Meeting my blogging hero

One of my first blogging heroes was – and still is – Neville Hobson and I am really looking forward to meeting him this evening for the first time when he speaks at this PR Unspun event in London.

Neville is a master extraordinaire in the social media field, and is very much into virtual marketing.

I am also looking forward to meeting Jacqui White, online communications director at Edelman, Stephanie Bonnet, director of  Burson-Marsteller, and  Mark Rogers, CEO of Market Sentinel.

This Chinwag event is certainly good value with its first-class speakers, especially compared to this PR and New Media conference charging around £700. It might have been worth it if Neville had been there – he was one of Europe’s first pioneering bloggers – but I am fortunate enough to only be paying £20 for the pleasure of his company and knowledge ….


  1. Glass Boat and Bed, Thank you for the Bhopal links, I know now, and I will not forget it.

  2. Linda, Hi, I will keep you informed, wish I had thought of mentioning this to you in advance, but then, you do seem to have your hands rather full!!
    Perhaps you could check out the Chinwag site for the other events they have planned, the link is in comment 12. I also know Stuart Bruce and Neville are planning something too, maybe you can contact them for further info. Hope you are well.

  3. Hi Ellee, thanks for dropping by and telling me about this, oh I would love to go along to something like that.

  4. Ellee, good to meet you last night and thanks for your prompt reply today. Neville and Mark were certainly the highlights, and I thought some interesting issues were raised, particularly with regard to the role of blogs in a corporate world. I hope we’ll see much more of this – the questions asked were very revealing I thought.

    Looking forward to Dark Side of Social Media – it sounds even more interesting!

  5. Alex, Sam and Neville, Yes, it was a very well supported event – due to the quality of the speakers and the sensible price. I hope to meet you all again sometime.

    Newmania, PR has to change to be more transparent, and companies – and politicians alike – have to work that way, they can no longer rely on spin or message control,they have to listen and interact with customers and the public alike. The times, they are a changing…

  6. Flattering words, Ellee, and thanks 🙂

    A pleasure to finally meet you last night. Not too much time to talk, as you noted, with so much going on. I was actually taken aback by the sheer number of people who were there, close to 150 by my estimation.

    A clear indicator, if we needed one, that the broad topic under discussion is one which many of our colleagues in the PR profession want a bright light shining upon.

  7. By coincidence Ellee i have been blogging about what I see as the problems of PR entering poltical life and they bear watching. I don`t mean to invade so to speak but in the hope that some PR people might have some positive things to say this was my take on it below.( edited)
    ( Oh naturally Ellee you are in the present company excepted category …I forgot that was what you did , truth to tell I think of you as more of a current affairs Blogger)

    PR firms are relating to politics .

    On the own hand there is the growth of soft funding. This is when a Party is subject to rules but a separate body that is supportive of a given Party like Doughty Street can be financed without any limit
    It is going to be exceedingly hard to control moneys swilling around this nebulous terrain .A recipe for graft and the PR companies are bound to use the loophole to please important contacts . . At local level the standards board would be having apoplexy.

    PR and the Constitutional and societal debate of Politics are becoming confused . Focus group lead policy and even legislation have cursed the Blair years and the malign influence of a Hilton or Campbell is the Evil Grand Vizier to every handsome Prince .

    If PR, marketing and their attendant evils of amoral follower-ship have seeped into the polity then I fear an equally grave problem is money that seeps out of the Public purse into the hands of the PR gurus . As before it is not quite straightforward sinecures but rather related income streams .

    The NHS consultation “Your health, your care, your say” which closed in November 2005 had a total bill to the taxpayer of £1.39 million out of the department’s running cost budget. £1.05 million of that went to Opinion Leader Research. That is the same Opinion Leader Research headed by long standing Labour Party consultant, member of the Smith Institute, and friend to Gordon Brown, Deborah Mattinson. She of the bogus pro Brown Surveys conducted with 100 people and placed in the Sun, Guardian and Newstatesman The NHS running cost budget is ultimately in the hands of the Treasury .Subtle

    .Consider this new example . Mike Lee the PR director and special adviser to Lord Coe on the Olympic bid has picked up a sexy beast of a new contract to advise “ Visit Britain? formerly known as the Tourist Board on how to use the Games to attract Tourists ! Public money in other words is building Good will in PR companies (in the technical sense). They make their money elsewhere but rely on political contacts. Well if that’s stays straight it will be the first time ever.

    Conservatives should retain untwisted knickers . We accept I think that business works on contacts and that personal recommendation is a benign corruption with much in its favour.
    We must on the other hand be wary of Public Money indirectly funding political campaigns and the insidious creep of aforementioned Followership and media before principle.

  8. Saim, I agree Mark was very much on the ball too. Thank you for an interesting event and I look forward to attending more.

  9. Thanks for the kind comments about the event, Ellee. I’ve been keen to meet Neville, ever since our editor, Deirdre, pointed me in the direction of his podcast. He certainly didn’t disappoint.

    I also though Mark Rogers from Market Sentinel had a lot of interesting things to say. I quizzed him on their product after the Q&A session and it sounds like it’s worth investigating. I also felt that Jacqui White from Edelman did herself lots of favours by being so honest and upfront about their past cock-ups. And she blushed when she was talking about it – fair play – could’ve been the heat though!

    All things being equal the podcast should be live on our iTunes feed (there’s an RSS one, as well) in the next couple of days.

    Hope to see you at a future event. Our next PR-related one is on the Dark Side of Social Media looking at all things nefarious (June 19), well be posting details on Chinwag Live website in the next day or so.

  10. Hi Ellee, great to meet you last night and here I am commmenting (and consuming a blog) as promised.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the night, there were some really interesting points raised – and a fair bit of mischief making; I don’t think Jacqui White would have enjoyed the night to any great extent!

  11. Jonathan, thanks, I shall certainly check it out.

  12. Nevillle was indeed great. Jacqui . . . . .hmmmm. I’ll post my notes in the morning. And there’s a podcast coming too.

  13. Hi, I have just returned from this event. I will say that Neville did not disappoint, I feel we are on the same wave length and understand the true essence of social media. It was a bonus to meet up with Stuart Bruce too.

    I was disappointed to learn that Jacqui White from Edelman does not write a blog because it takes too long – up to 3 hours she says – and she wants it to be perfect. Blogging is about about showing a human face, not perfection. She seemed uncomfortable when asked about the Edelman Wall-Mart fiasco and said it was laziness on their part in not trying to find people who were up for an adventure, but they have learned from their mistake. I guess that’s fair enough, it’s in the past now anyway.

    I don’t remember a great deal what Stephanie said, I have no idea about the Bhopal link as I did not Google the company before I left.

    I think these blogging events have shown me that what I am doing is ok, that I work in a genuine and transparent way – regardless of blogging. I particularly love the networking and meeting other bloggers.

  14. Have a good evening. It’s always fun meeting a hero. Michelle

  15. Interesting you should mention this, I just visited Second Life today for the first time. I have to say, I was not very impressed with it, I was hoping for so much more.

    There’s no doubt that virtual worlds will be the future of online retail though … just not quite yet.

    Have a good evening.

  16. Well Elle, have a fine evening
    If you get a chance ask what per cent of the blogosphere is about marketing & PR – special interest groups and propagation of knowledge & information almost at the speed of light

    and how much of the blogosphere is simply like a gossip column – or – a public ‘confessional’

  17. A very worthwhile event, Ellee. Enjoy it.

  18. Glass Boat

    Burson-Marsteller – were they the bastard spawn of satan that helped gloss over the little local difficulty at Bhopal ? Shame on you !'Cash_Cow

    If you lie down with a dog, you’ll get fleas – and if you mix with this dodgy lot of liars, don’t be surprised if you get covered with $h!t.

  19. I’m afraid I ‘d never heard of him till now! Enjoy the event.


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