27 February, 2009
The number of women attracted to the world of social networking has grown by a massive 53% in just 12 months, according to research by consumer magazine publisher IPC.
The Women's Space 2 study revealed that two-thirds of women count social networking as one of their regular online activities, compared with 43% in 2007.
The growing popularity of online TV, driven in no small part by the BBC's iPlayer, is reflected in the findings -- since 2007 it is up 39% to 43% of those women surveyed.
The report also found that one third of women have formed friendships with people they have met online and that a quarter of women have met online friends face to face.
All of those who participated in the survey, set up by IPC to explore the behaviour of women on the internet, had participated in social media activities, with 89% doing so regularly.
A quarter of women often read online forums, up from 18% in 2007, and a fifth post questions or answers (15% in 2007).
The survey found that 74% of women use the internet every day. The number of times they log on is also growing -- on weekdays an average of 4.2 times per day, compared with 4.01 times in 2007; and at weekends, women are accessing the internet an average of 4.13 times per day, compared with 3.57 times in 2007.
Elsewhere, the survey found that the proportion of women who shop online (57% of the sample) had grown 8% since 2007, and 60% use the internet to manage their finances, an increase of 9%.
Amanda Wiggington, IPC Advertising's director of insight, said: "This study shows us where women are on their internet journey, plus how they feel about the web, which points to effective ways to reach and communicate with them online.
"This is valuable knowledge for us and our advertisers and we're committed to tracking the changes in women's internet behaviour on an annual basis."
Women's Space 2 is part of IPC's Origin Panel, a research panel comprising 7,500 women.
Its first wave won accolades from the likes of the AOP, which awarded it the prize of Best Research Project, and Brand Republic sister title Media Week, which named it Best Research Initiative at the Media Week Awards.
26 February, 2009
The site - which has had a yearly 974% jump in UK traffic alone and attracts between 4m and 6m people, including celebrity twitterer Stephen Fry - is open to abuse if it fails to effectively self-moderate.
Online safety experts have raised concerns and are calling for swift action to head off trouble for the fast-growing site, which already hosts brands such as British Airways, Dell and Penguin.
Twitter's terms state users must be 13 or over, but it doesn't offer a 'report abuse' button or explicit ways to flag offensive material or monitor sexually explicit and racist behaviour and links to adult sites.
new media age uncovered links to prostitution and escort services, cannabis seed shops and racist and pornographic material on Twitter. It's also being used by escorts to alert followers of their locations, images and videos despite Twitter rules banning pornographic images. A group on Facebook directs escort services to Twitter where they can build their network without fear of being removed by moderators.
John Carr, who represents The Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS), said his concerns about the site's lack of regulatory control would be raised at the next meeting of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). "Start-up companies come into the market with these products and it's not regulated. No one will look at it until there's a disaster," he said.
Full story at http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=64439&d=254&h=260&f=3
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk
25 February, 2009
Anti-poverty charity War on Want has launched a new website in a bid to raise its profile before two large scale demonstrations in London at the end of this month and the next.
The new War on Want website features a refreshed homepage, integrated film and photo galleries, an enhanced search engine and a special RSS-type feed to tell supporters about breaking news.
The charity is using the new website to promote two upcoming demonstrations taking place in the capital.
The 6 Billion Ways event on February 28, which will feature a number of keynote speakers, seminars and a rally will be followed by the Put People First march, a five-day demonstration leading up to the G20 summit on April 2.
Both demonstrations are aimed at raising the profile of global poverty, climate change and human rights.
Corin Pearce, technology manager for War on Want, said: "The new year has seen us gather momentum through initiatives such as a report on exploited wine workers and planned campaign events.
"With a rising profile as the UK's foremost charity tackling the causes of world poverty, the new website can win even more public backing for our work."
War on Want's old website helped the charity place among Britain's top five charities in a poll conducted by Third Sector magazine.
Before Goody was diagnosed, the total number of pages viewed daily in the cervical cancer section of the site was around 2,000 to 3,000. On the day of the news last year this jumped to over 32,000.
Since then the daily visits have continued to be around two to three times higher than before her diagnosis was made public, and earlier this month when Goody was told the disease was terminal, page views escalated again to around 20,000 a day.
However, a spokeswoman said the additional interest did not appear to have translated into more donations.
CRUK has also published research today showing that the number of cervical cancer cases have halved since screening was introduced in 1988.
The rate of women diagnosed with the disease has halved from 16 per 100,000 in 1988 to eight per 100,000 today. The number of deaths has also dropped sharply, from 2,000 a year 20 years ago to 921 in 2006.
Yet latest reports suggest that the number of women going for screenings is falling, particularly among those aged 25-34.
Few MPs use social media or have their own blogs, according to a new report, that says they use internet too much to inform and not enough to talk to constituents.
The report by the Hansard Society, sponsored by Microsoft, reveals that MPs are using the internet primarily to inform their constituents rather than engage with them.
Called 'MPs Online: Connecting with Constituents', the report says the most widely used digital media by MPs are those that are mainly passive in nature, such as websites.
Interactive forms that could be used by MPs to develop a two-way conversation with their constituents, such as blogs and social networking, are used much less commonly.
Even when social media is used by MPs it is more often in a passive mode with parliamentarians talking but not exploiting their full interactive potential.
Key findings from the research are that 92% of MPs use email and 83% of MPs have a personal website. However, this figure drops to 23% when it comes to the number of MPs using social networking and only 11% of MPs have a blog.
Factors such as age and marginality of constituency do not appear to be a barrier, but time, resources, the abusive reputation of the blogosphere and the need to prioritise constituents' needs all make blogging unpopular with MPs.
The research demonstrates that while there is almost universal use of email and adoption of websites, MPs' use of social networking tools is more variable with factors other than party-led strategy proving more influential.
For instance London MPs are highest users of social networking tools (43%) while MPs from Wales and the Midlands are lowest users (20%). Younger MPs or those born after 1960, are highest users (38%) and newer members to the House of Commons, or those MPs elected in or after 2005 are highest users (40%) while MPs elected in or before 1986 are lowest users (5%).
Full atricle at http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/883812/MPs-fail-onboard-social-media/
'MPs Online: Connecting With Constituents' can be downloaded as a PDF from the Hansard Society website at http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blogs/sitepages/pages/mps-online-connecting-with-constituents.aspx
23 February, 2009
David Ainsworth, Third Sector Online
DEC responds to BBC Trust's report into broadcaster's decision
The BBC's decision not to broadcast an appeal for victims of the Gaza conflict on the grounds that it could compromise the broadcaster's political neutrality must not set a precedent for the future, the Disasters Emergency Committee has warned.
The DEC's comments came in response to a report from the BBC Trust, the corporation's governing body, which said it would not overturn BBC director general Mark Thompson's decision not to broadcast the appeal because it might lead people to believe the BBC was taking sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The trust concluded that the decision was "reasonable given the importance of preserving the reputation of the BBC for impartiality".
In a statement, a DEC spokesman said: "We respect the BBC's right to decide on whether to broadcast the appeal, but we believe it would be unfortunate if the additional hurdle imposed in this specific situation set a precedent for future appeals.
"The three criteria agreed with broadcasters for launching DEC appeals – scale of need, ability of DEC members to deliver aid and evidence of public support – have stood the test of time."
The BBC and Sky, which also refused to broadcast the appeal, received more than 40,000 complaints. When the BBC rejected the complaints, a number of complainants took the matter to the BBC Trust.
A BBC spokesman said: "We are pleased with the trust's clear findings that the director general's decision on the Gaza appeal was reasonable in order to protect the impartiality of the BBC, given the deeply divisive nature of the conflict, and that he acted correctly throughout."
20 February, 2009
Helen Barrett, Third Sector Online
Short, personalised emails to supporters work better, says Thomas Gensemer, the man behind US President's online election campaign
Email newsletters to supporters are a waste of time and effort and should be ditched by charities and NGOs, according to Barack Obama's digital strategist.
Speaking at a presentation at City University in London this week, Thomas Gensemer, managing partner of Blue State Digital, the company behind President Obama's online election campaign, urged organisations to instead send short, personalised emails to supporters giving clear instructions for participation.
"Email newsletters don't get read, yet they take more effort to prepare than a 250-word email," he said. "Email is still a killer application, but only when used properly."
Gensemer urged organisations to promote their causes by adopting the digital media principles of the ‘Obama for America' presidential campaign, which raised more than $500m (£350m) in donations from more than three million individual donors online. Volunteers created more than 30,000 groups online and organised more than 200,000 offline campaign events leading up to last November's election.
Fundraising and participation tactics included sending regular, short emails to supporters asking recipients to do one thing that day. Each email also told the supporter what their action would accomplish and what would happen next.
These emails gave supporters a "steady narrative of actions, feedback and milestones", Gensemer said.
Obama rewarded supporters who took action with public praise. Gensemer said the tactic had elicited a "new sense of transparency" among supporters about where their money was going.
18 February, 2009
by Dan Leahul, Brand Republic
Facebook has backtracked on recent amendments to its terms of service, which claimed ownership of uploaded content even after user profiles had been deleted, after a blogosphere and Facebook user protest.
Earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provoked a storm of controversy after releasing updated terms of service for the social networking site.
Under the new terms, a clause that allows users to permanently delete any uploaded content was removed.
Critics claimed this granted Facebook lifelong ownership rights to user photos, videos, written content and music, even if their profile had been deleted.
Within a day, a number of Facebook groups were launched to protest the changes and the story appeared across national newspapers, while bloggers fervently expressed their opposition to the new terms online.
A brief statement from Zuckerberg on Monday attempted to quell the storm asking for users to "trust" Facebook, with an analogy: "When a person shares something like a message with a friend, two copies of that information are created -- one in the person's sent messages box and the other in their friend's inbox.
"Even if the person deactivates their account, their friend still has a copy of that message. We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like email work.
"One of the reasons we updated our terms was to make this more clear."
Yesterday, after Zuckerberg's statement drew even more criticism from users, the company decided to revert back to its old terms while it "resolves the issue that people have raised" promising the new terms "will be written clearly in a language everyone can understand".
The new finalised terms are expected to be released within a number of weeks and will be allowed to be scrutinised by Facebook users.
The situation echoes a similar uproar in the Facebook community in 2007 when the social networking site introduced its Beacon ad-targeting service.
Users were quick to slam the programme, which automatically signed up Facebook members and provided personal details about user shopping habits, initially without the option to opt-out.
After some threatened legal action, Facebook eventually let users remove the programme from their profiles.
17 February, 2009
Are you registered as a data controller? You could risk prosecution if you are not.
The Information Commissioner's Office successfully prosecuted 10 organisations last year for failing to register as data controllers with the ICO. It costs only £35 a year to do so, but fines can amount to between £700 and £1,000.
Under the Data Protection Act, organisations that hold personal data are required to notify the ICO. 'Data' includes any details held on paper or electronically of people's names, addresses, emails or phone numbers.
There are some exemptions, including one for small not-for-profits. But you must still be able to prove that you are following the ICO's eight principles of good practice, and there is an option to register voluntarily. It might not seem worth the hassle, but consider the implications of failing to follow the principles if something goes wrong and the bad PR that could arise from not being registered.
If you do want to register, you must nominate a data controller, adhere to the eight principles of good practice and renew your registration every year.
If you use any outside agencies to manage or process your data, you are legally responsible for what they do with it - so you should be aware of their status and processes and be sure they have registered as well.
If you hold sensitive data, which includes information such as religion, ethnic origin and so on, there are more stringent rules on who can see and use the data and how it is protected. Again, you need to check with the ICO whether you have this sort of data and how to manage it.
If you're not sure whether this applies to you, contact the ICO Notification Helpline on 01625 545 740 or go to the ICO website at www.ico.gov.uk.
16 February, 2009
It got me thinking about how we could all be adding value or even monetizing our bulk emails. I came up with several variations depending on you charity type, audience and attitude to advertising.
At the soft end you can place an advertising banner in your emails promoting your own events, appeals or campaigns.
Cross selling you can use the ad space to promote your shop, affiliate marketing scheme (chocolates for Easter, flowers for Mother’s day), charity credit card and so on.
You can also "swap" ad placement with others, gaining access to their audience for an ad in your enews. At WaterAid we did a deal with National Geographic because our audiences were similar. They got an ad in our newsletter; we got a 2 page spread in the magazine. But it doesn't have to be national. It could be your local paper or a local company.
Finally for those prepared to sell space - particularly membership and peer-to-peer organizations - you can sell ad space in your emails. There are a lot of companies looking to sell to your members and supporters; they will pay for targeted marketing in emails.
Whichever you do, you can set an ROI, track the clicks and link to Google Analytics to follow the click chain through your site.
Bear in mind that Outlook 2007 doesn’t display automated gifts, and if at all possible make the advertisement text based - add a table, give it a border or background colour, and use the WYSIWYG editor to add copy and a link. That way with even images off, people will still see your advertisement.
Whichever level would suit you, it is worth considering how the use of advertisements could drive traffic to your “calls to action” or bring in valuable income.
13 February, 2009
When is a Twitter user not a Twitter user? Well, according to a new study from Pew Internet, "Twitter user" is a broad definition.
The research firm released a study this week in which the results indicated that in December, "11% of online American adults said they used a service like Twitter or another service that allowed them to share updates about themselves or to see the updates of others." Wow! Twitter sure is catching on!
But then you read the fine print: The catch here is that "update your status" is also a feature of big social networks like Facebook and MySpace, and those features are counted in Pew's definition of status-updating services. Considering Facebook and MySpace both have well over 100 million members apiece, the what-are-you-doing features on those social networks eclipse actual Twitter user for sure. We adore social-network statistics like nobody's business, but these ones probably have much less to say about Twitter than meets the eye.
So, um, taking that into consideration, let's check out the numbers.
About 20 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 have used a status-updating service, the research found (considering Facebook's ubiquity, this actually is lower than I would have expected). Then it starts to drop off. Only 10 percent of those between 35 and 44 answered affirmatively, 5 percent of those between 45 and 54, 4 percent between 55 and 64, and only 2 percent of those over 65. Okay, not surprising.
There were a few tidbits about individual social-networking sites. The average Twitter user, the study found, is older than a Facebook or MySpace user: 31, compared to 27 for MySpace and 26 for Facebook. (The average user of professional networking site LinkedIn is 40, according to the same Pew data.) Well, that's kind of interesting.
Then, the survey goes on to talk about access. 76 percent of Twitter users (and Facebook status-updaters, and MySpace status-updaters, and users of other microblogging services that haven't yet shuttered due to recessionary constraints) use wireless Internet, whether it be Wi-Fi or a handheld device. That's in contrast to 59 percent of U.S. Internet users as a whole, indicating (unsurprisingly) that people who run around updating Facebook statuses or Twitter feeds are a more mobile, tech-savvy set.
Also, 82 percent of them own cell phones and use them to send text messages (compared to 61 percent of U.S. adult Web users as a whole), but there are no statistics as to whether they use text messaging to update their statuses. However, 40 percent of that 82 percent uses the mobile Web. They're not any more likely to read the news than the average Web user, but they're more likely to read it in a mobile form and are less likely (52 percent compared to 65 percent) to read print newspapers. Guess this whole Internet thing is catching on.
One more for you and then we'll let these mildly convoluted figures rest. "Twitter users" (in Pew's broad definition) are way more likely to have blogs of their own. 29 percent of them, compared to 11 percent of the general Web population, say they have ever started a blog. Guess if you overshare in one way, you'll do it in another!
The average person likely won't even notice, but Webmasters can rejoice that Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have banded together to support an unofficial standard for steering search engines in the right direction.
All three on Thursday announced they'd support a technique by which a little extra code in a Web page can indicate the address of its "canonical" version--essentially, the original, primary URL. The move will make it easier to tell search engines what they should pay attention to and to avoid treating duplicative Web pages as different.
Today, the search engine bots that scour the Web for pages to index don't have any particular way to know whether they should be pointing to a "http://www.somepage.com/index.html" or "http://www.somepage.com/index.html?lang=en"--the latter with an optional extra tidbit at the end that indicates the Web server should show the English-language version of a page. The new canonical tag can steer search engines toward the desired primary page, which in this example might ease browsing for non-English speakers.
In all likelihood, most people won't notice much of a difference. Perhaps that the URLs in search results on which they click will be a bit shorter, and perhaps that search engines won't be cluttered with repeats of the same pages in search results.
But the bigger benefits are for Web site operators, which can ensure a more consistent experience for people using their sites and cleaner data collected about how people use their sites, and for the search engines themselves, which won't have to make as many guesses about the pecking order of similar pages.
Also notable is that Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo are cooperating. Standards aren't always easy to hammer out, even informal ones such as this. Supporting canonical tags, though, probably won't mean give any search engine any new advantage or disadvantage, so this was probably relatively easy to create.
Now if the companies could only join forces better on e-mail identity authentication and instant-message interoperability, the world would actually look better for the average person, too.
11 February, 2009
A Twitter-based voluntary organisation is poised to launch its global fundraising festival on Thursday.
Twestival in London, which is already a sell-out, has been organised solely by volunteers. All money raised will go directly to the charity.
The event is backing safe drinking water charity, 'charity: water', as it prepares to go live in 160 cities worldwide.
Scott Harrison, founder of 'charity: water' said, 'The need for, and right to clean water is universal, so I'm delighted we're a cause that the international Twitter community is embracing.'
Amanda Rose, global event organiser, said, 'We're already blown away by the global reception and how keen people are to invest their time and energy for free to the Twestival and get behind charity: water.'
The project, which started as the brainchild of PROs Tim Hoang (Porter Novelli), Tom Malcolm (Diffusion PR) and Ben Matthews (Hotwire PR), grew from a 300 person, London-based meet up.
09 February, 2009
by Becky Wilkerson, marketingmagazine.co.uk
WWF has launched a Valentine's-themed online campaign in the UK to encourage people to adopt an Asian elephant as a Valentine's gift.
The Valentine's campaign, which has been created by Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, will raise funds to conserve the endangered Asian elephant and its habitat, within the wider context of WWF's work. The ads will air on various web portals and drive would-be adopters to the WWF site.
Those who sign up to the initiative will be asked to donate a minimum of £3 a month. In return, they will receive a comprehensive adoption pack which includes a soft toy, a fact booklet about the adopted animal and regular updates about WWF and the adopted animal over the course of the year.
WWF works to ensure a healthy future for people, species and their habitats, addressing global threats like climate change and environmental degradation.
06 February, 2009
BT has created a microsite through Crayon to support its Comic Relief fundraising activity.
This year BT is supporting Comic Relief by backing a celebrity expedition - The BT Red Nose Climb. Celebrities including Gary Barlow, Chris Moyles, Cheryl Cole, Alesha Dixon and Ben Shephard, will attempt to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, to raise money for Comic Relief. The week-long expedition will set off in late February.
BT is covering the cost of the stars' attempts to tackle the 19,340ft peak, and will also be running a number of fundraising initiatives to help raise funds for Comic Relief and the projects it supports in the UK and Africa.
The site also features a speaking clock competition, where site visitors can enter by guessing which celebrity voice is playing on the speaking clock every day. The top prize is to meet the celebrities before they climb the mountain, as well as a safari tour in Tanzania.
Visitors to the site are able to purchase BT Broadband and Vision on a special BT Donates page, where up to £65 will be donated to Comic Relief when purchases are made from the site.
Nikki Sandison, Brand Republic
A hoax website set up by McCann Erickson for skin cancer charity Skcin that promised people they could get regular tans from their computer using special technology has attracted 30,000 hits in the first 24 hours.
McCann Erickson launched the campaign on behalf of Skcin to raise awareness of the growing threat of skin cancer.
Using print and outdoor ads, street leafleting, PR and digital seeding McCann Erickson and Skcin launched a fake company called ComputerTan, offering people the chance to get regular top-up tans from the comfort of their office desk using "revolutionary new technology".
The fake ComputerTan.com site allows people to switch on what they expect to be a free tanning session but once the screen has converted to an array of UV bulbs users are confronted with shocking images and facts about skin cancer as well as a link to Skcin's website for more information.
The hoax launched on February 3 and will run until February 9 when Skcin will reveal how many people were enticed into visiting the site with the offer of a free trial of the tanning service via their computer screen.
The charity hoped that the media would play along with the hoax until the later date, but The Sun carried a story today explaining who was behind it.
McCann Erickson created an infomercial film fronted by fictional ComputerTan spokeswoman Hannah Yasmin, who tells her audience how they can look "Tan-tastic" and offers a free trial of the service via the website.
The 20 second ad is also running on CBS Outdoor's digital network on the London Underground using 75 cross track screens at 11 stations over two weeks.
The strategy, developed by McCann Erickson with viral marketing agency Rubber Republic, included online seeding of the film on hundreds of sites and persuading influential bloggers to join in the hoax.
McCann Erickson claims to be on track to reach 100,000 hits by the end of the first week and aims to reach 1m over the course of the two week campaign. So far users are spending well over a minute on the site on average.
CBS Outdoor's cross-track projection sites are reaching 1.7m commuters a day in London and the digital campaign has generated in excess of 8,000 references on Google in the first day of activity.
Simon Hill, new business director at McCann Erickson, said: "This campaign was designed to engage those most at risk of developing skin disease and those most difficult to talk to via conventional advertising.
"The fact that so many people fell for the ComputerTan hoax demonstrates the frightening truth that getting a tan -- regardless of the risk -- is still appealing for many people."
Richard Clifford, co-founder of Skcin, said that the campaign is a humorous way to raise awareness of a very serious issue.
He said: "More people die of skin cancer in the UK every year than in Australia. It is the most common form of cancer in young adults (15 - 34) and is largely preventable.
"The lack of regulation concerning the use of sunbeds is an extremely serious issue that has a comparatively low profile, and this campaign highlights the fact that it is high time for a change in the law."
05 February, 2009
by Gemma Charles, marketingmagazine.co.uk
The Labour Party is launching a system to integrate Labour MPs' websites with Twitter and Facebook in a bid to help them better communicate with their constituents.
The new system, created by the party's digital agency Tangent One, will mean that whenever MPs add content to their website it will offer them the option to Tweet about it on Twitter and update their status on Facebook.
Labour MPs can add sections to their website showing their latest Tweets, their Twitter followers, their Facebook status, the groups they belong to and their Facebook friends.
A guide will be distributed to MPs this week on how best to use these social media websites to engage with constituents.
Tom Watson, who was one of the first MPs to start a blog, said: ‘It will help our MPs communicate with local people where they are and in a way that people want.'
Greg Jackson, Tangent One's chief executive, said that Twitter had grown tenfold in the last year and had higher penetration in the UK than the US.
Privacy critics are panning Google's new Latitude application, which allows users to track friends via GPS on their mobile phones, saying the application could be abused by suspicious partners and paedophiles.
The Latitude service can be used on most smartphones or downloaded to a desktop computer. It allows users to track friends who are using the service using GPS and Google Maps.
Users must voluntarily sign up for the service and they are also allowed to limit who gets to see where they are, whether the exact location, the city they are in, or choose to give no details at all.
Critics have said the application is a "privacy minefield" and could be abused by overzealous employers, jealous spouses or paedophiles.
Others say it could be misused in the future by police or government organisations to illegally track wanted individuals.
Simon Davies, director of human rights group Privacy International, said: "Many people will see this as a cool technology but the reality is it will be a privacy minefield.
"I would be concerned about any integrated use across Google services as their security is so poor and it's becoming the world most pervasive system."
A Google spokesperson said that fine-grain privacy controls have been built into the system and that it company will not store any of the tracking information.
Vic Gundotra, vice-president of engineering for Google mobile team, wrote on the company's official blog: "Everything about Latitude is opt-in. You not only control exactly who gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they see.
"For instance, let's say you are in Rome. Instead of having your approximate location detected and shared automatically, you can manually set your location for elsewhere -- perhaps a visit to Niagara Falls."
The application is available for download in 27 countries for BlackBerry's, Android, and Window's mobile phones. An iPhone application is expected in the near future.
Last year Google was signed up by US intelligence agencies to help them better handle and share information gathered about terrorist suspects.
According to reports in the San Francisco Chronicle the search giant is working with agencies such as the National Security Agency.
04 February, 2009
The system is used by a wide range of charities, large and small, to deliver emails ranging from newsletters to campaign, fundraising and membership alerts.
The latest release offers 2 different platforms to suit every charities’ needs. Set up costs start as low as £50 and just £10 per month to send your email newsletter.
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- Set-up powerful trigger emails to automate your campaigns
- Maximise your response rates with our easy-to-use Dynamic Content Builder
- Ensure your emails look right in over 20 ISP inboxes, with our one-click email proofing tool
- Maximise your open rates using automatic split testing
To sign up for a for a free trial version visit www.charityemail.co.uk
03 February, 2009
The BBC has been threatened with legal action over its decision not to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Gaza Appeal, by lawyers representing two Gazans.
London solicitors Hickman and Rose last Wednesday submitted a complaint to the BBC Trust and executive warning that, if their complaint was dealt with by Friday 30 January, they would take the matter to the High Court for judicial review for alleged breaches of the 1998 Human Rights Act and illegality.
The lawyers claim that the decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal was unlawful on the grounds that it was “irrational” – a term defined by their allegation that “no reasonable decision maker could reasonably have reached [the decision not to broadcast]”.
Further to claims of the illegality of the decision, and allegations that the BBC may have breached Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects the rights of citizens to receive information, Hickman and Rose argue that rather than protect the impartiality of the BBC as an institution, the decision not to broadcast has “perversely” made the broadcaster appear biased against Gazans.
The solicitors are instructed by two Gazans who have lost their homes and relatives in the recent conflict and a British citizen.
Decision announcement delayedThe BBC has missed its deadline to respond to the lawyers’ complaint and has asked for a further two weeks to formulate a response.
It is now believed that as the broadcaster consults with its own lawyers and executive over the threatened legal action, it will no longer announce a decision on the appropriateness of its director general Mark Thompson’s decision not to air the appeal on Thursday – as had been planned.
Hickman and Rose, however, claim that their action need not impact on the BBC’s review of the 22,000 complaints it received from the general public.
“There is no reason why our letter should have delayed the BBC’s response (unless perhaps it had already decided not to overturn the original decision),” a statement from the lawyers read. It said that the BBC has consistently been consulting with lawyers, even before receiving their letter.
The lawyers said they had not intended to make their claim public, but that BBC Trust statements that legal action has delayed the internal inquiry has forced them to release details of their action to the public.
On Friday, the DEC revealed that the campaign had raised £3m in its first week despite the BBC and Sky’s refusal to air the advertisement.
We are all worried about the impact of the recession on the sector. Now more than ever, charities need to be cost-effective. It is crucial that we take a sensible approach to budgeting for IT, database and web development during the crunch. Too many organisations have underinvested in IT.
We must assess what we already have. Does the system or hardware need upgrading? Can it be improved? Is it actually cheaper to reinvest? In the area of hard IT, it might seem good sense to keep old hardware rather than spend money. But beware - after a certain point, your old machines are wasting more money in terms of staff time than the cost of new kit. An hour a day of staff time costs far more than one new PC a year.
Websites and databases should be enabling you to work in a more efficient way, facilitating processes rather than causing staff problems.
It is crucial that we make the best use of the web's opportunities for brand promotion, online giving and volunteering. Using the web and email are by far the most cost-effective ways to communicate with donors and have the highest return on investment apart from giving by high-net-worth individuals.
Databases should speed up processes and remove boring, repetitive tasks, allowing your staff to do more useful work and giving you timely and accurate reporting.
Now is also an ideal time to reassess support contracts and invite suppliers to tender. Compare the support you use to what you pay for, and push suppliers to provide a contract that meets your needs exactly.
So before you write off the IT, database and web development you were planning, or cut the budgets, consider seriously whether spending money now will save time and stress - and will be a good investment for the future.
02 February, 2009
Coca-Cola, Nutella and Kinder Surprise have stacked up more than a million fans each on Facebook, with new research by search agency Tamar suggesting that brands should use the social network to set up fan pages to promote their brand values cost-effectively.
In 2008, Coca-Cola racked up 1,779,574 Facebook fans, while Nutella had 1,583,034 fans.
Pizza appealed to 1,580,000 hungry Facebookers, but the pizza chains did not manage to drive the same loyalty to their own brands.
Top of the list of big Facebook fan pages was Barack Obama, who attracted nearly four million fans with viral activity and online ads.
Facebook Fan Pages were launched in November 2007 to give brands an official presence on the social network. At the start of 2008, the top 20 most popular fan pages were devoted to celebrities and entertainment brands including Will Smith, Adam Sandler and Coldplay.
However, by the end of 2008, food and drink brands had nudged up their fan bases.