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The future of the PR agency – and the PR agency of the future

The discipline of public relations is changing fast, and this will be to the benefit of everyone: From the end customer; the client; the journalist, to the PR professional. The only ones set to lose out are those who don’t anticipate the changes and refuse to adapt their ways of working. So what does the PR agency of the future look like?

Content will play a bigger part
Brands are recognising that they need to offer their customers, fans and advocates better ways to engage with them. While ‘earned’ media placements give credibility, and paid media (advertising) leads to greater recognition, brands need to go beyond simply having a presence on social media channels to make their audience feel valued. Traditional PRs are (or should be!) great at getting coverage for their clients, but the PR agency of the future will have to pay much more attention to conceiving wider ‘integrated’ campaigns involving interactive video, websites, graphics and the like. These will live on clients’ ‘owned’ channels, and be promoted through social (and possibly paid for advertising) – all of which will require a approach that ties in with the bread-and-butter media relations activities.

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The future of the PR agency – and the PR agency of the future
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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – How not to handle crisis comms

Samsung has finally revealed what caused several of its Galaxy 7 Note smartphones to overheat and catch fire.

It turns out that there were several separate issues in batteries which it had sourced from two different suppliers. Samsung has spent the last few months testing 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries at a test facility to find out what these issues were, and held an event yesterday to explain its findings to the media.

But despite Samsung’s obvious commitment to solving the technical issues, this whole incident has exposed shortcomings in Samsung’s crisis communications procedures. Two major mistakes were made:

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – How not to handle crisis comms
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Germans and the startup community – part II

In the last blog post about the German mindset I talked about the challenges and possibilities startups face in Germany, especially in the fintech and security tech sector. This time I want to discuss where this mindset comes from and what the crucial takeaways for startups are.

Employment costs and risk management
If you are concerned with the need for social security and slow, steady-growth businesses like the more traditional Mittelstand (SMEs) you have to think about employment costs and managing your risks in investment too. Working for an international agency like Clarity showed me the difference in relation to, for example, the UK or US job market.

The most obvious may be the so called ‘hire and fire’ in the US. Working under German employment law it is clear that there has to be a notice period, payment in case of sickness and a minimum wage. Disregarding your political opinion about minimum wage and notice periods, the latest report by ZEW showed that the minimum wage in particular affects the startup sector. But sticking to the language of startups, you shouldn’t complain and turn this into a possibility – even with higher employment costs there is an opportunity hidden.

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Germans and the startup community – part II
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Weekly Trends Report 14 October 2016

Hot off the press, here’s the latest Clarity Weekly Trends Report, with some bad news for Samsung and good news for anyone looking to get a date.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 canned
The hottest new handset on the market has been discontinued after Samsung decided that it was just too risky to keep selling the Galaxy Note 7.
  • The company issued a global recall for the device on 2 September after handsets caught fire after charging
  • But replacement devices also suffered from the same problems, leading to a second round of recalls
  • Analysts estimate the cost could add up to some $17bn, but the damage to the brand is likely to be immeasurable
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Weekly Trends Report 14 October 2016
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Weekly Trends Report – 7 October 2016

We’re one week into October and autumn is truly upon us, with the evenings getting ever darker and colder. To bring you some cheer and warmth, here’s Clarity’s Weekly Trends Report.
Facebook Marketplace abuse leads to apology
Facebook was forced to apologise after its new Marketplace feature was abused by people trying to sell all kinds of illegal goods and services.
  • Marketplace allows people to buy and sell items to friends and strangers - however drugs, weapons and even a baby were listed on the service
  • The company said a technical issue had prevented Facebook’s reviewing system from identifying posts that violated its policies
  • People are already using Facebook to trade goods, with 450 million people visiting buy and sell groups on the social network each month
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Weekly Trends Report – 7 October 2016
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Weekly Trends Report – 30 September 2016

It’s time for the final Clarity Weekly Trends Report of September in what has been a busy week for Swedish music streaming giant Spotify.
Spotify to buy SoundCloud?
Rumours abound that Spotify is planning to buy SoundCloud, the champion of independent musicians around the world (and good friend of Clarity!).
  • Soundcloud recently launched its own paid music streaming service, called SoundCloud Go
  • Spotify has more than 100 million users worldwide, and has this week launched in Japan
  • Japan is the second largest music market in the world, worth around $3bn
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Weekly Trends Report – 30 September 2016
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Germans and the startup community

Germans have a unique approach to tech startups – but you can turn challenges into opportunities.

Before I get started, I should point out that I´m German myself. Sure, nobody can talk for the whole community, and if they say they can, they probably don’t know what they are talking about. But the German mindset about startups has a special flavour nevertheless.

It would be unfair to say the German startup community is shy or simply behind. It’s more about a different focus, a really unique one. While most of the startup communities around the globe are about fast-growing companies and making life more comfortable and easy, the German mindset is still about sustainable growth and not violating rights in any way. Additionally there is a regulatory framework from the Mittelstand (middle class) that has a big influence on the German company regulations.

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Germans and the startup community
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Weekly Trends Report – 23 September 2016

New gadgets, acquisitions, rumours of acquisitions and a retreat from the digital entertainment market all feature in this week’s Trends Report from Clarity.
Google getting serious about selling its own phones
Google’s Android powers 84% of the smartphones sold in the first quarter of 2016, but few of these handsets actually carry Google’s own branding - they are much more likely to bear the marks of Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei or others. However, it seems Google is going to launch new devices next month and is taking the matter very seriously.
  • The handsets are likely to be called Google Pixel, rather than use the previous Nexus name
  • A massive marketing campaign titled ‘Made By Google’ has been rolled out ahead of the expected 4 October launch
  • Reports suggest that the phones will run a version of Android with added features as yet unavailable on any other handsets

 

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Weekly Trends Report – 23 September 2016
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Weekly Trends Report – 16 September 2016

In what’s been a busy week in many different sectors of the tech industry, we take a look at the most interesting headlines.

 

Twitter is introducing longer tweets
From 19 September it will be easier to fit exactly what you’re trying to say into a single tweet, reports The Verge. So is Twitter increasing the 140-character limit? Well, no, not exactly. But it is changing how it counts those 140 characters.

  • Media attachments like GIFs and images; polls; and quoted tweets will now no longer count towards the limit
  • Plans to do this were first announced in May, but the timescale was never made clear until now
  • Twitter is still looking into other ways of letting users express themselves more thoroughly, rather than just through tweetstorms or screenshots of the iPhone’s Notes app
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Weekly Trends Report – 16 September 2016
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#dmexco2016: Trends in the adtech world

1,010 exhibitors crowded into 1 million Sq Ft at this year’s dmexco event in Cologne. As the exchange of business cards and buzzwords comes to a close, what were the discernible trends from the conference?

Data and programmatic
Speaking of buzzwords, here are the two worst offenders. The constant “you must use data, and be smarter with it” mantra has become repetitive. This year, debate ensued over how marketers and brands can go about creating actionable insights on their data. How are you supposed to maximise it and use it to protect and perfect your brand? Many are working on the solution and those who can solve the data conundrum are sure to win hearts and minds at next year’s event.

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#dmexco2016: Trends in the adtech world