Media

Coming to you live from … the hairdresser

I walk past South Australia’s Parliament House quite often, en route to the railway station after work.

Occasionally, this massive pillared building will have a television van parked outside, cables snaking over the footpath, and a TV journalist talking to camera at the top of the stairs. It’s your traditional live cross from Parliament House.

Television coverage

Television coverage

Why do they do it?

Sometimes we keep doing the same thing, never questioning the reason or looking for alternatives. I suspect political journos’ live crosses might fall into that category.

More often than not, they’re not interviewing a politician (or anyone else) outside Parliament House. They’re not awaiting breaking news (someone dashing out of the House with a new piece of legislation?) It seems they just need ‘the right backdrop’, that sense of being on location, right at the heart of the story. I get all that. And I understand that TV needs vision … I’m just wondering (given it isn’t entirely necessary) if there’s a better way to retain audience attention and provide interesting vision.

So I’ve come up with a few fun alternatives* and I hope you’ll contribute.

Top 10 New Backdrops for ‘Political Live TV Crosses’

10. Parliamentary dining room. Even better, the members’ bar. I’d love to see a journalist leaning on the bar, snug in the hub of political gossip and wine fumes.

9. The back of a taxi. Everyone knows that cabs are a hotbed of political opinion, so it’s a broadcast location and vox pop all in one.

8. Your average shopping mall food court. Again, full of valuable political opinion bubbling away behind the journalist; and who knows, it may coincide with an MP’s visit and a bit of baby kissing.

7. The beach on a sunny day. Viewers will be so intrigued by a political journo standing on white sand in their togs, they’ll have watched a whole political story before they know it. (Based on the same principle that brought us Naked News in the UK).

6. The barbershop/hairdressers. Just imagine your political correspondent getting a well-deserved haircut in the chair while sharing the political happenings of the day with the ever-plugged-in barber.

5. A Qantas lounge near you – heading into Sitting Weeks in Canberra, our political media pack can certainly pick up breaking news on the spot.

And numbers 4, 3, 2, 1 … they’re up to you.

*It is noted that many of these are unrealistic – so go ahead and have fun with your contributions!

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Hughes PR, Social media

Seven reasons why I use Flickr

Now the world gets to see Tim's bright tie, not just us

I read with interest this week a New York Times article about the future of photo sharing site Flickr.

The article highlights that Flickr is under threat from social networking site Facebook, which allows users to upload an infinite amount of photos and effortlessly share them with their friends and family.

The piece argues that Flickr is seen as a website exclusively for photographers, and says “where Flickr is faltering is with people who want to store and share more mundane snapshots”.

From reading this article, one would wonder why people use Flickr at all, when Facebook is seemingly more accessible – and free.

Personally, I’ve used Flickr for over two years to house a personal project that I call, creatively and originally, “Photo of the Day”. I pay a small amount each year to be a “pro” user of Flickr (they also have free accounts, for anyone who wants to sign up).

As recognition of my photo of the day project has grown amongst my friends and family, I have had a few of them ask me why I don’t post my Photo of the Day on Facebook. Then I would be able to tag them in photos, they argue, and they would be able to comment on the photos.

So when my dad asked me this recently, I gave him a bullet point list as to why I choose Flickr over Facebook for my photo of the day:

– The Picnik editing tools within Flickr allow to you edit your photos, within your Internet browser, at the time of posting. You can take out red eyes, alter exposure, crop the photos, and much more. No special software is required and it’s very user friendly.

– I’m able to tag the location of where the photos were taken. I do this for all photos, except for those that I have taken at home. I love this feature. I can then go to the map and see other photos that people have taken at the same location. Perfect for browsing photos of the most picturesque location in all of South Australia, the ruined jetty at Port Willunga. (And here’s my much more mundane shot of the same location.)

– You can search within your photostream using keywords or location. And everyone else’s photostream, for that matter (providing they’ve set the appropriate permission settings).

– Photos are saved at high resolution… and small, medium and large, while it’s at it.

– I can import photos easily into a photo printing website (Snapfish) to create an end of year photo book. They transfer between the websites easily, no downloading, saving and then uploading required.

– Facebook is a walled garden. While only my “friends” on Facebook can view my photo albums, anyone can view my “Photo of the Day”. This includes my husband, a web designer who refuses to use Facebook because he’s still angry that he didn’t think of it first.

– For Pro users, statistics are available for each and every photo. This allows me to marvel at the seemingly inexplicable phenomenon of my photo of my television playing a 1980s Denise Austin workout video being my most viewed photo of the day.

And why should our clients use Flickr? For the same reasons as to why I use it for myself. Businesses that post their photos on Flickr allow clients, journalists and the general public to access a database of high resolution photos, they can do simple editing within their browser with no other software required, view photo statistics and become part of a community of thousands of people that want to share their photos with the world.

Check out the Hughes PR Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughespr/

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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