Monday, April 14, 2008

CATEGORY - Social Enterprise

Another day, another category. This one seems ripe for my new evolving sub-sections archive plan:


Times - Make a profit by doing good - Fair start, though I'd say the definitions of what SE is are still erring more on the charity/NGO end of the curve




From the Times piece. Many links don't work, so Google for now.

Check the labels below for other links

Just fill out these forms, Mr. Edison...

Exhibition of Inventions: Where crackpot meets genius

It seems so long ago...

I wonder which I was (still am?) last year when I won a Gold Medal (with Jury Congrats)* at the same event.

Even when your 'ideas' are quite down to earth, practical and may even stand a chance of making money as well as 'things better', you do tend to face a steep slope.

But James Dyson is right, the system doesn't make it easy once you start on the journey up, as Jeremy Clarkson also agrees on another page of this edition. Even before you really start, at events such as this.

Because I also recall funding every aspect of my trip by virtue of being English. Meanwhile over the way the lovely, helpful (to me, too.. ta, boyos) chaps on the Welsh Development Agency stand were basking in all the benefits of well-coordinated (and funded) efforts to support and sell both innovation and the consequently valuable IP.

* Check the green RE:tie to see with what.

Times - Time to save the world again, lads

I got my Engineering degree a few years after Brunel, and on the strict understanding that I didn't use it to make anything. I figured this didn't apply to inventing some stuff, which was lucky, as it is how I came to win a Gold Medal at The Geneva Inventions Show mentioned in the complementary InGear Gizmo article to this. It was nice, but hasn't made life too much easier.

I wish I was young enough** to be eligible to catch James Dyson's eye, as the the system doesn't make it easy at any age once you start on the journey to market.

Because I also recall funding every aspect of my trip by virtue of being English. Meanwhile over the way the lovely, helpful (to me, too.. ta, boyos) chaps on the Welsh Development Agency stand were basking in all the benefits of well-coordinated (and funded) efforts to support and sell both innovation and the consequently valuable IP.

I wonder if the Yanks may fancy it? Don't know how they stack up in the originality stakes, but they sure know how to make an idea not only work, but also some money.

**Maybe I could lie about my age? Nah... that wouldn't be legal. And anyway as readers of this blog will gather from my adventures to date, it's only certain folk who can have ideas or need help with 'em, apparently.

NEWS/GO3 PR - Stats, darn stats, and those inconvenient humans

This just in from the Office for National Statistics - Attitudes to the environment still mixed Social Trends

PR as received, edited with a few comments (that might be answered by reading the report, but life's too short:

Domestic energy consumption has risen as a third of adults admit they find
it hard to change their habits and go green.

These facts and others appear in a new edition of Social Trends, the ‘state of the nation’ statistical digest from the Office for National Statistics which is launched this year with a theme of societal well-being.

The new edition brings together a wide range of statistics on the environment, including figures which show that energy consumed by lighting and appliances in the UK increased by 136 per cent between 1971 and 2005 (well... D'uh. I'm amazed it wasn't more. With luck, low energy bulbs and better efficiencies may show a result in the last 3 years).

The data also show that carbon dioxide emissions attributable to transport saw a 101 per cent increase between 1970 and 2005 while the number of motorists in Great Britain increased by more than 14 million (from ?) between 1975/76 and 2006.

Figures from 2007 also indicate that 33 per cent of adults in England strongly agreed or tended to agree that they found it hard to become (what does 'become' mean) more environmentally friendly (er... ditto) , while 28 per cent said the environment was a low priority for them.

The same study also showed that 29 per cent of adults didn’t believe their behaviour and lifestyle contributed to climate change (how was the question asked, bearing in mind the precise nature of PMWNCC is not yet known?).

Available free (hey, we do get stuff for our taxes!) on the National Statistics website.

What does the team think?

This is a headline with a double meaning.

It's about such a situation, but also I'd be keen to find out if any who read this have any views.

It is an interesting insight into the dilemmas posed all the time by, to and from those in the media game.

What surprised me was that I was in the minority in my advocacy. But I also had an unwelcome reminder of what in reporting shapes the story. If they can find a downside... they will. So if you have a commercial imperative, you risk no critique, no matter what the cost.

It was a sincere question to a press/PR Forum about a dilemma. Here's the question (and a follow up, out of sequence, having had some input):

'Just wanted to get general feedback on this from some journalists and

I had a press pack printed last week, both on CD and a paper version, it is
for a product launch which is now subject to a delay of a week or 10 days
(still to be confirmed) BUT the press pack contents which were printed last
week have the original launch date on them.

My question - is it acceptable to send the pack out with a note highlighting
the launch date change or do I bin everything and start again.

My head tells me to bin, my heart tells me to send out with a revision note
(hate to see the waste) but I am worried it will make me and the client look

'....I guess the sticker route might be an option, will try out and see how it
looks. This leaves me with just the duplication of the CDs which is a
minimal effort to get redone.

The packs are being sent out with product, so having hard copy of the press
information makes sense rather than the launch being communicated online.
The client is in an industry which is vulnerable to launch setbacks so it
may not look too dodgy/unprofessional to go with the sticker revision.'

Tally so far...


'Just a thought, but can you get stickers printed to go over the old date?'

'The professionalism/image side of me sees how a reprint is the only

It rather depends on context. These days things change in a
heartbeat... which is why doing stuff online is a breeze. I used to
hate looking at pallets of scrapped brochures in the printers' yard
just because the overseas CEO dropped in after all had been signed off
and wanted their way of spelling used. Which is what set me off doing
as much as possible via the web.

But in this day and age I think there is almost merit in sticking with
it so long as the change is done well via a slick (as suggested )
sticker, Addendum insert, etc.

It's just a date. You hadn't sent it out yet. Nothing else is wrong.
Heck, it may even be an opportunity to make it stand out more!

Go with your heart.'

'No pressure... but I am keen to get you to see the possible advantages
of going over to the green side:)

Fully appreciate the hard copy situation... sometimes the whole eco
thing can do your head in a bit weighing creativity and 'doing the
job' vs. a purist's approach to all things enviro.

If the industry is prone to moving targets on dates then I'd say
that's a vote in favour of the sticker.

If you want to email me off list on info [at] maybe we can
swap numbers and have a wee chat on possible options if it's not
confidential that make a silk purse out of this sow's ear (well, if
we're talking a few thousand it might get sticky. But I did something
very similar with a brochure, a hole punch, letter stamp, a bottle cap
and a ring pull)? I have a whole website with fun notions on this very
topic at my disposal!'


'I would do it properly, start again...
Sending out old information will just raise questions and create more work.'

'I would get everything re-printed – it looks bad otherwise and might make
people [wonder] why there was a delay...'

'Just write yourself the headline "[client] SUFFERS DELAY" a few times and
see how you feel about it. Change the date.'

'Tough call...I totally understand your reticence to reprint but think it's
the best option. Environmentally sounder to add an addendum or put a sticker
over it, but from a PR point of view I think it's better to do the reprint
and avoid raising questions and/or potentially looking unprofessional.

Can you use the paper for something else...exciting scrap pads??!'

At least that last was trying for a positive.

At the end of the day it's their client, and product, in an industry they must know, reported on by a trade press whose tendencies must be clear. At least they tried. And if the client changed the date after an agreed production schedule and cost estimate then it's their wallets. I guess the planet may lose a little, but it's understandable in the face of such 'pressures'. Pity.

CHEAPIE ALERT- Franking, Scarlett, can't be licked

This... is a necessary version of FREEBIE ALERT, because I still think it might be worth sharing if something is not, as such, free... but still may save (money, kids' futures, etc):

WHEN: Now.. 'til the 30th of April
WHAT: Pitney Bowes are currently offering a 30 day no obligation free trial of their entry level franking machines - with. £20 free postage credit to get you started. Plus built-in logo.
WHAT... MORE?: Via the URL. Franked Mail is cheaper than Stamped Mail - Royal Mail are delivering a strong message to businesses by providing discounted postal rates for franked mail. Whether First or Second Class, all mail is cheaper if you frank it rather than stamp it!
HOW MUCH: Well, you do need to sign up and stay with, so your volumes need to make sense
COMMENTS: Shop around! This is not the only one I have ever heard about. I have been tempted just to spare myself the hassle of stamps (and some possible eco-aspects... hard to weigh vs. a machine, delivery, ink, 'lekky... might be worth a Prof's Poser), especially with all the new rules, but our volumes just don't warrant it.

Quote of the day - worthy of doublespeak, too

Actually a quote of a quote of a quote (so it may or may not be verifibale, but rings true).

From the Reader's Digest quoting a lady from Campaign for Better Transport about The Treasury on the apparent inability of such as the Highways Agency to actually get a job done on time and within estimate/budget: 'A tactic to gain ministerial approval for projects via low estimates that is so common, it is given the term 'optimism bias'.

See also lying, defrauding...

Don't get mad...get even

It's going to be a must watch: Don't get mad...get even: Dom Joly gets his own back

And before I get accused of drifting from the topic of matters green, read down to the end and see there is an episode where he/they investigate the rubbish of of those who would fine others for not being precise with how they deal with theirs.

Small victories are all we can look forward to these days.

The pain with trains is starting to show the strains

I usually quote articles. But often the letters in response to them are more revealing. And sensible.

Take these to an Indy piece on trains: Train blame

I was mainly attracted by the one about the 'Gee whizz' reporting on growth on usage.

As with waaaay too much these days, and it doesn't matter if it's making a case for good or bad, up or down, it seems oddly facile to me that too many journos and editors seem to have a slight blind spot to the fact that there are a lot more of us doing stuff year on year, and that will often explain a lot much more simply than some of the notions that they attempt to gush over or spin into a headline.

All the news that's fit to be... branded

BBC Mark II: Mr Byford gives the corporation's journalism a makeover

A long piece. I am sure that in there, somewhere, amongst the MBA-speak and brand-babble, there might be something about using funds in addressing the quality of the actual journalism.

Your licence fee at work.

Coincidentally on the matter of our public-service news reporting, I listen to a BBC News reader ask the CEO of the travel company (whose coach was rammed by a rogue truck driver) 'Should we be asking if our children can be safe when they travel overseas?'.

From the ridiculous, I move to this:

PR: The dark history of spin and its threat to genuine news

So if they are not being stupid or acting as agenda-driven mouthpieces, they are being bought (Fancy buying a toy that makes the sound of bubble-wrap? The solution, according to the BBC, is to buy bubble wrap. Or... and here's thought, keep all that you get sent and reuse it when required... with a few stress relief pops at the edges (so it still functions) as you re-wrap).

But sorry, that's all we have time for. Now, back to the skateboarding turtle...


The Register - Earth to Ofcom: They're our airwaves. Give them back - Priceless, if depressing.

Times - BBC rings changes with news revamp - universal appeal. Not.