Inside PR 368: Spin Sucks!

Spin sucks! You know it and I know it. And Gini Dietrich knows it. But even more, Gini has written a new book, Spin Sucks, in which she shows us how to replace spin with authentic communications that your community will find informative, entertaining and useful.

Spin Sucks the Book has just launched. And in this week’s episode of Inside PR, Martin Waxman and I talk with Gini about the book, what it tells us, and her innovative approach to marketing the book. (If you know Gini, you wouldn’t expect anything less from her than to turn the launch of her book into a marketing experiment. She’s always thinking of how to do things better.) This included a Brand Ambassador program to spread the word about the book so that Gini could maintain a much more limited travel schedule to promote Spin Sucks than she had to maintain when promoting her previous book, Marketing in the Round. Over 800 people applied to be a Brand Ambassador, agreeing to buy the book and write a review to coincide with the launch date. Ultimately, she selected over 200 of the applicants to be Ambassadors.

If you wonder what type of results Gini got from this approach, check out the quality of the reviews on Amazon.com. High quality, Well written, persuasive reviews from people who’ve read and loved the book. (At the time I write this, there are 76 reviews of Gini’s book. Sixty five are 5 star and eleven are four star. It doesn’t get much better than that.)

Gini will be launching Spin Sucks in Canada at Third Tuesday Toronto on April 7 and Third Tuesday Ottawa on April 8. There are still a small number of tickets available. So if you’d like to meet Gini and get a signed copy of the book click on one of the following links to register for Third Tuesday Toronto or register for Third Tuesday Ottawa.

Also this week, we had a listener comment from Charlene Burke about the use of LinkedIn.

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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 Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 365: MasterCard ties one on, Facebook going mobile and the New Klout

Gini Dietrich and I do a two-hander in this episode as Martin is on a train with only spotty online access.

This week we talk about MasterCard’s aggressive PR tactics around the Brit Awards, more evidence that we’re all going mobile and the New Klout.

MasterCard ties one on

Gini pointed to MasterCard’s efforts to tie  coverage of MasterCard to access to the Brit Awards. Dominic Ponsford detailed exactly what happened, from the PR company’s suggestion that access would be tied to agreement to mention MasterCard through the reactions to the Twitter backlash.

Ponsford published the text of an email to a reporter in which MasterCard’s PR company asked reporters to agree to tweet MasterCard messages in their feeds. The PR company went so far as to suggest content for tweets before, during and after the event:

Pre event – e.g. Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises

Event night – live tweeting from the event including @MasterCardUK handle and #PricelessSurprises and to retweet @MasterCardUK tweets throughout the night where appropriate

Post event – tweet directing followers to @MasterCardUK BRITs YouTube videos

Needless to say, this prompted a backlash, with Twitter comments like this:

The managing director of the PR agency didn’t back down, arguing that:

“The role of the PR agency is to pursue all coverage opportunities on behalf of its clients. This includes providing accurate brand references from the outset, for use across all platforms. It is a two-way conversation between the journalist and the PR in order to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. Editorial control always remains with the journalist.”

Gini and I discuss our views about this type of tactic. Gini sees this as an illustration of the fine line between legitimately promoting an event and the questionable offering of a benefit for coverage.

I see it as a clear example of tied coverage. “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. You give me reference to my client and I will give you access to the awards.”  Yes we have seen this before. Think of auto journalists flown to exotic locations to review new cars. But in recent years, the trend has been against these kinds of junkets, with many news organizations telling their staff to refuse the benefits. “You can’t blame a guy for trying. But you can blame the other guy for playing along.”

What do you think of MasterCard’s media relations approach? Too cheeky? Or taking fair advantage of the an opportunity. Or somewhere in between.

Canadians go mobile with Facebook

The world truly is going mobile. New stats out of Facebook Canada indicate that Facebook Canada is making more money on mobile devices than on PCs and stationary devices. Of Facebook’s nineteen million Canadian users, ten million check their Facebook account once a day via mobile versus only four million who check it daily from non-mobile devices like desktops.

To me, this just underscores the importance of think mobile first. If you are thinking about communicating with people primarily in front of PCs or laptops, you’re failing to follow the audience where they’ve actually gone. They are looking at the mobile devices in their hand.

Gini cautions against following an overall trend without looking at your specific circumstance. In her experience, many sectors are lagging behind in the move to mobile, with many of her clients’ sites continuing to receive the majority of their traffic from desktop applications. It’s important that you know where your traffic is coming from. So check your analytics.

A New (Improved?) Klout

And finally, we discuss the new Klout. Gini finds it useful, because it surfaces content from people with whom she already engages. Gini also finds the measurement tab to be useful in that it’s suggests which individual pieces of content have generated the greatest engagement. For my part, I find the metrics to be even more dumbed down than they used to be and of the dubious value. It appears to me that Klout is positioning itself as a tool to assist content creators in competition with established players like HootSuite or Buffer.

What do you think? Is the new Klout a step forward or moved to irrelevance?

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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 Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

 

Special edition: The ABCs of podcasting at CPRS Ottawa’s Re-Boot Camp for Communicators

Ashlea here, your Inside PR podcast producer…

Today Joe and I took part in a high-wire feat at CPRS Ottawa’s Re-Boot Camp for Communicators.

Together we demonstrated the basic steps of producing a quality podcast, talked about the hardware and software you need to get started, and published this edition – live.

If you’re listening to this episode now, it means we’ve successfully completed our act! Can you hear the applause?

In all seriousness, CPRS Ottawa’s Re-Boot Camp was a lovely time; thanks for having us!

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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 Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 360: The Morning After the Day Before

Twas the morning after New Year’s Eve. January 1 2014. And Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are here – barely – to wish you all the best for the coming year.

We hope that you’ll make a date to listen to Inside PR each week as we enter our eighth year of podcasting.

Cheers!

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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 Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.57: Introducing the FIR Podcast Network

On this week’s Inside PR podcast, we have the second of a two part interview with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, the co-hosts of one of the longest running podcasts for professional communicators, the FIR For Immediate Release podcast. Last week, we talked about the early origins of podcasting, what motivated Shel and Neville to become podcasters, the content they offer and their relationship with their community.

In this week’s interview, we talk about the launch of the FIR Podcast Network, what it is and what the future holds for it.

This autumn, Shel and Neville launched another initiative – assembling a series of other related communications podcasts into the FIR Podcast Network – a collection of podcasts offering an unequalled breadth and depth of coverage of topics and best practices of interest to the professional communicator. In the past two months, the podcasts now on the FIR Podcast Network have grown to include:

FIR, the Hobson and Holtz Report, the original flagship podcast in which Neville and Shel cover the news of the week and draw on the discussions occurring on the FIR Podcast Google+ community;

FIR on Strategy, Andrea Vascellari‘s weekly tutorial on the development and application of strategy to communications challenges;

FIR Presents All Things IC, Rachel Miller‘s monthly look at internal communications issues and practices;

TV@Work, Ron Shewchuk‘s look at how to use video to engage employees.

Linked Conversations in which Chuck Hester unlocks the secrets to effective use of LinkedIn as a business tool; and

Inside PR, in which Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley bring an agency leader’s perspective to the most important and latest developments in communications.

Gini, Martin and I are excited to be part of the FIR Podcast Network. We think it has the potential to turn into something much more over time. At a minimum, it’s returned some of the joy of discovery and innovation that was the hallmark of the early days of our social media journey together. And over time, it may well become a definitive source for communications news and tips.

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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 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 part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.56: Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, Pioneers of Podcasting for Communicators

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson began their FIR For Immediate Release podcast, in January 2005. And they’ve been podcasting every week since then, making the FIR podcast one of the longest continuous podcasts featuring content for professional communicators. In fact, on the morning that I post this interview, Shel and Neville have just posted episode 732 of the FIR. That’s a lot of content. That’s dedication to the community.

This week on the Inside PR podcast, we have the first of a two part interview Joseph Thornley recorded with Shel and Neville. In today’s installment, we go back to the beginning to talk about how Shel and Neville first got into podcasting. We also talk about how they structure the episodes, pick their content and think about their audience as they produce programs. If you’re interested in what motivates two of the best podcasters and why they’ve kept going over the years, this episode is for you.

When you listen to this, you’ll notice that Joseph Thornley is doing the show solo this week. Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman took at well deserved Thanksgiving break. They’ll be back in two weeks.

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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 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 part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.55: Agency or in-house? That is our question.

Here we are with our second show on the FIR podcast network.

And this week, we’re not talking about Toronto Mayor Ford’s – er…rather unique – approach to communications. That will come soon.

Gini introduces our topic, which she found via the Vocus content suite she’s testing out; a story about how Visa fired its PR agencies and took the work in house.

Is this a trend?
Gini hopes this won’t continue, but thinks there’s a chance it might. So she’s looking for more signs and wonders if other larger corporations will follow suit or not.

Joe references Dell’s experiment with a purpose-built agency that they started and then abandoned. He doesn’t believe the move to in-house is going to be a trend because agencies bring a broad outside approach, ideas and creativity that is a benefit for clients.

Martin agrees and says the external viewpoint offers a fresh perspective you may not have considered and gives the example that often times what seems like big news to a client may not be to the world and it’s an agency’s job to offer solid counsel and say the things you may not want to hear.

Agencies can also provide insights and analytics that help clients understand whether or not a campaign is a success and why.

We also talk about Twitter’s new Custom Timelines, content streams where you can follow a topic or hashtag and embed the feed on your website or blog. It’s something you could do on Hootsuite within the platform, but now on Twitter, it’s a publicly sharable feed.

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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 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.

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

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 354: PR Gets Native Advertising and Sponsored Content

In this week’s episode of Inside PR, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley talk about native advertising and sponsored content. Martin and Joe watched a smart panel of advertising and media people at the Mesh Marketing Conference talk about native advertising. We were struck by the absence from the panel of public relations practitioners. And that serves as a departure point for our conversation with Gini.

Also this week: Big news. Inside PR is affiliating with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson‘s FIR Podcast Network. We talk about this initiative and what we hope will come from it. We hope that our association with Shel and Neville and the other smart podcasters in the FIR family will bring you even more great content that will prove to be of help to you as a communicator.

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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 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.

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

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.51: Twitter tries some new moves

In this week’s in episode of Inside PR, Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley look at changes Twitter is making to its services as it approaches its IPO.

Other topics in this episode: Martin will be a mentor at SXSW in Austin and Mathew Ingram speaks at Third Tuesday.

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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 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.

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

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.