this week's work-tips:
25 things to NOT do in the office


ESPRESSO 42: Tuesday 5 October 2010

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Associate Director
Public & 3rd Sector, to £55k, London
This leading agency seeks an experienced and articulate leader to steer a highly motivated team. You will have some experience of charity PR and/or charity-corporate sponsorship, ideally with a health related or international development slant. Some new business skills, plus the ability to drive and implement an agenda would also appeal. Ref: TF178

Associate Director
Issues & Crisis, £55k+, London

This strategic role crosses the breadth of an award winning agency; sectors covered include retail, food and drink, technology, sport and health. You should have proven experience of issues communication and possibly some product recall processes. In addition, you will be able to engage with print and online media, have some public affairs knowledge and show the ability to work as part of an integrated organisation with first class client handling skills. Ref: TF177

Account Manager
Consumer, Brand & Youth Lifestyle, to £35k, London

A genuinely fantastic opportunity to work at one of London's premier consumer brand and lifestyle focussed agencies. Working with the support of up to three account executives, this is an opportunity to focus on one or two high profile lifestyle brands and work on all aspects of youth campaign delivery. This consultancy has some huge projects in the pipeline which will afford unrivalled career building experiences. Ref: TF179

Account Director (freelance)
Consumer Food/Brands/Retail, £45k pro rata, London
This award-winning agency needs someone to get up front and personal with big brands. Previous experience in health/food sector desirable, as up to 60% of your time will be spent working on one large blue chip foodie client. You will be a team player who combines practical skills with a strategic mind to create unique results. Ref:TF171

Account Manager
Broadcast Technology & High Tech B2B, £32k-£34k, London

Working exclusively for broadcast and technology clients, this company offers fantastic benefits. You will be responsible for managing day-to-day activities of a client portfolio including implementing plans, meeting deliverables and monitoring the team's time. Previous B2B tech or broadcast experience, sound strategic sense and good media contacts required. Ref: TF175A

Account Director
Broadcast Technology & High Tech B2B, £50k, London
A great opportunity at a high performing boutique agency. You will be responsible for client liaison, budget management and managing a team of up to four. You will have a proven agency background and experience working across a range of tech clients. Sound written English and a knowledge of and passion for the digital media and broadcast industries also a must. Ref: TF175

Senior Account Director
Consumer, FMCG & Retail, to £40k, London

Can you demonstrate your passion for brands? Do you have experience of working on household, retail and/or health and lifestyle industry accounts, plus strategic thinking and hands-on team management skills? This is an excellent opportunity in a truly international organisation. Ref: TF172

Communications Manager
Trade/Publishing, to £37k
, London
Working alongside Corporate Affairs at this high profile publishing group, this role provides the 'external face' for both the commercial and retail divisions of the business, managing communication with trade press, clients, industry bodies and internal audiences. You will also write press releases and monitor coverage. Experience in a B2B and publishing/advertisng environment essential. Ref: TF174

To apply for any of these roles, email your CV and a covering letter to, quoting the job reference in the subject line. For many more PR and communication jobs click here.

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Or that's the opinion of George Pascoe-Watson, former Sun political editor and now PR man with communications consultancy Portland. PR Week asked him what he thought about the government's decision to lead the news agenda around this week's Conservative Party Conference with the announcement of a radical and possibly controversial revamp of the benefits system. He was impressed. "
Full marks to [Tory comms man] Andy Coulson's media operation. The Tory conference carries one message; the nation must pull together to get us out of the trouble Labour put us in. This policy decision ends a nonsense which cannot be defended, saves money and sets the tone, not just for this conference, but for the coming Spending Review. It also shows action, not dither". See what Mandate Director Mark Pack thought in the full PR Week feature here.
Seventy Seven PR recently ran a slightly random poll on its website to find out the "most admired PR agency" as voted for by the public (well, presumably mainly PR people). I say "slightly random" because the short list of agencies that could be voted for was put together via a quick brainstorm by the Seventy Seven team, and was focused on consumer PR/media relations as a result. Those voting were asked to NOT just tick the box next to the agency they themselves work for, a rule more strictly enforced than you might imagine - Ketchum was basically disqualified when Seventy Seven spotted how many votes for that particular agency were coming from a web server named Ketchum Ltd. Still, they surely won the prize for "most loyal staff", even if it was Cake who were eventually crowed "most admired".
There are lots of lengthy pieces offering advice on press release writing out there on the internet - I wrote one myself here. But Vitis PR got it down to six simple one sentence rules on their blog last month. And to abbreviate their advice even further, they basically said: make it relevant, include a clear subject line, keep your precis of the release short and relevent to the target journalist, don't just put 'Press Release' in the email subject and don't send the release as an attachment, put it in the body of the email. As someone who receives 200+ press releases a day, I confirm those are very wise words. They've just posted some good tips for getting journalists interesting in your product or service too.
I didn't actually vote in the aforementioned Seventy Seven PR "most admired agency" poll, but if I had done there's a high chance I'd have placed my tick next to Borkowski PR. Certainly Mark Borkowski's blog is always a very good read. And it is him who is being interrogated in the latest CIPR-TV video podcast whatnot. Asked about the biggest challenge for PR in 2010 he mused: "PR has always been very good at utilising the latest technology as a means of communication, whether that be the telegraph, the wire or the PC. We are still doing that - the big challenge with the latest technology, though, is the speed with which we need to respond. Not every company has yet adapted to that challenge". You can check if I transcribed that right and see the rest of the interview here.
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Ah, this old chestnut - what happens when the celebrity to whom you're paying large sums of money to endorse your product gets caught up in a scandal? Stand by your man and then quietly drop him I think. Coke have announced they are axing a campaign featuring footballing type Wayne Rooney following the latest tabloid scandals involving him and prostitutes. The fizzy drink makers had planned to have the ball kicker on the side of thousands of Coke Zero cans this Autumn but, despite initially seeming to stand by their man, the company announced this week: "Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero. Given the situation at that time, we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney". That said, they stressed the Roonster wasn't dropped altogether, and he would still be in involved in their Street Strike campaign encouraging kids to get involved in football.
Fancy seeing a picture of yourself projected onto the side of major buildings in London, Paris, Warsaw, Singapore, Mumbai or Delhi? No, me neither, but if you did want such a thing then insurance people Aviva are here to help. In their latest marketing push they will be projecting pictures of their staff and customers onto the side of major buildings, including the National Theatre in London. If you'd like to put your picture forward for the promotion you need to upload it at Footage of the big projections will then be posted on a YouTube channel and blog.
Also using their customers - or listeners in this case - to front their latest marketing initiative is Guardian-owned radio station Smooth. Eight listeners have been appointed "Smooth ambassadors" after a recruitment campaign earlier this year, and they will now appear on TV, print and billboard ads for the next six weeks. So, more big faces on buildings. Says Chief Smoothe
Stuart Taylor: "Smooth's listeners are passionate about life and music and with a little more money in their pockets than your average commercial radio listener are highly sought after by advertisers. The ambassadors in this new marketing campaign will have a real affinity with millions across the UK and will no doubt encourage new listeners to give the station a try as it becomes a national brand".
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So, the aformentioned Andy Coulson might be getting big-ups in PR Week for his communication of the Tory's big benefits revamp, but the former News Of The World editor is getting much more press elsewhere, of course, for the phone hacking scandal stemming from his time running the Sunday tabloid. It's a story that just won't go away, despite many newspapers initially hesitant about giving the whole thing too much page space, possibly fearing their own investigative journalism techniques might be put under the spotlight if they did. Anyway, following last night's Dispatches programme on the whole affair, an impressive panel will tonight debate modern day investigative journalism techniques and the privacy rights - or not - of public figures at City University in London. Media commentator Roy Greenslade, former News Of The World reporter Paul McMullan, lawyer Mark Lewis, Director Of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald and a certain Max Mosely, who has lots of opinions on press instrustion, will take part. More here.
Possibly good news for those music PR people who still dearly miss 'Top Of The Pops', and the weekly opportunity it offered to get their artists singing in front of millions on prime time TV. Although BBC music boss Andy Parfitt says there'll be no Doctor Who style renaissance for 'TOTP', he told a meeting of the Broadcasting Press Guild last week: "It would be great if we could get a new popular music-based programme with a new format [onto BBC TV], a new kind of offer that really worked for the audience. And [Commissioning Editor] Jan Younghusband is actually leading that process and I am closely involved with that too". That said, while such a programme is clearly being given some thought by BBC bosses, it didn't sound like anything was actually in the pipeline just yet.
The Daily Star has admitted it got it wrong when it reported in July that makers of the often controversial gaming franchise 'Grand Theft Auto' were planning a new version of the game based on the very recent Raoul Moat news story. The tabloid featured quotes from an understandably outraged member of Moat's family, but none from the makers of 'GTA', Take2. That, Take2's legal rep told the High Court this week, was because they weren't asked for a quote. Had they been, they'd have confirmed there was no truth to the report. Said legal rep told a judge: "The defendant now accepts that Take2 never had any intention to create such a video game at any time. The story was entirely false".
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So, the Chartered Institute Of PR, Committee Of Advertising Practice and the Advertising Standards Authority all got together last week to discuss the regulation of advertising on social media, something the ad industry's regulators have started to take an interest in of late. It's of concern to the PR profession because social media is where the marketing communications and corporate communications sectors start to collide, and some feared the CAP and ASA might start trying to regulate online PR activity as well. But both have confirmed that is not the case. In a joint statement all three bodies said last week: "The ASA and CAP have confirmed that online public relations will not be covered by the CAP Code. The exclusions within the CAP Code relating to public relations, including 'press releases, other public relations material and editorial content', underline this. The ASA is concerned only with marketing communications, which includes advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing".

Now, here's some useful tips for those of you charged with the task of communicating via social media from the guys at For starters: "Much emphasis has been placed on the word SOCIAL but just as much needs to be put on MEDIA. PROs should use the same processes to create relevant content for social media applications, in the same way as they always have for the journalists. The change comes about because instead of understanding journalists and the demands of the publication, a PRO must now understand social media, both from a macro perspective and also the specific medium that they wish to communicate through, be it Twitter, Facebook, Utube, Linkedin, Google Buzz etc". Take note. Then read the rest of PR Moment's advice here.
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esPResso's careers and workplace expert Sarah Stimson with the 25 things to avoid doing if you want to do your bit to ensure a happy workplace.
Want to know how to avoid winding up your colleagues? Discover your irritating habits and make work life easier for everyone. Here's our quick and easy guide to what not to do:

1. Don't eat smelly food in the office.

2. Don't shout into your phone.

3. Don't worry about other people's time keeping. Make sure you get to work and meetings on time, let other people's bosses worry about them getting there.

4. Don't use your mobile/Blackberry/smart phone in meetings.

5. Don't take credit for other people's work.

6. Don't come into the office when you're sick, spreading your germs won't make you popular.

7. Don't blame others for your mistakes.

8. Don't sit on a task all day then ask a member of your team to do it five minutes before the end of the day.

9. If you've set a deadline for a piece of work, don't ask for it repeatedly BEFORE the deadline. What's the point of a deadline if you're going to nag for it earlier anyway?

10. Don't miss a deadline.

11. Don't interrupt. Give others a chance to speak. Don't speak over other people or ignore them completely. You may like the sound of your own voice but your colleagues will find it pretty grating.

12. Don't use endless management speak. Thinking outside the box is SO last year.

13. Don't allow your parents, friends or partner to call you endlessly at work – particularly if you work in an office where there are no direct lines. It's irritating having to take messages from your husband every fifteen minutes.

14. Don't be consistently late. A one off is a one off – everyone oversleeps or gets stuck on a defective train now and then. But five minutes late EVERY morning is disrespectful and annoying.

15. Don't shout across the office at people.

16. Don't belittle colleagues and if you have to tell someone in your team off, do it in private.

17. Don't talk on the phone with your mouth full of food.

18. Don't expect other people to make you cups of coffee if you're not willing to return the favour.

19. Don't leave the printer jammed with paper for someone else to sort out.

20. Don't put the empty milk carton back in the fridge.

21. Don't say you understand something when you don't.

22. Don't expect everyone to drop what they're doing to do something for you, unless it's an absolute emergency (and then be nice about it).

23. Don't make a mess in the staff kitchen and leave it for someone else to tidy up.

24. Don't leave the toilet roll holder empty.

25. Don't send unnecessary emails. Pick up the phone, or talk face-to-face, once in a while.

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