Inside PR 3.81: Penalties for bad reviews and questions about online privacy

Martin here.

This week, the gang’s together again…and we start by talking about a business that charges customers a penalty for negative online reviews.

Whaa?

In case you missed it, a hotel in upstate New York said it would levy a fine of $500 for bad reviews written by guests.

The company has since recanted the story claiming it was a joke that harkened back to a long-past wedding and they never removed the policy. Gini likens this to businesses that pay for positive reviews and says you can’t dictate what people say about you online good or bad. You just have to provide the best experience and customer service you can, listen and address issues. Here’s a link to the story for details.

We switch gears and discuss a study on online privacy by Craig Newmark and others that offers some insightful results. One of the main findings is that two-thirds of us either skim or don’t bother to read the terms of service. Which means we don’t know what we’re agreeing to or what rights we’re signing away.

Gini, Joe and I did a straw poll and it turns out the three of us all fall in that 66 per cent majority.

That’s not a good thing…

Joe links this to news that when Google receives a request under Europe’s right to be forgotten legislation, it has been informing webmasters about it before it takes down the links-in-question.

According to the WSJ, Google claims that alerting publishers to impending removals is the only way they can respond with their side of the story.

Joe’s concern is that we’re giving a private company the ability to make decisions about our privacy and rights based on its commercial self-interests.

I think the situation is similar to one we’ve always had with media: they have their own agendas, yet we trust them to filter stories and news.

It’s certainly a complex issue.

What do you think? About penalizing or paying for reviews? About reading terms of service, about the right to be forgotten…

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

 

Inside PR 3.80: Digital Reach with Cision

This week we have a special guest in Heidi Sullivan, the senior vice president of digital content at Cision. She is here to talk to us about Digital Reach, a new offering from the PR media database company.

You know how you go to research a competitor, a blogger, or a journalist and you check out their numbers? You check them out on Compete and on OpenSiteExplorer and in a media database such as Cision to figure out what kind of authority they have and where your influencers might lie.

The problem, of course, is sites such as Compete are not completely correct. I checked out Spin Sucks there, just to see how accurate it is and it’s off by more than 20 percent.

Enter Digital Reach.

It takes a site’s unique visitors and combines it with the social shares it typically receives. This gives you a UVPM, or unique visitors per month, which is more accurate than anything else out there.

Listen to her describe what communicators can get from Digital Reach, what she did as her first job in the business (which makes me laugh because many of us have been there), and how you can get started.

I’m off to test it for some of our clients now.

Enjoy the listen!

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR 379: An Anonymous Marriage Proposal?

This week, Martin WaxmanGini Dietrich and I are  back together for the first time in several weeks to record the Inside PR podcast.

Martin talks about his experience at SxSW V2V. Martin says, it has much of the vibe of the early SXSW, with lots of opportunities to network and a program packed with strong content. One of those that left the strongest impression on him was John Maeda’s keynote “From design to DE$IGN.” Maeda talked about the central role of design and how it can be used to “make sense of chaos.” Martin was struck by his observation that a good design “is both familiar and new.” Maeda also emphasized the importance of baking in design from the outset of every project, not viewing it as an after-the-fact tack on.

And of course, Martin also delivered a presentation, “Supercharged Storytelling for Startups,” in which he talked about how anyone can use storytelling to break through the noise and clutter.

We also turn our attention to the recent move by Google+ to remove restrictions on user identities.

Finally, we extend our discussion of online identity as Martin points us to an article he read that warned us against a misplaced faith in incognito mode in our browsers to protect our privacy.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

IPR 378: The news you may never see

It’s just Gini Dietrich and me on this week’s inside PR. Martin Waxman is in Las Vegas for SXSW V2V. He’ll be back next week.

We talk about Facebook’s communications response to the controversy around their mood altering experiment. Gini gives them marks for being consistent in their position. I question whether you can ever win if your position is bad.

Facebook’s manipulation of our newsfeed leads to our second topic. Are we getting a complete picture of the world around us if we rely on our social networks to bring news to us? Tom Krazit wrote a must-read post about this on the GigaOm blog. And Gini and I use it as a point of departure for our conversation.

Finally, we talk about the information we don’t want to receive – SPAM. Canada is several weeks into the implementation of CASL – the Canadian Anti-Spam Law. And we talk about its impact on companies trying to reach out to potential new customers.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR 377: Big clients squeeze marketing companies and Facebook’s hold on youth

On Inside PR this week, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I talk about two very different topics: the squeeze large clients are putting on their marketing partners and Facebook’s hold on young users.

The Big Squeeze

Gini kicks off the discussion about the growing number of large companies that are taking longer to pay their marketing partners. In the case of some companies, such as P&G and Mars, advertising agencies, marketing and PR partners will find themselves waiting up to 120 days – four months – for payment. And that can be crippling to a creative business. Gini has some thoughts about how PR agencies can avoid being caught in the slow payment trap. In the short term, it may come down to this: If you don’t want to play the big client game, extending your credit to people whose credit rating is is probably much better than yours, you may just have to say no. And if they won’t attempt to find a workable middle ground, you may just end up saying no to working for them.

Martin believes that this would be bad for creative agencies and for marketing itself. It used to be that creatives would be constantly breaking off of the larger agencies they worked for in order to form new ventures. And with a fresh creative perspective, many of them would land a large account that would enable them to build an agency in their own vision. Heck, that’s how Terry Fallis and I started Thornley Fallis. A couple of guys with a fresh perspective on the business working on folding banquet tables in borrowed space. But we landed B.C.E. (Bell Canada Enterprises), then GlaxoSmithKline, and then Molson. And from there, the business took off.

Is that still possible in this current environment? Martin asks, “How can you compete to win clients like this if the financial terms would put you out of business before you have a chance to grow?” Yes it is possible, but ever more difficult. In order to succeed, small agencies need to keep a focus on what has always been the most important factor. Creativity. If we can do something that’s truly remarkable and memorable, we still can thrive.

Facebook’s Hold on Youth

Recently, some have suggested that Facebook is past its prime with teens. A  study from Forrester Research indicates that Facebook still remains young people’s favorite social network. Martin agrees that Facebook may still be used by teens. But he suggests that we look at an intangible factor that may point to the future. Do teens still consider it cool? Or are they there because they have to be because their friends are there? If that’s the case, Gini suggests that teens will not remain reliant on Facebook. Older people who have left school, moved away from their hometown, and are in mid-career, rely on Facebook to keep them connected with the people that they knew at an earlier time. Teens, however, are surrounded by their social network. They don’t need Facebook to stay in touch with friends. They know who their friends are and they can easily use different media, including texting, to stay in touch with their friends.

I think there’s a different between these two questions, “Do people use it?” and “Do people feel cool when they use it?” The first question finds its answer in past behaviour. The second question points the way to future behaviour. And if that’s the case, don’t count on Facebook keeping its stranglehold on youth. For now, young users are still on Facebook. But where will they be next year?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR: Special show on SXSW V2V with Christine Auten

Martin here.

And today we have a special episode where I talk to Christine Auten, producer of SXSW V2V, the younger, brasher sister festival of SXSWi. I say that because V2V is held amid the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas and focuses on startups and entrepreneurs.

One of the key differences between this year and last is that each day starts and ends with everyone together.

Mornings are for keynotes. On Monday, Ari Horie, the dynamic founder and CEO of Women’s Startup Lab talks about opportunities for women entrepreneurs. On Tuesday, John Maeda speaks about creativity and bringing Design to De$ign. Wednesday has Brian Solis interviewing Shinola president Jacques Panis on the ‘Built in Detroit’ movement and how that applies to startups.

After that come a series of breakouts, panels, inspiring 20/20 vision talks, workshops and mentor sessions. And then back for the final session of the day followed by the social program. This year, there’s going to be a film screening, music performance and for the final party, a bowling tournament – bring your socks.

The content focuses on the intersection of startups and showbiz – and there’s a special room for convergence sessions including What Rockers Can Teach Startups – that is, what lessons startups can take away from the passion-driven world of musicians and artists.

What differentiates SXSWV2V from SXSW?
Christine says the biggest thing is the size. It’s an intimate event all in one space where you can meet and chat with everyone.  And when you leave, it feels like the people you met are not just connections, they’re more like a family.

What’s Christine expecting in 2014?
“We don’t know what the show’s going to be like till we get there,” she says. “The community makes up so much of the experience.”

Interested in more info? Here’s the schedule. Or follow the hashtag #sxswv2v.

And here’s a blog post on my Supercharged Storytelling for Startups session.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR 376: A Native Advertising No-No and Panda Preys on News Release sites

In this episode of Inside PR, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley discuss two news-related topics: one newspaper’s reported intent  to assign staff reporters to create native advertising; and the impact of Google’s Panda 4.0 algorithm changes on news release sites.

Reporters required to write native advertisements?

First, we give a shout out to Jesse Brown‘s Canada land podcast. In a recent episode, Jesse interviewed Giga Ohm’s Mathew Ingram about an apparent move by Toronto’s Globe and Mail to require regular reporters to make themselves available to write native advertisements. If you care about the state of journalism, the Canada land podcast is a must-listen.

Panda 4.0 preys on news release sites

Google has never really been happy with the news release and news release services. For some time, Google has advised content creators to put no follow tags in the links in their news releases. They view this as a paid link, not an organic link, and do not want authority to transfer via such paid links. It appears Google decided that voluntary action was not sufficient. Shortly after its Panda 4.0 algorithm changes were implemented, news release sites such as PRWeb, PR Newswire and Business Wire experienced a significant sharp decrease in the traffic they received via search engines.

How are you adjusting your promotion programs to compensate for Google’s moves on the news release sites?

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR 375: During a crisis, don’t leave your customers in the dark

Martin here.

On today’s show, it’s Joe and me. Gini will be back in a couple of weeks. And throughout the summer, we’ll be having a few more two-handers when one of us is away – but we’ll keep recording!

We start off discussing the recent DDOS attacks on Feedly and Evernote that happened just before we recorded.

And we remark on how the two companies took different approaches when it came to communicating their situations to customers.

Feedly posted notifications on its Twitter feed and blog but nothing on Facebook.

Evernote updated its Twitter feed and used the same content on Facebook. But the company did not post on either of its two blogs.

Here are a few suggestions for communicating during a crisis that came out of our conversation:

  • Use your owned property – your blog or newsroom – to break the news and continue sharing regular updates there.
  • When posting updates on Twitter, link back to your blog to add details and context to the situation.
  • Personalize your message. Record a video or short series of videos to let people know what happened and the steps you’re taking to fix it.
  • By all means post on Facebook, but if you’re not buying ads, know that not as many people will see your news as on other sources.
  • Take a page from MSM and be consistent with your communications. Let people know when they’ll hear back from you. That way people will know you’re on top of things and more news will follow.

In the second part of the show, I offer my take on the 2014 IABC World Conference that was taking place in Toronto. One highlight was a talk by Leslie Quinton on the human side of crisis communications and how important it is to always remember your moral compass; that is, continue to ask yourself if what you’re doing is the right thing to do.

I also caught up with Shel Holtz who, if you haven’t seen him speak, is always a sharp, insightful and engaging presenter. He talked about visual storytelling and presented a strong case for why all communicators should move in that direction.

If you haven’t been to an IABC World Conference, it’s worth looking into because it offers you an opportunity to meet and learn from communicators around the globe. Next year’s conference is in San Francisco, June 14 to 17, 2015.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 374: Scott Monty will not be forgotten

This week on Inside PR, Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman talk about the implications of the European Court’s right to be forgotten regime and Scott Monty’s classy announcement that he has left his role as social media head for Ford.

In the past two weeks, requests by European citizens have flooded Google with requests to delete information about them from the search engine’s results. Gini points out that the European Court’s decision requiring that Google takedown information upon request does not sit well with Americans, who see this as undermining the right to free expression. Nevertheless, she advises clients with operations in Europe and elsewhere to take note of this move. It points to the need for companies operating globally to be sensitive to different values in different places. Martin is uncomfortable with the potential that this ruling holds to rewrite and obfuscate history. Where do we draw the line between someone wanting to remove a hurtful or hateful opinion and someone who wants to remove or obscure facts? The true impact of this ruling will only be known over time.

And kudos to Scott Monty for the classy way that Scott announced on his blog that he had left his role as social media head at Ford. Scott praised his team, praised the company and praised the work that they did together. Others who are announcing a move would be well recommended to look at Scott’s departure announcement as a template for the right way to handle yourself when announcing a career change. 

Finally, Interesting factoid or fiction? Martin says that Canada is the only country in the world that still celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday as a national holiday. With fireworks no less. Is that true? Are we truly unique in the world?

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

 

Inside PR 3.73: Counselors Academy – Agency Lessons Learned

Martin here. This week it’s Gini and me and we’re talking about what I learned at Counselors Academy’s annual conference for PR agency owners and leaders.

We’ve mentioned #CAPRSA before – and as many of you know, it’s the place where Gini, Joe and I met in person, got to know each other and really was the beginning of the current IPR hosting team.

Over the years we’ve interviewed PR and social media thought-leaders and recorded live shows at Counselors. This time, I was there without my two compadres (Noooooo…) so it was up to me to give an update on the event.

Highlights included: keynotes by Shonali Burke and Steve McKee, a talk on creative storytelling by Rob Biesenbach and agency leaders like Brett Werner, Janet Tyler and Lynn Casey on strategies and lessons they’ve learned running successful firms.

And of course, it’s a wonderful opportunity to talk ideas with smart, articulate and friendly people and get re-ignited about agency life.

Congratulations to Tom Garrity, the conference chair, Chuck Norman, the co-chair and the entire conference committee. If you’re an agency owner/leader and you’re looking for a must-attend business event, we think Counselors is something you should definitely consider.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.