Why it’s time to kill the “Leader” – your press releases deserve better

light-bulb-made-of-gears_23-2147505750As most of my colleagues at Clarity know, I am a big lover of words. My most oft-used mobile app is Shortyz Crosswords. I occasionally coin my own terms when the existing ones don’t quite do it (favorites include deja tune, which is having a song stuck in your head, and klognichtfreuden, which is the exclamation one cries out upon the sudden realization that he/she is wearing totally the wrong shoes for their outfit). I even joke about officially changing my middle name, so I can legally be Sherry Word Smith.

But there is one word that I can no longer stand, and I see it all the time, especially in marketing and PR. I’m so fed up that it’s now my mission to eradicate it. And it’s not one of those like “Moist,” which is just kind icky sounding. This one has just been so overused that it’s now meaninglessness, and so it must die.

I am on a mission to kill the “Leader.” 

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Why it’s time to kill the “Leader” – your press releases deserve better

What we are reading – the key stories so far from 2018 – Blockchain, GDPR, AI, Vero and more

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Some of the key stories of the last two months from the worlds of marketing, PR, social media and technology

Is Facebook still an important place for brands? – The changes in the way it constructs the news feeds, largely as a response to the criticism it has been receiving from the media in articles like this, has got brands asking questions. Here is a good summary of the issues.

Do we need another social media platform? – yes there is a big buzz about Vero at the moment, but can this new-ish ad free networks really take on the likes of Instagram and Snapchat?

Can Blockchain transform the media? The first Blockchain powered media startups are emerging with big ambitions. Here’s two to keep an eye on Civil and Po.et.

International women’s dayare brands starting to go too far in the way they newsjack the day?

Are marketing departments of brands still clueless about AI?

Why PRs need to focus on actual business outcomes for their clients and not soft metrics. Good read about issues facing the PR world.

Why startups and brands need to start taking longform content more seriously.

GDPR inches ever closer. Are you ready?

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What we are reading – the key stories so far from 2018 – Blockchain, GDPR, AI, Vero and more

Key mobile trends for 2018 – what we learned from MWC

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So what are the key trends in mobile likely to be this year? The place to find out is the Mobile World Congress which was held in Barcelona last week. Now that the largest event that’s focused on all things relating to mobile technology has wrapped up, we’ve taken a look at five of Mobile World Congress’ most exciting (and in some instances most questionable) announcements.

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Key mobile trends for 2018 – what we learned from MWC

World Book Day – what the Clarity team is reading

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The Clarity team not only loves books, we love World Book Day too. In fact there was discussion about whether we would all dress up for it. Sadly this got vetoed on account of the way it would probably turn the office into something resembling the set of a Harry Potter film – with way too many Hermiones! In London today the office looks more like The Chronicles of Narnia but that’s another story…

Anyway here are the team’s favourite books. Some people have offered not just their favourite novel but a business book too.

Happy World Book day.

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World Book Day – what the Clarity team is reading

Five healthtech startups to watch in 2018 – DiaMonTech, Cera and more

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Healthtech is an active and growing sector of the global technology industry, encompassing medicine, life sciences and biotech. It’s arguably one of the areas of technology that has the greatest potential to change the world for the better by improving the lives of millions – if not billions – of people.

Here in the UK, there are several interesting schemes and companies that are pioneering treatments and technologies that can boost the quality of our lives. The government- and EU-backed digitalhealth.london accelerator launched in 2016, two years after the MedCity scheme created a healthtech cluster in the south east of England. Since then we have seen the emergence of another accelerator in HS Live, a Clarity client that has a unique approach to the way it grows healthtech startups.

But it isn’t just the UK where innovative healthtech services, platforms and products are being created. For example, Medicon Valley spans the Øresund Region of eastern Denmark and southern Sweden and boasts a number of life science companies and research institutions. Elsewhere in the world, the US and China have a strong grounding in healthtech, even if there are some dismissive voices in Silicon Valley who believe digital health is a failed sector due to its lack of unicorns.  

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Five healthtech startups to watch in 2018 – DiaMonTech, Cera and more

Key trends in native advertising – Clarity at the CMA Digital Breakfast

dale 2On Feb 14th, Clarity PR attended The Content Marketing Association’s (CMA) Native Advertising Digital Breakfast, where speakers discussed the next generation of advertising in digital media.

The session was led by three speakers; Dale Lovell, Co-Founder and Chief Digital Officer at leading in-feed native ad platform ADYOULIKE (who are Clarity clients), Timothy Armoo, CEO at mobile video advertising platform Fanbytes and Chelsea Blacker, Co-Founder and Managing Director at SEO & content marketing agency BlueGlass.

With the rise of ad blocking, ad fraud bots and fake news, consumer tolerance for online advertising is at an all time low. So could native be the solution? Here’s what the CMA’s speakers had to say.

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Key trends in native advertising – Clarity at the CMA Digital Breakfast

Clarity and iotec help bring transparency to the adtech industry

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Digital advertising is a £165 billion industry, but it is one that has a fairly significant problem. Yet after a gathering of key decision makers last week, we may be one step closer to a long-term solution.

Let’s take a step back. Think about the way you’ll spend your day today, from avoiding eye contact on the commute to checking your phone before you head to bed. According to recent data, you’ll spend a third of the day “online”; in five years’ time it’ll be even more. And whether you’re checking emails, Googling, booking tickets or wasting time on Snapchat, it’s fuelling our era-defining appetite for all things digital – an appetite strong enough to support dozens of new industries and millions of new jobs. Ultimately, many of those industries and people are reliant on doing one thing well: monetising your attention.

Digital media owners – the ones who make the content, services and platforms we now love and use daily – need to make money. And that’s where you come in. For most of them, your attention is a valuable commodity, and one they happily trade in the search for a sustainable business model. From the first time you clicked ‘like’ on Facebook to the next time you let Alexa write your shopping list – you leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs that helps sellers sell, advertisers advertise, and a few intermediaries take a cut along the way. Sounds fair and simple, right?

Sadly not. The digital media supply chain has very quickly become very cluttered – riddled with loopholes, blind spots, hidden costs and more. Every link in the chain played their part, meaning that despite exponential growth, the burgeoning adtech industry was (morally) built on sand. “Where there’s mystery, there’s margin” says Jaguar Land Rover executive Ian Armstrong, in a new report from Clarity client iotec – the independent, transparent media buying platform. Even the world’s most successful tech giants – the pioneers of commoditising our digital lives – have faced backlash and reputational damage over transparency and control of content. Brands are growing worried, as made clear by some major stick-rattling by FMCG giant Unilever just last week.

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Clarity and iotec help bring transparency to the adtech industry

Twitter’s second coming – and why it matters for PRs

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It might not surprise you to discover that the Clarity team are serious news junkies. We spend mornings combing through round up emails, poring over the papers old school style and checking online feeds for live updates.

The source that invariably delivers the news quicker than anyone else though is of course Twitter. Sure the platform has had its ups and downs recently, and clearly has an issue with extremists, but it is an invaluable part of any PR toolkit.

It is interesting to note too that recently publishers and news companies have started to get more interested in the platform once again. While at the same time Twitter, which has been dogged by financial poor performances and a lack of confidence from the investor community, has posted a profit for the first time.

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Twitter’s second coming – and why it matters for PRs

How Artificial Intelligence is going to shape earned media in 2018

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So what do you think are the key trends that will shape earned media in 2018? Are they likely to be technologically-driven? Or are the most significant changes going to be cultural ones that are a response to the ever evolving world of news media?

Gorkana asked a series of experts for their predictions for 2018 and came up with four major trends, two tech and two cultural, that it believes anyone in earned media needs to be following. Among the experts who peered into their virtual crystal balls for Gorkana was our very own MD Sara Collinge.

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How Artificial Intelligence is going to shape earned media in 2018

Driverless cars, pet gadgets and smart drones – a few things we learned at CES 2018

Welcome_to_Fabulous_Las_VegasEvery now and then CES, the world’s largest and most influential consumer electronics show, gets eclipsed by something that is happening elsewhere in the gadget world at the same time.

This year the big topic of conversation was centred around the Uber rival Lyft. In collaboration with its partner Aptiv it offered delegates a free drive around the Las Vegas strip in one of its driverless cars. As it only had a pool of eight and over 100,000 tech obsessives attended CES it became the hottest ticket in town. Working out how to get a ride became a preoccupation for many delegates.

Nevertheless this year’s CES did deliver some interesting products. Many are at the transitional stage, several years away from making their mark in the real world, but if anything the event gave those who attended an interesting perspective on the future.

Here then are eight things we learned at CES.

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Driverless cars, pet gadgets and smart drones – a few things we learned at CES 2018