Inside PR 2.64: PR and the Murdoch Affair

Jeff Jarvis unloaded a real roundhouse on PR and the News of the World affair and Rupert Murdoch’s appearance in front of Parliament.

The blog post discusses how coached Murdoch seemed during his appearance and how he completely missed transparency in his answers.

Joe Thornley, Martin Waxman, and Gini Dietrich set the stage for PR and the Murdoch affair and discuss who we, as PR professionals, are responsible to.

It’s an interesting topic, to begin with, because it seems impossible for people to disconnect how we (as a generalization) feel about a personality and the reality of what’s really going on. How the news media portrays a man and how we, as a society, condem him for something his employees he did.

But we all agree that, as leaders, it’s our jobs to take responsibility for the mistakes our employees make…even if we weren’t aware they were going on. The communication is something such as, “I don’t condone what my employees did. I take responsibility for their actions. And this is what I’m going to do about it.”

The conversation then turns to true PR, just like marketing, should be in the best interest of the customer. Not in the best interest of the company. Not in the best interest of the stakeholders. Not in the best interest of the employees. But in the best interest of the customer.

We all need to ask ourselves: Are we helping our clients spin a story (as you know, Spin Sucks) that makes them look better or are we helping them effectively communicate with their customers?

And the last point was one raised first by David Weinberger where he says:

If I were Edelman PR, I would probably agree to take on NewsCorp, but only if I were satisfied to a reasonable degree (yes, them’s fudge words) that NewsCorp was ready to tell the truth. (Clients do lie to their PR companies. The first time Edelman catches NewsCorp lying to them, Edelman should quite publicly drop them.)

From there we discuss how our jobs, as PR professionals, is to be there for the public interest and to tell the truth.

Joe raises the question of hubris of the super rich. He wonders, aloud, if they feel like they’re above the law and don’t have to be honest with anyone, including their agency.

All three of us hope that is the case with Rupert Murdoch. We hope the industry isn’t shady enough that our peers would suggest their client lie and blame his or her employees without taking any responsibility. But maybe we’re all really naive.

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Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR 2.63: A show about nothing

This week on Inside PR, Joe, Gini and Martin decide to try something new.

First, Joe talks about the beautiful weather. As Joe mentions the blue skies and bright sun, Joe’s rebellious side emerges and he suggests the group should play… hookie!

As Gini and Martin gasp at the idea, Gini thinks: “I can watch the Tour.”

Martin, still hesitant, tries to bring Gini and Joe back to the show by suggesting topic ideas. But with nothing but Google+ and the same old news, Martin admits defeat.

And the Inside PR team skips out early to enjoy the beautiful weather.

So, take this opportunity to catch up on previous Inside PR shows, if you are new to Google+ check out the review of Google+. Grab a book and read under a tree, for book suggestions check out Inside PR’s summer reading list. Or take a trip to the past and listen to the very first Inside PR episode.

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR 2.62 Hanging Out on Google+

It’s two weeks since Google+ launched and the Inside PR hosts, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley, have been testing it for its strengths and weaknesses. This week we  talk about our experience so far.

One of the things that has caught most people’s attention is Google Hangouts, the feature that lets Google+ users set up video conference calls with up to ten users. So we thought that we’d use this feature for our recording. Well, as you’ll hear in this episode, there’s a reason why Google+ is still in the “test” period. Not everything works the way that you’d like it to. We lose Gini part of the way through. But she rejoins us by the end. We also experienced the same problem that Shel Holtz noticed when he and Neville Hobson recorded a special episode of the FIR podcast using Google Hangouts with Camtasia studio. The video recording had several defects – frozen screens and video that lagged behind the audio. Hangouts is quite ready for this use. But we’re hoping that Google will keep improving this feature and we’ll keep testing it. Eventually, I’m sure we’ll be able to produce a video version of Inside PR to accompany the audio version.

Have you ever sat down with a long time partner and said, if we could do it over again, what would we do differently? So far, I think that Google+ is the Social Network that’s doing it over and is doing it right.

For me, Facebook started as a place that suggested we could have private conversations with friends and family. But as Facebook developed its business model, it broke the faith with us on that. Bit by bit, it pushed our information onto public feeds – and it wasn’t always up front about what it was doing and didn’t provide us with easy control over how we could control our information.

Martin has been focused on rebuilding his network on Google+. And he’s found that it feels like the early days of Twitter, before the celebrities invaded it and the network became obsessed with numbers of followers. Martin’s finding that he can connect with his real community of interest on Google+ and have much higher quality conversations than he’s experienced on the other networks.

So far, I’ve had an experience similar to Martin. I’ve found that I share the interests of most of the people who have followed me. And by using the Circles feature to sort people by topic, I can dip into different areas just as I would if I were choosing between sections of a newspaper. A great way to increase the signal to noise ratio.

Martin also finds that a strength of Google+ is the ease with which users can adjust their privacy settings – on a general basis and on a post by post basis. It’s intuitive and clear.

Gini also points out that the Circles approach is different from the asymmetrical following on Twitter and the symmetrical friending on Facebook. And this means that we’ll have to develop a different way of figuring out how to manage ourselves in a way that takes full advantage of the unique properties of Google+

So, that’s our Google+ discussion this week. It’s the biggest thing that’s happened in social media in the past couple years. We’ll continue to test it and share our experiences in future weeks.

And what about you? Are you using Google+? What do you think of it? It’s strengths? Its weaknesses?

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

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

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR 2.61: Summertime…and the reading is easy

A few weeks ago on Inside PR 2.58, the summer movie releases gave us the idea to talk about films on PR. And thanks to a suggestion from Jody Koehler, we’re opening the page to PR (and business) books we’re currently reading and a few ‘classics’ we’d like to recommend.

Here’s our list:

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman – a smart and insightful primer on curating or creating content.

Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff – the bible for any PR person moving into the digital world.

What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis – while it’s not PR/communications focused, it helps you think about your spheres of influence and how to connect with them.

Welcome to the Fifth Estate by Geoff Livingstone – a new book that offers a perspective on understanding and working with citizen journalists.

Outcome-Based Marketing by John D. Leavy – a book on measuring results and new rules for marketing online.

Funny Business by Jeff Silverman – the president of Yuk Yuk’s, Canada’s comedy club chain, looks at the business of showbiz and how all his ventures were successful because he built communities.

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky – about the world we’re living in and the technological revolution we’re living through.

Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management by James E. Grunig – for anyone preparing for their APR. Check out how relevant his two-way symmetrical communication model is to social media.

The Trusted Advisor and True Professionalism by David Maister – how to gain an understanding of business problems that need to be solved and become a trusted counsellor.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman – well worth reading for anyone who is creating content to get a sense of the trivial and the consequential.

Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky – takes off on the ideas he presented in Here Comes Everybody and examines the productivity capacity we all have – if we get off the couch.

Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger – opens your eyes to what happens to information when it’s digitized and freed from physical constraints.

Army of Entrepreneurs by Jennifer Prosek – a great primer in how to set up a successful PR consulting business.

Hope that gives you a few ideas to read on the beach (or anywhere) this summer. Do you have any other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. And we’ll be expecting your book reports in the fall – no extensions :).

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.