Is there hope for a town called York?

I visited the WA country town of York last weekend for the first time in probably 12 or so years.

Not much had changed, except that it probably looked a little more run down than I remembered.

The point is, not much had changed.

I took my wife, who hadn’t been there before. It was a great ride on the motorbike.

She summed it up, saying it looked like a half-deserted wild set town. Apt description. There weren’t any tumbleweeds, though there could have been, as the surrounding country was dry and dusty.

The district’s farmers are obviously doing it tough and this impacts on the economy, notably the town’s businesses. The Imperial Hotel is for sale. It has been for about a year. Another relatively newly-renovated establishment has gone broke.

York was in the news two weeks ago, with local businesses complaining the local council wasn’t helping them to attract tourists. The council said it wanted to see a plan. Fair enough.

One local businesswoman I talked with has been there for 18 months, but she still hasn’t got an online presence. Alarm bells.

If she’s typical of the businesses in York, then what hope?

I pointed out some of the wares she could be selling on line and how she should go about it (Facebook and Twitter for a start). I gave her my card, which shows me as a marketing communications professional with a PhD.

She didn’t get it and didn’t want to know much, saying she’d ask her daughter.

I wasn’t trying to pitch to her, merely offer advice, which she didn’t seem interested in.

God helps those who help themselves, so they say. But I doubt whether she’s going to get much help from above.

Like I said, I hope this isn’t typical of the town. If it is, heaven help York.

Pitfalls of a social media release

As if we haven’t had enough information about social media floating around the “blogosphere” these past few years. Yet still, many people don’t get it. Social media is just one method (with several sub methods) of delivering PR.

I received a social media release from some students the other day. They had just attended the national PRIA conference and were, no doubt, fired up by one of the keynote speakers, who turned out to be disappointing.

At 6mb it was a “weighty” document. The main problem is that the Australian media wouldn’t even give this a glance, as they don’t accept attachments in e-mail releases. Apart from that, it didn’t contain the necessary elements people use in these documents (at least I think some people use them).

I commented back to the group, but they never responded (that’s bad PR, people).

As my boss at work said: “haven’t they heard of a phone call?”

More PR at the PR Lab: http://www.prlab.com.au