Thursday, 8 October 2009

Are they missing the point! or postman to blame...

We try to send out a press release each month, or more often when possible, but time is always against us in this fast paced side of communications. We have sent two stories to design week this year about our work for, up until now, low profile EPSRC, the research council for Science and Engineering. We originally talked about our branding for 'IMPACT!', their campaign to raise awareness of the impact of science on society but it didn't get any coverage. Disappointment all round. This month we followed up with news of our ground breaking design for a new satellite website, 'Impact World' :

We eagerly awaited our copy of design week to drop through our letterbox on Thursday. It did but no story again! Having failed twice to get coverage I felt a stand had to be made so a heavy two finger typed email venting my frustration was sent into the email ether. I pointed out that as the leading UK funder of scientific research (they invest over £800 million per year in research) why did nothing appear about the website, not even making it onto 'news in brief' ahead of something as bland and uninspiring as 'the London Restaurant Festival' (p5). I ranted on about Design Week's complete lack of understanding of the importance of Science in society.

I really wanted to understand why a business that doesn't have a high profile name but that has such a huge impact on society is not perceived as news worthy - I asked them if anyone actually took the time to look at the site and read some of the stories. Maybe like us, they are so bogged down with information overload that they don't have the time to spare so stick to the usual favourites, the quick wins and the no brainers while the unknowns stay that way - shame!

All sounded good to me until the short but sweet response that perhaps this was a postal issue and that the 'London Restaurant Festival' logo appeared in last weeks issue - I realised my error! Despite arrival on the right day of the week, I had received my design week one week late! Egg on face or what but no time left to vent my anger at that creaking establishment - the Royal Mail!

With nothing about EPSRC up on the DW website, I still await this weeks copy to see what coverage science gets. In some small way I hope it is a very small piece so that some of my frustration was justified.

I know the PR fraternity out there will be saying get a good agency on board and the stories will flow but I find it difficult enough to find the time to write a press release for Design Week, the occasional blog, let alone start a PR campaign (but it's a thought for better times!).

Meanwhile I'll pause a little longer next time before letting loose with my two finger typing!

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