I was wondering how many Journalists versus PRs there are on Twitter. And thanks to the joys of Google you can see that there are (in London):

  • 211 people with ‘journalist’ in their bio and ‘London’ in their location here
  • 254 people with ‘PR’ in their bio and ‘London’ in their location here

But what about outside London? There are:

  • 2o3 people with ‘journalist’ in their bio and ‘UK’ in their location here
  • 149  people with ‘PR’ in their bio and ‘UK’ in their location here

And globally (any location) there are:

  • 7,140 people with ‘journalist’ in their bio here
  • 13,200  people with ‘PR’ in their bio here

Could we therefore come to the conclusion that in the UK PR people are slower at taking up Twitter? Or perhaps that globally there are just more PR people than journalists? Or maybe that PRs outside of London are quicker on the up-take than journalists?

In fact it proves nothing.

Basically it is very difficult to come up with some snazzy percentages on the overall number of PRs and journalists as the number of new twitterers is quite hard to keep track of, for starters, and also the journalists and PRs that don’t state what they do. Or perhaps the copy-writers, sub-editors and those who don’t use the phrase ‘PR’ and ‘journalist’?  But it is interesting that globally there are nearly double the number of PRs to journalists, but in the UK this drops to a lot less PRs and in London is about equal.

 There are so many things wrong with the research, but it is interesting to see how the different proportions come up from changing the  location. I wonder whether it would ever be possible to actually work out the definitive numbers?

A British man has just accepted a job offer over 34,000 other applicants from all over the world to live, caretake and report from Hamilton Island, on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. Or to create a more visual idea of the ‘best job in the world’, he’ll be paid to live here:

Island Life

Now we know where to send our ‘congratulations parcels’ to…

This is the new advertising campaign from the Evening Standard which went up all over London overnight:

The move to admit that the paper is out of touch was the brainchild of the new editor, Geordie Greig, after market research found that Londonders felt that the paper was negative, complacent and predictable.

Now this has caused somewhat of a fuss with Standard coloumist Roy Greenslade writing in the Guardian that  this will be seen by former owners, The Mail Group, as an open attack on their editorial style and previous choices in editors.  In his article he muses:

By saying sorry, Greig hopes not so much to distance his paper from its recent past as to shut the door on it.

Greenslade also points out the humbling circulation and readership figures when compared to free papers thelondonpaper and London Lite. Now surely this is where the real truth lies?

For example the Mail Group also owns the Metro in the morning, one of the most popular papers in the tube and also available in 13 other cities in the UK. Surely if they had got it so wrong with the Standard there would be similar problems here? But there don’t appear to be.

Could the answer be that, perhaps the Standard is just a reminder of another era? One where we had to pay for papers and spent time traveling home reading detailed analysis of the day’s stories? Sure, this will be what some people want, but it would appear that most people prefer the more tabloidy, more celebrity gossip fueled and less taxing journalism of the free papers. After all, at the end of a long day reading a series of serious essays isn’t always top of your agenda.

Which leaves the new Standard editor with a problem of targeting, how to maintain its image as the paper of culture, taste and so called ‘serious journalism’, while still tacking the free papers? I have no idea what will happen but it’s certainly going to be interesting to see the changes (or perhaps read all about it… sorry).

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.

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.