Tag Archives: blog

Help me name my new book about blogging!

Can you help me please? I need help naming my new book!

I’ve been working on a new book about blogging for a while now and I expect to finish it off next week – the main draft at least. The focus is on content marketing and how more CEOs than ever are blogging and appreciating that blogs and social media are a very important way of reaching out to their customers *and* the people who influence their customers.

I need to think of a title for the book so does anyone have any ideas? I was thinking of ideas like ‘Your boss – the blogger’ but I need something catchy and creative… all comments appreciated and if I do actually borrow an idea then I’ll make sure you get a credit in the book!

You can comment here on the blog or if you follow this link to my Facebook then feel free to comment there – thanks in advance!

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This blog is one of the best – official…

This is a great blog. Official!

Even though this is my personal blog and I rarely talk about work here, the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network awarded my blog the first place in their annual ‘top 15’ blog awards.

I’m delighted to get this award. I’m pleased that even though this is my personal site, there is still a lot of interest in what I’m getting up to and the challenges of moving from Europe to Brazil and starting a new business here.
SSON TOP 15 BLOGGER

I’m an official London 2012 blogger!

A few months ago, I entered my details into the BT search for storytellers who could write, film, and blog the London 2012 Olympic games. About a month back I heard that I was on the shortlist and I needed to write more information about why I should be chosen.

A couple of days ago, I was told that I have the job. I will be blogging and tweeting live from the Olympics.

The preferred sports I asked to be closest too are cycling, boxing, and diving, but I have not had a full briefing yet so I don’t know exactly when I should get started and what my boundaries are.

What I do know is that this should be a great opportunity to see the Olympic games from the inside, as someone who is a part of the machine telling the world about what happens in London in 2012.

I’m really looking forward to being an Olympic writer and I already have a lot of ideas about how to start blending London 2012 with Rio 2016…

London Olympic Torch Relay Finale

Davos. Are you paying attention?

At the end of last week I wrote a preview of the World Economic Forum in Davos, highlighting that the majority of people I have talked to can no longer see the aim or objectives of such a conference.

I want to try following up that article with some comment on what *has* been achieved this week, but the WEF event appears to be non-existent here in Brazil – strange, considering that Brazil is one of the emerging global powerhouses that conferences like this love to praise.

So I need to turn to the international media and scan through to see what has been achieved. But I want your comments too. What do you think has changed or improved because of this week in Davos? Despite the negative feelings before the conference, have any issues been debated that really should get a wider audience? Let me know so I can once again offer some comment for Reuters with a mix of my own views and yours…
St Pancras & Islington Cemetery

How is the music industry changing?

Ronan Macmanus is playing at the Ealing Tweetup on Oct 26th. It’s going to be a gig in a pub jam-packed with bloggers and tweeters.

So, I thought I would try grasping at the collective intelligence of all those bloggers on that evening. I’ve printed these cards that I will cascade all over the pub that evening… aimed at getting the bloggers to think about how they can help an artist like Ronan – and maybe to do some immediate blogging and tweeting while they can see him performing!

If you are a music blogger then you are very welcome to join the tweetup. The nice people at Xerox are making sure that the bloggers have drinks to help lubricate the writing process. I’m very interested in how social media is changing the music industry and I’m planning to write some more about this next week and will be at the Music 4.5 conference soon – let me know if you plan to be there…

Ronan MacManus Tweetup

I’m glad I don’t work at Murphy Oil

Take a look at this debate from Linked In. The first person is talking about their investment in Wales, which I have asked them to elaborate on and compare to other parts of the UK.

Clearly this has upset Philip Hughes of Murphy Oil, who is of course based in Wales, and seems to think it’s xenophobic to contrast why a company invests in Wales as opposed to Northern Ireland.

But not only does Mr Hughes choose to try shutting down the debate by implying I am racist, he then starts suggesting that he is a “real” business person and I couldn’t possibly have a view.

That’s because I’ve written a book. That makes me an ‘academic’ and therefore not able to comment on what the real business people do in their offices.

If this is how debate takes place in Murphy Oil, I’m glad I don’t work there!

Tom Lawrence • Paul – You are demonstrating perfectly my problem that the big outsourcing names have done a lot of damage. Was your experience an off shoring model? 

I would say its almost (if not 100%) impossible to deliver the large ROI that exist in most companies through effective procurement via an off shoring model. Impossible for the simple reason that its all about business engagement, trust building, etc. 

Procurement doesn’t actually buy anything – its an influencer. An internal consultant. So to make people change their behaviours (which is where the real value is – multiples of what is achievable through negotiating with a supplier to get a better price) you have to be on the ground, in front of the stakeholder working with them day to day. Off shoring simply won’t work. Its too impersonal. Too process led. You need good commercial communicators intercating face-to-face with the stakeholders. 

The transactional work we do (e.g. help desk, supplier onboarding, market research, etc.) we run out of a shared services centre in South Wales – same time zone, same culture, same mother tongue (and they have mainland European languages in abundance there too). It means even this team can be ‘imtimate’ with our client stakeholders. We tried to run it out of Hydrabad, but because they were unable to form relationships with our client stakeholders, it failed. So we moved it to Wales.

philip hughes • Well done Tom – good decision …. although I wont get hung up on the expression “mother tongue”… diolch yn fawr!!!

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary • Why Wales over other parts of the UK though?

Tom Lawrence • Why Wales? Lots of skills there, fed by Cardiff Uni – including languages. Lots of call centres, so plenty of relevant work experience. 2.5 hrs on train to London. And the govt grants are very attaractive. 

Altogether it was more attractive, and better value, than the alternatives, e.g. Poland.

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary • I mean compared to Newcastle, or Belfast, not Poland though…

philip hughes • Your persistence on this matter is annoying Mark – Tom made a choice based on best value delivery with quality driven well trained very capable available workforce. Competition is always fierce for regional development – this time south wales next time newcastle or belfast or wherever you happen to live – move on and talk about outsourcing as a business benefit or not and stay away from the xenophobia OK!!

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary • Philip, I’ve got no idea at all what you are talking about. I’d asked in the debate about the merits of investing in various regions of the UK, including Wales, but Tom actually compared the investment to Poland as the alternative – I merely asked again about the relative merits of various regions within the UK. 

That’s xenophobic and annoying? I’m certainly glad I don’t work with you. I think my record of writing books about investment in Brazil, Russia, India, China, Poland, as well as working with several UK trade bodies to promote FDI, including the Welsh Assembly, speaks for itself on the accusation of xenophobia.

philip hughes • Being an academic is fine and if Mark has written books also fine. I just wonder if anyone has read them? An examination of Regional development funding, with the last vestiges of objective 1 may assist in understanding Tom’s excellent decision to come to Wales. 

Anyway back to debate at the sharp end of business – is outsourcing pure cost reduction – no in my opinion as I dont understand “pure” cost reduction. A matter of definition. 
I think outsourcing is a great tool for providing improved VALUE to businesses, which has a cost component, but there is also the intellectual improvement to business processes released by utilising the vendors skill and experience gained elsewhere, which is almost impossible to cost in the traditional sense.

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary • Philip, I’m at the “sharp end” of business working with some of the world’s leading firms on a daily basis, though clearly you consider it rather academic to also write about that experience.
Black Mountains, Wales: nice view

The Pope in Britain

I’m a Catholic because I’m half-Irish-half-English and, as my dad isn’t much of a believer, I ended up getting baptised – not that I actually go to church. My attendance record is pretty much based on weddings and funerals.

But, when I was asked if I would be interested in working with the government Cabinet Office to follow Pope Benedict around the UK during his visit, providing live commentary via Twitter and blogs, I jumped at the chance. Though I’m not a follower, the teachings of his church have permeated their way into my consciousness just because I was always surrounded by Catholics when I was growing up – and who wouldn’t want to be embedded with a head of state providing a live Twitter feed of what really happens ‘backstage’?

But it was the former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who invited the Pope to the UK. And Brown is no longer in office. And the current Prime Minister is either less interested in the Pope visiting, or more attuned to the scandal that will be caused by his visit. Most probably the latter as the child sex scandal furore only seems to be getting worse and the present Pope was previously in charge of handling complaints against the Vatican, and should therefore be acutely aware of the issues – and be handling them rather better.

So the regular media will continue to cover the visit, but all additional nice-to-have coverage (like a live blogger backstage) were all canned.

It’s a shame as I was looking forward to trying to offer some insights. The views of the church often rub directly against my own liberal opinions – I was working in Malta last week and I was surprised to hear that divorce is illegal there because the church won’t allow it. The Catholic church has some way to go to reach the standards considered acceptable in a modern-day society where free expression and respect for Human Rights are considered essential.

But the church has an immense history and tradition and is followed by hundreds of millions of people. I was looking forward to exploring these questions of how faith collides with modernity, but now I won’t get the chance anyway. Another thing I can blame on David Cameron.

What a shame.
Art installation, Central St Martin's