Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Man with a Movie Camera album coverImage via Wikipedia

As you may or may not know, I have the pleasure to work for the Middle East's first technology specialised public relations and communications agency, Spot On Public Relations. I don't often blog directly about work stuff, although my work obviously informs many of my opinions, but I'm going to talk shop for a second here.

Over the years, Spot On has moved from being a pure-play tech and telecom agency to encompass non-tech clients, from 'Freej' originators Lammtara through Virgin Megastores to publishing company ITP and media consultancy DMA. We still retain tech clients, of course, including IBM and Lenovo, as well as my favourite client (oddly enough), printer company Oki Printing Solutions. And we work with a lot of other companies too, from hotels through to mining and finance through to consumer electronics.

One of the things that's started to happen at work, something that has been a pleasant surprise, is that the old tech heritage has come back to inform how we work with a new wave of clients who are most definitely not technology companies, but who are using technology in their work - increasingly in their communications work. When Spot On started, the Internet was a new, and often regarded as threatening, phenomenon in the Middle East and we were very involved in arguing the case FOR the Internet - it's something that resonates with many conversations I have today, believe me.

Social media, you may have noticed it's taking up more and more of my thinking and even blog posting (And yes, I have had complaints), but it is starting to drive some very interesting ideas for us - increasingly in line with my personal dislike of 'big business' and the ways that 'big business' has been behaving.

I like the idea of companies being more open to communicating with the little guys, actually talking to their customers rather than glibly slapping 'customer-centric' on their brand values and then handing down the call centre to the nearest monkey. I like the idea that customers and companies could actually work together to make things work better - because the customers want to be involved and the companies are willing to listen. I like consumers having voice. (You may have noticed!)

I think we're heading towards more of that stuff and it excites me. Sorry, that's the geek in me showing through.

Anyway, this is all a thinly disguised plug for you to go join Spot On's fabby Facebook group, which you can subscribe to if you want to get more 'inside track' on the stuff we're doing with clients and in the social media space, as well as links to things like interviews and articles from Spot On people and the people we work with in our 'ecosystem' of like-minded partners.

Also, if you've a mind to, you're more than welcome to subscribe to a few of Spot On's other 'social media' resources:

Twitter. The Spot On Twitterfeed tends to focus on sharing news of interest to those who follow media, journalism, new media and Internet innovation. It's quite popular.

Netvibes. Arguably one of the most useful RSS readers, Netvibes allows you to aggregate content from multiple sources, from blogs through to newswires and even sources such as Twitter and Google Alerts. Spot On's public Netvibes page is a great 'one stop' resource for you to swing by every day and check out pretty much everything that's happening in Middle East media, journalism and social media.

Delicious. This is another strong media-related resource, where we basically share our bookmarks of interesting stories that are media, PR and journalism related. Again, quite a powerful resource for anyone that wants to get a fast snapshot of what's happening in these areas across the Middle East.

We use a range of other social media platforms for a number of purposes, audiences and clients - but I thought these might be interesting/useful to many of the people who swing by this blog.

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