Inside PR 430: The age of distributed news

Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and I are all back together for Inside PR 430, the episode that marks the turn of the year. Out with 2015. Here comes 2016.

This week, we discuss the things that stood out for us as we left 2015 behind.

Remember Google Zeitgeist? Well, it’s a thing of the past, replaced by a new 2015-year-in-review site that takes advantage of the updated Google Trends site. Google Trends was relaunched in mid-year to provide data on searches up to the current minute. (Late in 2015, Google added a pop-out feature that enables you to keep a display of the trends and the latest stories on each that automatically update and scroll in your browser.) Google has used the new trends to curate the most significant searches of the year. And for those outside of the United States, Google has created a series of pages for different countries. And yes, we still have differences in interests. We share some things in common – the Paris bombings and the Pope, for example. But we also search for the more local events and people that are most important to us where we live. Google’s year-end was a smart way to highlight the new Google Trends. If you haven’t visited Trends lately, give is a try. It’s smart, timely and useful.

We’re moving to a mobile-first world. And that means that we are spending more time in mobile apps instead of on the Web. That’s a big problem for Google, which founded its business on Web searches. But Google, like time, never stands still. And in November, Google announced that it is integrating mobile app content into searches on the Google app. Users of the Google App will be able to see content that exists only in mobile apps. Even better, Google will enable them to “open” the app as a streaming app, even if they don’t have the app itself installed on their phones. Google says that this is still an experiment, and the company rolled it out to Android users in the US-only. Yes, US-only. The rollout to the rest of the world can’t come soon enough. And to the Google naysayers, here’s evidence that Google is not going to slip into irrelevance along with desktop computing.

And Google has to innovate to keep up with the new pacesetter, Facebook. One of Facebook’s biggest moves in the past year has been the launch of Facebook Instant Articles. The basic concept is that publishers will post their stories natively to Facebook. By doing this, Facebook is providing a near instant loading of these stories on Facebook’s mobile apps. The company marshalled behavioural data it had collected in order to convince publishers that they should accept that the future of publishing is distributed across whatever platform people want to use. And by far and away the biggest platform of all is Facebook. Facebook introduced Instant Articles on a limited basis in May and then rolled them out to all users in October. Judging by my Facebook news feed, Instant Articles have become a permanent fixture of the news distribution system.

Attention is fragmented. And we want content immediately on the mobile device we are holding. In 2015, Google captured the implications of this in the concept of micro-moments – those instants of undivided attention which may lead to decisions and action. Google backed up this concept with research and published a special Website for marketers dedicated to Micro-moments. If you missed the site when it was first published, it’s well worth a read now.

And with all these changes, what about SEO. Clearly, the SEO playbook has changed substantially in recent years. We talk about whether PR pros are keeping up with the changing environment, technologies and best practices.

Are we talking only 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 429: AMP up your Website’s mobile performance

On this week’s Inside PR podcast, Gini Dietrich and I take a look at some big changes about to occur on the mobile Web and the changed world of professional communicators.

AMPhtml will speed up the mobile web

If you haven’t been paying attention to AMPhtml, you should be. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it is Google’s effort to speed up the mobile Web. It has involved publishers, tech companies, analytics providers and advertisers in the effort. We should start to see Google AMP pages start to show up in search results in late February. Early test reports suggest that users will see substantial improvements in the speed of pages served on mobile devices. Pinterest, for example, “found that AMP pages load four times faster and use eight times less data than traditional mobile-optimized pages.”

Write interesting content on topics that people are about

How do you create content that people really want? Well, a proven technique is to write about the things that people are searching for. Gini tells us about some useful keyword tools she is using: AnswerthePublic, FAQFox, and KWFinder. We know that we have to write unique content that will be valuable to people. But it still helps to write about things that people care about.

Finally, we talk about how different what we do as communicators as we enter 2016 is from what we did a few years ago. We’re more digital, analytics-driven, performance producing. But we wonder if the broader industry can make this move.

Martin Waxman was traveling this week. However, he will rejoin us for next week’s podcast.

Are we talking only 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 428: Teaching an old podcast new tricks

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. And we’re doing something different. We’re using a new application, Zoom.us, to record the show.

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PRPodcasting is new and old at the same time. It’s relatively new when compared to traditional radio. But still it’s been around for a decade now. And the Inside PR podcast is in its tenth year of production. For all of its life, we have recorded it as a double ender, with the hosts each recording their tracks locally on their computer or a dedicated recorder. Following recording, we upload our individual tracks to a shared dropbox. Then the show’s producer edit combines the voice tracks together with the musical intros and outros, edits out the bloopers (yes, there are even more than the ones that you hear) and runs the finished product through a program called Auphonic to eliminate background rumble and level the sound across the different input sources.

Zoom.us replaces the double ender recording of individual tracks onto separate devices with a single online recording which can be downloaded as a single, level-balanced track. This eliminates a lot of work. But even more importantly, it also enables us to capture the recording on video. And we’re keen to add a video component to what until now has been an audio-only podcast.

So, for now it’s an experiment. If you listen closely to this week’s episode, you’ll hear some significant variations in the sound quality between Gini, Martin and I. We’re attempting to identify the source of the differences – mic quality, the age and specs of the computer, the quality of the internet connection are the obvious first candidates for scrutiny. But as we bring up the general quality level, we hope to move on to offer a video feed in addition to the traditional audio feed. So, stay tuned for that.

But enough about the technology. How about the discussion? This we we talk about being more productive by doing deep work, not shallow work. Whether you are a consultant or a corporate exec, I think you’ll find something in this discussion that you can put to use to improve your productivity.

Are we talking only 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 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.

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

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 425: The Lost Episode

Yes, it’s been a long time. Too long.

We haven’t posted, even though we have recorded podcasts.

And that’s all on me. This has been the busiest autumn for work that I’ve had in years. And I found I just lacked the energy to do that one more thing, to post Inside PR at the end of the day.

It’s on me.

If you’re reading this, if you’re still subscribed to the podcast, Thank you! Here’s the first of several that will be posted over a relatively short time as we catch up.

Today’s episode: Canada, the land social media forgot. It’s a two-hander. Just Martin Waxman and me. Gini is still on the road. But all three of us will be back together again next week.

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 4.24: The Networking Leeches

It’s the end of the third quarter and it’s time to get serious about the end of the year. There are, after all, only 12 more Fridays until Christmas (as Buddy the Elf likes to remind us).

Before we get to the topic of the day (networking and “can I pick your brain?”), let’s talk #IPRMustKnow:

And now, the topic of the day: Networking leeches.

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times ran an article titled, “How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice.”

It gave better advice than, “Stop asking me to pick my brain!”, which tends to be the reaction from nearly every professional services provider in the world.

Some of our favorite tips include:

  • Go with a prepared list of questions;
  • Don’t argue about their advice or point out why it wouldn’t work for you; and
  • Don’t ask for intellectual property or materials.

Martin also adds his own tip that you’ll be sure to want to hear. And, I wrote about this on Spin Sucks and the comments are very interesting. So go check out Thirteen Ways to Get the Best Out of Networking,” if you are so inclined.

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 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 422: The Business of Podcasting, YouTube, and More

It’s the last week of summer and Joe, Martin, and I are ready to read some books. We hope you enjoyed our first installment of book club…and will participate in future events.

This week, we discuss the business of podcasting, how to use YouTube with the audio shows, and more.

But first, this week’s #IPRMustKnows:

  1. Podcasting Embraces a New Era of Cool.

  2. Facebook is Eating YouTube’s Lunch When it Comes to Video Views and Sharing.

  3. Is There Enough Benefit to Putting Podcasts on YouTube?

We also talk about the Four Great Canadian Marketing and PR Podcasts (plus one American, who is an honorary Canadian), and blogging’s bad rap from Alison Garwood Jones.

Then we answer a comment from John Kouten, the CEO of JFK Communications.

Listened to 415.

I have: FB, twitter, Linked In.  However I rarely post and rarely follow.

I am unsure about Goggle+

My problem is I don’t know how to find the time to use these channels as I am an agency principal.  I have sales, operations, HR and other time killers.

Any advice?

We give John some advice, which works for anyone in PR—executive, business owner, or not.

And, if you’d like to participate in next month’s IPR Book Club, leave us a comment here on what you’d like to read and we’ll add to our pile!

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.