The price of football

Today saw the now annual BBC Price of Football report released. It’s always an interesting snapshot of where the game is and taps into a wider feeling of the growing expense of football.

Football being football, everyone will find an opportunity to pick holes (mine is that by just focusing on the cheapest and most expensive it’s still not entirely representative of ticket prices as a whole), but it’s a mammoth job to compile that data and despite the criticisms you can level at it, it feeds into an important debate.

Testing out Channel 4’s WhatsApp and Snapchat Indyref news delivery experiments

Friday morning, the day after the Scottish independence vote and the first place a select group went to for the news wasn’t TV, radio or even Facebook but Whatsapp and Snapchat.

The two private messaging platforms were used as an experiment by Channel 4 as an alternative way of delivering news, specifically to an audience who wouldn’t usually engage in other channels.

So how was the experience? I signed up to both platforms out of curiosity to see how they compared with my usual daily news diet. It’s worth noting most of these updates came through while I was sleeping – prior to the count there was very little of interest.

New season, new twofootedtackle podcast

Amazingly, we’ve managed to get a new twofootedtackle podcast out at the start of the season. And even have a schedule to attempt to produce another one in September. Amazing.

For this pod, Aberdeen and Dulwich Hamlet fan Mark Penman steps in for the soon-to-be-married Ryan Keaney, so naturally making sense of Scottish football is high on the agenda, while we talk to Jim Keoghan, author of Punk Football, on the future of fan ownership.

On restaurants and smartphones

A fascinating piece of unintentional research from a US restaurant that I think shows a lot about different mindsets to changing user habits, especially their concluding actions.

Essentially, the restaurant compared security tapes from now versus 10 years ago to work out why their service appeared to be slower. Their discovery showed that service times were drastically slowed by the use of smartphones – people playing on them when they first arrived, so taking longer to order, and lots of picture taking, that often necessitated food being reheated.

Facebook and the story of decreasing page reach

Organic. Generally seen as something good. Often healthy. And generally to be encouraged. Unless, perhaps, you’re Facebook.

Organic reach of brand pages is a hot topic in social and marketing circles. Whereas once a post on Facebook would reach thousands now it’ll reach a fraction of that, unless you pay to boost. That all elusive organic reach is getting harder.

Generally there are two camps here. The first is accompanied by wailing and gnashing of teeth as they realise those hard (or not so hard) earned fans won’t see any of their beautiful (or hastily photoshopped) posts.

Recent football work

Sydney FC fans in the Hyundai A LeagueA couple of recent pieces of football-related output from me. First up, as one of When Saturday Comes’s semi-regular writers I’ve contributed to their best and worst moments of 2013, as well as their hopes for football in 2014. Essentially, I’d like to continue to enjoy football as much as I have done in the past few months. Yes, even with Exeter City’s dreadful recent form.

Blogger outreach done badly. Again

Luxury watch

I don’t have any interest in these, but I won’t complain if you send me one.

In some ways it feels like 2008. The last week has seen discussions, articles and guidance on blogger outreach from PR agencies. And while the really good parts of the industry have moved on, there’s still a significant number of conversations that appear to be repeated ad infinitum and are almost exactly the same as five years ago.

CSI Small Heath

Sometimes some of the best ideas are the most simple and West Midlands Police have one of the most simple and effective uses of Instagram I’ve seen in a long time.

By taking behind-the-scenes shots of their forensic team at work, it gives the public an insight into their work and makes the organisation more approachable. Clever and effective, it’s a great example of what can be done with a simple idea.

Netflix and data: the future of TV?

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards

Several years ago, when I still worked at ITV, a colleague in the press office was desperately trying to tell a journalist that a programme he was about to label a flop was actually pretty successful when put in context. The show had held up well on the +1 channel but, what’s more, was one of the most successful shows the network had seen on online catch up, pulling in some seriously impressive numbers.

The journalist, however, was unmoved. “Nobody,” he informed my colleague, “cares about online numbers.”

Netflix, you suspect, would beg to differ.

On paywalls and PR

On the work blog for Ruder Finn, I’ve written a fairly lengthy piece musing on the effect of paywalls in PR. It’s aimed at a primarily PR audience, but it’s something all working in comms should probably be considering (assuming they’re not already).

There are some agencies – and companies – who merge the disciplines of PR, SEO and content marketing (or branded journalism, as some like to describe it) very well indeed. Others prefer to silo a bit more.