Getting back into blogging….. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I blogged. Summer is nearly here so watch out for posts to come.

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Feet back under my desk in Sydney

It seems ages ago since I was in Beijing and Singapore….. a mere few weeks have passed but it seems like a lifetime.  Since I’ve been back I’ve been doing a lot of work with our team in China and the great work we’re doing with IBM there.  I’ve also been following up on my presentation in Singapore.  All have links back to peer media, blogging and what I’m calling (as well as half the world of comms people ) PR 2.0. 

 Good job I’ve got into this blogging thing really and joined the whole conversation ;o)

 I attended a presentation from Edelman on peer media and the influence on consumer campaigns which was hosted by the Australian Institute of Marketing which was great.  The ppt can be found up on YouTube and when i can find the link I’ll put it here.   It reinforced alot of what I think lots of us in the audeince knew already – people are socilaising in new and different ways and peer media cannot be ignored.

Tomorrow I’m doing a presentation at CeBIT on blogging, the impact of blogs on corporate reputation and how blogging must be incorporated into communciations programmes.  I’ll put a link up to my ppt after I’ve given it tomorrow.

There’s been lots of articles on the risks and benefits of blogging on corporate reputation.  I don’t think its a matter of whether bloggers are a risk or an opportunity, it’s a case of – blogs cannot be ignored and are a new and growing form of communications medium. 

 Communications is changing because we no longer trust institutions and trust those who are like us.  Those people we trust maybe on the other side of the world, but we trust them more than our local institutions. Citizen journalism is leading to user-driven, organic content that is easy to use and helps build communities.

Its not just blogs, its podcasts, social networking sites such as FaceBook, MySpace and LinkedIn, its Wikis (the most well known being Wikipedia) and media sharing sites such as Flickr or YouTube.  Its a whole new way of using technology in this world of Web 2.0 to communicate differently.  Its not in fact about sharing information its about socilaising and ‘talking’ in a new way.

In terms of the impact of all of this on PR its multi-faceted.  One thing that my clients keep asking – and seemed to come up alot in the Edelman presentaation – is “yes, we get it, but how do we do it?”

Poeple want some practical hints and tips, some does and don’ts and that’s what I hope to deliver tomorrow and will be in my ppt for you all to see!!  There’s tonnes out there in the Blogosphere and on the net about it and I’ll also put some links up here.  But for now….I better get back to finishing off my ppt for tomorrow!!!   

To Beijing and Back

It’s been a while since my first post and in the world of shop and spin I’ve had a great trip to Singapore and Beijing.  And after an Easter break in North Avoca on the north avocaCentral Coast, I’m now back home (phew!) in Sydney.  Autumn’s here in Sydney but the weekend felt like the summer with blue skies, mid-20s in temperature and swims at the beach.  It all felt a million miles away from my trip to Sing and Beijing.

 Sing was all about a presentation to one of our clients about the growing impact of Web 2.0 on the world of PR.  A few technical hiccups meant we weren’t able to show the uber cool video on 2nd Life, but we were able to show a short piece which pulled together the views of a number of media from Europe and Asia on the impact of social and peer media on the traditional media landscape.  Seemed to go down really well.  (More to follow on my views on blogging, social media and the world of spin in another little post still to be written.)

No shopping at all in Sing, but the work bit was well and truly made more fun by a last night dinner and VIP trip around Singapore’s night safari.  It was fantastic and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting Sing.  After getting up a bit too close and personal to an albino python, we all headed off for dinner on the zebra clad ‘train’ (very bling!) which goes around the park. The VIP thing meant we skipped all the queues.  We felt guilty for about 5 seconds and then made the most of not having to wait in the heat by snuggling down in our furry seats – not real, of course – and breathing a sigh of relief as we caught a bit of the breeze.  We enjoyed a bit of a gourmet dinner and a glass of red which was magicked from somewhere by the very sweet waitresses.  As we meandered along at a snails pace, we caught glimpses of rhinos, elephants, giraffes and a few rather odd looking bush pigs to name a few….

The next morning it was up at sparrows fart for a flight to Beijing.  The flight was pretty empty but I arrived into a hideously busy Beijing airport.  One things for sure, they so need to get the immigration hall sorted before the Olympics.  I’ve been going to Beijing for the last 6 years or so and the number of people at the airport seems to grow 10-fold every time I go there.  After a 45 mins wait, I finally got through passport control, found the ol’ trolly dolly bag and made it through to my friendly driver on the other side who whisked me off to my hotel just behind the office in the Chaoyang district.  The biggest change since my last visit in November was they’d renamed the hotel (no-one could seem to tell me why…) and the new CCTV building opposite our office had grown at an amazing rate.

The next week saw lots of late nights, long hours and hard work by all in the team.  But luckily, on Friday night I managed a bit of a foot massage at the beautiful Oriental Taipan Spa (www.taipan.com.cn) just down the road from the office.  If there’s one thing China is exceptional at its massage.  Shanghai pedicure, full foot massage and a bit of Chinese TV (no idea what they were saying…..but crap TV is all the same in any language).  I think China is the only place too where you can have a foot massage and dinner is included in the price! I had soup and a glass of dodgy Chinese Cab Sav and life was looking much better.  Taipan is great as even though the foot masseur spoke as much English as I do Mandarin, the lady who manages the one by the Winterthur Centre speaks fluent English and is mega helpful.  The place is also beautifully clean and comfortable.

Saturday saw me head straight down to Ya Show Clothing Market (58 Gongti Beilu,Sanlitun 三里屯工体北路58号 Open Daily9:30am-9pm)  for a tad of shopping…. 1st Ya shostop dropping some clothes to be copied for my friend Becky. (I’ll add all stall numbers later) The gear was ready (a pair of pants and really cute blouse) in 2 days and cost the equiv of approx Au$60 – not bad at all!  The rest of the day saw me running around like a headless shop-aholic picking up a great dark grey ‘cashmere’ scarf, a  ‘max mara’ dress, a beautiful ‘chloe’ black silk shirt, a few sample tops, a pair of D&G black jeans and some cute ballet pumps that work out about AU$15.  My measure of a good China shopping day is not remembering what I bought 1st….Ya show was a success.

Exhausted but exhilerated from all that retail therapy, I caught up with a friend Micky who recently moved to beijing from Sydney for dinner and drinks before he headed out to the airport to pick up his girlfriend.  Big benefit Micky speaks Mandarin so after driving round for 30 mins, Micky finally managed to persuade the taxi driver we were going in totally the wrong direction.  We arrived for great dumplinjgs about 5 mins before the palce closed – so hard to get used to everyone smoking in all the restaurants though…. and then on to TOP bar to go to in beijing at the mo, LAN Bar. Designed by Philippe Stark and at 1km square its totally impressive.  I think most of foreigners in beijing were there, but apart form the one bar area we went to, it felt a bit empty and soul-less.

 A champagne cocktail or two later Micky headed out to the airport and I headed back to the hotel to catch up on my beauty sleep and power-up for another day’s eating, shopping and exploring Beijing with my friend Chris on Sunday….. news of Sunday’s adventures as well as some photos to make this a bit more interesting to follow soon…

More adventures await me

As I head off on my travels in Asia again this weekend, I begin my ritual of digging out all of those business cards I picked up last time I was away.   I hasten to add this is not just a jolly jet-setting adventure though, its a work trip where I’ll be getting a bit serious as well.  I’m going to be talking about the Future of Communications with one of our uber cool clients in Sing and then up to Beijing to work with our beautiful and talented Text 100 team. 

Of course dahlinks, don’t despair although I’ll be working hard, I’ll manage to slip in a few shopping side-trips, a bit of pampering here and there and maybe the odd fabulous dinner and drinky as well.

I’ve been taking orders and requests for goodies from my friends.  And this time the mainsilkalley2.jpg request seems to be for my friend’s to have their fave fashion items remade by those amazingly talented – and cheap – tailors in Beijing. 

We all have our favourite clothes and if I had a dollar for every time I wish I’d bought 2 pairs of those fabulous jeans or that gorgeous top in different colours I’d be a very rich woman rather than one with a burning credit card.  I’ve had clothes remade/copied in Vietnam, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, but this’ll be the first time in Beijing.  So I’ll share any secrets I find with you once I’m there.  If any of you out there know of any great tailors, let me know.

 I’ll sign off from this my first posting and will update you with stories of spinning, shopping and travels in Singapore and Beijing over the next 2 weeks.

 Anne