Friday 15 February 2013

Abchat Weekly Wrap Up: WWW: What a tangled Web we Weave

Apparently crime fighters are going to be able to predict when future felons will commit a crime by monitoring social networks. US security firm, Raytheon has developed software called Riot (Rapid Information Overlay Technology) which will monitor people’s interests and photos on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The technology uses photographs and ‘check ins’ on social networks to help map individuals’ activities through latitude and longitude lines automatically embedded by smartphones. Riot then predicts where people are likely to be based on analysis from previous ‘check ins’ and social media activity. One can see why this project is in partnership with the US military, although its doubtful that any serious criminals or terrorists will be highly active when checking in at the gym or uploading a picture of them with their mates having a slap up meal. Many people quite rightly question the morality of governments and intelligence agencies tracking all of our activity? One question that needs to be asked though is; is this acceptable for PRs and marketers to adopt?

One of the key rules of marketing is to know more about your stakeholders, so surely software such as Riot will only be beneficial to marketers? Marketers will be able to tailor their products and services to an even greater extent to suit stakeholder needs and demands if they were to use Riot. Campaigns will be specifically tailored following Riot’s results, regional press outreach could be perfected and big influencers will be targeted. As PR’s our influencers are journalists, so by using Riot you could see where/ what/ when and how a journalist is in order to help with your press outreach. Is this as morally questionable as governments using this kind of software to help defend us, the citizens? Would it be less moral to stalk people via social media for corporate gains over national security?

As PRs we need to keep on top of our rapidly changing industry, making skills in social media and the more digital side of communications increasingly essential. However do we really need to start stalking influencers and target audiences’ every move? The more a person engages in social media, the more likely they will be to leave themselves open to information being used for corporate gains. That is, unless they have a particular knack at keeping all activity private, but even then you’ll be surprised at how exposing being social online can be. So is this just a predictable eventuality that all future campaigns will be carefully orchestrated by PRs and marketers who have been stalking their prey on the social web? Or will the tried and tested method of targeting audiences with decent and relevant products, some solid key messages and a good old fashioned bit of PR be suffice?

See how Riot works

Warren Buffet looks set to buy Heinz for a whopping $28 billion which translates to roughly £18 billion. That’s a lot of tomato soup and Ketchup.

House builder, Crest Nicholson completed the largest public (re) listing so far this year, sparking hopes this might ignite the IPO market. Crest Nicholson who largely build high-end homes in the south of England raised £553m.

Pinnacle Technology (AIM:PINN) successfully raised £2.65 million in a very over subscribed placing. The new stock began trading on AIM on Monday 11 February. An encouraging sign about raising finances in tough market conditions.

Manchester United’s shares are trading at $19, giving the football club a valuation of over $3 billion. This came after an announcement that the Red Devils saw a 74% rise in profits for Q2 of 2012, owing to increased revenues. Revenue increased thanks to large sponsorship agreements with companies such as Nike and DHL.

As part of the China New Year celebrations, Abchaps were guests of one of our Chinese clients at VSO’s China event at Buckingham Palace, hosted by their royal patron, the Princess Royal, on Wednesday.

Our cleantech team attended Cleantech Investor’s Water Tech Invest conference at K&L Gates’ London headquarters where companies demonstrated innovation in the water sector. Among the insightful talks and workshops, calls for a UK and worldwide coherent water management policy were made, along with for improved VC monitoiring to help get technologies currently locked with companies to reach commercial fruition.

Abchaps hosted a life sciences market lunch and a cleantech market lunch. Co-hosting our cleantech lunch was our newest addition to the team, Janine, Associate Director of Cleantech.

As part of the Abchurch Academy, 2013’s second monthly Accelerator Day was hosted this week, where our product specialism progress was shared, as well as some highly productive training sessions.

Gavin Lewis has been appointed business development director at UBS’s global asset management division. He moves to the Swiss bank from Russell Investments.

Oriel Securities has appointed Paul Howard as vice chairman in their corporate division. Paul makes the move from JP Morgan Cazenove.

Paul Lyons will join law firm Goodwin Procter as partner, primarily focusing on real estate debt finance. His most recent post before was at Travers Smith.

Press reports from last week were correct and Cantor Fitzgerald confirmed buying the broking division from Seymour Pierce.

'Startpage' – a constantly evolving multi-purpose aggregator; a web page that you can organise to pull in content from a range of online sources including email, feeds from blogs and news services.

Tonight you can enjoy authentic Indian Kerala Food from Kavitha’s Cuisine Pop-Up restaurant, which includes a food demonstration in at the Soho Kitchen Club, W1F.

For the next two weeks, you can discover how to pot and grow your own exotic orchids and get a rare glimpse into the orchid nursery at Kew Gardens.

Tomorrow night, nerds and bad dancers are welcome at Beauty and The Geek Party at Belushi’s Bar in London Bridge. Sponsored by TNT and Topdeck Travel, tickets are £5.

Next Thursday 21st February, oyster specialists The Mother Shuckers are taking over The Muse Gallery in Portobello Road for a decadent night of delicious oysters and whisky, for £25 a head.

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