Rober Fenner

March 14, 2014

Speed reading

Under: Business | Language | Marketing | Media | News | Random thoughts

Heard of Spritz? It’s a new app enabling people to read content quickly. It moves the words, so your eye can stay in the same place – and it works. Even the basic demo takes you to 40% faster than a typical reading speed, and in tests people have gone faster still. It’s a particularly […]

Rober Fenner

December 07, 2012

Do trade magazines have a future?

Under: Business | Marketing | Media | News | Public relations

It’s a good question – and I’m allowed to say so because it’s not mine. The PR company WPR has been mulling it over. Why? Because of changing times, really. In particular, the availability of information online is changing the way we as readers consume it – and that, in turn, is changing business models, […]

Rober Fenner

November 23, 2012

The upside – and the flipside – of brand

Under: Business | Marketing | News | Random thoughts

Columbia Records is 125 years old this year. No, really. And to mark the anniversary, Sean Wilentz has written a book called ‘360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story.’ In an interview, Wilentz said, “There’s so much music out there. Labels sort it out for you – they’re the gatekeepers – and Columbia is still one […]

Rober Fenner

November 16, 2012

Calls to action

Under: Language | Marketing

More things in life are about selling than we might think. If we’re simply talking about what to have for dinner, or what’s on TV this evening, or whether we need to go to the shops, there’s a sales process of sorts at work. Of course, the more commercial the proposition, the more overt the […]

Rober Fenner

November 09, 2012

Marketing demographics and the Presidency

Under: Marketing | News | Random thoughts

Aspects of Mitt Romney’s defeat in the Presidential election are really interesting. For one thing, to my mind it was never going to be as close as some people were predicting. You only had to look at the shape of the electoral college to see that: Romney had a big hill to climb, in spite […]

Rober Fenner

October 26, 2012

The way forward for regional newspapers?

Under: Marketing | Media | News | Random thoughts

Last week it was announced that, after years of making losses, the Evening Standard turned in a profit of £1 million. The Standard became a freesheet some years ago, and has derived its revenue since then solely from advertising. Does this show a way forward for regional newspapers, all of whom are feeling the pinch […]

Rober Fenner

September 28, 2012

Backfiring on all cylinders

Under: Business | Marketing | News | Public relations

Be careful what you wish for. That’s what they say. You should also be careful about what you ask, because you may not like the answers. Here’s a story from The Times last week, which I quote verbatim. It shows that going viral on social media isn’t always a good thing… ‘A social media stunt […]

Rober Fenner

September 26, 2012

Free PR advice

Under: Business | Marketing | Public relations | Training

I’ve posted about DIY PR before. Many small businesses can’t afford to hire PR people or agencies, but they can learn how to do the basics for themselves. To this end, I’m running a session at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning next week (October 3rd). If you’re interested, and you’re in the […]

Rober Fenner

September 24, 2012

I thought we might get past all this…

Under: Design | Language | Marketing

… but we never will. I refer to lazy tropes in marketing language – specifically, the use of cheesy archaic language, clichés and, worst of all, alliteration. Check this out… Cheesy archaic language? See right-hand packet: ‘entwine’. For crying out loud. Clichés? Right hand-packet again: ‘silky smooth’. Oh, please. Alliteration?  Left-hand: ‘tangy treats’ and ‘ridiculously […]

Rober Fenner

September 10, 2012

Mots du jour

Under: Language | Marketing

Have you noticed how in MarketingLand, words come into and go out of fashion? A few years ago, everyone had ‘technology.’ Some companies still do: Gillette makes little plastic cartridges with blades in them, but they’re still ‘shaving technology,’ apparently. Then we had ‘solutions.’ A local decorator might have provided a ‘painting solution.’ And then […]