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 3.59: Trends and fears for 2014

Martin here…

2013 is drawing to a close. And we know how busy people are with Christmas shopping, holiday parties and other seasonal celebrations. So we thought we’d keep it short and sweet and focus on one trend and one fear we have for 2014.

But first, I talk about PR Baton, a new initiative created by Dana Hughens, where PR people take part in a virtual relay on Instagram to visually showcase a day in the life of an industry pro. I was carrying the baton the day we recorded; here’s the photo I did to commemorate this episode.

Check out the PR Baton on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Now onto the show.

Gini’s Trend:
Agencies need to evolve or they will disappear. She references a study saying CMOs are unhappy with the roles ad and PR folks play in driving results for their organization because most agencies haven’t integrated digital with traditional and aren’t accountable for results.

Gini’s Fear:
Not being able to integrate the four media types – paid, earned, shared and owned – in a strategic way. PR especially needs to focus on learning about paid.

Joe’s Trend:
It’s going to be a year of big getting bigger; not necessarily for everyone’s betterment, but because there’s so much momentum in that direction. However, with that he sees an opportunity for independents who put their focus on innovation.

Joe’s Fear:
PR is going to become even more commoditized than it already is.

Martin’s Trend:
I harken back to 1999 and invoke another C word (and not content, communications or connection) – convergence. Next year is going to require a convergence of transmedia storytelling skills and agencies will have to take risks to find and  build the right team.

Martin’s Fear:
I reference a recent blog post that says while social media is fast, relationships and trust still take time. That’s something I hope we don’t forget.

What trends and fears to you have for 2014? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy holidays!

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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 3.58: The New Business Process

The new business process is always an interesting one for agencies.

RFPs, networking, conferences, and trade shows…oh my!

During this week’s episode we talk about blogging, speaking, and other ways to generate qualified leads, just like many of us would do for our clients, and Joe shares a secret on how they recently generated 15 qualified leads for the video side of his business.

But that’s not all!

Martin throws in some face-to-face opportunities, and recommends we get away from the echo chamber.

And I share our number one driver of new business: Speaking. Joe says he has lost his appetite for traveling (me too!), but I counter that with how well it works and provide an example. Joe also makes a good point about sticking around after you speak to talk with those who are too shy to approach a speaker as he or she is leaving the stage.

But the creme de la creme is what Martin proposes agencies do when asked to write a proposal. It’s an interesting thought and one that is worth exploring.

So take a listen and let us know what you think. If you’ve tried his idea, we’d love to hear about that, too.

P.S. Between the recording of this episode and today, Chicago got seven inches of snow. So I’m no longer jealous of Joe!

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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 3.57: 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 3.53: Seed&Spark

This week on Inside PR…

Roving reporter, Martin Waxman, talks to Emily Best, the CEO and founder of Seed&Spark.

Seed&Spark is a one-stop shop where filmmakers can crowdfund, distribute, and interact with their audience and the broader independent film community.

What does this have to do with PR, you ask? Joe Thornley asked that very question and got an answer!

We talk about how much of the social media conversation has devolved into things such as Klout scores. The chat with Emily reminds us there is a higher purpose of being valuable to your community and how we’ve lost that in recent years.

What’s also interesting about Emily’s mantra is the differences between the film industry and marketing. She talks about how the film industry has figured out storytelling, but doesn’t know how to build community and engagement. And marketing can build community and engagement, but hasn’t figured out how to tell compelling stories that aren’t self-centered.

The tie-in, of course, is Seed&Spark. They create the opportunity for the film industry to build fans, along the same model the music industry uses.

It’s an interesting business model and, even if you don’t work within the film industry, has some important content creation and delivery lessons.

Before you take a listen, the two books Joe mentioned are The Whuffie Factor and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

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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.

Inside PR 3.52: Buffering an online crisis

What would you do if you discovered your site had been hacked and your community’s data had been compromised? Would you hide and hope the situation would quietly fade away? Let users find out about the issues themselves on social networks? Or proactively inform your users?

It’s hard to believe how many organizations might opt for – or at least consider – the first two options.

With the speed of social media, we all know how quickly issues can turn into full-blown crises if not dealt with immediately and honestly.

And social media platform Buffer chose the proactive approach to deal with the crisis they faced on the weekend when they found a security breach on the site.

This week, we discuss some of the things Buffer did to fix the situation and restore their customer’s trust and the company’s reputation. Their approach is almost a case study in best practices in crisis communications 2.0

Here’s a recap of their actions:

- Buffer apologized and took responsibility early and often. They assumed a leadership role.
- They didn’t make excuses.
- They informed people about the situation with regular emails and posts.
- They spoke candidly about what happened, what they’re doing to correct things and what users needed to do.
- The communicated back to customers often, issuing ongoing updates and status alerts and using email, their blog, Facebook and Twitter.
- They were transparent.
- When things were fixed, they provided instructions about what to do to get reconnected.
- They continued to issue genuine apologies.
- They were focused, well organized and first and foremost paid attention to the needs of their users.

From many of the comments on their blog, it seems as if customers appreciated their honesty and straightforward approach.

What do you think? Are you a Buffer user? How do you think they handled the crisis? Would you have anything else to suggest?

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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.