Will this discussion get us into trouble?

Google’s HR problem

We offer our take on the James Damore memo on gender diversity and how Google handled it. Will this discussion get us into trouble? Will you unsubscribe? Will you judget us harshly?

Google expands speech recognition

News that Google extended speech recognition to an additional 30 languages and locales, serving an addition 1 billion people, underlines how rapidly Google is preparing for the era in which we will be interacting with our devices primarily by voice commands.

 

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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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 484: Bag O’ Chips TV

Farewell to Anthony Scaramucci

We received a great deal of reaction to our discussion of the appointment of a communications novice to the White House Communications Director. And the day after our discussion, Anthony Scaramucci was fired! Cause and effect? Hardly. But the right move in light of his disastrous ten days in that position. Altogether now, communications professionals: A big sigh of relief.

Facebook Watch

Facebook is rolling out a new “Watch” tab on the mobile app to feature short form, more professional videos. But what will be on it? Variety profiled several early shows, which sounded to Joe like reality TV dreck. Gini, however,  is one of the lucky people with early access – and she reports that her “Watch” tab includes the Ellen DeGeneres Show, ABC News, Good Morning America, and the Tonight Show. So, there will be dreck there. As Martin says, it sounds like something created by Chuck Barris, known for his low brow game shows. However, Gini’s first set of feeds suggests that the algorithm will give people the kind of content they consume (if not deserve). If you click on dreck in your Facebook feed, expect to see dreck in your Watch tab. If you click on more intelligent news and videos on your newsfeed, expect to see something more thought provoking in the Watch tab.

The Future of Voice Search and AI

We have entered the era of voice search. And we talk about its implications. One thing is clear: voice search will require marketers to think differently about the content they create and the placement they seek in a voice search environment. Think about the way you interact with your voice devices like Alexa and Siri right now. Do you ask a question and then go to the first result you hear? Or do you ask it a series of questions? We think that success in the era of voice search will be rely on finding a way to be useful in a conversational mode – to have the most useful content that will surface as users interact with their voice interfaces.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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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.

483: Can any Tom, Dick or Anthony do what we do?

The White House has a new Communications Director – who is not a professional communicator.

Gini and Joe discuss what the demise of Sean Spicer and the appointment by Donald Trump of Anthony Scaramucci as White House Communications Director says to professional communicators and what it means for professional communications. Can any Tom, Dick or Anthony do what we as professional communicators do? Can they do it well? Do they even know what we do and what goes into it?

Do you feel belittled as a professional communicator when a person with no professional communications experience or expertise is appointed to one of the most senior communications positions in the world? Is being able to get yourself on television a critical skill for a communications executive? How important is it to be able to manage up? It’s nice that you like your boss. But, when telling truth to power, it’s better that you respect the boss.

The bottom line: This could get ugly.

Post Script: In fact, it did get ugly, really ugly. We recorded this prior to the publication of Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker interview with Anthony Scaramucci, with all of its vulgarity. The quotes in that article speak for themselves.

Inside PR 482: The state of political communication in Washington

This week, Gini, Martin and Joe are doing something special – a joint episode of Inside PR and the Spin Sucks Fireside Chat. During her journeys on the speakers’ circuit, Gini met Tyler Brown, a long-time senior communicator at the Republican National Committee who has recently moved over to public affairs consulting. The confluence of political and corporate communications is a hot topic for all of us. So, Gini asked Tyler if he would share his experience and insights with us.

Tyler knows both the worlds of political and corporate communications. From 2009 through the 2016 US election season, he held a number of senior communications positions at the Republican National Committee. During that time, he served first as Northeast Regional Press Secretary, then Director of Rapid Response and Deputy Director of Communications. From 2012 through to the end of 2016, he was the Republicans’ Director of Digital Strategy. In January 2017, Tyler joined Mercury Public Affairs’ Washington office as Senior Vice President. His areas of practice at Mercury include digital, grassroots coalition building, and public affairs campaign management.

Our conversation covers a lot of ground. Join with Martin, Gini and Joe as we talk with Tyler about what he saw in eight years inside the Washington political machine and what that taught him that we all can use.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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

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 481: Really, we’re not making this stuff up.

Dean Baquet inadvertently makes the case for a Public Editor at the New York Times. Google supports innovation in online news, but diverts attention from the real issue. The News Media Alliance calls for an antitrust exemption. Yep, that’s right. Solve the problem of market dominance by compounding the problem. Really, we’re not making this stuff up.

Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these issues in this episode of the Inside PR podcast. Gini Dietrich is traveling this week, but she’ll rejoin us next week.

Dean Baquet answers reader questions – and inadvertently makes the case for a Public Editor

Last month, the New York Times eliminated its public editor position. And we thought this was a bad move.

Last week, Dean Baquet published a column answering readers’ questions about the cuts to editorial staff and, in doing so, he inadvertently made the case for a Public Editor at the New York Times. The fact that Baquet had an answer for every question, and that these answers showed no self doubt or reconsideration of positions, illustrated that simply receiving and answering questions does not replace the Public Editor function. The Public Editor was a position inside the NY Times, with the perspective on what happened as the sausages were made, and the ability to comment freely from an independent perspective. That now is lost. And just like a government without checks and balances, real accountability is imperilled.

Google supports innovation in online news; but diverts attention from real issue

Google and Facebook have recently been moving to support innovation in online news publishing. Martin points to one of the most recent efforts, a US $800,00 contribution by Google’s Digital News Initiative toward the creation of RADAR, software that will generate local news stories for the The Press Association, a U.K.-based news agency. A little support for template, predictable stories. But that’s not what we need. This type of effort to support innovation only diverts attention from the real issue. We need support for the reporters who exercise judgment about sophisticated stories.

The News Media Alliance’s solution will compound the problem

Last year, the Newspaper Association of America rebranded itself as The News Media Alliance. Does new paint lead to a smarter organization? It doesn’t seem so, based on its effort to convince Congress to give news publishers antitrust exemption to enable them to negotiate with Facebook and Google. Doesn’t this remind you of the publishers negotiating with Amazon over the right to set book prices? And who was the loser? The reading public who found those $9.99 book prices replaced by $19 book prices.

The solution to the plight of news publishers isn’t to allow them to escape antitrust so that they can negotiate as a group. Instead, the real answer to the problem lies in challenging the dominance achieved in search and social by Google and Facebook respectively and the unfettered power they are allowed to exercise. If anything, Congress should focus on reining in these two dominant platforms. Then, maybe, we’ll be able to stop the erosion of competition and enable innovation by small companies. Just as Google and Facebook once innovated.

Think twice before you upload a large PDF to your Website

We offer a reminder to anyone responsible for running a Website to think about the size of documents they expect to be downloaded by the public. This came to mind with the recent increase in the price charged by Canada’s largest ISPs to people who exceed their monthly data cap. If you publish PDFs and other documents for download that will gobble up 50MB of a visitor’s monthly data allowance, they will not thank you. In fact, if they reflect on it, they may actually think that what you are doing is costing them money. And do we like people who cost us money? So, if you are in charge of a Website, please, please, please ensure that anything you publish on your site, whether it is documents for download, images or anything else, are compressed to the smallest usable size. Your visitors will appreciate you for this.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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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.

IPR 480: Walks like a Duck. Quacks like a Duck. Must be Facebook the news publisher.

When is a yellow rubber duck worth a thousand words? Facebook walks like a news publisher and quacks like a news publisher; must be a news publisher. No surprise here: Venture capitalist research features their portfolio companies. But what of disclosure? Marketing with social bookmarking. Social media innovation is alive and well. And IPR is on iHeartRadio.  Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackles these issues in this episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Yellow Rubber Duckie?

The giant yellow duck that visited the Toronto Waterfront on Canada Day underlined that, even in this digital world, old-fashioned, real life stunts still pay off.

Inside PR is on iHeartRadio

This may be self-serving, but we want to tell you that Inside PR is available on iHeartRadio. We know that one of you found us – because in the three episodes since we arrived on iHeartRadio, we have had exactly ONE download of each episode of iHeartRadio. We love you whoever you are. And if you are our lone iHeartRadio subscriber, let us know, because we want to give you a shoutout on the next episode.

Social media innovation is alive and well

You may think that the glory days of social media innovation ended when Facebook became dominant. However, a recent Marketing Land post reminded us that the pace of change in social media is still rapid. Change is the new normal. But so much change this year.

No surprise here. Research by venture capitalists may focus on their investment portfolio

Tom Webster of Edison Research published a critical analysis of the Mary Meeker Internet Trends report. He didn’t question her observations. But he did point out that the growth examples that she profiled tended to be Kleiner Perkins investments. There’s nothing wrong with this. But it does beg the question of adequate disclosure. As Webster says, “take the report for what it is — an extremely effective piece of content marketing, promoting the trends and interests of a company selectively invested in the space.” PR people are familiar with the FTC rules governing disclosure of sponsored posts. Would Mary Meeker’s presentation at the Code Conference have passed this test? No one is questioning Meeker’s ethics. But the fact that the highlighting of Kleiner Perkins investments was not explicitly spelled out for the average observer does provide a cautionary example.

Marketing with Social Bookmarking

Gini and Joe have been longtime advocates of social bookmarking as a tool, as a means of contributing to the community, and as a way to make transparent our interests and our research. So, we were happily surprised to see the name of Martin’s latest Lynda.com course – Marketing with Social Bookmarking. Martin talks with us about the course and we exchange tips about how we get the most out of social bookmarking. Yes, this is a shameless plug for our co-host, Martin Waxman.

Facebook adjust its news feed algorithm, reinforcing its role as a news publisher

Facebook’s recent adjustment to its news feed algorithm underlines again that Facebook is a news publisher, not just a neutral conduit, and they have an obligation to serve the public good. Follow us here. When you…

  • Boast a “news feed value” that states that “News feeds should be informative,” (All the news that’s fit to print?)
  • Call out “a tiny group of people … who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people’s feeds,” (letters to the editor?)
  • Suggest that, “Our research shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content  such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation.” (editorial judgment)
  • State baldly that, “We want to reduce the influence of these spammers,” and you adjust your news feed algorithm to suppress distribution of their posts,

…you have committed an editorial act on a par with the editor of any newspaper. You are not just a platform or a conduit, you are a news publisher with all the responsibilities to society and the obligations that status carries with it. Facebook, it’s time to step up, admit that you are a news publisher and accept all of the responsibilities that come with that status.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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

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 479: Did you hear our audiogram?

Data Science in the Wild. Danny Sullivan checks out. Snapchat? Snap Maps.And are audiograms the next big promotional tool for podcasters? Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are together for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Data Science “in the wild”

We start out this week’s podcast by looking back at last week’s discussion with Alex Sevigny about data science and PR. All of us learned something from Alex. In fact, Joe saw much of what Alex had talked about “in the wild” when he attended the Data Power Conference at Carleton University last week. He came away convinced that PR people with a background in the social sciences or communication can play in the data science pool, just as Alex had suggested. Our conversation with Alex was on Inside PR 478.  If you haven’t listened to it yet, we do hope that you will take the time to download and listen to it.

Danny Sullivan checks out

After 21 years researching and writing about search engine optimization and founding two companies dedicated to covering the area, Danny Sullivan is leaving the business. During his more than two decades in SEO, Danny was the go-to journalist who could be relied on to dig into the arcana of search engine operations and translate that into explanations that could be understood by the ordinary person. As such, he had tremendous influence over people like us. Danny, thanks for two decades of insight and inspiration.

Sullivan’s departure also prompts us to reflect on how PR pros can, in fact need to, embrace constant change, whether it’s through job changes or changes while staying within their current organizations. Depth and specialization are important. But they become most valuable when placed in the context of broader, relevant experience. And we have to develop that for ourselves by constantly reinventing ourselves.

Snap Maps

A few years back, Foursquare addicted many of us to checking into physical locations and then checking to see which of our friends were there. Foursquare has shifted its focus from check-ins, but the database it accumulated provides the basis for a viable business providing data to other services.
Now, Snapchat proves that we really do progress recursively, with the introduction of Snap Maps. Martin is loving it. Gini is intrigued. And we hear her discover something new in her Snap Map for the first time during the show. Based on her reaction, this may actually be a winner.

Audiograms help podcasters build audiences

Last year, NPR open-sourced their code for audiograms – a new way to embed excerpts of your podcast in social media. Recently, Martin was approached by a Toronto developer, Neal Pollock, about testing his new audiogram creation app. We’ve been testing the service for the past week – and believe that it has real promise to better engage people with our audio content. You can find a couple of our tests here and here on Twitter and here on Facebook. The service was intuitive to use and Joe was able to create and publish audiograms with less than 10 minutes work per instance. We’re going to continue experimenting with it and watching our traffic to determine if it brings us new listeners.

Neal and his partners are looking for testers who will try the service and provide feedback. It is in alpha phase. So, there are some rough edges. But if you are a podcaster and would like to test it, you can sign up for an account.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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

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 478: Data Science for Public Relations

Data Science for PR

This week, Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich, and Joseph Thornley talk with Alex Sevigny, the Executive Director of the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management Program, about the importance of data science to the skillset of the well-rounded PR professional.

#IPRMustKnow

We also talk about upcoming updates to the Apple Podcasts app, which will support podcast series and give podcasters analytics so that they can learn more about how people are consuming their content.

And before we leave, we talk about the comfort to be received from Binky. It started as a joke, and then it took over the world. 🙂

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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

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 477: Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends

Pinterest acquires Delicious and will preserve it as an archive. Martin Waxman provides a primer on social listening for business. And Mary Meeker tells us about the Internet Trends that are shaping our world.

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are together for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Farewell Delicious

Delicious was one of the first social apps that Gini, Martin and Joe used. A place to bookmark content and share it with our communities. An early pioneer, Delicious sold to Yahoo … and the end began. Yahoo didn’t know what to do with Delicious. The app stagnated and was overtaken by newer competitors like Diigo. And now one of those rivals, Pinboard, has purchased Delicious. Pinterest’s 1 billion entries will be preserved as an archive of the early social web. Thank you Pinboard for preserving the archives.

Martin Waxman is a celebrity

Yes, Martin is a celebrity, a Lynda.com, LinkedIn Training celebrity. In 2016, he produced his first course for Lynda.com, Social Media Marketing for Small Business. Now, his second online course for Lynda/LinkedIn – Social Listening for Marketers – has been published. It takes a 50,000 foot look at the importance of social listening, how it has transformed research, how it has enabled us to understand and connect with customers. Martin loves the Lynda.com team. And he has enjoyed developing these courses. So, check out his newest and expect more in the future.

The State of the Internet

Social media geeks wait all year long for Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report. And this year, Meeker again unveiled the report at a presentation at the Code Conference. This year’s presentation weighed in at 355 slides – yes, that is not a typo. 355 slides. That’s a lot of data and insight. We discuss some of the things that we found most interesting.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

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

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 476: Don’t delete the Public Editor!

In this week’s Inside PR podcast episode: The NY Times deletes its public editor. Facebook makes a concession to publishers. AVEs be gone. The GIF turns 30. Walt Mossberg retires. Terry Fallis rides again. And USC Annenberg Survey gets too personal.

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are together for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Terry Fallis’ sixth novel hits the bookstands

Terry Fallis is a PR-renaissance man. He co-founded his own PR firm, Thornley Fallis and when social media came along, he was one of the first PR podcasters, launching the Inside PR podcast with David Jones in 2006. But over the years, he has become celebrated as an award winning, best selling author of humorous fiction. His sixth novel, One Brother Shy, launched last week. And this week, we should see it at the top of the Canadian best seller lists. I’ve read every one of Terry’s novels. Every one brings a smile to my face. And his current novel, One Brother Shy, turns on Terry’s experience in  marketing. So, it will be especially resonant for anyone in the marketing and communications industries. So, if you haven’t read one of Terry’s novels, this is the time to try your first, One Brother Shy.

Happy thirtieth birthday to the GIF

It was thirty years ago today…. Or something like that. The GiF is thirty years old. That’s thirty years of arguing over a soft “G” vs. a hard “G.” The GIF. The JPG. The MP3. Good things come with three letter extensions.

Walt Mossberg retires

An era in tech journalism has come to a close with the retirement of Walt Mossberg. Mossberg invented a new approach to technology reviews, putting the perspective of the user at the forefront. In doing so, he covered the revolution in personal computers, the arrival of the world wide web, the unveiling of the iPhone and everything of note in technology over a quarter century. Walt’s last column looks ahead to where things will go from here as we enter the era of ambient computing (nice term Walt!). It, like everything else Mossberg wrote, is definitely worth a read.

New York Times deletes its Public Editor function

The New York Times is eliminating the position of Public Editor – and that is bad news. The Times announced the move as part of a round of layoffs, in which the Times streamlined its editorial functions, with the intent of freeing up salary to hire more front line reporters. More on the ground reporters is something to be applauded. However, the elimination of the Public Editor function is not. The Times Publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, suggested that the Public Editor is not required in an era in which the Times is constantly being scrutinized on social media. But it’s clear to us that the view from outside, regardless of how thoughtful it may be, cannot substitute for an independent critical eye from within. To maintain its preeminent position, the Times needs to excel in every way. And the critiques of Liz Spayd and her five predecessors as Public Editors have told truth to power, helping the Times to identify where it has fallen short and how it could improve. Cutting the Public Editor is one cut that is truly misguided and we hope that the Times will reverse the cut and restore the position of Public Editor posthaste.

Correction: Oops. In the podcast, I said that I shell out $1,000 per year for a New York Times subscription. I am a subscriber. My by online-only subscription costs me only about $250 per year. Pardon the error.

Another Correction : Oops. Oops. Did I really refer to NY Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet as “David” Baquet? Yes, I did. Ungh. His name is Dean. He knows it is Dean. I know it is Dean. Pardon another error.

Did Facebook just blink?

Facebook introduced Facebook Instant Articles with a carrot and a stick. The carrot: delivering a larger audience and more revenue to publishers. The stick: Content published on a publisher’s own platform would rank lower in the Facebook algorithm than Facebook Instant Articles. We’ve talked previously about how some publishers, including the Guardian and the New York Times, had reported their disappointment at the results they were achieving from Facebook Instant Articles and their pullback form the platform. Well, Facebook has made a concession to publishers. It has announced that publishers creating content using its proprietary software developers kit (SDK) will now be able to also produce that content for use in Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Apple News. This sweetens the deal offered to publishers who want to distribute everywhere by streamlining their content production workflow. And Facebook clearly hopes that what’s good for publishers will be good for Facebook, especially if publishers standardize on the Facebook SDK to produce their multiplatform content. A concession by Facebook that advances publisher lock-in? Hmmm.

CIPR, AMEC and Advertising Value Equivalencies (AVEs)

Gini brings us the “good news” that the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has thrown its support behind the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC) commitment to eradicate the use of Advertising Value Equivalencies (AVEs) in measuring communications programs.

Just how many times will we have to declare the AVE dead before it stops rearing its ugly head in corporate measurement programs? AVEs are meaningless people! You can’t equate paid with earned media. You cannot assign a value to earned media that any group of intelligent people will agree on. AVEs are fiction, pure and simple. Requiesce in pace.

USC Annenberg survey is just too personal

Did you spot this article on The Holmes Report? Did you complete the survey it pointed to? How do you feel about a questionnaire that asks questions about individual people, including whether you would hire them? What public interest is served by this? I think this survey is a misfire and totally inappropriate. Is this how fake news is manufactured?

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

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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.