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.

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