Posted by: katarzyna24 | May 3, 2008

Where has the horse gone?

 

Dear readers…

 

I have not been updating the blog for a long time. It is very busy time at university and I have to submit all my assignments before 6 of May.

 

Anyway, think I have good topic to right about… Today I wish to talk about my experience of being the customer of Lloyds TSB (Totally Sad Bank). Looking at the image of the black horse in the bank logo I had not suspected that promises given to me and other customers were just an intelligent lies.

 

The company attempts to communicate service excellence, added values and quality but in the reality I feel like rider who has just fell down from the saddle… while the horse has ran away. In this …metaphoric way I would like to say that from the very beginning Lloyds TSB (Truly Sadistic Bank) treated me as a lower species.  When I opened account they gave me basic account…so I could not even use my card while shopping. After more than a year …I went to the bank and asked for better account. I was informed that I will never get better one because “ we have given enough visa cards to Polish ..and other Easter European “. How lovely…I had thought.

 

I was also rejected the loan to cover university fee so I had to use a credit card instead… They told me that their system refuse to give me any loan at that stage.

 

After three years with the same bank …I still have only 50 pounds overdrawn. It is ridicules, if taken to account that since three years I have been receiving regular income from NHS Hospital in average 750 pounds per month.

 

 

Eventually, Yesterday I wanted to buy a ticket to Genoa (Italy) via online …and I have tried twice but I have got information that the transaction has been rejected by my bank. I have decided to use my friend card to buy it and agreed with him to transfer the amount of money to his account. Later on I found out that I have not enough funds to do it as my money have been taken from my account… and because I had tried to buy ticket twice …my account had been deducted twice…:/. In order to claim my money back …I had to go threw three fruitless conversations with Lloyds’ employees. They were not able to help me….

 

Fortunately, the airline company was able to solve my problem …They have even taken my mobile number so I have not have to hold the line as in the case of Lloyds.

 

Yesterday I decided I want to close my bank account in Lloyds. I expect competency and commitment from people who assist me …because I believe I deserve to be treated as a customer…

 

kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by: katarzyna24 | March 20, 2008

A good deed in a cruel world

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Reading last issue of the Guardian my attention has been grabbed by article about Hand – Powered Laptop. The proposed laptop was announced in January 2008 and was designed specially for use in the developing world (Charlotte Higgins 2008). The production cost of the computer is $180. The aim of the project is to provide the laptop for every child in developing countries for free. At the moment a number of 600,000 have been distributed in the developing world or are on order in Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Mongolia (Charlotte Higgins 2008).

The computer uses 90% less power than standard laptops and has a screen that can easily be read in sunlight (Charlotte Higgins 2008). To save money it will run off the open source Linux operating system, which is free, instead of a proprietary system such as Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. The machines will have a modest 500MHz processor (slow by today’s standards, but not much of a problem when running Linux OS), and will be fitted with 1GB of flash memory rather than a hard drive, which is more delicate due to its moving parts (Jimmy Lee Shreeve 2005). The laptops will be full-colour, capable of wireless connection to the internet, and encased in rubber (Jimmy Lee Shreeve 2005).

Before I have read the article I thought the pictured item was a new toy in the market. However, analyzing its software and other features it seems both interesting and useful item. I think it would be great to have this laptop while traveling to places with no electricity supply. Imagine you could spend a week in the higher part of the Mountains and still enjoy photos, movies or games on your computer with no worry about charging batteries. I really could buy one of those …but than I came to the end of the article which informed “none of the technology was patented: there is nothing to prevent the adoption of similar low-energy computers on the western market” (Behar 2008). Hence, I can forget about it …because it will be probably too expensive to buy…

Posted by: katarzyna24 | March 18, 2008

Media Relations versus Blogger Relations

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It could be said that conventional marketing is no more effective strategy. Customers watch less television, listen less radio and generally pay less attention at presented adverts. Currently there is an agreement in the marketing industry that the organization has to look for other form of promoting itself. As a result, Public Relation has become important element of marketing campaign for those companies that aim to achieve or maintain its positive image.  

“advertising is expensive – but editorial is priceless!” 

Effective PR might communicate with the target customer through article written by well disposed journalist. Susan Friedman explains that readers trust and value any information they read in an article or column far more than any data they glean from an advertisement. Even when the facts presented in an article and an advertisement are identical, the results are the same. 

 Moreover, editorial coverage carries an implicit endorsement of information and is consequently held to be more believable than advertising, which is paid for and expected to be biased. By using media relations effectively, PR practitioners will not only enhance the reputation of their clients or employers, but also themselves, and establish good working relationships with journalists that will serve them well in the future. Eventually it could be argued that used correctly, the media is an invaluable tool for the PR practitioner. Recently, PR specialist identified that not only Media Relations but also Blogger Relations give an opportunity to communicate with the target market. Bloggers are in many aspects similar to journalist but …they do not use neutral tone of writing but give subjective statements about area of their interests.  Bloggers write posts or articles because they wish to express their views and opinions and they do not received monetary reward for doing it. As a result, bloggers may be more trustworthy in eyes of readers. Organizations seem to understand it and its PR force pick the most popular bloggers in order to communicate company’s product or innovation through his/ her blog.  The whole process seems a bit clumsy and needs further improvements to avoid the conflict between bloggers and PR people (see quotations below). 

 Blogger, “All they do is spam with me this and that! They don’t care about me and my needs!”

PR, “They never listen to me…It’s like whatever I say is ignored no matter how important it is to me. They just don’t care!” 

 In conclusion, both strong and positive Media Relations and Blogger Relations are crucial factors influencing organization’s image. It can be claimed that they cannot be fully successful if work separately.  What is more, messages written by boggers as well as journalists should be complementary to each other to give cohesive picture of the organization to the customers.

According recent research British 15 to 19 spend meaningfully less time doing homework than they used to as a result of their use of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo (Wray, 2008). What is more, a balance of nearly third of 15 – 19 years olds say they are doing less homework (see picture below).

 

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From a marketing point of view it is clear that teenagers have become the easy target for variety types of e-marketing. Even though most of their on line time young people spend at social networking sites they also search for information, music files or videos. As a consequence, they might be attracted by high number of adverts placed on the Web.

On the other hand the dilemma arises …do we want to communicate with less educated group of customers? If your answer is “yes”…because you think it does not matter, think about it a bit longer. If teenagers do not do they homework they get lower results and there is a risk that they future career might not seem too bright. They also can face problems with finding well paid job so their disposable income might be smaller. Using expressive example…Would you like to spend your time and effort on advertising new BMW to council tenants?  Probably not…because you know this group of customers simply cannot afford to get one…

Posted by: katarzyna24 | February 28, 2008

YouTube – the future of Public Relation?

youtube1.jpgYouTube is a video-sharing service that let users upload files to YouTube servers. The service started in 2005 and quickly become very popular. Unquestionable success of YouTube is an outcome of many factors but the most important is probably the fact that it gave users opportunity for expression through video.

From this perspective almost everyone can become famous and earn the respect of other users sharing the interest in particular topic. Hence, it could be argued that YouTube helped people to create a kind of social network that engage users to share not only videos but also their personal opinions and views.  Currently, marketers have identified the potential of the YouTube service and use it as an effective and contemporary Public Relation tool. By placing videos on YouTube companies hope to enhance its public awareness and build or improve its positive image. 

For instance, Hearst, the owner of Seventeen, Marie Claire and Good Housekeeping magazines set up in 20th February 2008 the partnership with YouTube. Hearst Magazines has decided to begin publishing video content on YouTube in order to target younger audience. According to Rebecca (http://rrittenour.prblogs.org) “Hearst’s take on the increasingly-popular YouTube campaign is unique.Instead of using corporate videos and hoping their magazine readers will view them, the company is actually requesting that people send in their own videos about magazine-approved topics.  By doing this, Hearst not only involves its consumers, but actually makes them the stars of the show (or in this case, video). To help motivate people to send in videos, a vital part to the campaign’s success, Hearst’s magazines are offering prize incentives”.  

However, being critical the freedom of broadcasting almost everething at Youtube bring the real risks of loosing good publicity. Probaly one of the recent and the most dramatic examples of  the dark side of Youtube is a Britney Spears’”uncensored version” of  Gimmy More video made by “fun”. Britney is not my favourite singer…but this video is simply cruel.  

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlrJ02yNxNo]

Posted by: katarzyna24 | February 25, 2008

TEMPUS FUGIT

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Tempus Fugit is a latin expression meaning “time flees”, more commonly translated as “time flies”. It can be argued we live in the crazy world of technology. Time flies and there is more and more technology in our life. Currently, people can hardly imagine lack of internet, mobile phones or computers. From my perspective people, especially young have become addicted to those and many similar items.  I agree that technology can bring a lot of benefits but nconveniences too.   

I am old fashion lady and I believe in face to face conversation. I personally do not like mobile phones and I have never fancied buying one. However, it was such a social pressure so I eventually decided to purchase it. As a consequence, friends, family and my employer have my mobile number.  All of them struggle to make me pick up the phone and they are very angry and upset when I fail to do it.  Once, I even received an e mail from friend who wanted to visit me in hospital. He suspected I had an accident because I did not answer the phone for three days.  This was a proper madness…

 Using metaphor, my mobile and I have stormy relationship. It sometimes stays for a week at my draw unit.  We also have quite days as I regularly neglect to feed mobile’s battery so it sleeps completely exhausted in my bag…  I like it in this way because my life does not depend on my mobile. I know, some people feel unconscious if they forget or loose their phones…they even treat them as a person or a friend. I do not and I am proud of it…

Posted by: katarzyna24 | February 18, 2008

PR…?

Dear readers…

I have not done plenty of reading yet….but I would like to share my first reflections about PR.

One of the most obvious aims of PR is creating positive attitude to the product or service in customers’ minds. PR communicates benefits of product or service using unconventional techniques. Instead of heavy advertising that has lower and lower impact on the target audience PR relays on opinions or statement made by authorities and   celebrities as well as word of mouth.  

Why is PR so powerful? I think it simply gives bigger chance to built high level of credibility and trust. It can be also said that PR helps to maintain good publicity as well as creates a positive perception of the product, service or entire organization.  

Eventually, it could be argue, PR creates a kind of emotional relationship between organization and its customers. For instance, charismatic Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin is unquestionable public relation weapon. He is described by many authors as “life logo” of the company (Vignali 2001, Dearlove 1998 & Gasiorowski 2006).

Richard Branson is famous for playing against dominant market players. He demonstrated his skills in the recent Sky versus Virgin Media war calling grooving dominance of Sky “a threat for democracy” and added Snooze to Sky’s See, Surf and Speak. By placing his emerging business at the underdog position He cause positive attitude among potential customers. His tactic is often compare to battle between bible’s David with Goliath in witch Branson plays David. 

I recommend watching this Interview with Richard Branson…Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/v/DudfBIxw6do&rel=1

Posted by: katarzyna24 | February 11, 2008

Welcome in my PR and New Media Blog

 kate-blue.jpg Voice of Polish emigrant …  

My name is Katarzyna, Catharine or simply Kate and I am a studying MSc Marketing at Leeds Metropolitan University. I called myself an emigrants because I have been living in England for nearly three years. I came to this country with friends in 2005 to earn some extra money, learn English and have fun.

Originally, I had planed my stay for few months …but I changed my mind. Currently I settled quite well in Leeds so I plan my future life and career in this place.

 

 Why I have started blogging?   

Writing this blog is compulsory part of assignment I have been given at PR and New Media module.  This is also completely new experience for me as I have never done blogging before. I have done website twice but creating website and developing blog are two very different things.

Even though, I am not fully confident in blogging I am positive about learining new skill and I believe this exercise will improve my communication skills as well as my understanding of PR and New Media issues.

I would like to invite everyone who has interest in PR to give contribution to the discussion.

Kate

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