Inside PR 443: What’s really going on with Facebook Trending Topics?

Early data on the performance of Facebook Instant articles. Periscope makes videos permanent. Donald Trump does something that crosses the ethical line for PR pros. And we look at the deeper issues underpinning the discussion about Facebook’s Trending Topics.

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.

This week’s #InsidePRMustKnows:

  • Publishers are reporting mixed results with Facebook Instant Articles, according to Digiday. They are driving traffic, but it is less engaged. Nevertheless, revenue is flowing to publishers. So, Instant Articles as a publishing platform isn’t going away anytime soon.
  • Periscope is about to make videos permanent with save settings in its app. This is big news. Facebook Live Videos gained a huge advantage over Periscope by making it easy for people to save their videos. By making it easy for users to save their videos beyond the current 24 hour expiry date, Periscope will even up the playing field.
  • And in our “too bizarre not to be true item,” Gini offers her thoughts on Donald Trump posing as a PR rep in a call to media. “It’s not OK!”

Algorithms are not neutral

In our main discussion, we turn our attention to lack of transparency in how Facebook’s Trending Topics are selected. This is a far reaching and important issue. It’s about Facebook’s emergence as a media outlet. It’s about dominance of one player. It’s about the level of transparency necessary so that we can assess bias. And it’s about the additional obligation to transparency and scrutiny that Facebook should now be subject to.

During our discussion, we cite several sources that you should read in order to have the facts to make up your own mind about what is at stake:

We’d love to know what you think.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter. And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 442: Our tenth anniversary takes tips from Disney Creative

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PR

We’re  belatedly celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Inside PR podcast. Terry Fallis and David Jones posted the first episode of Inside PR on April 3, 2006. Back then the tag line was “Inside PR: Going deep on the state and future of public relations.” After recording 200 episodes, Terry and David decided that they’d said all that they wanted to say. But they didn’t retire the podcast. Instead they passed it along to Martin Waxman, who had been co-hosting with Terry and David. Martin, in turn, brought Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley in as new co-hosts. And thanks to Terry and David’s benevolence, the Inside PR podcast now has been running continuously for over ten years. That’s a record of longevity that we’re proud of. And we’re not thinking of stopping anytime soon.

Also this week, we give a shout out to original co-host Terry Fallis, who has just been shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for his novel, Poles Apart. Terry has won the Leacock award twice before, for his first novel, The Best Laid Plans, and for his fourth novel, No Relation.  The award winner will be announced on June 11. So check your Twitter feed on the evening of June 11 and send Terry your best wishes.

This week’s #IPRMustKnows:

Also this week, we talk about the Counselors Academy Conference that Martin attended in Puerto Rico. Martin’s big takeaway from the conference was the continuing trend for PR agencies to integrate design, video, paid media and other disciplines as the traditional silos of creative, advertising, PR and content converge.

While at the Counselors Academy Conference, Martin interviewed one of the keynote speakers, Duncan Wardle, Vice President of Creative Inc., Disney Parks and Resorts’ creative think tank. He offers some great advice for priming creativity in our own organizations.

We’d love to know what you think.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter. And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 441: Marching to Facebook’s tune

This week, Gini DietrichMartin Waxman, and Joseph Thornley chat about more changes to Facebook and their impact on our news consumption and publishers. Oh, and we couldn’t let Boaty McBoatface go by without comment.

Martin tells us that Facebook is testing sections in its newsfeed – sports, entertainment, lifestyle, politics, etc. A good idea that will make Facebook a better browser experience for news.

Gini wants us to be sure to note that Buzzfeed has demonstrated that Facebook Live Video can aggregate broadcast-size audiences. Over ten million people watched Buzzfeed staff wrap elastic bands around a watermelon until it exploded. At one time during the forty minute broadcast 800,000 viewers were watching concurrently. Could there be any clearer indicator that if Facebook will build a video platform, we will come?

And dredging up for Joe memories of happy hours spent playing with toy boats in the bathtub, Boaty McBoatface showed that the public may have a better sense of humour than people in authority. If you ask a casual question, be ready for a whimsical answer.

Finally, Martin points out the recent article on Wired, Facebook has seized the media, and that’s bad news for everyone but Facebook. News is important to Facebook. But it’s not what Facebook cares about. Instead, the platform is focusing on packaging content as an experience that will draw us and keep us. The content doesn’t matter to Facebook as much as the packaging and whether it holds attention.

We’d love to know what you think.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter. And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 440: Wall to Wall Facebook

This week, Gini DietrichMartin Waxman, and Joseph Thornley chat about all things Facebook.

It may be big, but Facebook is like a shark. It just keeps moving. Recently, Facebook opened itself to sponsored content. We talk about recent changes at Facebook, including sponsored content. We talk about the need for adequate disclosure of sponsored content to enable people to recognize it as such.

We also discuss Facebook Messenger’s second email inbox. It seemed to have sent a lot of people into a tizzy. Joe, on the other hand, is quite happy to have Facebook Messenger filter out as many messages as possible.

Facebook uses its huge data store to fine tune its news and advertising algorithms. But kudos to the company for this innovation: Facebook introduced auto captioning to make itself more accessible to people with site impairment. Good on Facebook!

And we couldn’t talk about Facebook without talking about Facebook Live Videos. They are available to all of us and we’ve been using it. Video for the rest of us. Video that persists (unlike Periscope which expires.) Video that we can schedule with an event. Or, as we have done, video available only to members of a group (join the Inside PR Facebook group to see the video Joe made of his end of the recording of this podcast.)

We’d love to know what you think. 

  • Is Facebook going to become the one social network to rule them all?
  • Junk filters? Nuisance or must-have.
  • Have you used Facebook Live Videos yet? How was your experience? Do you have tips for others who are just beginning to use them?

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter. And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 438: The media world is spiky, not flat

Martin here. And we’re all back.

We start this week with three #IPRMustKnows:

Gini talks about Facebook’s new mobile app, Moments, that searches your camera roll, groups photos together and asks if you want to send them privately to the people in the shots. You can also create Moments for events, vacations, etc. (Of course, it’s not yet available in Canada 🙁 .)

Joe discusses Facebook’s Media Central studio in NYC that coaches celebrities on how to use the platform and live video. He says good enough video isn’t good enough anymore and we should take video streaming seriously, not just wing it. Soon FB will up the ante when they let people broadcast high-quality live video that can be integrated into their own studio control room.

I mention PRSA Counselors Academy. This year, I’m chair of the organization and our annual conference for independent PR agency owners and leaders is May 1 to 3 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There’s a fantastic program on the business of agency PR including a keynote on creativity from Disney’s Duncan Wardle. Here’s a link for more information or to register.

Our main topic this episode centres on the concentration of digital media and is based on The Game of Concentration by Joshua Benton, a story we read in the Niemen Lab Blog. The author makes the case that journalism used to be spread across North America because you needed a local newsroom to cover local news. With digital, you’d think that would create an even more distributed news world, but the high profile new media companies seem to be clustering in major markets like New York, Washington, LA or Silicon Valley, or Toronto, if you’re in Canada. Which means the media world is getting spikier and not flat. And that’s a challenge to both journalists and PR pros.

We’d love to know what you think. 

  • What does the future hold for local media and PR practitioners?
  • Will people’s interest in the immediate world around them spark a resurgence of local stories and news?

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter. And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 436: A crowded video space and agency fraud

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back together again for another Inside PR – the first in which all three of us are together in over a month.

IPR MustKnows

In this episode’s #IPRMust Know segment, we talk about Meerkat’s pivot, Facebook Reactions and Snapchat’s big video view numbers.

Meerkat is moving away from live streaming and attempting to pivot to become some type of video social network. Not surprising, given the tight integration of Periscope and Twitter and the introduction of Facebook live videos. It would be tough to see how Meerkat could stand out with the two main realtime social networks offering their own live streaming platforms.

Facebook Reactions have been with us for several weeks now. Chris Penn’s early look at the impact of Facebook Reactions suggested that “haven’t statistically changed engagement yet. If you publish unengaging content, Reactions won’t help you. If you already have a highly-engaged audience, you will likely continue to do so – Reactions don’t appear to make it better or worse.”  We offer our own early reactions to Reactions.

If you didn’t have enough video in your life, take a look at Snapchat. Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel says that Snapchat users are watching more than 8 billion videos per day. There’s clearly an audience for video. So, if you produce video as part of your initiatives, it’s worth checking out what works well on Snapchat.

Fake accounts. Could this happen to you?

We close out this episode with a discussion of the communications agency executive who faked over $250 million in contracts go gain advancement at this advertising agency. Sad but true.

And a big thanks to Suzy Chisholm. Suzy, who heard Joe state a few episodes back that he preferred single purpose apps over those that take a “Swiss Army Knife” approach. Suzy, who lives in Switzerland, sent us three Swiss Army Knives, branded with the Philips logo (where Suzy works) and a very nice note. Thank you Suzy. You brought smiles to our faces and reminded us that there are times when you want to reach for that one thing that does it all. 🙂

We’d love to know what you think.

  • Are you live streaming video for business? Are you using Periscope? Facebook Live Video? Meerkat or something else?
  • Are you training your team to use video or do you call in video specialists to produce video?
  • Are you seeing any impact from Facebook Reactions?
  • Is Snapchat for you?
  • Fake accounts. Could this happen to you? How do you make sure that you get paid for the work you do?
  • How many Swiss Army Knives do you own?

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 434: Counselors Academy and Specialization vs. Generalization in PR

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PR

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley take a look at PRSA’s Counselors Academy this week. The Counselors Academy conference is coming up May 1-3 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All three of us have participated in the past. It is a unique opportunity for PR agency leaders to learn about the “business of the business.” It’s a networking place to find others who share the same business challenges that you do as a communications business leader. In fact, Martin, Gini and Joe first met at the Counsellors Academy annual conference in Phoenix. It’s not too late to register for this year’s conference. If you do attend, make sure to say hello to Martin! 🙂

For our second topic, Gini asks the question, “Is specialization in PR a thing of the past or the way of the future?” Martin and Joe weigh in with their views and how they have harnessed generalist and specialist knowledge in their careers.

We’d love to know what you think. 

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

IPR 433: Tools to manage comments

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PR

On this week’s Inside PR, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley talk about keeping comments from dying. Gini talks about her experience with the SpinSucks blog. Gini has watched comments on her blog decrease while conversation on private Facebook groups has increased. One of the things she is doing to bring renewed life to the comment area of SpinSucks is to switch from LiveFyre to Postmatic for comment management. Postmatic enables commenting via email. Danny Brown is a big advocate of Postmatic, which enables commenting via email. Danny says that he has experienced a substantial lift in comments on his blog since enabling email comments through Postmatic. So, Gini has decided to try it. She’s testing it out now and will chronicle her experience with it on future episodes of Inside PR.

We also talk about the absolute must-use, can’t live without it tool for all content publishers – Google Analytics. Gini and I use Analytics daily for all of our sites. We talk about why – the insights into the performance of our content. We spend so much time creating it. Why walk away and simply hope that it reached an audience. We share how we use it – and hopefully this will help you as well.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

 

 

Inside PR 432: More must-have PR apps

Martin here and this week, it’s part two of our discussion about apps and tools we like.

But first #IPRMustKnow:

The Twitter 10K – No it’s not a marathon, it’s the chatter that Twitter’s going to increase its character limit to 10,000 (from 140). We’re mixed on what we think about this. Gini feels it’s another replacement for the verbosity of emails. Joe noticed that even with more characters in DMs, he’s getting fewer of those. I wonder if this isn’t another way to keep people on the platform in mobile. OK, we all like Twitter the way it is… but we also don’t want to be curmudgeons.

Peach – the social network flavour of the moment. Peach is a new social network and messaging app created by Vine’s co-founder. Have you tried it? When we recorded this episode, Gini, Joe and I each had two friends on it and (hint) they’re all hosts of IPR. It’s too early to tell whether or not Peach will catch on – certainly the network effect isn’t evident yet. But, like all new social platform, we encourage you to check it out and see for yourself. And feel free to connect with us there.

And that brings us to our main topic – apps we like and use.

Slack
If you haven’t tried it, Slack is a collaborative chat and networking app that helps manage projects and workflow. Among other things, we use it to prep for IPR. You can set up channels for conversations specific to your needs (i.e. client channels, trends, etc.), add and save links, post documents and easily find what you’re looking for through its search. We all like its simplicity and that it gives us the ability to communicate in the moment.

Auphonic
Auphonic is an audio production app that we use to produce IPR. It lets us edit, include metadata, equalize sound and reduce hum. And because of Auphonic, Inside PR now has its album art back on iTunes.

What other apps would you recommend? We’d love to hear your suggestions and test them out.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 431: The must-have apps for communicators in 2016

What are the tools that you as a communications professional use every day in your work? The tools that you just couldn’t live without?

This week on Inside PR, Martin WaxmanGini Dietrich and I talk about the top apps and digital tools that we use and that we recommend should be in every communicator’s toolbox.

First up: Evernote. An amazing app for taking notes, for organizing your ideas, for developing to do lists. It’s an app that syncs across all your devices – desktop, your table, and your phone. Evernote has a range of plug ins and extensions that make it even more useful. Gini has a Moleskin notebook that she uses to handwrite notes, which she then scans into Evernote to make them searchable. I use Evernote’s Scannable iOS App in place of a traditional scanner. Just point it at a document and Scannable will capture the document and import it to Evernote and enable you to share it via the channel of your choice. If you are still taking notes in Word and saving the notes as separate documents, consider trying Evernote. Your thoughts, ideas and images will always be a search away.

Next, Gini tells us about Zoom.us. We recorded this podcast on Zoom.us. It provides great HD audio plus HD video. (Yes, the quality of our audio is not all that we’d like it to be. That’s not Zoom’s fault. That’s because we are using WiFi to connect to the Internet. Clearly, we need to use wired connections if we want the highest quality audio and video.) Zoom.su enables users to set up meetings and invite participants, who can join simply by clicking on a link. Participants can connect to audio via the Web or the phone.  We’ve found this tool to be a far superior user experience when compared to something like WebEx or even Skype.

Finally, this episode, we talk about Feedly. Feedly is our RSS reader of choice. Feedly delivers the content from the sources that matter to us as soon as it is published. And unlike earlier RSS readers, it makes the act of subscribing as simple as copying a URL into the subscribe window. This is important to people who need to follow a specialized subject or a set of experts and who cannot rely on their social networks to tell them about something. Martin looks at Feedly as a “personal subscribe button” that delivers content to one inbox.

We want to know what you think about the things we discussed on this episode.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

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 Joseph Thornley.