Teen Boys Burst Rockstar’s Cheeky BAWSAQ with $1 Billion Gaming Frenzy

BAWSAQ in Grand Theft Auto 5Apart from a short flirtation with a Nintendo handset in the early 1990s, I can’t claim to be a gamer.

Probably just as well. With my anorak tendencies and borderline OCD (I like to call it determination and bloody mindedness) there’s every chance I’d become obsessed.

From there it would be a rapid descent and before long I’d be a chubby, straggly-haired, pop-eyed, socially inept and basement-dwelling cliche (the kind that all gamers were tainted with, before geekery somehow became trendy). Not a good look.

All in all I’ve always been a bit sniffy about ‘video games’. At times I’ve thought the notion of ‘professional gamers’ is an insult to the evolutionary splendour of the opposable thumb. To think, millions of years of in the making and  the pinnacle of natural selection has been achieved to let mumbling teens make a screen flash faster and call it Halo 4. Tchoh. Continue reading


It’s all PR Isn’t It? Or what public relations and PageRank can teach each other.

G is For Google. What does PR stand for?

For my money PR professionals – certainly in Scotland – haven’t paid anywhere near enough attention to search engine optimisation.

Known as SEO, this is the “dark art” of ensuring a website ranks well on a series of key words.

For most people ‘search engine’ actually means ‘Google’. And ‘ranking well’ means that when they type something into the search box and hit return, they will only look a the first page of returns. In fact  in most case only at the top two or three results.

What’s that got to do with PR? Well for most public relations professionals, very little.

The focus of PR work is still dominated by earning client coverage in traditional media. Increasingly it may also include a social media element, via Facebook or Twitter – and those remain the focus at my own PR agency in Scotland. Holyrood Partnership.

In my experience only a handful of PR people really  understand how to build SEO benefits into media coverage and into social media activity.

Shame really, because while it may not be as shiny and exciting as Twitter, a basic grasp of SEO principles can really impress potential clients and deliver tangible results.

With that in mind, I’d guess that most people working in public relations in Scotland would look at me blankly if was to tell them that PR is also a common abbreviation for PageRank. Few, I’d wager would be able to readily explain PageRank, or its importance in today’s internet.

Continue reading

A Budgie, A Broadcast And A PR Podcast. All Linked By Social Media

OAP MAy With Budgie

OAP May With Budgie

When it comes to social media, it’s the small touches which make the greatest impact with me.

Back when I first started this site, I was heartily impressed when a guy called Craig McGill got in touch and politely asked if it would be ok to link to my blog. Indeed, I was so impressed I posted about it. Of course, back then I didn’t realised Craig was one of Scotland’s main social media influencers.

Now a similarly well-mannered and thoughtful social media point of contact has impressed me all over again – this time from Canadian PR grandee, Martin Waxman.

As one third of the consequential Inside PR podcast, Martin has a respected global voice in the industry which reaches well beyond Toronto, where his own firm, Palette PR is based.

Since I’m an avid listener to Inside PR and appreciate the effort which goes into bringing out a podcast week after week, I contributed an audio comment late last year.

Martin followed up with a thank-you message and also let me know his wife was producing a documentary for STV, due to air some time in 2010 – a nice touch for a man who is 3300 miles away with a business, a podcast and a host of other interests to keep him busy.

Well, six months later Mr Waxman, out of the blue, dropped me another message. This one came via Twitter, to let me know the documentary by his missus will be airing on STV on May 24.

It is called The August Years of May and Gloria. The woman in the the title are a Scots mother and daughter, though now based in Ontario. May (pictured here with a budgie on her shoulder) is 82 and lives with Gloria, 59.

The documentary is part of a triptych looking at the complex  relationships between mothers and daughters as they grow older. May, for instance, is in the early stages of Alzheimers.

It comes from a company called MakinMovies and judging by the short YouTube trailer promises to be an emotive and intriguing piece of TV.

Now, you can call Martin’s efforts – taking the time to make that follow up contact with a stranger – unbelievable attention to detail or  superb diary work. Either way it is the hallmark of a top communicator. And you’ve gotta love that kind of commitment.

So I can only guess his other half’s work will be of a similar calibre.

That’s why, come May 24, I will be glued to  the box to find out a whole lot more about May and Gloria. Do yourself a favour and check it out too.

Appointment of Shaun Milne boosts Deadline Press & Picture Agency

Deadline Website

Deadline Website

Interesting changes at Deadline Press and Picture Agency – probably best summed up in the beautifully written press release, below (aye, I know my talents are wasted):

A LEADING Scottish news agency has made a number of key editorial changes to strengthen its multi-media services.

Deadline Press & Picture Agency has appointed former newspaper executive and respected industry commentator Shaun Milne as Consultant Managing Editor.

Milne, a former Associate News Editor at the Daily Record and Assistant Editor at the Scottish Daily Mirror, brings more than 15-years top flight industry experience to the role.

Based full-time in Edinburgh, he will oversee the day-to-day editorial operation and strategic development of the news division for an initial three month period.

Meanwhile his appointment will free up news editor Lauren Crooks to set up and develop a dedicated features service, to further enhance Deadline’s editorial reach.

Both will work closely with Deadline’s video and photographic departments to drive further content for publishers looking to exploit their web presence to the full.

Scott Douglas, co-director of Deadline, said: “We were missing a features department and after scouring the market for somebody to take on the role it was clear the ideal candidate was already in our office.

“However, it was also clear Lauren would need a clear run at setting up the service –  yet robbing Deadline of an excellent news editor to achieve this would have been short-sighted.

“Instead we’ve come up with an innovative and exciting solution to support Laruen while giving every single member of our team working with a media expert of the highest calibre.

“Landing someone with Shaun’s credentials is a real coup. There might be a lot of gloom in the media sector at the moment, but this proves categorically we are refusing to let our heads drop.”

Milne is not only a highly-respected journalist, but is also an influential media observer and commentator and a leading Web 2.0 pioneer. He will oversee development of Deadline’s traditional news and picture offering as well as its online and video services.

He added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with one of the most forward thinking agencies of its kind in the UK.

“There is already an excellent young team in place which punches above its weigh, as they showed from a splash-filled weekend. I’ve already been impressed by their work ethic.

“My role will be very clearly to further strengthen our news coverage, push our video content, help break fresh ground with a new features department and, of course, generate great exclusives.

“I’m also looking forward to working with colleagues across the industry again, some of them old friends and some of them new, and hope they will increasingly make Deadline a first port of call.”

Deadline Press & Picture Agency covers a patch which takes in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and Scottish Borders, including courts, tribunals, the Scottish Parliament as well as  breaking news stories.

The agency’s constantly updating news site www.deadlinescotland.co.uk is on course to attract more than 350,000 visits per year, while its dedicated DeadlineNewsTV channel on YouTube has generated more than 250,000 views since May.

The multi-media team – the only dedicated operation of its type in East-Central Scotland – is also available for special commissions.


Abracadabra – BBC newsreader’s pen trick magicks up a new star

Nigh on 50,000 people have already viewed this video on YouTube. Evidence, as if it was needed, that all those late 1990s fears about “dumbing down” in the media have been well and truly realised.

No apologies for robbing you of four minutes to watch this clip, because as the man who made it might say (in a nasally, West Coast whine), it’s right funny by the way.

Nobody really cares about Robbo’s sleight of hand (sorry, sleight of hauns). But this guy’s bewilidered Weedgie act is priceless.

Especially since he pulls it off despite looking like he works for a trendy graphic design firm or ad agency and lives in a pretty swanky-looking flat with his pricey laptop, video camera and editing software.

So I wasn’t surprised when I checked out his website and discovered that he’s not actually some Glesca taxi driver or street patter merchant but actually a stand up comedian for the Web 2.0 generation.

Sure enough his website looks exactly like the portal for a so-trendy-it-hurts design agency or advertising firm. Until you try out the brilliant (if foul-mouthed) “Xylophone” or “Halloween” playthings.

For their next trick the powers that be at BBC Scotland want to get Limmy on the payroll. He’s funny, innovative and on current hits he’s getting more viewers than Reporting Scotland.

(thanks due to Stewart Kirkpatrick, since i first saw this video over on his blog)