Sunday, 6 May 2007

Much to learn, you still have!!

This blog is part of an assignment of the module PR and Technology, of the MSc course I’ m having in Stirling. I have to admit, that I chose this module, which wasn’t compulsory, only because I was feeling I had to confront technology. I was something like technophobe, or at least tech-illiterate.

In the beginning of the semester, when we first created our blogs, I was excited. I could publish whatever I wanted. I would have a voice. I am really happy that now this assignment is almost over, I am as excited as I was then. I really took to it.

I really enjoyed my presence in the blogosphere. Maybe I am the one, who mostly enjoyed this assignment. I’ve spent many hours searching in the blogosphere, reading other blogs and looking for interesting things to write and comment about.

Even though it was a little bit hard, at least in the beginning, to engage myself in the conversation, at least I‘ve learnt a lot, and I think I am very benefited by my engagement with the blogosphere.

In total, I feel very satisfied I chose that module. During the last two months, not only I’ve learnt about tools I had no idea that existed, but now I also read the RSS feeds of my favourite blogs, I have an account to Bebo, MySpace, Yahoo 360, I am member of the group that Derek (our tutor) has created in Facebook, I have an account in Twitter (which I haven’t started using it though) and I have a clear idea about how new technologies affect the PR practice.

Now that I will not have to search the blogosphere to find something interesting to write about, I don’t know if I will have the same willingness to do so. But the fact that I really enjoyed it makes me feel that I would like to going on with it.

This post is accompanied with the picture that I uploaded with the first post of this blog. It’s true that I’ve learnt a lot, but…Much to learn you still have…:-)

Panathinaikos: Euroleague's Champion 2006-2007

Panathinaikos won the fourth Euroleague title in their history on their home floor, earlier this evening, after defeating CSKA 93-91 in front of 12,000 greek funs in Olympic Stadium of Athens...I wish I were there...We are the champions....:-)

Saturday, 28 April 2007


It was only yesterday, that thanks to John's presentation I was familiarised with Second Life. And I have to admit that I was speechless watching Derek (our professor) flying in a virtual place, in a white skirt (that he couldn't get rid of), jeans and a purple T-shirt (using An's account though:-)).

It is incredible to what degree technology has developed, and what people can do in their “second life”. I will not enlarge upon this issue though, but I only want to point out its role in Public Relations.

So, from a PR perspective Second Life seems to be an ideal "place" for the customers to interact with the brands. Virtual places remove the constraints of space and time and connect people who share common interests and ideas.

PR professionals could definitely take advantage of the opportunities that Second Life offers and enforce the relationships with their customers. Second life facilitates a new level of interaction and now the companies can receive immediate feedback about their products and services and so market them in a more efficient way.

Text 100 was the first PR firm that entered Second Life and as Andrew McGregor, Regional Director, explains in this video, everything is about brand building. Second life can build brand loyalty. It can spread the word about your brand. If you don’t do it, the competitor will do it first.

As analysts recently identified, by the end of 2011, the 80% of Internet users will have a “second life”, either in Second Life, or in other virtual worlds. That means that a great number of current and potential customers will be hanging about in virtual places. And PR professionals will have the opportunity to address, interact and gain a deeper understanding of them. It comes with no surprise then that more and more PR firms acquire their own virtual places. The PR battle will be soon transferred in the virtual world (if not already)…

Friday, 27 April 2007

Web 2.0 is Us/ing us...

Today I came across this video which has gotten spread around the www and is one of the most inspiring things I’ve seen recently. "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" is a video created by Michael Wesch, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University and it is an interesting journey from written text to Web 2.0. A video definition of Web 2.0. “The web is no longer just linking information. “Web 2.0 is linking people”. It's worth seeing it...

Thursday, 26 April 2007

RSS for novices

Today it was An's turn in the class, to talk about one of the latest advents that have changed the way we communicate and the way we are getting informed nowadays. An and Derek tried hard to make it simple to us, what RSS is and how it works. But I think that this video is just perfect for novices like me, who find it difficult to understand the aggregators, Atom and all these complicated terms that RSS includes!!!Sorry An:-):-)

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

PR darlings...

PR darlings is a new social networking service, "where business meets pleasure". PR darlings,as it describes itself, is about "being able to socialise for the PR industry, meet PR people, get industry news, find jobs, share photos and blogs". This is not another "place" to find and address new clients, nor to promote a company's vision and aims. It's a network that can help you socialise with people who share the same interests. What you have to do is to sign up and then you "can find yourself some nice people to have a drink with on Friday"!!What do you think???:-)

Monday, 23 April 2007

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter....Twitterment

As Twitter has whipped up my curiosity, I've been searching and searching in the web, to find what could be interesting or even exciting with it.

Apart from the fact that even politicians are now engaged with it (Alan Johnson, John Edwards), the fact that yes, it could be used in case of a crisis as a communication channel, the fact that it brought first the French election news yesterday, the fact that it was the first "medium" that "reported" the earthquake in Mexico City, what roused my interest is...Twitterment.

Twitterment is Twitter's search engine, developed at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, and gives you the chance to find out how much, for example, your country is "twittered". You also can compare it with other terms. Twitterment shows you how many references there have been in Twitter posts, and what percentage of all the posts these constitute, as well as the fluctuation of the number of references, according to the hour or the day.

Twitterment also provides in the front page a cloud of buzzy terms and a cloud o fading terms. This tool could be useful to PR practitioners, as they could compare their client's buzz, with their rivals'. It is similar to Google Trends, but Twitterment seems to be more reliable as the results will be the same, no matter which term is first.

These are the results of the comparison of PR with Marketing:

It's interesting, isn't it???

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Twitter, transparency and damaged reputations

I was reading Ann’s post the other day about Twitter, and I found myself in the same position, wondering why all this fuss about it. The last two months, due to the module of PR and technology, part of which is this blog, I’ve come to grips with several of the new media that tend to change totally the way people communicate nowadays. Twitter gets its own “buzz” lately, and therefore has a prominent position in blogs’ posts.

Steven Rubel, Edelman's Senior Vice President, has proved to be a great fan of Twitter, as several posts of his blog are dedicated to it, while on the same time he is “twittering” on a regular basis. But he could never, probably, predict, and maybe nobody, what would follow this post on Twitter, last Friday.

Rudel in this 15-word post, said to millions of people, to whom this post is now available, that PC Magazine, a magazine of high circulation, and of great importance for many of Edelman’s clients (among which are Microsoft, Palm, Adobe etc.), is of no interest to him; useless; for the “trash”. He obviously couldn’t imagine what reactions this post would create.

Not surprisingly, Jim Louderback, Editor in Chief of PC Magazine, in a guest editorial on Strumpette, replied to Rudel, in a very critical tone. He expressed his concerns about the relationships of the Magazine with Edelman. He was wondering if Rubel’s opinion, which he shared with millions of people, reflects the views of his company as well. Louderback even expressed his doubts, if PC Magazine should carry on co-operating with Edelman, or simply boycott it and its clients.

Rubel’s response was immediate. With a post in his blog, he tries to settle the matter. He states that even though he doesn’t read the hard copy of the magazine, he subscribes to its RSS feeds, and he often links to its online articles. Moreover, he points out that his consumption habits have nothing to do with his employer, and his views (and therefore his blog’s and twitter’s posts) do not reflect neither Edelman’s views nor its clients’. He also adds that he acknowledges the value of PC Magazine as a medium to reach important audiences.

A simple, small and fast message and a great misunderstanding, (as it is implied by Rubel’s response) evolved. The fact that Twitter gives everyone the chance to post something very fast, in limited words, and share it with everyone, helped it to gain grounds, but on the other hand that word restriction, can prove to be dangerous, as many things can be implied, but only few are written.

Transparency, which is a “buzz” word for the new, social media, and something that everyone seems to be seeking, can be harmful. As everyone has a say, and everything that is said will be “alive” for ever in the www, reputations are in danger. In one less-than-160-character note, Edelman has let one employee (unintentionally) weaken its core structure. If Rudel, a master PR person, got in trouble, PR firms and PR practitioners individually, have to take into serious account the dangers that new media include.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Social Networks for Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech. is in the hearts and thoughts of everyone today. How can such tragedy take place in a university campus? I don't know...I'm speechless...

However, Facebook proved to be a valuable tool, helping students of Virginia Tech, to post their whereabouts and their condition after the massacre, yesterday morning.

"I'm ok at VT" is a group that was set up on Facebook, which is used by the students to communicate with each other, inform about their condition and ask about whereabouts of other students. It also includes a list of those killed, and details about the condition of those injured.

Several groups have been set up since yesterday, among which are "Christians Praying for Virginia Tech", "Canada Support Virginia Tech" etc., proving that social networks have replaced the conventional methods of communication, and especially after such an event, when all the cell networks were stressed.

What remains is to wish that it will never again be necessary for social media to be used for such reasons.

Check out:;_ylt=AlBwadCIzFOTNKCPNiGsl_JFr7sF


Driven by Nicola's presentation few weeks ago about wikis, I realised to what extent contribution has evolved through the new media.

A Wiki can be described as a website that allows visitors to add, remove, edit and change its content. The fact that wikis favour the involvement and the contribution of everyone helped them to gain grounds the recent years.

As Nicola points out in her post, it's obvious that Wikis have a lot to offer to PR people, as they have the potential to facilitate their activities in many ways, by using their RSS applications, blog applications, archiving posts and reports, etc.

And now, there is more good news about wikis!! WetPaint, a popular "Wiki-farm" recently announced that they will soon provide person-to-person and private messaging between their users. This means that the users, will from now on be able to send single, or multi-person, private messages, to connect and collaborate with others about their common interests. Interesting?

And there is more news from the "wiki-world": PBwiki, the biggest consumer wiki-farm, currently in operation, has announced a partnership with YackPack, to provide a new widget, called WalkieTalkie, which can be installed on your PBwiki in less than two minutes. Then, everyone who visits your PBwiki will be able to talk to everyone else visiting the page, by simply click-and-hold the YackPack button. This is undoubtedly an innovation that adds credits to wikis, as now the power of voice is added to the contribution. It’s easy, free and fun!! This video explains everything!

As technology evolves, there is no doubt that new methods of communications will evolve. Social media are here to stay and nobody can predict what will emerge tomorrow!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Civility or censorship?

The Easter break in combination with other obligations for the course, didn't allow to me to be active the last weeks, but I'm back again to the blogosphere, where a great debate is held lately, and John's post gives a clear idea about it.

Tim O'Reilly, a publisher who is credited with coining the term "Web 2.0" and Jimmy Wales, the creator of Wikipedia, have begun working to create a set of principles to shape the online discussion. Driven by the death threats against Kathy Sierra, O'Reilly argues that a code of conduct for bloggers seems absolutely necessary in order for everyone "to celebrate the blogosphere". Two badges were also created, to be displayed by the sites that want to link to the code.

The "Draft Bloggers' Code of Conduct" that was posted to O'Reilly's Company's blog, has received more than 300 comments, with contradictory viewpoints, a fact that poses the question how anyone could persuade even a fraction of the millions of bloggers to embrace one set of standards.

Other bloggers, in their own blogs have condemned the code of conduct, arguing that such guidelines have nothing to do with civility and that they are mole like an act of censorship. Indeed, the reason that blogs and all the other new media have become that popular so fast is because they are open to everyone. It is this openness that the idea of a code of conduct clamps down on.

Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association, commented: "I don't see it as practical in any way and it misses the point in both what is important and what is going to work. It is like a circle of trust and the trick is to being in the circle more valuable to bloggers than being outside of it".

I strongly agree that the offensive and bullying speech should by no means be applauded, but on the other hand, as Shel Holtz says, "some people are jerks, and will be jerks online". It's true that the mask of anonymity favours such attitudes but human values cannot be contained within rules. Civility is a trait, and as a trait cannot be enforced.

Friday, 30 March 2007


This post differs from all the others. It has nothing to do with PR, nor technology. But I feel the need to express my revulsion, about the bloody riots in the streets of Athens, earlier this night, between the fans of Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, the 2 most popular sports clubs in Greece. The clashes, that took place before a women’s' volleyball (!!!!!) game between the two clubs, ended up with several stabbed fans in the hospital, while a 25-year-old guy, was killed.

This is one more act of violence between the fans of the two clubs, which is the continuation of the vendetta that exists between them for many decades. One more act of violence for Greek sports. But this time, there is a dead person. And maybe it' s time for the heads of this country, to take seriously this problem, and act proactively, rather than reactively, because, at least for today, their reaction is too late.

It seems an oxymoron that in the birthplace of the Olympic Games and of the spirit of noble emulation the sports divide the people and creates hate. To be continued? Let’s hope not…

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Social Media and PR practitioners

Social media seem to have taken the world by storm. They experience an impressive growth, and you can never be sure about the extent you know about them, as everyday something new appears and grows in popularity very fast. There is a great debate about the use of Social Media in Public Relations, as to whether they can really add something new to the profession, or it is just a trend that will eventually fade away.

The results of Euroblog2007, a study that was conducted among PR practitioners from all over Europe dealing with the extent to which social media have been incorporated into the daily PR practices, reveal that there is a great turn towards them, comparing to the 2006 results.

More specifically, PR practitioners find the new media innovative, and the majority of them are of the opinion
in a few years time they will be as integrated in the communication process as the web sites are in our days. Additionally, the evidence shows a great increase in the involvement of the practitioners with blogs, either running one, or commenting on others, on a regular basis.

The greatest advantages that the practitioners believe that weblogs offer are, the scanning of the environment, the fast reaction time to issues and the opportunity for direct feedback. There is also some interesting evidence about the reasons that limit a company's adoption of the new techniques offered by new media.

The most important reason seems to be the lack of skilled personnel, highlighting once again the need for PR practitioners to keep updated about the new advances of technology, as well as the need for the companies to devote time and resources to train their employees.

The fact that the most important challenge for Public Relations and communications management for the coming years are perceived to be new channels that technology provides, illustrates the emphasis that practitioners lay on them.

There seems to be no doubt that we live in the era of social media, and the practitioners, having realised the need to meet the requirements of that new era, involve themselves with the new advents of technology. The challenge that this era brings to them and to the companies, is how these channels will be incorporated as smoothly as possible to current practices, so as to be as efficient as possible.

Monday, 19 March 2007

New GoogleTrend!!

As I was "googling" today, I discovered a new trend of Google, that I weren't aware of, and which I find interesting. Google Trends gives you the chance to compare, for example 2 brands, companies, politicians, football clubs etc, to find out which one has been more searched in Google by the public. Google also displays ten cities, where the most searches come from. I found that really interesting, as it can be also used by PR practitioners, to find out how much "demand" there is for their client, comparing, also, to other competitors. Due to the fact that this technology is new, and in an early stage of development, the results sometimes may be not that representative, as it seems that the comparison heavily relies on which term is first. However, as this technology will be further improved, Google seems to promise a new tool for media measurement!

Thursday, 15 March 2007

The harsh reality of the World Wide Web

I have recently read two posts, that made me speculating about the traces we leave behind, every time we post something to a blog, every time we comment on something or every time we share, for example, our pictures, with someone else online.

And if the good news is that by being "alive" for ever in the world of wide web, maybe our vanity is satisfied, (at least mine:-)), there are other, more important things that should be taken into consideration, when it comes to Public Relations.

As it is mentioned in online-pr , when a PR company has to support someone, that was busted for something in the past, how is the PR practitioner supposed to handle with that? Since the online databases, provide details and information for even a petty offence, and are available to everyone, in every corner of the planet, it is doubtful if a PR practitioner will be able to protect their client, and keep their past secret. So, how do Public Relations face the new reality? How will the practitioners support clients, whose past is not that innocent?

Another aspect of the harsh digital reality, is the traces that the PR companies leave behind, and that these traces can prove to be bad PR for themselves. As prblogger also points out, what PR consultancies do in our days, will be available many years later, so the extent to which they pay attention to their actions, will determine their future reputation. Since search engines and online databases, will for many years be the bugbears of notoriety, the actions of today should rely on honesty and openness.

To conclude, it seems that there is no degital forgiveness. Every single action is recorded, and it will not be easily deleted. And this is a new challenge for PR practitioners, in their attempt to build the image both theirs and their clients'.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Young children are the new target of mobile marketing

Having done a presentation, last week, for the mobiles and the ways they are used by the brands, in order to reach their publics, I know that companies can go too far in order to achieve their goals. But targeting young children sounds at least exasperating.

A ten-year-old girl from Australia, signed-up for a ringtone service, which was advertised in a website very popular among children. Once the girl signed-up, she started receiving advertising text messages, which, in retrospect, proved to charge her, $5 each.

When the parents of the girl realised what was going on, tried to contact Deda, the Italian company that provided this service, and which promotes itself through Internet. When they called the company, they reached, with surprise, a recorded message that was saying that the potential customers should be at least 6 years old!!! Even though the mobile company compensated the girl, and said that the recorded message of their "partner" was just a mistake, and therefore has changed, the girl's mother called again, to reach exactly the same message...

So are the kids the next target of mobile marketing? When a brand chooses the vehicles through which to promote itself, it has in mind that with the certain means, a certain public will be reached. Having an advertisement in a website popular among children it's obvious that the target is them. But how ethical is that?

Till now, we were surprised or/and irritated by the methods used to reach us through such a personal device, as the cell-phone is. But trying to reach and deceive young children is at least unethical. The recorded message illustrates to what extent the competition and the desire to gain grounds against the rivals have reached. If we can't protect ourselves against that mobile "hurricane", how possible is to protect kids? What remains to see is if the companies will realise their social responsibility towards consumers, and avoid or even punish such tactics.

Check out:

Sunday, 11 March 2007

In the interests of Communications...

Mobile phones are broadly used the recent years by a wide range of companies in order to reach their publics. It is a vehicle that offers interactivity, it is cost-effective, accessible 24/7 and nowadays due to the advance of the technology provides great opportunities to have an appeal to its users.

As the phone companies have realised the need of the brands to be promoted through that vehicle, and the desire of the people to interact more using their mobile phones, they have already started providing TV services, to the cell phones' owners. This is not news.

The news is that in USA, cable operators feeling the need to remain competitive, have just started providing cell phone services. Bundling three services in one package, High-speed Internet, digital TV and telephone, is the response of four cable companies in the implacable battle for the consumer's communication business. Such packages are convenient, as all the communication costs are paid on one bill and the consumers enjoy more privileges.

What both cable operators and phone companies have now in hand, is to offer remote DVR programming, in other words, the possibility for the consumers to record TV shows on home TVs using their cell-phones.

It is obvious that both sides are determined to gain the consumers' preference, and they come up with new developments to beat each other. The question is: do the consumers really need, or want such services and features ? Or the rivals just want to impress in their attempt to have an appeal to them, without taking into account their real needs? Let's see what the future holds for the world of communications....

Check out:;_ylt=Ak8WY9hfB9z5_PN6RwuXUzlFr7sF

Saturday, 10 March 2007

You can't kill a fly with a laptop....

As a student who aspires to become a Public Relations' practitioner, but in the same time as a new resident in the blogosphere, I've started wondering how that job will look like some years later.

The blogosphere counts more that 60 million blogs, new technologies conquer all and everything seems to be "online". In the previous semester of the course I' am having this year(MSc in Public Relations), I was taught how to write Press Releases and feature articles. But now I'm having a module about PR and Technology, I started wondering how will the companies do Media Relations from now on. Will I ever need to write a Press Release? Will I ever choose to write a press release?

Living in the era of technology, it is widely believed that computers and World Wide web will be soon the only means by which business world, governments and organisations will communicate their messages. They provide immediacy, ease and interactivity. A vast number of people, all over the world, can be reached with various ways, within seconds, which some years ago seemed impossible.

So, will the advance of the technology mark the extinction of the traditional methods used by the professionals of the field? It seems to me that, although technology is part of our life and our daily routine, the already established and proven methods will not be wholly replaced. My point of view is that companies are still experimenting and trying to find the best way to approach the new technologies. The opportunities that they offer are obviously great, in terms of connecting companies to the customers and establishing relations with them, but that doesn't mean that practitioners will reject the existing strategies.

I believe that, as in the World Wide Web there is space for everyone, in Public Relations' field there is space for many methods to be used. The coexistence of technology, with the wide range of opportunities that offers, with the old, well-tried methods, seems to me that is the most possible scenario for the years that follow.

I feel that, just like kids are excited every time they are given a new toy, but after a while they return to their old, plain train, practitioners, after experimenting for a while with the new technologies, they will soon go back to the old vehicles they used to reach their publics. Blogs will not replace press releases as computers will not replace magazines and newspapers. And not only because (as I read recently somewhere) "You can't kill a fly with a laptop"....

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Court ordered company to pay damages for a spam e-mail!

Gordon Dick, a Web Marketing specialist from Edinburgh, sued Transcom Internet Services Ltd, for having sent him a spam message, one year ago. Initially, Dick sent an e-mail to the company asking them to erase any personal data that were holding of him, or he would take legal action. Few days later, Transcom replied that the message had been sent to 41,000(!!!) recipients, (who later proved to be 72,000!!!) and they had received only 2 complaints and that the e-mail addresses were legally collected(from an Internet forum, but without Dick's-and probably no body's consent). They also challenged him to take legal action. After a year of many hearings in the Court and many delays, and having been proved that Dick's email address was illegally collected, the court rejected Transcom argument that the e-mail didn't hurt Dick financially and so the damages were unwarranted and ordered the company, last week, to pay $1,445 in damages and $1,190 in court costs. Dick said, that people nowadays do not know how to recognise spam messages and they take no action in order to protect themselves and supported his actions by asking "If someone was throwing stones through your window, would you just ignore it?". This is a radical decree nowadays that email has become such a common means for companies to communicate with a vast number of people in order to promote their products and services. Now companies should be really careful not to break Data Protection Act when choosing that tool to reach their publics, as it is estimated that if all the recipients of the certain massage had taken legal action, Transcom would have to pay million of pounds. It remains to see if that decree will have any impact, though it seems doubtful that there will be any significant decrease in the number of spams sent everyday, which for 2006 were estimated to be 62 billion!!!!

Check out:

Wednesday, 28 February 2007


I may have my own blog now, but I still hate technology....Especially slow Internet...Grrrrrr........

An oxymoron??

Evi's blog, it could be claimed, is an oxymoron...Evi and technology, especially computers, are two contradictory concepts. Despite the fact that I am a mobile phones' expert, this seems to be the only relationship between me and technology. It is advancing so rapidly that I find it difficult to adapt myself to the new hi-tech reality. And now I have my own blog?? Mmm...Lets' see what else holds this module for me and what technology holds for Public Relations...