A few immediate thoughts on public relations matters returning from the Word of Mouth communications conference in London today:
 Frank PR has registered as a trademark a word commonly used in relation to the ability of a message to generate “talk” – they didn’t create this word, but decided to take it “legally” for themselves. I find this bizarre when we are talking about open communications – why should people “own” words? Despite the popular rumour – even Apple doesn’t license the word “podcast” and apparently the US Patent & Trademark Office will not register it.
 Two different presenters cited an advertising value equivalent (AVE) measure for the press coverage generated by campaigns? This is a stupid approach, empirically unsound and shows a lack of understanding of the power of PR to do more than simply generate coverage. There is plenty of research to prove my case.
 Some PR people are totally unware of what a blog is, with one delegate asking how it differed from a website as she’d like to write one for a client… Unfortunately Simon Collister’s presentation on blogs didn’t seem to answer such basic questions – or provide much insight for experienced blogs.
The day ended with a brief argument regarding whether public relations or direct marketing should be “in charge” of word of mouth (wom) – my view is that the “receiver” is actually the key driver – and within organisations people shouldn’t be scrapping over this new territory but pulling all their skills together to offer the best of what each discipline has to offer.
More detail from the presentations and my thoughts to follow in the next few days.