Roger Hislop works for SA's leading Internet Service Provider in the new business and innovation group. He's also a writer. He can bang out a gadget review in a tick, a deep and thoughtful analysis piece in two ticks, and a complete innovation strategy in three. His main interest is in telecoms and Internet tech, with a sideline in DIYing his own audio electronics. Contact Roger on and follow @d0dja on Twitter.
Roger Hislop works for SA's leading Internet Service Provider in the new business and innovation group. He's also a writer. He can bang out a gadget review in a tick, a deep and thoughtful analysis piece in two ticks, and a complete innovation strategy in three. His main interest is in telecoms and Internet tech, with a sideline in DIYing his own audio electronics.
Joburg based, he started off as an electrical engineer before taking a sharp left-turn into technology and business journalism, and then moving further into marketing communications. He then took a sharp right turn back into engineering and commercial development.
He is fascinated by how people interact, how they share information, how they link as social creatures, and how the Internet is becoming such an important part of it.
You could argue that SANDF needs to advertise because it's a volunteer service - they need people to sign up.
See them as a recruiter brand, not a consumer brand...
US military advertises very heavily - ads, assistance to moviemakers that show mil in good light, etc. Check out this site (they're just missing the payoff line "and you get to shoot people dead!" amongst all the positive proof points) http://www.goarmy.com/
Then again, an ad in Business Day is hardly target market for recruits. Die Son, maybe.
[Roger Hislop] Screeds have been written by PRs on how terribly PR is done, and by journalists on how terribly PR is being done. Generally, these pieces address the symptoms, not the causes. So what's wrong? How do PR pros run PR agencies that do (let's be blunt) crap work? Agencies which let junior staff with no clue and big attitudes loose on heavyweight journos from top-tier publications? Agencies that issue releases that are borderline incomprehensible?
A smarter man than me pointed out that the registry should not even store the email addresses, but hashes of them, so that if it is compromised nothing gets lost (and you can bet some pretty smart hackers are going to have a go at it...).
The marketers that want to clean their databases can also submit their lists as hashes.
Hi Monica - thanks for taking the time out to go to the session (unfortunately being in CT means I couldn't go).
To some of the commentators above (the ones that made sense, that is...) -- this was an opinion piece intended to create debate. Contrary to assumptions made, I did speak to PRISA, and made it clear in the piece that they have thought about this matter long and hard.
The people at the Loeries and PRISA are neither stupid, nor amateurs, and the reportback by Monica bears this out.
This does not mean everyone needs to agree with their point of view.
It is also clear (at least I thoughts so, more fool me) that the opinion presented above is from a BUSINESS-to-BUSINESS PR point of view, where a creativity award for coverage is rewarding flash, not substance; and because of the relative prominence of Loeries vs Prisms, will badly skew the (already rather shaky) grasp the broader industry has of 'what PR is'.
We already have enough difficulty getting clients to understand the value in 'behind the scenes' work that is not coverage-generating. And now we're making a giant spectacle of this very thing.
And if 'patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel', then the 'ah man don't be a hater' is the last refuge of the intellectually lazy.
The bottom line for me is that a Loeries for PR may be an awesome thing to win (those statues look great in the reception area!), but does not really benefit the PR industry or its clients in the long term as it rewards 'award baiting' practices.
Similar arguments have been levelled by ad industry people at the Loeries (and other awards) for many years. These arguments are even more pertinent to the PR industry.
That being said, creativity is always a good thing, so if agencies do work they're proud of and want public recognition, good luck to them.
Who doesn't enjoy winning awards. They're tasty, but are they nutritious?
Um. Yep. That's right. "in which the communication was done (the originality and the execution) not what it achieved"
And if the (now) biggest award for PR does not recognise it for what it achieves, but instead picks out a single tactic, is that good for PR?
I've heard these same arguments applied by advertising agency people over the years about whether the Loeries is good or bad for the industry - does it foster "win an award" mentality, rather than "do great work for the client" mentality.
The PR industry is possibly more prone even than advertising to a tactical focus being a the expense of a good comms strat.
[Roger Hislop] April is a trying month of two-day weeks and skiving off work. Or bashing your heads trying to get a campaign out the door. So excuse me for not noticing the details until now of The Loerie Awards' new gong for great PR.
[Roger Hislop] Skirting the line between truth, fiction and a bitch slap from the advertising regulator - the ongoing Power Balance bracelets scenario is a great case study in finely crafted messaging, of the art of spin, and discipline in damage-control PR.
[Roger Hislop] We all want three things. Health, wealth, and happiness. Make that four things. To look hot. Shape has the problem that it's peddling the same pipedreams as the women's magazines that sell three times its numbers. The difference is that the title wants to be the one telling the truth, being responsible, having editorial principles that allow it to talk authoritatively about health and wellness with some level of authenticity.
[Roger Hislop] In the second of our PRs meets the media series, in which Bizcommunity.com and Sentient Communications will be profiling South African magazines and their editors so that both journalists and PRs can get more of what they both want, we take a look at One Small Seed, which is not just a print magazine but a number of media properties which includes video, a web community, an online hip culture magazine and a newly launched photography mag.