The plot thickens/a thick plot

5 February, 2010

In the last year or so plenty of publications have been cut and staff numbers reduced. One of the papers that didn’t make it through was evening free sheet The London Paper. With this in mind there were plenty of raised eyebrows last year when a new London free paper was announced.

The London Weekly, which published its first issue today, has been a bit of a mystery for the last few months with nobody sure who was writing for it. It didn’t seem to have a clear idea of what it was doing either.

It’s a tough time to launch any new title, let alone one that is going into an already highly competitive market. It therefore seems odd to launch a paper that leaves people with little (if any) idea of what its supposed to be.

The first edition hit the streets this morning and to say it looks poorly put together is a slight understatement, I can only assume it was put together by someone’s child on work experience.

See here for some more photos but it really doesn’t look good, to say it looks like a small local paper would be doing a massive disservice to local papers. And spelling someone’s name wrong on the front page isn’t a great start either.

Another edition is due out next week and it will be interesting to see if there is any improvement. Many people have already questioned if the paper is actually a joke, but if not, and the next edition (if it makes it that far) doesn’t show any improvement, then I really can’t see such a poor paper lasting long in what is such an incredibly competitive market.


Going Underground

11 June, 2009

EML is based out in Kingston which has a number of benefits. Avoiding the regular commute into zone 1 of London being the main one, and something that we’re increasingly grateful for at the moment. The Tube strike hasn’t affected us too badly, the commute out to work for some of us has been made more complicated and a few meetings have been postponed but in the grand scheme of things we can’t really complain.

The Tube strike is all over the national news and its fair to say London Underground (LU) and Boris are winning the PR battle. The general opinion seems to be that the RMT are being unreasonably demanding – particularly with so many others losing their jobs and having pay frozen. I don’t know enough about the complexities of the proposed deal from LU or the disagreements of the RMT but suspect that the full story has not been reported. (Let alone looking at why relations between the two are so bad in the first place – but that’s another story)

The news was already reporting the RMT as unreasonable before the twist on Tuesday evening about it asking for the reinstatement of  two members who were recently sacked. At face value demanding the re-employment of people sacked for ‘serious’ misconduct seems unreasonable. But I’d at least like to hope that there is another side to this story that makes the whole thing more sensible.

The image of a part-empty Wembley stadium last night is never going to help and many Londoners have never been the biggest fans of Bob Crow or the RMT – but there’s got to be another side to the story? Surely? Or maybe I’m just being too optimistic.

Oh and if you haven’t seen the profanity-laden parody of ‘Going Underground’ I suggest you YouTube it.


Google Maps is watching

19 March, 2009

Today Google Maps Street View has appeared for parts of the UK and Europe. You can see my house, the road just around the corner from the office and no doubt that most of central London will be covered. Suffice to say the family home in the heart of Dorset isn’t there quite yet, but I’m sure that most of the UK will soon be covered.

Street View has been around for a while now in other countries, and has naturally caused some controversy. People have been spotted emerging from places that they shouldn’t have been in, and a swift edit was required on the image of one road when it was spotted that a dead animal was in the road – and naturally the street view car was held to blame.
It’s going to be interesting to see what unfolds in London alone, and particularly how Google deals with the fall out. No doubt there will be some people captured emerging from less than reputable bars, and potentially people emerging from the houses of people they really shouldn’t be seeing. I’m a big fan of Street View and love being able to see recognisable places, but it’s only a matter of time until the first person makes a complaint about being photographed and put online.

What does a first week at EML involve (apart from pie)?

22 May, 2008

It seemed timely to start the first of the “who are those other people at EML?” blogs by introducing the newest member of the team at EML – Stacey Jones.

Last Monday I headed down to the London office because I’d been told that a new person was starting, so I thought I’d welcome them to the team (it wasn’t just for the office’s Monday baking competition and offer of free lunch, honest). At about 9.30 I started to wonder if I had somehow got the day wrong. “Where’s this new person then?” I inquired. ” She got lost in Kingston’s shopping centre on her way in” came the reply. “She’ll fit right in,” I thought….

Once she’d found us, Stacey was embarrassed to admit that she had got lost coming out of the train station. It had already been a quite traumatic morning as she set out to do battle with London’s commuters for the first time. However, in her defence, Stacey offers: “At least I beat Caitlin in, she’s been at EML for a while and knows where the office is!”

flippin\' heck!Stacey seems to have settled into EML life quickly. “I was a bit nervous about the Monday company meeting, but then I noticed it was quite informal. There I was in my smart clothes and shoes while people were wandering around in jeans and barefoot [this blogger denies all knowledge]. After 10 minutes I changed into my flip flops and felt quite at home.”

It’s been a very “hands on” initiation for Stacey. “All the work I’ve been involved in so far has been really interesting. I didn’t realise how much is involved in PR – how complex it is and all the specialist software and tools there are. I’ve got lots to learn, but everyone has been really helpful and caring. I’ve been added to the client email groups, which is great as I’ve been able to see what’s going on with each of the clients I’ll be working on and get up to speed as quickly as possibly.”

With a background in languages, Stacey has had plenty of writing experience. “I love exploring the way language is used, and I have already been impressed by how creative everyone at EML is, even with just internal emails.”

The main thing Stacey seems to have picked up on is that in addition to being a hardworking bunch of creative people, EMLers also like their food. At the end of her first week, Stacey noted: “We went to The Boaters for pub lunch again today. I’m realising that there is an “any excuse policy” to go out for food at lunch times.”

She was back at the desk this Monday, so we can’t have scared her too badly! If she can survive the three meals a day she’s likely to encounter, Stacey is set to be an asset to her new clients and teams. We also hear that, as a proper northerner, she likes pie…..

Next week we’ll be talking to one of EML’s Account Directors, Anu Ramani, who has been helping to make EML more gorgeous. In the mean time, do you remember your first day in a new job? How does it compare to Stacey’s?