Joseph Thornley is CEO of Thornley Fallis and 76design. He is Past Chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms and a Senior Fellow at the Society of New Communications Research. Joseph blogs at ProPR.ca and is @thornley on Twitter.
In the wake of Facebook’s bad news month, we discuss the communications challenges the company faces. A blip? Or a step on an irreversible path toward becoming the new MySpace? The necessary impetus to increased regulation? And would a company with an army of lobbyists ever see a regulatory regime that actually curbs its freedom of action in any meaningful way? Is it really becoming the new Tobacco? And, most importantly, is its community decaying from the inside?
It’s your turn
We’d love to hear what you think and if you have any subjects you’d like us to cover in upcoming episodes.
Once they’ve tasted freedom, it’s hard to take that away. It’s not what I want as an employer; it’s what you want as an employee.
Has your boss told you that you have to return to the office fill time? Part-time? Have they talked about flex work? Or even held out the prospect of working remotely on an ongoing basis?
And how do you feel about this? Do you want to return to the office? Full-time? A few days a week? Or do you want to continue to work remotely?
What are the things that you liked and valued about working from the office? What are the benefits of working at home?
Gini, Martin and Joe talk about mistakes that employers are making in the post-lockdown period. High-knowledge, high-skill workers have discovered the freedom of being able to choose where they work – and with the end of the lockdown, many of them will be thinking about what they want to do, and realizing that they have choices. So, the employer who informs their staff that they must return to the workplace full-time may discover that many of their workers not only don’t return, but actually leave.
As with many other key decisions, success in bringing employees back to the office will turn on effective communications. And effective communications starts with listening, understanding others’ interests and objectives. And then speaking to their concerns, not just blustering forward with what you want and care about.
So, this week, let’s talk about effective communication for the post-pandemic return to the office.
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Yes, it’s been a long time coming, a long time behind episodes. But we’re back with Inside PR for another year. And we’re getting back into the groove by discussing the things that we are looking at in the waning months of 2019.
On this week’s Inside PR, Gini Dietrich provides practical advice to the PR practitioner on the importance of SEO to media relations and earned media. PR practitioners understand much more than algorithms. And we must combine our media relations expertise with SEO best practices to ensure that we maximize long term exposure for our clients’ content. The cost of failing to do this will be the incursion of SEO experts into media relations.
Also this week: Open Government, open engagement and open data activists from around the world gathered in Ottawa. So did the grand committee of countries looking at the practices of the social platforms. But it doesn’t matter how many countries come together in one place — Mark Zuckerberg responds to no flag but his own. He was, once again, a no-show.
This week, we consider the implications of an Algorithmic Accountability Act, rebalancing the freedom of companies to capture and use our data with our right to informed consent. Plus: Protect your privacy against hidden cameras during your next business trip.
We have big news this week: Dan York is joining the Inside PR team. Dan is well known to Inside PR listeners for his tech segments on Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson’s FIR podcast. And, if you didn’t know, his day job is as Director, Web Strategy, at the Internet Society.
Gini, Joe and Martin are big fans of Dan’s reports. He provides a perspective that combines expertise in communications and marketing with strong technology underpinnings. When Shel and Neville announced that FIR would be moving to a monthly format, Gini, Joe and Martin immediately put out a call to Dan to ask if he would be willing to contribute to IPR on the other three weeks of the month. And, happily, Dan said yes. So, you may hear Dan less often on FIR (and we encourage you to listen to FIR monthly), you’ll be able to hear him the rest of the time on Inside PR.
So, that leads us to this week’s debut of Dan’s Two Minutes of Tech for Communicators segment. We know he’s going to teach us a lot.
Tell your friends. There’s another reason to listen to the Inside PR podcast – and his name is York. Dan York.
A digital charter for Canada
Canada has long taken privacy and consumer rights seriously. And as public concern about the unseen use of our personal by social networks data increased following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, calls for change have mounted. Now, the Government of Canada has made its next move with the announcement of a Digital Charter for Canada. While the Charter sums up established values and points to aspirational goals, it also takes two real steps toward action with references to Canada’s Privacy Commissioner and Competition Bureau. Both have regulatory muscle that they could flex in the near term. And both are in a position to scrutinize the social networks.
Europe, California, and now Canada. Momentum to reign in the previously underscrutinzed use of our data by the social networks is gaining momentum.
We really never are alone
As if we needed another reminder of where the early optimism of the open web and the social graph has taken us, the New York Times offers a thought provoking look at our relationship with Google.
The FIR Podcast is one of the longest continually-produced podcasts for communications pros. Since 2005, Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson have been providing insight into the communications trends and developments that are important to communications practitioners.
But now they are dialing back their production schedule to once a month. And as podcast producers who have followed in their footsteps, we’re glad that they are continuing. Because if you are a communications pro, you’re sure to learn something useful with each and every FIR podcast.
So, kudos Shel and Neville for finding a way to keep it going and keep it fresh.
GarageBand: Creating dreams
It’s been fifteen years since Apple first offered GarageBand with Macs. Since then, it’s become available for PCs and iOS as well. And that means there’s a whole generation of musicians and podcasters who have brought their ideas to life using Apple’s free software. In fact, we use GarageBand to mix and produce the Inside PR podcast. And it couldn’t be easier to do, thanks to the simple, intuitive interface.
So, here’s to GarageBand. And here’s to the community of creators who have grown up around it. And here’s to Apple for giving us this incredibly useful software.
You’re just not important enough for us to take action
The abuse of social media by foreign or malevolent agents is not just confined to the United States. It is a global problem. But that doesn’t mean that the social and search platforms are giving it the same attention in countries other than the United States. Indeed, you need look no farther than across the border to the north to Canada to see Facebook and Google taking very different approaches to the responsibility that national legislators and regulators say they should take on. In this tally, Facebook gains a point. Google loses a point.
If you’re not part of the solution
Facebook’s local news support project, Today In, underlines the news deserts that have been created by the diminution out of the display ad economy that local newspapers relied on. And in doing so, it drives home that the social and search platforms efforts to “support” journalism are not adequately addressing the problems they have created. It’s time for radically different thinking.
Gini is on holiday this week. So, Joe and Martin are alone together.