Astroturfing’s historic roots back in 4th century BC

Online astroturfing, or faking grassroots opinion, crops up at unfortunately regular intervals in discussions of both online PR and online politics. All the more so with the rise of fake news. But it’s got deep historic roots that are rarely mentioned. The story starts in the 4th century BC with the Greeks: Greek playwrights hired …

Social media twice as important as local media for election news

The following piece I penned for our weekly Digital Inspirational email at Teneo Blue Rubicon. Do sign up if you’d like such stories in your inbox every week. Social media is the second most important source of election news for voters, and twice as important as local news outlets, according to new polling from Survation. Asked …

Why do political campaigns handle data so badly?

If you want to make me wince and are neither into physical violence nor have an alligator to hand, ask me about cases I’ve come across of political campaigns or parties losing key data about voters. The sort of losses I’ve come across so painfully regularly aren’t the ones that get media headlines with USB drives …

12 steps to effective online political campaigning

1. Email comes first Email isn’t anything new – it’s been around only one year less than me. For a long time it was also the least fashionable digital campaigning medium, though Obama, amongst his other achievements, can also add making email fashionable with political campaigners to his list of achievements. Fashionable or not, it’s the …

What to do if one of your social media accounts is hacked

  Think you just need to get back in and change your password? Think again. You need to check, and if necessary sort, four things: Password Email address Mobile phone number List of applications granted access to the account The first item – password – is the most obvious and usually the most important. However, …

The real problem with AVEs doesn’t get mentioned

Followers of best practice for measuring and evaluating the impact of PR will not have been surprised to see the wave of criticism recently directed at Meltwater for publishing a white paper extolling the virtues of ‘advertising value equivalence’ (AVEs) to measure the value of media coverage secured by PR. Not surprised because AVEs have …

4 tips for using Thunderclap well

Thunderclap advertises itself as a tool which “amplifies your message with the power of the crowd”. Or, in less dramatic language, it’s a tool that lets you get supporters to sign up to all share a message on social media at the same time. The idea is that you set a date in the future …

The most useful Facebook web address you don’t know

The most useful Facebook web address, of course, is www.Facebook.com. I’m going to hazard a guess that you might be aware of it. However, the chances also are that you are not aware of events.fb.com. This takes you to a very simple step-by-step guide to what Facebook events are and how to create one. For novices for …