Tag Archives: female

Would you Google women’s rights? You will now

22 Oct

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The last few posts I’ve written have covered fun and quirky PR campaigns. From One Direction launching its own day to Aflac letting a live mascot ride the New York subway, these brands have generated talkability. But this stunt, by Ogilvy & Mather for UN Women in Dubai, tackles an important global issue in an effective and sensitive way.

Taking over one of the world’s most popular search engines, Ogilvy ensured that every time someone used Google last month that they were given suggestions relating to attitudes to women – such as ‘women need to be…controlled‘ and ‘women need to be…put in their place‘.

The agency produced a compelling story to attract interest in the campaign but they didn’t have to think for too long. The suggested search terms are all real examples of what people have used Google for. It’s surprising, shocking and disappointing. In a world where I thought my challenge was being mixed race, it’s been highlighted that I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s being a woman that I have to worry about first.

I can only imagine that when the brief came in to the advertising agency that there were a few overwhelmed executives in the office. This is no mean feat on any budget. Forget the opportunities to see, website traffic and return on investment, UN Women wants to generate behavioural change. But by rooting the campaign within one of the world’s most popular websites (pipped to the post by Yahoo in the US this week) and using striking photography, Ogilvy has successfully made people stop and think.

It’a taken a little while for the news to spead – the Huffington Post has only picked it today – but the campaign is continuing the conversation on Twitter.

It’ll be interesting to see if this replicated by the UN across the world on International Women’s Day (8 March 2014). They’d be missing a trick if the opportunity wasn’t seized to make the world listen to its sound argument.

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It’s been a bad week for tweets

8 Apr

Remember that silly tweet you posted? It was so unlike you. That ‘blame it on the heat of the moment’ tweet? It’s going to get you in trouble. Why? Because it’s been a bad week for tweets and it’s only going to get worse:

First, Paris Brown, a 17-year old Youth Police Commissioner for Kent, is getting slammed for tweets she posted three years ago (and deleted this week) that celebrate drink, drugs and rock and roll – all illegal at her age. But, like many before her, she’s standing her ground and refusing to leave her £15,000 role which sees her bridge the gap between young people and the police.

Paris’ former Twitter profile – @vilulabelle – played home to a range of ill-fitting updates for someone of her position, which causes me to wonder if she’s on the right career path. That’s if the police is still home to institutional ‘isms’? But that’s another matter.

The moral of this story is, Twitter doesn’t define your past, but if your digital footprint isn’t clean, it might impact your future.

I’ve said it before – we need to place more emphasis on online security and etiquette. If we can hire people to tidy away our social media profiles and passwords when we pass away, why aren’t we teaching young people to clear up their act now?

We could start with the hundreds of people who are celebrating the poor death of the UK’s first female Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher. So, much so, Lord Alan Sugar has come out of his office to dub them ‘scum’.

After passing away yesterday morning from a stroke, it prompted lots of people to ‘have their say’ including one Oddbins Crouch End employee.

Someone did enough damage in 140-characters to get themselves suspended for encouraging consumers to celebrate the news with money off champagne. Not out of the ordinary for a wine shop, but enough to cause offence.

Now deleted, Oddbins’ management apologised for its poor taste and timing, and has speedily announced its got a disciplinary meeting date in the diary, with the person in question, to have words.

The moral of this story is to pull scheduled tweets during big breaking news stories and get approval on all updates plugging the gap.

So, be careful what you say. A little birdie might just show you for what you really are

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Ignite my fire for PR

2 Jan

It’s the 2nd January 2013. New year, new resolutions and new outlooks for life are officially in place.

Today I got comfortable in my desk chair for the first time in two weeks, opened my to-do list and taught myself how to touch type all over again. I’m in PR. I can do anything and be anything.

Well, so I thought. But, as a 25-year old mixed race female in food and drink B2B PR, it seems that no one is ‘backing’ me as I read this evening that Ignite PR – the voluntary networking group that seeks to lobby for diversity within the communications industry – is set to close after just four years.

Bieneosa Ebite, chairman and co-founder of Ignite, has blamed lack of time for the group folding, but makes clear that the network has achieved more than she imagined since launching – by releasing manifestos and building a database of more than 400 individuals. From gender and ethnic equality to fair work ethics and advice on recruiting, Ignite fired on all cylinders.

A group like this has to. Especially when PR Week and PRCA’s last census revealed last year that less than 5,000 professionals (from a pool of 61,000 working in our industry) are from black and minority ethnic heritages.

But, sadly these figures aren’t shocking; just off-puttingly accurate, which adds weight to the great shame of Ignite extinguishing.

In my view, I don’t think time would be a factor for the founding team if the membership and engagement levels were right; the website looks and feels stagnant. But, perhaps this news will jolt more people – myself included – to be more aware and become proactive in sustaining the momentum that Ignite began.

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