Inside PR 427: SxSW drops the ball

Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and I are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. This week, we point to several #IPRMustKnows:

  • Gini talks about the backlash against Black Friday consumerism and what one company did, announced it would be closed on Black Friday. A gesture that gained them tremendous positive commentary around social media.
  • Martin tells us that Rogers Publishing is pulling its Canadian fashion magazine, Flare, from newsstands, starting in January 2016. They’re not abandoning the magazine. They’ll keep publishing it digitally, because that’s where their audience is. Traditional magazines continue to evolve.
  • On the growth side of the ledger, podcasts are on their way to the Google Play. US Podcasters are registering their podcasts with the app now. Expect to see the launch to consumers early in 2016.

The US-first launch of podcasts on Google Play, the US-first launch of Facebook Instant News, the US-first launch of the Apple News launch raises an important issue for non-Americans. In a world in which first to market and first to use provides a real advantage, social businesses and marketers outside the US must play catch up again and again.

Finally, we talk about SXSW’s bobble of the gamergate panels. This was big news when it happened and it will be interesting to see how it colours the conference when it opens in March.

Are we talking to ourselves? We hope not. Please let us 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.

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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 426: It’s Jeopardy VR

This week, Martin and Gini do another two-hander, as I’m AWOL. (I have to stop making a habit of this.)

Martin’s #IPRMustKnow takes us to the other side with Alex Trebek and Jeopardy’s Virtual Reality experience. Really?!?!

Gini’s #IPRMustKnow is the removal of share counts by Twitter. You’ll have to find another way to get your share counts. Don’t freak out. It’s OK.

But let’s talk about something cool for our main discussion. Let’s talk sensory metaphors. Jonah Berger’s recent contemplation of why cool is still “cool.” Or it that hot?

Are we talking to ourselves? We hope not. Please let us 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.

 

 

Inside PR 423: Has Big Tech Become Too Powerful?

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We’re back after a brief end of summer hiatus and start off with this week’s #IPRMustKnow segment.

Martin: Signal, Facebook’s new app for FB and Instagram, gives journalists a set of tools to discover breaking news, curate visuals and stories and share them on various platforms.

Gini: Google and Twitter have teamed up to provide an open-source competitor to Facebook’s Instant Articles, a place for publishers to display breaking news on mobile.

Joe – How do you spell Google Reader? Apple News. Joe gives an overview of the much-touted app. He likes the visual interface but doesn’t think it’s a replacement for an RSS reader yet. And he offers a quick hack on how to get the app if you’re not in the U.S. – but you’ll have to listen to the show to get it :).

And our talk of the big three – Apple, Google and Facebook – brings us to our main topic: a New York Times op-ed by Berkeley prof Robert Reich called, Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful. Reich contends Facebook, Google and Apple have too much influence over the government and regulators and the way we discover news and content.

Listen for our discussion. And please send your thoughts. We’re interested to hear what you think.

We end by answering a question Barbara Nixon posed on Facebook and Twitter: ‘What should new PR pros expect and prepare for when interviewing for an entry-level PR position?’

Gini wants to hear where people see themselves in five years and where their career path is heading.

Joe tries to have a conversation with potential hires to see if the person can exchange ideas with him, and if they fit into a culture of creativity and curiosity.

Martin suggests searching the company to find out about the principals, how they think, and what their culture is. And then search yourself to see if there are any red flags.

Any other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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.

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 421: The Business of Podcasting

This week, on Inside PR 421, we introduce our first Inside PR Book Club #IPRBookClub, featuring The Business of Podcasting by Donna Papacosta and Steve Lubetkin. We’re not alone in the book club. Mark Blevis, co-author of Touch, and Kevin Anselmo from the FIR on Higher Education podcast weigh in with their thoughts on the book. On top of that, Donna Papacosta joins us to tell us who she and Steve were thinking of when they wrote the book and what they hope people will take away with them from reading it.

We also have our regular IPR Must Know #IPRMustKnow segment:

More evidence of the power of search to shape opinion. This time, it’s an academic study showing that manipulating search results can affect how people vote. It’s important for us to constantly be aware of the power of Google.

Gini and the Arment Dietrich team tested Facebook’s Notes feature and they discovered that posts written via the Notes feature are in fact extending the reach of their content. If you have a company page, it’s worth taking a fresh look at whether you should be posting content via Facebook Notes.

Martin points out that, after several years absence, Twitter posts are again showing up in real time in Google’s desktop search. The return of a beautiful relationship.

We’d love to hear from you.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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.

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 411: Communications across borders

What happens when we are trying to communicate with people who live in another place with a distinctively different culture? Do they do things differently there? How can we be sensitive to these differences?

As communicators, we are attuned to the audience we want to reach. But still we are grounded in the people around us, to where we work and live. It’s hard not to have our approach shaped by “the way we do things around here.” In other words, the local culture. It’s what we’re exposed to each and every day. So we don’t challenge or think about whether it is the best way of doing things.

On this week’s episode of the Inside PR podcast, we explore these questions with two guests who have lived and worked on both sides of the Atlantic.

Suzy Chisholm is head of communications at Philips Switzerland. A transplanted Canadian, she has spent over twenty years living and working in Switzerland, a country at the heart of Europe and a country with three languages.

Sherrilynne Starkie has worked in Washington, London, the Isle of Man and now in Canada.

Both Suzy and Sherrilynne offer their perceptions and insights into the challenges of communicating in different cultures. And then Martin, Gini and I weigh in with our own thoughts.

We hope that this discussion opens some windows onto the different experiences and approaches people may have working as communicators around the world.

What is your experience? Have you had direct experience of the differences driven by culture and language? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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.

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 Ashlea McGrath.

 

Inside PR 409: Living in a world of micro-moments and video to go

Martin here and excuse me while I check my phone. I’m having a micro-moment. But more on that in a few, er-moments.

This week it’s Joe and me; Gini’s on the road. And because of our schedules recently, you’ve probably noticed May has been a quieter IPR month. But we’re all back in June.

In today’s episode, we have a couple of topics to discuss – both revolving around Google.

The first is micro-moments, or what Google describes as ‘I want to know, I want to go, I want to buy moments’. I call them the frequent times we turn to our smartphones during the day – often when we’re in the middle of something else – to find out some info, daydream, or take a mini-break from what we’re doing.

These mobile interactions are having a profound impact on the way we discover and consume information and what we do with our idle time.

Many of our micro-moments revolve around watching videos. And according to Google, people who view videos on their phones are 1.4 times as likely to watch ads as those on desktops or TVs and are more likely to talk about the ads they saw. Are the dollar signs lighting up?

The challenge for brands is to learn how to produce video that works for the small-screen. In other words, create for the medium – panorama shots may be amazing in a movie theatre, but don’t work so well on a five inch screen. Think about your audience and what they’re looking for and how you can reach them with the kind of video they want to see at the just the right point in time. Here’s a post from Joe with his thoughts on the importance of creating videos for mobile devices.

What do you think about micro-moments, how they’re affecting our purchase intent and attention spans? And when you’re in the middle of one of these moments, what kinds of video content makes you stop, watch and share?

We’d love to hear from you.

And thanks to Breyanna Tripp from Kent State and Charles Cawte for their comments.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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.

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 Ashlea McGrath.

 

 

Inside PR 399: Don’t put a Target on your back

Target Canada got itself into big business trouble in Canada. And it got itself into even bigger reputation trouble with the way it is leaving the country.

It has become commonplace for companies to care about being seen to be responsible corporate citizens. And this involves both doing and being seen to exercise their corporate social responsibility. To make the communities in which they operate better places. To give back as well as to receive.

We expect that corporations will want to be seen to be doing more than the bare minimum they can get away with. And perhaps that’s why Target Canada has garnered so much bad media in the wake of their decision to pull out of the Canadian market. They were perceived as doing as little as the law required them to do in order to get out of the country.

Whether this was justified or not, the company seemed almost to be playing rope a dope, absorbing the blows without attempting to fight back.

Did Target give its employees, its suppliers and its partners a raw deal? Were they inept or calculating in their communications? Will this affect their reputation in the United States?

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and I explore these questions on this week’s Inside PR podcast. Give it a listen and make up your own mind. Does Target deserve the target on its back?

Context

Here is a selection of the media coverage and commentary around Target’s retreat from Canada.

Target closes all 133 stores in Canada; Seeks creditor protection

Target Canada owes more than 5 billion to creditors

Target Canada owes advertising, marketing and PR partners

Top Target Canada Managers get big cash payouts as stores close

More must be done to help laid off target employees 

Target closure causing crisis for independent pharmacies, owners say

Target Canada patient records sold

Ontario pharmacists fighting Target Canada

Target Canada liquidation sales draw crowds and mockery

 

What do you think?

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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.

We’d ask one favour of you. 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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 398: Is blogging over or has it morphed into something else?

Martin here. On today’s show it’s Joe and me. Gini’s on the road but she’ll be back next week.

Our topic comes from a post by Mathew Ingram about the state of blogging and how it has evolved. We’ve noticed a number of people who were active bloggers have slowed down their output, moved away from the platform or started publishing somewhere else.

So is that a trend? Are we entering a post-blogging landscape?

Joe starts off by mentioning a series like Sherlock that looked edgy and new a few years ago, yet seems a bit dated today. He thinks the same may be true for blogs.

I always considered blogging more of a publishing platform rather than an unedited stream or conversation. And as a PR person who wrote for clients, I found my voice again when I started my blog.

Joe thinks blogging has become more of a place for personal journaling. It hasn’t gone away but now it has a specialized purpose.

Joe also noticed that for a number of years we were fixated on the river of news and that’s not the only way for information to be organized. New apps value content that doesn’t carry as much weight and that the search engines can’t grab and data mine.

It’s a bigger range of content. And it’s about distinctive voices – columnists. In many ways, it always was.

And before we go: I noticed, as I was listening to the episode and writing the notes, that I said, ‘The Snapchat’. Yipes. Honestly, I didn’t mean to. Let’s chalk it up my affinity for the old Triple-W… and (hopefully) leave it at that.

Is blogging simply publishing? Are you moving to something more ephemeral like chat? Do you want your ideas archived or would you like your comments to be delivered and disappear?

Many of you listen to us on iTunes and it would be great if you could leave us a review.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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 McGrath.

Inside PR 395: The chat app is the medium

Martin here.

Happy New Year and welcome back! We hope you had a fun and restful holiday.

In 2015, we’re planning to reinvigorate IPR by making it more topical and dealing with an issue or two a week. Stay tuned…

We start by congratulating Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson on the 10th anniversary of For Immediate Release! Here’s (hears?) to many, many more! We’re thrilled to be part of the FIR podcast network.

We also have some sad news. Michael Herman, a senior PR agency leader we know from Counselors Academy, passed away suddenly on Saturday at his home in North Carolina. Michael was the consummate PR pro, received PRSA’s highest honour, the Gold Anvil award, taught PR and never stopped learning, asking questions and helping people. Gini shares a personal memory of Mike on Pinterest and how they used to trade recipes. Here’s a moving tribute from Peppercom founder, Steve Cody. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Mike’s family and friends. 

Now onto this week’s main topic. Over the break I noticed a number of what’s ahead roundups – including TechCrunchAdAge and GigaOm – highlighted the renewed interest in chat apps as a key way for people to communicate and connect.

Which leads to the question: how can professional communicators, who participate in public conversations, navigate in the world of chat?

Gini: A big issue is anything you post online can and will be used against you. In other words, private isn’t necessarily private, anymore.

Joe harkens back to the early days social media where you had people talking to people versus brands talking to people. Now that marketers are monitoring public interactions, he believes ordinary people, who may not trust commercial accounts, are turning to messenger apps as a way to communicate.

Private or public messages? Which will be your default in 2015? We’d love to hear what you think.

One last thing. Many of you listen to us on iTunes and it would be great if you could leave us a comment or rating. Thanks!

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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 McGrath.

Inside PR 392: The algorithm called journalism

We start this episode with a burning question from Gini: Is lasagna pasta – yes or no?

Joe and I both say yes. And so Gini, armed with the information she desperately needs, is ready to take on her dinner menu. That is, unless you, our listeners, think otherwise. Please let us know.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Joe starts the show talking about the notion of who makes news decisions – editors or algorithms. This was sparked by an Emily Bell speech and spawned a discussion online as well as several posts, including one by Jeff Jarvis.

In her talk, Bell contends journalists, who once controlled the determination and distribution of news, have lost their hold or maybe they’ve been supplanted. Their replacements? In digital channels, many editorial decisions are made by people fine-tuning algorithms or the algorithms themselves.

Martin says on the editorial front, we’ve traded one concentrated group of publicly-traded companies (media) for another (social networks as new media).

Gini says there’s so much info out there that until something’s been confirmed by the fourth estate, we tend not to believe it. Traditional media is the filter.

Joe contends PR is in an ideal position to bridge the gap between journalistic decision makers and the way algorithms pick content. And by seeing both sides of the coin, we can still help get news in front of people either though media or their feeds.

And that’s where understanding influence and influencers comes into play. Martin mentions a new type of influencer: a young video game player with an engaged audience who was featured in an article in the NYTimes. And the profession needs to refine its approach to public relationship-building to take this into account.

Are algorithms the new equivalent of editors – we don’t know who/what they are and yet they make many decisions? Is that a good or a bad thing? We’d love to hear what you think.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], 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 McGrath.