The summer forecast: sun with a chance of news

Niall Hughes, senior account manager, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group

The sun is shining and the metaphorical mercury is rising, which can only mean the onset of the summer silly season. Every year PRs plot wackier and zanier picture stunts and surveys to coincide with this most bizarre of seasons - but what are they up against?


Barbara Normile, account director, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group

Despite the huge advances in the way we’ve communicated throughout history - from speech to writing and carrier pigeons to telephones, Morse code and the internet - the disparity of communication standards and the accessibility of modern methods in the world still astounds me.

Video Killed The Radio Star? Not Always…

Cat Cambridge, senior account executive, Clarion Communication, part of the WPP group

Compared with TV ads, viral videos are more likely to be recalled not just generally but by brand and message too.  So when it works, viral marketing is definitely worth investing in for any campaign. But it’s certainly a challenge, for with every successful viral video, a hundred more go unseen.

Festival Roar

Alice Stanes, PR assistant, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP Group

With the first hazy summer days in sight, festival season is well and truly on the horizon - and what better way to kick off our festival countdown than to embrace social media and join the conversation.

I heard it ‘down the pub’...

Amanda Meyrick, managing director, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group

How many meetings have you sat through that drone on and on and on?  Speaking succinctly is an art - and the more concisely you speak, the more people will listen and remember what you say.  The king of one-liners, Mark Twain, describes a sound bite as "a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense".  Sound bites are small but powerful groups of words - and whether facts, anecdotes, one-liners or stories, they all make what you have to say memorable and therefore worth passing on. But how to create them as they don't always flow naturally? Here’s some borrowed advice from the experts: 

The Challenge of Creating Content

Katy Jameson, senior account executive, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group

News is on a constant cycle - and in our fast-paced world, where we have access to both real-time updates online, as well as daily newspapers, and weekly and monthly magazines, I think it's almost irrefutable that every PR story has been done before.

Is Social Media making us anti-social?

Sandra Tortajada, PR assistant, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group

In this day and age where everything is at a click of a button, leaving your computer screen is becoming less necessary by the day. From contacting friends and family to giving the world a news update by sharing a photo in seconds, it’s no wonder that we are being tricked into feeling like we are being ever more sociable.

Education Not Legislation

Jonathan Smith, associate director, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group

Minimum pricing on booze, plain packs on fags, VAT on a Greggs pasty…the Government obviously thinks legislation rather than education is the way to go to alter the way society behaves.

However, changing attitudes and social engineering with a Big Brother approach is less likely to work - after all it's not in human nature to trust what is so overtly put upon us.  The Government should also be wary that embarking on centralised legislative measures that have not been tried before are likely to have unintended consequences…

Maybe therefore the Government should consider adopting a more PR led approach to educate society.  After all, by generating more trusted content and word of mouth, PR is much more likely to engineer social change.

Is PR Speak necessary?

Poppy Mason-Watts, senior account executive, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP group.

I recently spoke with some blogger friends and asked them what the most annoying thing about PRs is. Their first response made me laugh: PR speak.

Grammatically Speaking

Louisa Jarvis, account director, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP Group

Not since the advent of text messages, which encouraged the mass abandonment of punctuation and replacement of vowels with numbers (gr8!), has such a stir been caused around the near-sacrosanct topic of English Grammar.  For Waterstone's - that high street hotbed of learning and literature - has given up on its humble apostrophe.

Top 5 Viral Videos brands can learn from

Habib Amir, head of digital, Clarion Communications, part of the WPP Group

Too often, brands pro-actively ask their audience to share a branded video with their friends in the hope it will go viral.  And if this has to be requested by the brand, it usually means the video doesn’t have the potential to go viral.  In fact, if a brand is sure about the quality of the video, it can even afford to ask its audience the opposite.