It’s first day of August which also means the first day of my holiday. Before I fly out to Malta, I want to give you my weekly selection of comms news stories curated via @CisionUK. The next edition will be out in two weeks time. Enjoy!
Bauer buys Absolute Radio for £22m by @cg_williams via The Telegraph
Bauer Media, the group behind the Magic and Kiss radio stations, has bought Absolute Radio in a deal understood to be worth nearly £22m.
Subject to regulatory approval, it ends protracted negotiations with Times of India, which put Absolute Radio up for sale in 2011. The sale represents a heavy loss of value. The national rock station was last sold by STV to Times of India for more than £53m in 2008, when it was known as Virgin Radio.
Twitter UK Head Responds to Abuse Report Concerns by @jonrussell via The Next Web
The head of Twitter’s business in the UK has responded to concerns that the service is not doing enough to help users report abuse, after a UK-based equal rights campaigner received repeated rape threats this week.
Appearing to respond to a petition that says Twitter’s “current reporting system is below required standards,” Twitter UK General Manager Tony Wang said in a series of tweets that the company “take(s) online abuse seriously” and will “suspend accounts that, once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules.”
Mysterious Instagram Fruit Hack Returns by @MartinSFP via The Next Web
An Instagram hack that posts pictures of fruit to users’ timelines has returned. We last saw the issue back in June. Once again, the images – often of fruit but sometimes (as The Verge notes) of smoothies – are accompanied by text suggesting that the user is trying a new diet and encouraging others to follow a link that has been inserted into their bio. There are numerous reports of the hack on Twitter, mainly from four hours ago at the time of writing.
WeChat, China’s Facebook, is Going Global by @jonrussell via The Next Web
The growth of WeChat, a mobile messaging client run by Internet giant Tencent, has revolutionized the way the average smartphone owner in China communicates with friends, family and even strangers.
In the past we’ve mused over whether Facebook could comply with censors in China — it is among a number of Western services blocked by the Chinese government; any unblocking would be contingent upon it agreeing to censor content, the same issue would apply if it acquired a firm there — or whether the culture of Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter which has beaten out domestic Facebook clones, means there is little demand for a Facebook-like user experience — but Tencent’s success with WeChat represents an even greater question mark: if all these questions were answered, is there even room for Facebook?
Viewpoint: Does public relations have a PR problem? via The BBC News Magazine
The inaugural PR National Awareness Day reportedly hopes to improve the reputation of an industry that earns its corn trying to improve reputations. Long-serving public relations expert Benjamin Webb says it’s not an easy task.
There is an irony that an industry all about the construction and manipulation of image might itself suffer from an image problem. But it does. My heart always sinks when I meet new people and the inevitable urban question pops out: “So what do you do for a living?”