Saturday, 19 February 2011

Me & my new mate @MikejulietBravo (a tale of the power and reach of social media)

The green green grass of home was calling and from the 21:15 Paddington to Swansea train I tweeted " Just leaving London Paddington - please no delays FGW, it's been a tough week".

It had been a hell of a week, 2 days training in Swansea then 2 days in Luton arriving at around 22:00 at the hotel to run a 2 day course the following day. but now it was nearly over and I was homeward bound.

I tweeted as I counted the stations down: Reading, Didcot Parkway and Swindon. It was all going to time. I would be back in Cardiff at around 23:30.

" Ladies and gentlemen this is your train manager speaking" oh oh, I had tweeted too soon. I can't remember the reason for the delay or anything like that. Back to tweetdeck to post something about FGW, when I noticed a tweet from someone who follows me. "stuck outside Bristol Parkway".

"Are we on the same train?" I tweeted.

"Yes" came back the reply. We'd never met before but somehow had ended up following each other on Twitter.

"Shall I come and say hello?" he tweeted. So 2 minutes later we were shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries and business cards. He was travelling to Swansea.

I hope to get to know @MikeJulietBravo a bit better but in the meantime I wanted to share this with you as I thought it showed the power and reach of social media and that was going to be the
end of this blog posting. However ..............

Last Wednesday I was travelling back from Doncaster and got off at Bristol Parkway at 21:30 for the final leg of my journey back across the bridge. Walked into the waiting room, turned round to see @MJB coming through the door. The next hour gave us a chance to get to know each other a bit better and he has invited me to join his network.

Do you know what, I think me & @MikeJulietBravo are going to become friends & all thanks to social media !

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

What if Mary Portas met Jose Arrogante ?

You've got to hand it to Mary “Queen of Shops” Portas and now the “Secret Shopper”(on Channel 4) – she knows her stuff and talks a lot of sense.

In week one she took on the fast clothes retailers and convinced the owner of Pilot to “try something different” (to borrow a line from Sainsburys). I missed the second week where she did battle with the furniture retailers – the like of DFS I guess. I loved what she did at the Angel Fonehouse branch – long overdue is the idea that you should be able to try before you buy a mobile phone !

In week 4 she tackled the Estate Agents and to be honest I was sceptical that she'd be able to pull this one off but yet again I thought she nailed it !

Have I told you about my mate, let's call him Pete, who is an estate agent ? Anyway, I have this great drive to share with others, stuff that I think is good. So I rang him about an hour before the programme went out & suggested he watch it, thinking it might generate some ideas for him.

Myself Pete & his wife, and a few others all met up on Saturday night to celebrate my wife's birthday.

“So Pete – what did you think of the programme? “ I asked.

“ I didn't watch some journalist scapegoating our industry” (or words to that effect was his ill informed reply). I resisted the temptation to explain to him who Mary Portas was.

I persevered “she was saying through the public that basically all estate agents were dishonest Pete. She worked with a particular London agent on drafting property details that were honest and in plain English and avoided terms like a prestigious turning”

Now, did any of you ever watch the fastshow ? In the last series there was a foreign football manager called Jose Arrogante who was based on Mourinho (the then Chelsea Manager)
Mourinho is now doing his own brand of the special one at Real Madrid, but the problem is that there is a new Jose Arrogante and he is called Pete.

In reply he said “The thing is John, i've been in the estate agency business for over 27 years” and to paraphrase him, he can't be taught something by an upstart journalist.

I wonder how the conversation would go if Jose (sorry Pete) met Mary ?