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.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

 

 

Inside PR 407: PR generalists versus specialists

Martin here and it’s a jam-packed episode this week. But first a milestone: it’s been nine years since Terry Fallis and David Jones started Inside PR and we want to give Terry and Dave a big congratulations and bigger thank you! And thanks to all of you for sticking with us. If you’re interested, head to the archives and listen to IPR #1.

Back to 2015…On today’s show, we talk about three things:

1. When to hire a PR firm – and when you should wait
Gini wrote a post about a startup client whose product wasn’t ready when they hired her firm, so any traffic the Arment Dietrich team drove to the site led to customer frustration since the business wasn’t ready for…um business. Moral: sometimes entrepreneurs need to put the brakes on their PR efforts until they have something to show, solid goals and can afford it.

2. PR generalist or specialist – where is the industry heading?
According to the Holmes Report Card, in recent years PR agencies have been hiring specialists over generalists, similar to the way things operate in the ad and marketing industries. However, data now shows the generalist may still have a role, especially as it pertains to developing strategy. Thanks to Shel Holtz for suggesting this idea.

3. LinkedIn buys Lynda.com – are jobs posting now going to be linked to skills training?
LinkedIn’s become a publisher, job source, networking space and virtual rolodex and now it’s moving into training with its $1.5 billion purchase of training site, Lynda.com. See a job you want but lack some of the skills. LI may have a training program for you. Thanks to Alison Garwood-Jones for suggesting this topic.

What do you think?

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.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 404: Media just keeps on changing…

Martin here. And while this may be episode 404, we’re not sending you to a page like this…

Inside PR 404: Media just keeps on changing

On today’s show we talk about a couple of things: the ever-evolving media landscape and a new app that could turn citizen journalists into live TV reporters.

First – media: GigaOm, the tech analysis, publication announced it was shutting down. There’s been much written about them and why it happened. Here’s a quick recap:

That same week, the Toronto Star told readers it’s shuttering its paywall on April 1 and letting anyone access its online content free of charge.

We share our take on GigaOm, what it takes to run a business and how mainstream media’s trying to keep up.

Gini says it’s hard to figure out a workable paid content model and believes we’re on the brink of a content exhaustion point.

I suggest what we perceive success from the outside very differently than what you see when you’re inside and privy to the whole story.

Joe offers a business lesson and comments that venture capital doesn’t like slow and steady growth, but that you can build a business patiently and organically. He references Danny Sullivan’s post on Medium (shared above).

Then we chat about Meerkat, a live video streaming app where you send the feed directly to Twitter. In fact, Joe was testing it during our podcast but since the video is ephemeral, it disappears when you’re done, so you won’t find his feed.

Live streaming, of course, isn’t new. But the simplicity of using Meerkat means it could be a good tool for citizen journalists to witness events or capture breaking news. Have you tried it yet? What was your experience?

And what do you think about the state of media, social media and citizen journalism? 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.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 401: On citizen journalism and PR

You could be one, so could your neighbour, colleague and friend. We’re talking about citizen journalists and, on today’s show, we discuss their place in the news cycle and how that affects PR.

Gini starts by recounting the story behind the first photo of the plane that crashed into the Hudson River in 2009, when Janis Krums, a bystander who watched it happen, took a picture, uploaded it to Twitter and the image went viral.

Joe discusses the nature of citizen journalism and says the photo was a snapshot – a one-time thing. He believes there’s a distinction between the act of witnessing and journalism, which involves editing, curation, analysis and context. A journalist’s focus should be to help people understand what a story means and that requires a more in-depth perspective.

I wonder about how citizen journalism is changing the nature of the scoop. Maybe that’s beyond a journalist’s domain and they need to rely on crowdsourcing breaking news from people who are there in real-time.

In our paid, earned, shared and owned landscape, PR people have to be resourceful about finding new ways to get their stories out there and engaging influencers.

Gini says her team approaches earned media from three angles and that includes citizen journalists. They target smaller, mid-level and influential publications and tailor the story so it resonates with each.

Final word from Joe: Look for the person who has something to say, covers a subject on a consistent basis and moves on to being a contributor to larger and more influential sources. Build relationships early and never ignore an individual if they’re intelligent, credible, trustworthy and can stick to it.

Here’s an interesting post by Mathew Ingram with examples of citizen journalism working well.

What do you think PR’s role is – or should be – with regards to engaging both citizen journalists and traditional media? We’d love to hear from you.

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 favor of you. 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 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.

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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 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.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 393: Our naughty or nice PR list…

Martin here. This week, it’s Gini and me. Joe’s on the road traveling home.

And in the spirit of the season we thought we’d share our PR naughty or nice list for 2014.

First up: naughty.

And the lump of coal goes to…Edelman.

Really? Why?

Well, a Canadian company, TransCanada, hired the venerable agency to build support for a pipeline that will transport oil from Western Canada to refineries in the east. But when the agency recommended secretly using third-parties to attack the pipeline’s opponents and a document with the strategy was leaked to Greenpeace, TransCanada fired Edelman over ethical concerns.

Does this sort of program sound like a whisper campaign to you? It does to us.

Gini has written extensively about why whisper campaigns and other unethical tactics hurt PR. She likens the process to that of broken telephone, where what the last person hears is often very different from what was said at the beginning. Gini says that rather than sneaking through the back door, the profession should be open and honest. What do you think?

Now for our nice list.

Gini posed a question on Facebook asking people to nominate their suggestions the PR win of the year. She got a lot of replies including the Ice Bucket Challenge, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift (Gini’s selection on SpinSucks) and WestJet.

We chose WestJet for an imaginative follow up on its successful Christmas Miracle video. Once again, the company borrowed elements of classic holiday movies and showed, in an emotional way, how much they care about their customers and community.

Here’s the 2014 WestJet video.

And here’s the one from 2013.

Which PR programs would you put on the naughty list? And which ones would you qualify as nice? 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.

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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 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.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 391: Ch-ch-changes at F-F-Facebook – again

Martin here and apologies to David Bowie but Facebook’s at it again and I couldn’t help myself.

Earlier this month, the company announced that in January, 2015 people will start seeing fewer promotional posts from brands, that is, things that push you to enter contests and sweepstakes, install an app or buy a product.

Joe and Gini think this is a positive shift because it puts the onus on brands to earn their way into a user’s news feed with relevant and useful content.

I say this goes well with the way Facebook lets folks mute brands and friends we may not want to hear from so often. Then I wonder about coupons. They’re both commercial and yet important to some people. Is Facebook treating coupons as pure promotion too? We’re interested if any of our listeners have insights on that.

We switch gears and Gini talks about Facebook’s Rooms app, which is trying to connect people through a common interest and not necessarily their social graph. Gini likens it to the early days of Internet communities and anonymous posting. Here’s a blog she wrote about it and why you may not be as anonymous as you think.

Joe says Facebook’s two recent changes – offering a less commercial newsfeed and simplifying their privacy offerings – are driving more value to its business. He thinks they’ve got their mojo back.

I close off by talking about the latest meshmarketing conference and some highlights, including Ann Handley’s fun and informative keynote.

What do you think about Facebook’s algorithm tweaks? Will it improve your experience and, as a result, will you be spending more time on the platform? Will you be changing your privacy settings? 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.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 387: Is another tech bubble about to burst?

Martin here.

This week, it’s Gini and me – as Joe was under the weather. (And you can hear from my voice that I’m just a tad jet-lagged…)

We spend the show talking about a couple of recent news items that caught our attention, and especially the notion that we may be headed into another tech bubble.

There certainly are a few signs. First, the New York Times announced it’s laying off 100 people from its newsroom staff. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and founder of The Downtown Project in Las Vegas, announced he was stepping down as project lead and then laid off 30 people. And VC Marc Andreesen feels tech startups are burning through cash at a rate similar to the 1999 tech bubble and that’s a cause for worry.

Martin references Clay Shirky’s Last Call post on Medium about the impending demise of print.

Shirky offers three pieces of advice to journalists to help reposition themselves and Gini thinks they apply just as well to communicators.

  1. Get good with numbers – we’re in an age where we need to be focused on how the content and communications work we do becomes an investment, not an expense.
  2. Learn to use social media tools to get ideas for stories. That’s something we’re good at already, but we need to continue to test and learn.
  3. Collaborate – that is, integrate paid, earned, shared and owned programs and understand how the pieces fit together.

What do you think? Are we heading into another tech bubble? How will that affect the landscape for journalists and communicators? Can we redouble our efforts to adapt and retrain ourselves? 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.

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

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.