Posts Tagged ‘england’

ThaR(WC) She Blows: A PR Iceberg Drifts Onto the Horizon for the England Boys

The Mail’s coverage of a particularly wild night out for England’s Rugby World Cup lads today- in which Chris Ashton wrestled dwarves and Mike Tindall took a ride on a motorboat (if you catch my drift)- should set alarm bells ringing in any media-savvy mind. Other than raising an eyebrow at Tindall’s quasi-infidelity, the paper stops short of making any definite moral pronouncements. However the language is telling: ‘questions were being raised’, ‘what will the wives and girlfriends make…?’, ‘it was clear that a lot of money had been spent’.

This is the distinctive sound of the, still mighty, British tabloid press flexing its muscles. Should the team head on to glory in New Zealand, this will all be brushed under the rug as a bit of harmless- probably even necessary- team bonding. But they’d damn well better: if they fail, the papers are now coiled, and they’ll unleash on this stuff with nothing short of relish. The article is a warning: ‘remember Ian Botham?’ says the Mail, ‘yeah, well look on my works, ye mighty, and watch your bloody step’.

England’s World Cup Woes

So Russia have the 2018 World Cup and it’s to go to Qatar in 2022. Anyone trying to suggest that this decision has anything to do with football needs to go away and sit quietly in a dark corner whilst they reevaluate their opinion.

The decision by FIFA bigwigs is solely about where the power is in the new world order, and it’s not in quiet, dusty old England. No-one should be trying to make Panorama a scapegoat, either – this is a decision that would have been reached regardless of their investigations.

We live in an age of infocapitalists. Those with the biggest budgets are always most likely to buy up these big events – and who is bigger these days than the big, oil rich states?

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The Truth? Bend it About Beckham

Conundrum of the week is the strange case of why In Touch magazine ran a story suggesting athletic rumpy pumpy between Beckham and exotic model-come-prostitute Irma Nici.

I might be wrong, but it all feels so fake. Certainly, David Beckham looks set to sue the US magazine for the claims that he went a bit Rooney.

Bauer – who publish In Touch – clearly did not comprehend the chaos that would be unleashed. I suspect their office must have echoed with the cry of: “Bugger the truth, the story is too good to ignore!” The fall out and collective web chatter suggests a plethora of conspiracy theories. My favourite so far is the one that suggests that it is a hoax attempting to derail England’s World Cup bid. Read the rest of this entry »

Captivating Edinburgh

I’ll be examining the manipulative new age of PR and social media, and how the herd is motivated to reshape our lives, in Edinburgh next week. My lecture is one of the key events in the inaugural Edinburgh International Marketing Festival on Tuesday 24th August at 17.30 and the lecture aims to reveal exactly how important PR 2.0 can be – and to stir the hornet’s nest a little.

In the brave new world run to the tune of the ten minute news cycle, where traditional media has been reduced to merely commenting on and affirming stories that are broken on Twitter and in the blogosphere, almost at the speed of thought, and where advertising budgets have been slashed down to the stump, what else is there but PR? Read the rest of this entry »

No More Heroes: The media, football and built in obsolescence

Today’s edition of the Sun features an exposé of Wayne Rooney’s recent night on the tiles as his team-mates “completed rigorous pre-season fitness tours”. It is a typically irked and excitable article, chipping away at the veneer of sporting heroism that has been liberally applied to Rooney and his sporting colleagues in the past.

The article is desperate to get people fulminating about spoilt football players in the wake of England’s World Cup flop, on the assumption that these football “legends” are heroes and idols for the nation’s kids who are betraying their legions of fans by going out and being normal. They are doing nothing of the sort. Read the rest of this entry »

Football and Soap Opera: How the News is Changing

In the 21st Century, with the Twitter cycle outpacing the news cycle by a length, with fewer people working for newspapers and, with Murdoch insisting that content has taken a step up to Emperor, stories move too fast for journalists to stop for anything as paltry and deadbeat as a fact.

The truth is dismal, slow and unsexy in this world of RSS feeds and instant Twitter fixes and papers are so desperate to keep up that the truth is the first thing to suffer.

Look at this article about Steven Gerrard, in which the facts have been played fast and loose in a bid to create a ‘story’. The popular news cycle is about soap opera now, not truth. We are living in a world where conspiracy theorists hold the high ground and we are so swamped with untruth, half truth and scurrilous supposition that newspapers or enemies of a brand (from the England team to Marmite) can feed whatever vicious fluff they like into the rumour mill and produce a story – such as this one about Gerrard and Terry, which skates close to a possible truth (in this case, possible enmity between Terry and Gerrard over the England captaincy) – that it is easy to believe. Read the rest of this entry »

Hauling England Over the Coles

There is no hope for the England team – every time one of them opens their mouth they put their foot in it and someone (usually the press) helpfully shoves the boot in too.

What do we really expect, though, when the players have too much time, money and self-regard on their hands? Take Ashley Cole, for example: Read the rest of this entry »

The Next England Manager

There’s a deal of speculation about how long Fabio Capello is to stay in the job as England’s manager – a statement was even put out before the decisive group match suggesting that his job was in jeopardy.

It seems likely that he will go, and soon, despite a few bullish headlines suggesting that we should blame the players rather than the manager. Capello’s struggles with English and his authoritarian regime will not stand him in good stead. And he is not an accessible man, which is utterly essential in a job like this.

Look at Simon Cowell, a man who is subjected to equally rigorous scrutiny. Despite employing the services of Max Clifford Read the rest of this entry »

Karaoke Culture

We are living in a karaoke media culture – everything we see is a pale, recycled copy of something that’s gone before and, worse still, this sincere flattery of icons and iconography past is being actively encouraged.

Miley Cyrus is heading off down the well-trodden path of over-sexualised image that has been presented 1000 times before and is well known to end in ruin at least half the time. Even Kylie has got in on the act, kissing Ana Matronic from the Scissor Sisters; a direct echo of Madonna and Britney’s “lesbian” kiss.

Prince Albert of Monaco is doing a karaoke version of his father by marrying an American celeb, who is a pale imitation of Grace Kelly. And then there’s the Princes, William and Harry: William is currently back with Kate Middleton, whom the press insist shares much in common with his mother, Princess Diana; Harry is off clearing mines in a bid to be like his mother. A Freudian could no doubt get some considerable mileage from the undercurrents created by the media’s presentation of them.
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England’s World Cup: Hype or Hope?

Forty-eight hours can feel like an eternity when your brand is in the centrifugal force in the maelstrom of public ridicule. In poor old Robert Green’s case, the error he committed by fumbling a save and letting in a dismal equalising goal in the World Cup match against the USA will plague him for the rest of his life.

Still, at least Green is English, where all he faces is ridicule and crushing, sweaty disappointment. In 1994, Columbian footballer Andrés Escobar was murdered after scoring an own goal in the World Cup. If England fail to progress, Green is likely to be vilified by the myopic soccer tribe in full rhetorical flow and be verbally lumped in with paedophiles, murderers and rapists in bitter conversations down the pub.

This despite the fact that, post-match, Green fronted up his error and bravely faced the media, admitting to the gaffe whilst attempting to take control of the narrative. In PR terms, it was a flawless effort in damage limitation. But, reading the papers today, the media continue to sadistically throw salt onto his open wound. We need a scapegoat and Green is the man of the hour. Read the rest of this entry »