We’ve entered a new era, a whole new world, an alternate universe. And Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley focus this entire episode on the implications of the approach to media relations (and truth) being taken by the New President and the ability of today’s weakened news media to play their important counterbalance role in relation to Power.
Medium’s pivot away from advertising and their less-than-clear business model reminds us that we should publish the content we care about on our owned space. Then use other platforms to promote and amplify it.
Don’t serve email. Make email serve you.
And at this time of the year, all must be asking ourselves how we can get out from under the tyranny of email. We swap tips about how we make email serve us, rather than becoming the creatures of email.
What Would Google Do, by Jeff Jarvis, an annual read for Gini. Always inspiring. “It’s fun to watch the progression of my own business since I first read that book,” says Gini.
Spin Sucks, by Gini Dietrich. Martin says, “I’m not sucking up. I put it on the reading list for my social media course.”
Bowling Alone, by Robert Putnam, “A book written about how people were losing their social connections as they cocooned during the television age,” says Joe. A must-read to understand what social media freed us from.
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle. The other side of the social media and handheld device revolution. When can we be alone in a crowd?
Disruptive Power, by Taylor Owen. A contemporary take on how these trends have led to the era of non-hierarchical collective action.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman writes in an accessible fashion about how and why we make unpredictable decisions. A primer on behavioural economics that we can all understand.
Built to Sell, by John Warrillow and Bo Burlingham. Gini found this book invaluable in helping her to conceive of how to turn here services business into a process driven company that is scalable and less dependent on her personally.
The Art of Strategy, by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J.J. Nalebuff. Martin read this book when he was selling his business. It helped him sort through his thinking about what strategy really is and how it differs from tactics and how to manage through situations in which people are acting on very different strategies.
These books made a difference in our thinking. And we return to them repeatedly. So, we recommend them without hesitation.
Also, on this episode, we cover:
A recent study underlines the persistent problem of people not being able to discern the distinction between native advertising and editorially-independent news on publishers’ websites.
Snapchat adds to its content with a deal with Turner to develop original shows for Snapchat based on TBS programs.
This week, we discuss Instagram video and the allure of the ephemeral. Then we return to the issue of fake news. Fake news shouldn’t be yesterday’s story. The problem is in the algorithms. The solution is in human intervention. And that puts the onus on us.
Twitter Moments for all of us. Large publishers’ growing dependency on Facebook. Thinking ahead about the implications of AI in our devices and apps. And the ethics of the close-hold embargo. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast.
Create your Own Twitter Moments
Twitter Moments, introduced for media and select users earlier this year, is now available for all users. This is a useful feature for anyone speaking at a conference or participating in an event or discussion that they want to curate and preserve. Bit by bit, Twitter is becoming even more useful.
Large publishers are becoming dependent on Facebook. But where is the revenue?
A report published by the International News Media Association and reported on by Nieman Lab indicates that 30% of visits to large publishers websites are referred from Facebook. That’s huge. But if publishers are becoming ever more dependent on Facebook’s network effect, and with Facebook favouring content published natively on it, the big question continues to be, is traffic paying off in revenue?
Getting out front on AI
The increasing introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into apps, social networks and internet-connected devices raise a broad range of ethical, legal and policy issues. And where that happens, government is likely to act. So, it should come as no surprise that large businesses are banding together in a number of organizations to address these issues in order in advance of legislation and regulation. Of course, we can only hope that the voice of civil society will be heard alongside that of business.
A media relations issue to ponder: Close-hold embargoes
Charles Seife, writing in Scientific American, introduced us to a practice we had never encountered: A close-hold embargo. And it gives us the opportunity to ponder the line between transparency and manipulation and the ethical questions that public relations practitioners must confront when negotiating terms of access with news media.
Is podcasting on the verge of tipping from a creator-driven medium to an advertiser-driven channel? UNU predicts the trends. Microsoft gets LinkedIn. And crises bring out the best in both social and mainstream media. Gini Dietrich,Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.
Midroll acquires Stitcher
A big deal by podcasting standards. Podcast advertising broker Midroll has acquired Stitcher. I think that independent podcasters have reason to worry that, if successful, Midroll/Stitcher will do to podcasting what Facebook did to the open Web. Martin and Gini are still making up their minds about this. Whatever your view, if you care about podcasting, this is an #IPRMustKnow.
The news that Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn broke just before we recorded this episode. So here you get our first impressions of the potential benefits and downsides of Microsoft’s integration of LinkedIn with its Office suite.
Crisis brings out the best in us
Finally, in the wake of the Orlando shootings, we reflect on the current state of crisis communications, how news flows through social media and the important role of mainstream media to establish context, discern authoritative, credible witness testimony and curate the reports from social media.
It’s been a month since Facebook introduced Chatbots at F8. Martin reports on his experience with the CNN chatbot. Interesting. For sure. Useful. Not as good as it could be. But Facebook is doing its best to keep you inside its ecosystem of apps. Digiday reported this assessment of CNN’s experience with its Facebook Messenger Chatbot.
Snapchat changes the Discover feature to help publishers attract attention
It was telegraphed by Snapchat. Previewed by publishers. And now it’s here for all of us. The Snapchat Discover feature has been overhauled to a more magazine-like appearance. The hope is that the replacement of the small, circular icons with larger tiles including both text and images will give publishers a better platform to attract attention from Snapchat users.
You know you’re in trouble when the PR person becomes the story
Good PR people advise, prepare and support. But we know that media want to hear the words from the mouth of the principal. I’m sure every PR adviser has a story of having watched even the most well-prepared client get tripped up and make a mistake in an interview. But as PR pros, we’ve held out tongue and dealt with it after the fact. Few of us would dream of stepping in front of the camera or intervening to order a live recording stopped. After all, once the recording starts, isn’t it all fair game? Well, this week we have an example of what happens when a PR person loses sight of the fact that a recording of an interview is the media outlet’s to with as they please. The headline of the article from KWTX news tells you all you need to know: “Question leads to awkward interruption during Starr interview.”
Are you using the PESO – paid, earned, shared, owned – model of PR? Trying to understand why Google is introducing another new chat app? Trying to figure our how to use Apple’s new Podcasts Connect portal. Or just trying to protect your PR company from defamation litigation arising from online activity?
In this week’s #IPRMustKnow segment, we talk about Google’s announcement of Allo and Duo. Allo is an intelligent chat app. Duo is a new one to one video calling app. They will be added to Google’s existing Messenger and Hangouts app, giving Google a total of four messenger apps in the market. (Did we say Google+? Not really, as it looks like G+ is continuing its long fadeaway.) We talk about what Google is up to. Why new apps when it has two reasonably successful apps already in the market? The answer seems to lie in the integration of Google’s intelligent assistant. But with all the churn in apps, has it lost the trust of people? Has it lost the sheen of the new that enabled newer entrants like Instagram and Snapchat to catch on. Can a middle-aged Google compete with the new and lean startups that have come up? Or will its huge database of knowledge about us give it an unassailable advantage in the era of the intelligent assistant.?
Protecting your company against defamation litigation
If you are an online publisher, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a defamation lawsuit. Gini points us to an article in PR Week by Michael Lasky of law firm Davis & Gilbert. Practical advice for the firm with a problem.
Understanding Apple’s Podcasts Connect Portal
If you’re a professional communicator, the odds are that you are creating a podcast or are considering starting a podcast. iTunes is the channel through which most people receive their podcasts. And it also has a reputation among podcasters to be demanding and unforgiving in setting up and maintaining podcasts. Recently, Apple has introduced Podcasts Connect, a new portal through which podcasters register and list their podcasts through iTunes. And as an illustration of nothing is ever as straightforward as it should be or may appear to be, reports have bounced around social media about podcasters messing up their podcast listing on iTunes as a result of changes they have made via Podcasts Connect. Happily, we have YouTube. And Libsyn, one of the leading podcast hosting services (ProPR.ca is hosted on Libsyn) has posted an “Explaining Podcasts Connect” explainer video. Libsyn’s Krystal O’Connor walks through the functions of Podcasts Connect and shows how to use each. A great resource for newbie or experienced podcasters alike.
The PESO – Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned – Model of PR
Early data on the performance of Facebook Instant articles. Periscope makes videos permanent. Donald Trump does something that crosses the ethical line for PR pros. And we look at the deeper issues underpinning the discussion about Facebook’s Trending Topics.
Publishers are reporting mixed results with Facebook Instant Articles, according to Digiday. They are driving traffic, but it is less engaged. Nevertheless, revenue is flowing to publishers. So, Instant Articles as a publishing platform isn’t going away anytime soon.
Periscope is about to make videos permanent with save settings in its app. This is big news. Facebook Live Videos gained a huge advantage over Periscope by making it easy for people to save their videos. By making it easy for users to save their videos beyond the current 24 hour expiry date, Periscope will even up the playing field.
In our main discussion, we turn our attention to lack of transparency in how Facebook’s Trending Topics are selected. This is a far reaching and important issue. It’s about Facebook’s emergence as a media outlet. It’s about dominance of one player. It’s about the level of transparency necessary so that we can assess bias. And it’s about the additional obligation to transparency and scrutiny that Facebook should now be subject to.
During our discussion, we cite several sources that you should read in order to have the facts to make up your own mind about what is at stake:
We’re belatedly celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Inside PR podcast. Terry Fallis and David Jones posted the first episode of Inside PR on April 3, 2006. Back then the tag line was “Inside PR: Going deep on the state and future of public relations.” After recording 200 episodes, Terry and David decided that they’d said all that they wanted to say. But they didn’t retire the podcast. Instead they passed it along to Martin Waxman, who had been co-hosting with Terry and David. Martin, in turn, brought Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley in as new co-hosts. And thanks to Terry and David’s benevolence, the Inside PR podcast now has been running continuously for over ten years. That’s a record of longevity that we’re proud of. And we’re not thinking of stopping anytime soon.
Also this week, we give a shout out to original co-host Terry Fallis, who has just been shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for his novel, Poles Apart. Terry has won the Leacock award twice before, for his first novel, The Best Laid Plans, and for his fourth novel, No Relation. The award winner will be announced on June 11. So check your Twitter feed on the evening of June 11 and send Terry your best wishes.
If your practice touches on public participation or digital engagement, the IAP2 North American Conference in Montreal in September may be for you. Members of the IAP2 – the International Association of Public Participation – from the United States and Canada will gather in Montreal for three days of speakers and panels on public participation best practices and case studies. I attended last year’s conference in Portland and found it to be a unique learning opportunity. And this year, I’ll be not only learning, but also sharing some of what I know in a session titled, “Reaching the People at the Back of the Room: Using Online Engagement for More Inclusive Public Participation.”
Also this week, we talk about the Counselors Academy Conference that Martin attended in Puerto Rico. Martin’s big takeaway from the conference was the continuing trend for PR agencies to integrate design, video, paid media and other disciplines as the traditional silos of creative, advertising, PR and content converge.
While at the Counselors Academy Conference, Martin interviewed one of the keynote speakers, Duncan Wardle, Vice President of Creative Inc., Disney Parks and Resorts’ creative think tank. He offers some great advice for priming creativity in our own organizations.