See you at Social Media Week London 2014

This year Social Media Week London will be BIGGER, BADDER and BETTER. Why? Because Keene Communications is holding, what currently appears to be, the only social media focused public affairs event. If you have questions concerning the role of social media in public affairs, would like to hear opinions from industry professionals and fancy networking with like-minded individuals – then do register to attend our Social Media Week London 2014 event.

Join the debate (#SMWSocialLobbying) that Keene is hosting on Thursday, 25th September at our offices in Whitehall. Please click here to visit our Social Media Week London 2014 page. Do register early, as there will be a high demand for tickets.The event will start at 5.30pm and finish at (approximately) 8.00pm. Refreshments will be provided.

About the speakers

Sarah Anderson (@NoMorePage3)

No More Page 3 is a campaign aimed at stopping The Sun from publishing topless pictures of young women. Since its inception in 2012 its petition has gained 198,000+ signatures and key to its success has been its use of social media. Sarah Anderson is a member of the ‘NMP3 HQ’ team, a group of passionate volunteers that balance full-time jobs with pursuing this campaign.

As a grassroots campaign conceived in the social media era, No More Page 3 offers an insight into the future of public affairs campaigning.

Tim Lloyd (@timolloyd)

Tim has worked for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Health. In that time, he has helped co-facilitate the NHS social media community: #nhssm and led several digital communications teams in other public sector organisations. Tim has a background in journalism, business and customer publishing.

Tim provides an informed (and first hand) view on the government’s own social media agenda.

Boni Sones OBE

In 2008, Public Policy Magazine voted Boni Sones: “One of the most influential women in Britain”. In 2009 she was awarded an OBE for ‘Services to Broadcasting and PR’.  She has published a number of books, one of which, ‘Women in Parliament: The New Suffragettes’, led to a nomination for the Orwell Prize in journalism. Boni also helped set up BBC News 24.

Boni therefore provides a highly informed perspective about how traditional media is adapting to social media.

Jake Rigg (@jake_rigg)

As Managing Director at Keene Communications, Jake advises numerous clients on their government relations strategies both in the UK and the EU. In his spare time, Jake is a visiting Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford and a Trustee of Philanthropy Impact.

Under Jake’s leadership, Keene has embedded social media strategies into all the programmes offered to its public affairs clients.

Please stop talking about Big Data… sheesh!

‘Big data’ is becoming a phrase synonymous with the public relations (PR) industry. Just do a Google Search for “big data public relations” and 105,000,000 results are delivered. Ironically none of these articles are really explaining big data, but instead the service used to deliver those results is making use of big data.

As defined by Wikipedia (3rd August 2014),

“Big data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target, as of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set.”

The fact is most PR agencies struggle to keep their media lists up-to-date, so industry discussions concerning big data seem rather farcical. Big data should only be used to reference certain situations, such as describing the total computational capacity of Google which apparently equates to 40 petaflops, which means 40 quadrillion operations per second. Such power doesn’t rely on ‘commonly used software’, whereas the service of PR typically does.

Unsurprisingly there are not reports on the actual amounts of data that PR agencies operate, but in my experience online programmes can range between 10 kilobytes – 50 gigabytes. Inevitably these numbers will increase as tools progress, the data we can collect advances and visualisations improve.

In my view PR operates in the arena of Small Data; defined by Wikipedia (3rd August 2014),

“Small data is data that is small enough size for human comprehension. About one quarter of the human brain is involved in visual processing, and the only way to comprehend Big data is to reduce the data into small, visually-appealing objects representing various aspects of large data sets or data “features” (such as histogram describing data projections and relationships, charts, scatter plots) that can be understood by humans. The term “big data” is about machines and “small data” is about people.”

The aim for PR agencies should be to develop solutions delivering humanly comprehensible information, by using commonly used tools (understandable for manual human interaction); computer scientists are not necessary.

Strikes me that the majority of those Google search results about big data were primarily placed to scare fees out of susceptible new business, rather than provide any real insight or analysis. Small data is beautiful, formidable, and offers outstanding value to PR. Don’t underestimate the value of these micro insights.