Inside PR 2.74: On the road with On the Record Online

We’re on the trade show of PRSA International Conference in Orlando talking with Eric Schwartzman – on a special joint episode with On the Record Online and Inside PR.

Like us, Eric also records his podcasts over Skype but prefers face to face interviews when he can. And he’s a veteran, who started in April 2005, just after For Immediate Release and around the same time Terry Fallis and David Jones began Inside PR.

Gini, Joe, Eric and I discuss the state of podcasting and Eric talks about his approach:

- He’s feature-oriented, as opposed to news focused, so his shows have a longer shelf-life.
- He continues podcasting because he likes to learn and finds when there’s a mic and recorder, he gets the best answers from experts.
- He sees which shows people love based on the stats, but doesn’t chase the audience; he does what interests him.
- He spends a good deal of time – about eight hours per episode – preparing, conducting interviews, editing and producing, writing and publishing show notes and publishing. It is a time commitment, but he gets nearly 1,000,000 downloads a year.

The discussion ends when a band starts up in the booth behind us.

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 2.73: Live from the PRSA Conference

Coming to you, live, from the PRSA International Conference…and we’re all in Orlando together.

It’s a far better experience to record in person than with Google Hangouts and our Zoom recorders. Body language is easier to read, even though we use video, and we can play off one another better.

We hope you agree!

Soledad O’Brien was the conference opening keynote where she talked about diversity and media relations.

She, as she says, is a “mixed race person.” Her dad is Irish and Australian and her mother is black and Cuban. During her keynote she describes systemic racism and how far we’ve come, but that we still have a long way to go.

Her parents were at Johns Hopkins and living in Baltimore as an engaged couple. They couldn’t get married in Baltimore because, in 1958, it was illegal. So they got married in DC and lived illegally in Baltimore as an interracial couple.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the communication industry.

The PRSA conferences have always had programming that drives toward a greater purpose. Our job is about serving more than the master; it’s our job to not accept things as they are, but to communicate views in order to move things forward.

The keynote Soledad set the right tone for the conference and for any kind of organization…that is: communications should serve as a higher purpose.

She also talked about storytelling being the foundation of everything. She said, as PR professionals, we have to tell her stories and then trust her to take our stories and create something useful for her audiences.

It really bothers her when she is pitched by people who haven’t bothered to watch what she does. She says it’s offensive to receive those kinds of pitches and this is something the three of us discuss at length during the podcast.

Also some news for Joe and Martin at the end…so don’t tune out early!

Coming soon: Interviews from old friends and new, including Pierre-Loic Assyag, Dan Tisch, Shonali Burke, Abbie Fink, Jay Baer, Mary Barber, John Devaney, Eric Schwartzman, and more!

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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_pron 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 2.72: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Martin Waxman, Joseph Thornley and Gini Dietrich start off by remembering the great figure and true visionary, Steve Jobs.

Joe encourages everyone to watch the infamous and powerful Steve Jobs commence speech done at Stanford University in 2005. Jobs end his speech with the words “stay hungry, stay foolish.” Words that inspire us all.

Martin reminds listeners that the Inside PR team will be at the PRSA Conference in Orlando, Florida from October 15 to 18th. He also invites listeners to check out his conversation with with conference co-chair, Bonnie Upright, APR, and PRSA chair and CEO, Rosanna Fiske, APR, about what to expect. Check out the special Inside PR episode here. Gini also remind anyone who is planning on attending the conference to RSVP for the Inside PR Tweet Up on Monday night where your first drink is on the Inside PR team.

Then the team jumps in to a discussion sparked by a comment by David:

Hey guys,

I’m currently a first year public relations student at Algonquin College. I’ve been listening in on your podcasts for a while now and the amount of information that flies around can sometimes be staggering.

The program has been great. It’s exhilarating to be involved in something with people who are as passionate as I am about PR.

But onto my question: Does a college diploma suffice as post-secondary background for jobs in this field? Most successful PR people I’ve spoken to have backgrounds in communications and university degrees. It worries me that my graduation from this program will not be enough.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could speak about this on your next show.

So Joe asks: what kind of education do we see coming through the door of the successful candidates we hire or we see others hire these days.

Martin believes any education is fine, but one should supplement that education with communications work. It is important to have a general background and understanding of communications and PR.

Gini says she doesn’t necessarily look at what the degree is in, just as long as there is a degree. She really pays attention to the internships a student has had before they graduated. She also mentions Arment Dietrich will not hire someone without that person completing and internship with them.

Joe echoes Gini’s point and talks about the importance of internships and encourages students to find a program with a co-op option. Joe mentions that an internship can be a ticket to a job offer.

However, all agree that networking and building a network using social media tools are very important

They finish off the episode with a discussion on a blog posts Gini posted social media tools for listening.

Gini talks about:

1. Twendz: reputation management tool
2. Technorati and Google Blog Search: blog tracking tools to find out who is talking about your services, your brand, your competition, etc.
3. Delicious and Diigo: social bookmarking tools
4. Twitter Search: search Twitter exclusively for your company key words and see what people are saying
5. Website grader and Blog grader: get a basic understanding of where your web property stands
6. Compete: compare your traffic to your competitions traffic.
7. Web analytics: Gini says everyone should be looking at their web analytics.

Joe compares paid tools versus free tools. Sometimes the paid tools don’t always catch everything, and it is sometimes a good thing to step back and see what other free tools can pick up. It may surprise you.

Martin adds to the list, blogrolls, see who the influential people are following. It can be a great way to expand your network.

Gini ends the show with a shout out to the guys over at Quiet News Day, Scott Douglas and Shaun Milne for mentioning Inside PR. Thanks guys!

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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_pron Twitter, or connect with Gini Dietrich, Joe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de Szegheo; Roger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR special edition: spotlight on the PRSA International Conference


The PRSA International Conference, the largest PR gathering in the world, takes place in Orlando, Florida, October 15 to 18, 2011.  Inside PR is happy to be one of the event sponsors and we had a chance to chat with conference co-chair, Bonnie Upright, APR, and PRSA chair and CEO, Rosanna Fiske, APR, about what to expect.

The event offers a combination of learning, networking, fun and a wonderful opportunity to connect with peers, colleagues, clients, and potential employers.

This year’s theme, ‘Imagine. Create. Inspire.’, speaks to how the profession – and the way we do our jobs – is evolving. 

‘We’re no longer simply purveyors of news releases, we’ve become storytellers.’

There are five programming tracks – Strategies, Tools and Techniques, Specialization, ROI, Leadership and Management – that feature sessions on digital/social media, traditional PR, crisis communications and professional development/accreditation.

Keynotes include: CNN correspondent Soledad O’Brien speaking about diversity, Disney imaginer Joe Rohde, whose talk is entitled ‘Theme is a Noun’ and Chris Brogan discussing online communities and how to engage them for your business.

Ultimately, the conference is about people, reconnecting, connecting and engaging with a global network of peers who understand your craft, the profession, your challenges and how the world of communications is transforming.

You can follow the Twitter stream at #PRSAIcon.

And if you haven’t registered and are interested in attending, you can get $100 off the registration by completing this form and entering the code SAVE100.

Join us for a Tweetup

Inside PR is hosting a poolside Tweetup on Monday, Oct 17. Here’s the e-vite with details. Hope to see you there.

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_pron Twitter, or connect with Gini Dietrich, Joe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de Szegheo; Roger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR 271: Complimenting Your Competition

Last week we had a really good comment from Yasin Akgun.

He asked:

Hi guys. I was wondering whether you could answer my question in your next show:

I’m managing the Twitter presence for a B2B company and was wondering whether I am being naive in thinking that Tweets praising or being positive about other brands’ products is OK and good BR (business relations) as well as PR. For example “just seen the Incentive range from Rival Company, stunning stuff!”

I hope the question isn’t one of these where I go back and think “wow how naive was I”. I just believe in fostering good relations with other organisations regardless of the stereotypical negative business attitude of “us and them, theyre our rivals”.

So Martin Waxman begins the discussion by asking, ”Should you be tweeting positively about your competition?”

The discussion is lively as we don’t all agree.

Joe Thornley has a point about the early days of social media and how we all shared freely…until we realized we could make money from teaching companies how to incorporate the social tools into their larger marketing programs.

He goes on to say the business world doesn’t see competitors as friendly and, when you give away too much information, they consider you naive. He said he’d rather be silent than compliment or diss them.

Gini Dietrich disagrees and says, while social has allowed her to gain credibility and thought leadership in order for Arment Dietrich to compete with the global PR firms, it was Counselor’s Academy that made her realize there are benefits in working with your competition, instead of against it.

And Martin balances the two by discussing the difference between friendly and cutthroat competition.

He also suggests that complimenting your competition online is really a business decision your company leaders need to make and not something you can do without discussing with them first.

We also touch on the Ragu “crisis,” which was created by some spam tweets and a few upset daddy bloggers. And we discuss the features and benefits of the new Delicious.

We also learned some very sad news. Barbara Nixon, a friend to all three of us, and long-time Inside PR listener, learned last week that her 22 year old son, Kyle, passed away unexpectedly. Our hearts go out to her and her family right now.

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Reminder: Inside PR will be recording live from the PRSA International Conference in Orlando on October 16 and 17. We’ll also be interviewing speakers and participants. So, if you’re planning to be there, let us know and we will grab a sound bite with you.

And, RSVP for the TweetUp on Monday, Oct. 18. The first drink is on us!

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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_pron 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.