Tuesday, September 19, 2006

PR Congress, who is impressed?

So I went by the PR Congress at the JW Marriott. I did not buy a ticket and did not have an invitation. I just crashed the party. Let me just say this, I am glad I did not spend any money on it.

There was a plethora of expert speakers. However, the audience was too ignorant of the subject matter. I walked in briefly during a CSR lecture where someone asked if they should concentrate on one activity or a multitude of them. A legitimate question but a no-brainer if you have been in the business (it all depends on your budget, doesn't it?). Then there were the rhetorical questions of "You are only after profit, and your CSR activities are not genuine." That is the moment when I wanted to snap, so I left.

To answer the lady at the back's question: Who cares what the intentions are. What matters is the result. It is important to remember that if CSR activities were not motivated by business results, it wouldn't of have existed. Quite frankly, a business that has 'pure' intentions to only do CSR and gain nothing out of it is a company I would be very uncomfortable doing business with. Because that means they don't understand business.

Unfortunately I did not have the time to attend the Gala Dinner (and I also thought crashing that would be a bit more difficult). I'm not sure who won the "PR Professional of the Year" but I can definitely say it's not me. If anyone knows who that is, please leave a comment here.

Overall, the event was okay (though lacking security from the likes of DMO). It is probably a good place to send your fresh PR executives.. but anyone who has been doing this for over a year has nothing new to learn. Even if they did, they would not change as a result.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The ice that never melts? Just too clever!

DMO is delighted to have picked up a copy of Communicate (Sep 2006 issue n. 20) while driving around aimlessly for something to do. Hats off to Communicate. The ice that never melts? To quote:
Four leading UAE publications published fake press release about a non-existent company that makes non-melting ice in an effort by Communicate to establish just how gullible local newspapers are when it comes to swallowing corporate propaganda.

Yes, you read that correctly. It said non-melting ice.

One online business news site and three daily newspapers published the dubious press release verbatim - in the case of the English copy, with our typo included. The takers were AMEInfo, Al Bayan, AlKhaleej and Gulf Today. Only one newspaper successfully sniffed out the hoax and called out on it.

Just splendid! The article goes on to talk about how Gulf News (the only ones who did the sensible thing and called) were not half as amused as they thought they would be. Of course not. You have just wasted their time and it's not like they are underworked.

DMO can testify that Khaleej Times do call their sources when they want to publish something, from time to time -- especially when it's a 'new' company setting up in Jebel Ali.

Campaign, I know you guys think you have buried Communicate in the dust, but with stunts like these, you've got to think again. Liz, please please please get your distribution sorted and consider switching to weekly very seriously.

When I walk into any media related office (PR or Ad) I always find a copy of Campaign on the desk. Now whether they read it or not is a different issue, but it is _available_ and it counts for their auditors which means they get advertisers to spend comfortably. You guys obviously have a superior editorial team (just judging from the content of the entire issue). It's a shame to see no marketing/sales active on that front.

Tags: /

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Masafi juices and nutrition facts

Today marks the first time I actually purchase one of Masafi's juice drinks. I didn't like their adverts. The artwork was poor and it simply didn't excite me. Their water outdoor ads were great. The fruit juice ads were just.. boring.

You know what won me over though? They are perhaps the only GCC-based company that includes the nutrition facts label on the bottle. Amazing, isn't it? I am totally baffled that this is not law. I'm not a health freak, but something about putting things into my system without knowing its content doesn't sit very well with me. I simply do not buy anything without nutrition facts.

Are those facts accurate? Who knows.. but that's not the point. It tells me that Masafi know what they're putting in those bottles. Perception is everything, isn't it?

Congratulations Masafi.. now I not only buy your water exclusively (still mineral water), but should I want to have a bit of juice, it's going to have to be Masafi. As for your 'Think fruit'.. think again.

Tags: / /