Life after PR Week. What’s next for the CIPR?

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It’s nearly January and a new year brings with it a PR Week shaped hole in the offer from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

PR Week was a tangible benefit for CIPR members. It landed on your desk with a thud that said “membership”. That’s going to be a miss and while it won’t have a immediate effect I think it will be important come renewal time.

Saying that, I agree with the decision. The old subsidised model based on reciprocal adverts and job advertising has been devalued as owned and free channels have come to the fore. The relationship was too unsymmetrical and an investment by the CIPR to provide the publishers of PR week with a ready made and verified readership was a little strange to me.


Members liked CIPR week but this is an opportunity to create something new and exciting. So what’s next? For me the solution – whatever it is – needs to achieve the following:

  • The solution needs to offer better value than the alternative investment in PR week to members across the country.
  • The value added has to be exclusive to members
  • A physical aspect to the offer is important to remind people about membership, at least for now
  • You’ve got to have rhythm. A periodical carries weight, used well it can be an event, it can set the tone for an industry and gets tongues wagging
  • It needs to appeal to practitioners across the board working in many different professions and in sectors
  • An appeal to the heart as well as the head, community is important to the PR industry and should be cultivated.

The obvious choice, a membership magazine feels a little too tried and will draw direct comparisons with PR Week, a dangerous road to follow.

The interim advice from the assembled CIPR editorial board is investment in the PR Conversation. Investing in a blog aggregation platform that members write the content for and is open to the public is bit of a raw deal for me. I’m happy to be proven wrong, though.

A social network for PRs has been tried before and failed. We already have linkedIn and this isn’t a option.

I would like the CIPR to look towards organisations like econsultancy. I’ve had access to the odd econsultancy report in return for taking part in research and they are genuinely useful. Perhaps a move to provide exclusive information to members to save them time and money would be useful. A sort of “which” magazine for PROs with investment in translating research into practice and money spent on developing exclusive tools and research led advice that go beyond the member created guides.

Away from publishing, is there enough money to reduce entry prices into PRide and the CIPR Excellence awards? A quarterly glossy publication of the top campaigns (as voted for by members) with real campaign insight could be a viable alternative and give members that “moment”.

There are no easy answers to the current situation, I wish I had them to offer. This is my contribution to the debate, the original announcement has others, where are yours?


SITC – Analytics for non-techies

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Today's latte, Google Analytics.

Thanks for coming to the presentation on Google Analytics. I hope it has opened your eyes to the possibilities. I have included a copy of the PREZI below and some links to resources I hope you find useful.

Here is the link to get started with analytics.

A handy glossary of Google Analytics Terms for the non-technically minded is available form the US environmental agency. Click here to download the PDF.

Great Books to Read

There are loads of book on Google Analytics. I would recommend Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton. Don’t be put up by the advanced moniker it is easily accessible. It has a very handy section on aligning google analytics with your objectives. The other ‘Analytics Guru’ is Avinash Kaushik. His book Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity is brilliant and he is an world renowned speaker.

 URL Builder Tools

A quick google for URL Building tools will uncover a lot but here are some handy pages to help tag your off-web links that won’t appear in analytics.

  • Google’s homepage for the URL Builder. Including how it works
  • An excellent plugin for Chrome users. This will save you loads of time
  • This spreadsheet will create the tagged URLs for you if you need to tag content with the same information all at once.
  • This Google spreadsheet will help you keep tabs of your tracked links if you are working as a team or want to use different information for one page. Just drag and autofill the necessary information.

Event Tracking

Event tracking is amazing, just remember to align them with your own goals.


A very thorough guide to getting you started is available from here, if you are using a third party shopping site this guide from shopify to their integration will be useful (even if you aren’t using them you can learn from their example) but look to your own supplier for how to integrate with your set up.

Want to go further

If you have been inspired to go further then why not take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification Exam, it can be done in your own time and costs very little. Tip – Brian’s book above offers a code for 50% off the exam paying for the book in itself.

Thanks for again, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below or tweet me @babbleoftongues.

Today's latte, Google Analytics.


Using Google Hangouts On Air for a PR Chat

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How to Connect Your Youtube and Google Plus!

Just a quick post to say I was kindly allowed by the CIPR Scotland to try something new and host a Google Hangout on Air about how to win a PRide Award a couple of weeks ago.

You can see my efforts below.

There were a few mistakes but I picked up a lot from organising and hosting the event. Rather than keep it to myself, I have shared these lessons over on the CIPR Scotland blog. I hope it helps anyone thinking about hosting a hangout in the future.

All in all, Hangouts on Air gets a big thumbs up from me.


Storyfied #pridesco – Reaction to CIPR Scotland PRide Nominations


Last week the CIPR announced the shortlist for the CIPR Scotand Pride awards.

CIPR Scotland Pride Shortlist 2012

I sit on the CIPR Scotland group committee as Secretary and also contribute to the CIPR Scotland blog and twitter account. We wanted to collate the response to the nominations and decided to give Storify a whirl. However, it didn’t really want to work with blog (which we use for the group) so I have posted the Storify over here instead.

Congratulation once again to all the nominees and I look forward to seeing you at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange in December.