The Irish Digital Consumer Report 2013

ImageReally clever idea by Digital Planner Shane O’Leary. He has created this really useful resource for people who are interested in digital stats. This is a great example of content marketing for a few reasons:

  1. Shane has created something people want (and are searching for)
  2. He has made it available to download through his site (driving visits)
  3. People are now more aware of digital planner Shane O’Leary
  4. Finally he has shown that content doesnt need to be intimidating or ridiculously long to be of value

If you would like your copy of the The Irish Digital Consumer Report 2013 – check out Shanes site here

Think about the #hashtag

I really like the new Heineken Dropped campaign. But they didnt really think about the hashtag properly! With 4 days left for entries I did a search on twitter (using the hashtag #dropped) and instead of seeing loads of entries, I saw lots of people talking about getting dumped/dropped.

Lesson: check what the hashtag means to everyone else before you use it


Call for Creches to be not-for-profit

Having worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 10 years I know that the phrase can conjour up visions of Lemonade Stands, Car boot sales and bag packs. But I know that not-for-profits are some of the most efficiently run organisations and are rigorous about sticking to their missions.

cashcowsIn the light of the RTE Breach of Trust programme last night, one thing struck me (apart from the shock and disappointment as a parent of a child in Giraffe Childcare) and that was – these centres are all run for profit. The single goal of the people involved with setting them up is to make money.

I am not suggesting they don’t care about kids at all, but when you are the senior management of a chain of  crèches your singular focus is revenue and profit. They will argue against this I’m sure, but it was clear last night that each centre needs to turn a profit.

That makes it harder for the staff and management of each centre to focus on childcare, because they will be forever under pressure to meet targets (recruitment of kids, expenditure on toys, food, staff etc…). If you are in any doubt about this – here are the facts (from the Irish Times)

Its last set of publicly available accounts are for the year to the end of April, 2009, and show it lost €206,764 in that period, having made a profit of €241,342 the previous year.

In 2009 the business received a government grant of €280,000, according to the accounts.The directors were paid €329,479. The business employed an average of 392 staff, including three directors, and staff costs were €8.16 million.

I think there is merit in calling on the government to legislate to have childcare facilities set up as not-for-profits. This won’t stop them needing to recruit kids, keep an eye on overheads, but it will ensure that any funds that would go to line the pockets of directors could go into the crèche facility. This may sound simplistic and idealistic, but the current set up isnt working and my sense is that if these centres were run by people who focussed on a mission and not profit, then they would always go back to that mission and would have an ethos of care at their core. This would be better for our kids surely?

Something has to change and this is just one idea, adding a few more inspectors (with planned visits) will be the HSE response and that isnt good enough, the creches are talking about improving procedures and policies – what does that actually mean. Its time to make some real change.

Girls Can – Plan Finland

Great innovative campaign. Financially not a winner yet, but they are doing something to fix a problem and embracing new technology. I imagine they are on to a winner here in the longer term.

I did not know this…

Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball player, has a doctorate in Education. I did not know this.

I also did not know that Dr. Shaq is a  self confessed geek (according to Brian Solis). Always looking for the next tech thing:

He bypassed traditional media and announced his retirement on Tout, a platform that at the time had only been live for six weeks. Shaq was early to embrace Twitter where he still engages with his now 7 million fans. In fact, Jack Dorsey was once asked who he thought the ideal Twitter user was and his response was Shaq. Why? Because he’s engaged, it’s him, and he believes in community

Social Media Today

You learn something new everyday.

So far this may not have been a really useful post – but I think his mantra for social media will help, its

 60% to make you laugh, 30% to inspire you and 10% to let you know about this product.

At SXSW he took part in Pitch Shaq and is taking official meetings with two  startups, Speakerfy and Beam – worth a look