New kid on the block

Hi I’m Chris, 22, originally from Wolverhampton, now living in Birmingham. My favourite film is “A tale of 2 sisters”, favourite food is Cornish pasty and favourite band is Epica.

Right, that’s the introductions out the way. If you’d hadn’t guessed from all the tweeting I’m the new Senior Account Executive here at Big Cat, working alongside Natalie in the PR team.

This is the start of my third week here at Big Cat, and in all honesty the first chance I’ve had to blog. It’s been an incredibly busy two weeks in the office, filled with client meetings, tenders and the occasional rubbing of shoulders with celebrities…what a life eh.

My role here at Big Cat will be to support Natalie on all fronts as well as look after clients’ needs/wants in regards to social media. So if you have any questions about what’s trending in the world of social media or just want some advice, don’t be afraid to drop me a line.

Stay tuned to the Big Cat Comms blog as we’ll be keeping you up to date with the goings on in the office and what’s happening in the world of PR.

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New PR intern: Ben Robinson, starts at Big Cat!

Having completed an English degree at Aberdeen University in June, I was fully aware that I had one more chance to revel in the spoils of what would be my last summer as a student, before I embarked upon what was to be, if not a career, at least something that would fill my pockets in the absence of the all too heavily relied upon student loan. In order to offset the trepidation and prevailing angst, my friends and I avoided the subject of the ‘real world’ at all times and carried on our lackadaisical student lifestyle with vigour, sitting back and watching the last few students slowly dwindle out of Aberdeen. All of a sudden it was my turn to leave!Ben pic

 Having returned home to live with my parents, the next few months weren’t much fun. Sending off about 50 job applications a day and only getting the response of; ‘Dear Benjamin, thank you for your application, however we feel that you do not have the necessary experience for this position’. Now answer me this, how was I supposed to gain the experience I needed if no one would employ me? Slowly it began to dawn on me that I may have to settle for a job in telesales or knocking on doors. I went for knocking on doors (at least this way I’d be outside and keeping fit!)experience

 At 15 I never thought I would be sat where I am right now; at a computer in an office in Birmingham city centre writing about myself. In fact, apart from that I am wearing my own choice of casual clothing, I am pretty much the epitome of everything I swore never to become. I was going to be a rock star and/or writer and although these dreams are not yet entirely out of my grasp, they are not yet providing an income. At the uncertain yet still youthful age of 25, I have just been granted an internship at Big Cat Group, a PR, marketing and events company, that luckily for me offers a place where I can gain the experience that was so desperately sought after. It was the opportunity I had been waiting for and after an interview, a blog post and a trial shift here I am. It’s only my second week on the job but I am thoroughly enjoying the work I am doing. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first applied for the position, I envisaged three months of photocopying, making tea and fetching biscuits from the shops. So far it has exceeded my expectations and not a photocopier in sight! Its allowing me to think, create and use some of the ‘skills’ that I learned at university and although I am not getting paid I feel that it is at last giving me some direction and control in my life. Maybe I am ready for the ‘real world’, just maybe…

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Biggest PR war of 2009: Katie Price VS Peter Andre

When I first got wind of the Peter Andre and Katie Price break up I cynically thought that it could quite conceivably have been a PR stunt.  The Andre – Price union has been lived out completely in the lime light with OK exclusives on their wedding and a number of TV series surrounding their everyday life. Their relationship was even conceived on a reality TV show.

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The break up of their 3 ½ year marriage has turned into a war, with the battlefield being the national news and TV.  Firstly, Price’s TV interview with Piers Morgan: this was probably the most sensible thing that her PR agency could have suggested. During the interview Price had the chance to portray her side of the story, pull on the heart strings of all watching whilst talking about the ordeal of being dumped.

Andre has been advised to keep quiet and appear to be the bigger man – which has worked. Photos of Price almost naked in a pool with her new boyfriend appeared on tabloids the same day as photos of Andre picking berrys with his children, that’s a point for team Andre PR.

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Stories litter the tabloids about Jordan’s infidelities and drunken antics whilst Peter is on the front covers portrayed as the victim who has been left to bring up her children.  The UK’s father of the year seems to be using his positive press coverage as a vehicle to promote his album which is currently destined for a number one spot.

Katie is also planning a come back with a ‘what Katie did next’ programme. She is currently using The Outside Organisation looking after her PR; these guys are exactly what she needs if she ever wants to pull back from all of her recent mistakes. The Outside Organisation also helped Heather Mills after her recent split with Paul McCartney although we all know who came off the better out of those two.

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Will the Financial Times change online news?

Millions of people go into work everyday and log onto the online version of their preferred newspaper. They do this because it’s free!

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber has recently said in a Channel 4 news interview that the newspaper industry must charge people for reading newspapers online, and that free content on the web was the biggest mistake the industry has made in the past ten years. Is this the beginning of the fall for the online newspaper?

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The FT currently has 117,000 paying web subscribers, which represents 10% of those registered on FT.com. Surely this new approach to online news would result in a huge decline in the online readership.

Lionel wants this future business model to create revenue lost from lack of online advertising which supports the free online content. He also wants other newspapers to do the same. Perhaps this is too little too late?

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Many newspapers such as the Guardian, Times Online and many regional newspapers have put time and effort into pushing there online capabilities: creating communities around there newspaper, with thousands of people following them on twitter and interacting with them via blogs and commenting. Will they follow in the footsteps of the FT? Would you pay to read an online newspaper?

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The power of twitter…Birmingham Banksy

Twitter is like fire; exciting and can spread fast.  It is rapidly becoming a vital Marketing and PR tool with a lot of companies utilising it to give there brand a voice. Social media is winning the race marketers have been keeping there eye on: social media VS word of mouth. We have some social media none believers in the Big Cat office – here is an example of how wrong you are!!

Our Marketing and Digital Director Anthony Tattum was out and about in Birmingham when he stumbled across what he thought was a Banksy on a wall in the Jewellery Quarter…pic

Thinking that his followers would find this interesting, Anthony tweeted a Twitpic. This simple act resulted in a wave of retweets across Anthony’s 712 followers.  The next day a picture of the ‘Banksy’ appeared in the two top regional news papers Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail (no one can accuse the Birmingham Post & Mail journalists of not being on top of their twitter!!)  There was a photographer down on Henrietta Street within a few hours of the first tweet.mail bansky

Even @banksynews responded to the tweet… Sadly the picture was a fake, but it is useful to demonstrate the power of twitter and the Birmingham online community.  Would things have moved so fast without Twitter? I don’t think so!banksy

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