 2012

Shouting about the good things!

It’s been a funny (read ‘wet’) Summer so far, with a month’s worth of rain falling in one day in some parts of the UK. We live in a country where wet weather (even in Summer) is statistically quite probable and yet the British do like to complain about the weather (if it wasn’t too wet it would be too hot, queue Sun headlines proclaiming ‘Phew, What a Scorcher’!) Perhaps it’s a good illustration of how the public like to moan if things aren’t just so. The business world can be like that sometimes too, customers won’t often go out of their way to praise you for a good job (although thankfully it does happen and it makes everyone concerned feel good) but they are more likely to make a complaint if the service or product falls short. At MCC we’ve always felt this is where a good PR campaign can make the difference. Winning a new client or contract is a good example of a good news story but they come in many shapes or forms. Anything that spells good news for the economy as a whole will catch an Editor’s eye (a new production plant, new projects and new staff are prime examples) but even positive human interest stories (such as a team member who has been with the company for many years) are great things to be shouting about. We all like a positive news story, it certainly makes a nice contrast to negative headlines! With regards to the weather I’m sure we’ll all continue to moan, but look on the bright side - the UK is hosting the Olympics games and England is still in Euro 2012 (okay, that seems to be a moot point for anyone else in the UK!) so there is plenty of good news to be talking about despite the (almost always) disappointing climate.

Tech Rader covered a slightly embarrassing story on Microsoft this week – the IT giant issued a public apology over what can perhaps be best described as a risqué song and dance routine at a launch of its new Azure Cloud platform in Norway. Just to make things even more uncomfortable the words to the song were displayed on screens in the venue so there was no denying the double-entendres. The video of the event, which appears to have been taken by somebody in the crowd, highlights that any kind of ill-conceived joke or stunt (that in the past may have been quite easily contained) can very quickly be captured and released into the public domain, risking the reputation of even the mightiest business.

The BBC News ran a story this week on Linux creator Linus Torvalds who has shared a win of the Millennium Technology prize. With the seeming dominance of Windows operating systems in the past, alternatives such as Linux and Mac OS have only recently started to get much greater coverage and public acknowledgement as they become more widespread (largely through the rapid use of tablets for example). You might be surprised to learn that Linux actually already powers many of the world's computer servers, digital video recorders, stock exchange equipment and is even at the heart of Google's Android smartphone platform – one of the fastest growing IT platforms in the world. It’s also interesting to remember that Linus Torvalds started Linux as a hobby – but then that is how many software giants were born, just look at Facebook for example. Plus Linux has a penguin as its mascot -  and obviously Penguins are cool (pun intended!)
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