Saturday, September 22, 2007

Facebook access - a measure of management testosterone

Just caught a blog entry by Roo Reynolds from IBM about some UK regional authorities (in this case Kent County Council) blocking access to Facebook. Amid the plethora of stats indicating lost productivity / enhanced networking its hard to see any bans as being nothings else but a reason for management to exert what they think is good for the rest. If you are at all involved within an organisations marketing and sales or at all interested or involved in communications internally or externally you have every reason to use and benefit from Facebook and other social networking sites. This is the reason I fully support Shel Holtz campaign Stop Blocking. The arguments will carry on and we all know the way people are and some will take the p**s, although I am firmly in the camp that says it is in corporations best interests for its employees to be involved and engaged. An IT based blanket ban is I believe unreasonable - better that it be encouraged or questioned as a function of management. When posed with the question 'how is this helping you with your work' it should be obvious if one can present or fails produce plausible reasons.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Media sentiment and share/stock prices


If a mechanism for accurately correlating media sentiment with share and stock prices could be formulated then you can safely say that this sector of research would be many times larger and I would drive something other than a middle of the road family saloon! But just occasionally comparing the two can make for an interesting insight into whats really going on.

This morning the major UK corparate news has regarded Northern Rock, who have been somewhat unwilling dragged into the debacle, and fast becoming a crisis, that is the sub-prime credit crunch. The graph above sets out a measure of the volume of UK press exposure compared to their share price since the start of the year.

Their share price has dropped by over a half since the start of the year and now sits the south-side of 500p. When there is a single issue dominating coverage the relationship starts to stand-out and although this is only volume it is a telling comparison.

So what is being compared in this graph? Share and stock price is a measure of the financial worth of a company now and into the future by a group of highly experienced analysts and market makers whose only job is to do that. The volume of media coverage presents a picture of media focus on an issue or brand. The media will respond to any changes they feel notable and which would be of interest to their readers. So, the question is does one indicator lead the other? I am honestly not sure but an interesting alternative might be a measure of media favourability towards the organisation...that could be telling!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rosters rumblings


It is a perenial problems for relatively new specialist research agencies like the one I work for as to whether we ought really go all out to get onto the public sector roster of providers lead by the COI (Central Office of Information). The media evaluation listing was up for review late last year, I think, and I must admit to not even looking at the initial pitch documents, but last weeks PR Week has given me heart and allowed me to live with myself a little longer by indicating that the list is only considered in a quarter of appointments.

This will not go away however and having completed the pitch process a number of years ago, I can honestly comment that the process is onerous, and in the case of the agency I worked for at the time, unsuccessful. Its up for review again in 2010 so you never know!