Roger Hislop works for SA's leading Internet Service Provider in the new business and innovation group. He's also a writer. He can bang out a gadget review in a tick, a deep and thoughtful analysis piece in two ticks, and a complete innovation strategy in three. His main interest is in telecoms and Internet tech, with a sideline in DIYing his own audio electronics. Contact Roger on and follow @d0dja on Twitter.
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Six ways agency owners can do better PR

Screeds have been written by PRs on how terribly PR is done, and by journalists on how terribly PR is being done. Generally, these pieces address the symptoms, not the causes. So what's wrong? How do PR pros run PR agencies that do (let's be blunt) crap work? Agencies which let junior staff with no clue and big attitudes loose on heavyweight journos from top-tier publications? Agencies that issue releases that are borderline incomprehensible?

By Roger Hislop 27 Feb 2012

Spam opt-out the way we want it

If there were to be a national opt-out registry to fight back against the tide of spam, what should it look like? How about we consumers set the ground rules?

By Roger Hislop 11 Aug 2011

Winning the Loerie for PR may be losing the PR for PR

April is a trying month of two-day weeks and skiving off work. Or bashing your heads trying to get a campaign out the door. So excuse me for not noticing the details until now of The Loerie Awards' new gong for great PR.

By Roger Hislop 6 May 2011

Slap on the wrist for Power Balance bracelets

Skirting the line between truth, fiction and a bitch slap from the advertising regulator - the ongoing Power Balance bracelets scenario is a great case study in finely crafted messaging, of the art of spin, and discipline in damage-control PR.

By Roger Hislop 11 Jan 2011

[PRs meet the media] Who wants a beautiful pancreas?

We all want three things. Health, wealth, and happiness. Make that four things. To look hot. Shape has the problem that it's peddling the same pipedreams as the women's magazines that sell three times its numbers. The difference is that the title wants to be the one telling the truth, being responsible, having editorial principles that allow it to talk authoritatively about health and wellness with some level of authenticity.

By Roger Hislop 18 Nov 2010

[PRs meet the media] Design a magazine

In the second of our PRs meets the media series, in which and Sentient Communications will be profiling South African magazines and their editors so that both journalists and PRs can get more of what they both want, we take a look at One Small Seed, which is not just a print magazine but a number of media properties which includes video, a web community, an online hip culture magazine and a newly launched photography mag.

By Roger Hislop 20 Sep 2010

[PRs meet the media] Smart women read

In the first of our PR Meets the Media series, in which and Sentient Communications will be profiling South African magazines and their editors so that both journalists and PRs can get more of what they both want, we take a look at all the new developments happening at Marie Claire since editor Aspasia Karras took over earlier this year.

By Roger Hislop 24 Aug 2010

Customer support via social media: dos and don'ts

[PR & social media] As a follow-up from my iBurst social media/CRM case study published earlier this week, here are some do's and don'ts for social media response teams, as compiled by Jonathan Allan-Barrett of digiVOX and me. [slideshow]

By Roger Hislop 20 May 2010

How to prevent social media becoming a CRM whack-a-mole

[PR & social media] Broadband provider iBurst has been looking at the bigger business picture this year when integrating social media into its customer relationship management. Let's take a look at how it has been going about this.

By Roger Hislop 17 May 2010

Facebook has a big forking problem

Over at Facebook central, you can only imagine the anguish in the conference rooms. The good news so often comes with a disastrous implication. User numbers are just climbing, and climbing, and climbing. Revenues are climbing as well (apparently), but Facebook is privately held, so who knows whether they're even breaking even. Those who know don't tell; those who tell don't know.

By Roger Hislop 7 Aug 2009

Social media is a people problem

PR & SOCIAL MEDIA: First the good news: using social media for marketing is not a technology issue; it's not a software issue; it's not even that complicated. Anyone, given a bit of sense and a free weekend to cruise some how-to sites, can learn how to use most of the popular social media platforms like YouTwitFace. Now the bad news: it is a people problem. You could even say it's an HR problem.

By Roger Hislop 11 Jun 2009

If you're not talking to the big boss, you're not doing PR

It's the oldest question in the PR world. It's the second oldest question in the journalism world (the oldest, of course, being “where's the bar?”). Trying to answer it has churned up more argument than almost any other in the Public Relations industry. And the question is… What is PR? What is publicity? Are they the same thing?*

By Roger Hislop 15 Apr 2009

How do you get in there when there's no “there”?

Once upon a time - a better time, a wonderful time, a time of big fat juicy magazines and hefty newspapers that landed with a satisfying thud on your doorstep - PR agencies could get the results they needed to keep the clients happy, and pick up a healthy cheque every month.

By Roger Hislop 5 Mar 2009

How to earn brownie points as a PR executive (and not irritate editors)

Sending a hopelessly inadequate image to a journalist is not only guaranteed to blow their blood pressure through the stratosphere, it's also going to blow your reputation as a halfway competent PR professional out the water, and probably blow your chance of getting any decent coverage of the story you just spent days slaving over.

By Roger Hislop 8 Jun 2004

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