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Archive for April, 2009

Now don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the older generations who are adapting to technologies of today. I struggle to speak to people only ten years my junior about simple things like music, which often I am not expected to like, so one can only imagine the patience and openness needed to take on board the plethora of new jargon and strange concepts that modern technology offers. I don’t mean this patronisingly either, I’m sure when I hit about 60 (let alone the Queen’s age) I’ll no longer care about keeping up with the latest gadgets or communication tools online (or whatever we have then) and will worry more about my non-existent pension and how I’ll have to work til I literally drop down dead…

But I begin to rant. Back to the news.

The Beeb has posted a story on how the Queen has emailed 23 ‘young, internet savvy’ people to congratulate them about something or other they are doing with the Commonwealth. The Queen is described as a ‘trendsetter’ as the article goes on to recount how, in 1976 she sent an email while visiting an Army base.

But wait there is more…

We are also told that President Obama gave her an iPod last month. Amazing, how forthright of him, I imagine she was thrilled and went straight onto iTunes to download all her ‘choons’ (probably explaining to him at the time that while she was at her laptop, emailing people, she preferred the seemingly limitless supply of death metal and gangsta rap available on Spotify but that an iPod would be useful while on the move).

The point I am trying to make is that this article seems to want us to know how hip and ‘with-it’ the Queen is, but eventually comes off a little bit patronising to her Maj. Why shouldn’t she be expected to email people?

Sure, this is part of a bigger story about good work with ‘internet savvy’ kids in the Commonwealth, but should we really be amazed that she has contacted them by email? Surely that’s something that a woman who is in the public eye would know how to do anyway, even if she is even an eighty-something year old. After all she’s been doing it since 1976. But there’s still shock as she emails (*gasp* emails!) some kids.

So yes, I probably won’t be able to keep up as well as her Maj when I’m her age, but I’m not expected to. And from this article, neither is she.

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Hacks v Flacks?

I’m currently writing an article about why there is a crossover between PRs and journalists. It’s really making me examine my own choices and has revealed some extremely interesting viewpoints from hacks who are now flacks and vice versa.

One of the things that strikes you first are the similarities between so called ‘hacks’ (journalists) and the ‘flacks’ (the PRs). These labels do nothing to dispel myths about either profession and I wonder how long can we continue with a basic lack of awareness of either side. I believe that knowledge of the opposite side can surely only enhance the working relationship and make life easier for both sides.

 

I’ll let you know when the article is published. Do feel free to get in touch if you have any strong feelings about this or perhaps have swapped from journalist to PR, or PR to journalist, or pop your thoughts in the comments below.

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