For Immediate Release 96: The crisis that keeps on giving

In the July installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics: A 15-year-old participating in a work experience program took over the Twitter account of the beleaguered Southern Rail in the UK. The response to #AskEddie was undoubtedly a welcome break for Southern Rail’s social media team, but what did it ultimately accomplish? The online publication Quartz experiments with display-type ads in the text of stories that let users ask an artificial intelligence-based chatbot

Why the gig economy fits well with the lives of Baby Boomers

We Baby Boomers are benefiting significantly from the gig economy, says author, speaker and optimist Tim Drake. Not just as consumers by it providing lower prices and more convenience, but as participants too. It’s an important bolt-on to something bigger, he says, enabling new ways of doing business to emerge, and a fresh outlook on what ‘work’ is. But is it something we should think about taking a much more active role in? Baby Boomers fit into what I call

Labour won social media election - Guardian front page

For Immediate Release 92: Marketing failures of the UK’s Conservative Party

We said we’d do one episode together of the For Immediate Release podcast as a ‘limited return engagement,’ emulating The Hobson and Holtz Report that Shel and I did for ten years. We did do that with episode 84 in April. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do another one, and so we recorded episode 92 yesterday. In keeping with our ‘hefty but good’ slogan, Shel and I enjoyed a conversation over an hour and forty minutes that

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20 Highlights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report

The 2017 edition of venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report was published last week. As with previous editions, the 2017 report offers credible insights into some of the significant trends that are shaping, evolving and defining the internet and our use of it. This year, there’s a strong focus on online advertising, interactive games, healthcare, and much more. Weighing in at 355 slides, the presentation deck PDF is a hefty opus with much to glean and digest. I’ve

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Cyberattack: The lack of serious intent for the NHS is not a role model

One of the lingering impressions I have of the NHS is of an organization that’s cornered the market in laser-printer labels. That’s not to criticise or belittle an incredible public service in the UK that, in my experience, offers outstanding healthcare services at zero or low cost to patients. The provision of care is peerless; it’s how the organization is administered that isn’t. I recall hospital visits and physio sessions a few years ago when I suffered a leg injury

Generation Z vs Millennials: There’s quite a difference

For much of the past decade, Millennials has been the generation that was the comparative one whenever anyone talked about behavioural and other differences between generations in contemporary society. Not only in the cultural and consumer contexts but also in the workplace. It’s fair to say that marketers and brand managers now understand a great deal about that generation in terms of behaviours, expectations, preferences and other consumer indicators. Employers understand much about them in terms of workplace expectations and

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Takeaways on #BigData at #EuroComm17

Like everyone in the contemporary workplace, communicators confront information – data – on a scale unimaginable a decade ago. We’ve all heard the term “Big Data” but do we really understand what this means? Can we see what we must do right now to enable our competitive differentiation, operational effectiveness and early-mover advantage that are essential in the cognitive business era of the coming decade? In a presentation session at the IABC EuroComm 2017 conference in London next week, I’ll

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How to put AI into cognitive perspective

Among the big topics that will dominate the news in 2017, a prominent one will undoubtedly be artificial intelligence or AI. It’s a huge topic, one that gathered momentum in 2016 to grab our attention and showcase both opportunity and risk with news and opinion often focused on a dystopian future that has plans to eliminate jobs currently done by human beings and replace them with robots. (Or maybe not.) Wherever you look, there’s so much differing opinion on the impact of AI and

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