More faces than Mike Yarwood…
‘Singing from the same hymn sheet’ is a cliché that some PRs managed to forge an entire career from, yet it is even more relevant in this crazy multi-channel world.
Interactive TV, digital radio, website presence, blog, Facebook page…keeping a consistent message has never been more of a challenge (how we love the stories of PRs recoiling in horror as their jolly personal Facebook profile gets invited to a client’s rather more sensible page).
Consistent messaging across a range of media is a challenge because of the subtle differences in the way audiences engage with each medium. It’s the type of thing that really allows the PR industry to lead the way with insightful consulting, as getting it right relies on a degree of human judgement and experience. It’s certainly a lot more complicated than, say, a straight forward thing such as consistent pricing.
Back in the old days - when it was just shops, phones and websites – we used to laugh when companies made such stupid cock-ups.
Argos was perhaps the most lampooned when in 1999 it began selling TVs for just £3.00 from its website, after a couple of Saturday assistants got a bit confused with all that Hypertext Transfer Protocol stuff. “Ah, bless those morons,” we used to say. “They just don’t get it.”
Eight years on, it seems PR’s industry bible still doesn’t “get it.”
Trying to track down an article in PRWeak the other day, TWL discovered the dog had eaten the A4 piece of paper by the computer that has all the passwords written on it.
With much frustration TWL stared at PRWeak’s stout verbiage to ward off trespassers:
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The search function on the PRWeak website works without logging in, so you can get the headline of any article you want. But as soon as you want to read the whole thing, you hit the subscribers only brick wall.
Wonder if I can get it for free through a Google News search, TWL mused? No, you just get redirected to the PRWeak website. Damn it, they're just too good for TWL.
Then TWL had a cunning idea. What about putting the headline into the search engine of the marketing/comms portal thing, mad.co.uk?
Shag it, that doesn’t work either. Oh, hold on, that’s Centaur. What’s the Haymarket one?
Um, er, um…..cup of tea, bowl of muesli, couple of calls into a few mates…. Brand Republic! Yes, what happens if I cut and paste the headline into Brand Republic. Will that work?
No, bugger, they are good. All bases covered it would seem.
Mind you, that would be stupid wouldn't it? Having a story only available to subscribers on one website but available to all and sundry on another. I mean, that would be like that ridiculous thing that Argos did with those TVs, selling things at different prices through different media. Only more stupid because it would be two different prices on the same medium.
Yes, what was I thinking, too stupid for words.
I wonder what happens if I put the headline in quote marks, like when using Google?
Subscription only PRWeak articles available for free on Brand Republic.
Gosh, that is stupid….
*NB: Mike Yarwood was a popular impressionist in the 1970s, when the alternative to watching TV was counting the amount of dead people in the streets that hadn’t been buried because everyone was on strike.
The headline was chosen as it suggests that by not presenting a consistent face to the public a company would have ‘more faces’ than an impressionist. It is ironic because, of course, Mike Yarwood only had one impression; a poor imitation of Prince Charles.