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All that glitters may not be a gold medal

So June is done and dusted, along with England’s hopes in Euro 2012. Talk of sport isn’t over though, especially at consumer PR agencies like ourselves, as innumerable marketing stunts look to cash in on the football and London’s impending Olympic Games.
This many distractions makes keeping abreast with developments in media and public relations difficult. Thankfully we’re here to help, as this month’s newsletter comes with a Socmedia update, taking in hashtag pages and Rebel Mouse, whilst we also explore the digital experiments underway at British broadsheet The Times.
All of which is in addition to a report from the Smoking Gun study on in-house news, and our Simply Unmissable selection of content sourced from the web. On to business though, and like I said earlier, tracks, fields, pitches and posts have been dominating the agenda, along with the stormy weather, and some attempts to jump on the summer of sport bandwagon have proved to be equally volatile.
Wayne Rooney was censored after tweeting for Nike’s #makeitcount campaign- the problem was he didn’t make it clear that the update was sponsored, or so the Office of Fair Trading says. Nobody told fellow Premier League ace Jack Wilshere either, who also fell foul of the same ruling for a similar post, with this the first time the Advertising Standards Agency has demanded 140-character messages be removed from the network for breaching its code of practice; be warned then, marketers.
In broadcasting the Paddy Power pants scandal had everyone talking. Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner scored twice in the Euros against Portugal, and unveiled the top of his boxer shorts, along with the bookie’s brand name. It’s unsurprising UEFA slammed the player with an £80,000 fine and a one match ban from competitive football, though he won’t be picking up the bill, as the company responsible paid the fee following social media pressure.
Interestingly this may not be such a blunder, as this cost pales in comparison to the price of a 30-second, prime-time TV ad, especially during a major sporting tournament, and many Euro 2012 games are broadcast on the commercial-free BBC. The overall goal then, regardless of reprisals, has been achieved, with millions of viewers exposed to the company in a truly memorable way, ensuring its place at the forefront of sports fans’ minds; a key target customer base.
Arguably this is a far more effective method of getting involved with the athletic ethic when compared to the scores of samey official partnerships and weak associated campaigns; there’s plenty of fools gold to be mined right now. But, if we’re talking about false hopes, it makes sense to move onto social media, and the ongoing question of financial returns.
Facebook’s troubled stock market floatation would suggest there’s far less money in online networking than some had hoped, yet that’s not stopping the world and its web designer friend from having a pop at developing new platforms. Pinterest is the network du jour right now, feted for its visual appeal and clean interface, but will it have longevity? And who’s to say by September we won’t all be queuing up for accounts with celebrity focused site Sparkle, or LinkedIn’s professional rival BranchOut?
The list of failures in this realm is far longer than success stories, and surprisingly distinguished. MySpace still skulks in the background like a jilted jealous ex, despite the fact it was once number one, Google+ is increasingly void of life, and even Apple’s music community Ping is to be taken offline in the near future. The point being that forethought is vital before launching anything- from a marketing push to business venture- and this is particularly true during an era of prolonged austerity. Look before you leap then, and don’t get blinded by the shimmering gleam of a new product or trend, instead allocate time and resources on the aspects of your business that can really make a difference.

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