Yes, you are the product. But you don’t have to be.

Are you the product today? Heck Yeah!

In the past two weeks, many people have jumped on the bandwagon launched by Will Oremus’ article “Are You Really the Product? The history of a dangerous idea.” In a nutshell, Oremus argues that the “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” aphorism doesn’t really apply in the case of Facebook.

Gini and Joe have different perspectives on this. Gini sees a lot of value in Oremus’ arguments. Joe thinks that his arguments are beguiling, but convoluted, bringing us to the same conclusion: “If you aren’t paying for it with money, you are paying for it in other ways.” Ultimately, he who pays for something sets the terms.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing this is an expression of powerlessness. In fact, as Joe sees it, it is a call to action.

So, what can we do about it?

First, don’t think about recreating Facebook or finding a viable Facebook competitor. Facebook has reached dominance and will not be challenged until it is broken up. (Remember the good things that followed on the AT&T break up in the 1980s? Basically, it created the opportunity that became Silicon Valley.)

Instead, think about the more selective, specialized things that we want to do, connections that we want to make, networks we want to create, that reflect our actual interests. Think about why so many people see Slack as their social platform. Why we love using Apple Messages to create groups of friends for sharing. Places that will give us the dignity and respect that we want. That will be geared to us. Not their advertising model. And places that we are prepared to pay for.

Don’t fight Facebook. Go outside of and beyond Facebook.

LinkedIn at 15

LinkedIn. Can it really be 15 years old? It seems like only yesterday we first met.

LinkedIn is not as big as Facebook. It doesn’t sit at the middle of the news cycle like Twitter. And it doesn’t have the love directed at Instagram. But it is older than all of these social networks – and it occupies a unique place for business. We talk about how it has changed over the years and our ongoing love/hate relationship with it.

Linkworthy

Are You Really the Product? The history of a dangerous idea, Will Oremus

LinkedIn Turns 15, Allen Blue

 

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.

#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.

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Are you really the product? Heck Yeah! by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 492: Is 2018 the year that AI will take over my job?

Artificial intelligence was a hot topic amoung communicators in 2017 and it’s something to continue watching and exploring in 2018. Clearly, it will have an impact on the nature of the work we perform. It will destroy many existing jobs, especially those involving repetitive, data-based tasks. But, for those who are lucky and prepared to innovate, it also holds the promise to create new opportunities.

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.

Creative Commons Licence
Inside PR 492 by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 490: When an apology just isn’t enough

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley discuss two topics on this week’s Inside PR podcast:

  • Can Snapchat be fixed? It is a great service with the right set of users, but just a terrible user interface? Or do its problems runs deeper?
  • The outing of sexual predators gives us pause to examine how you can respond to the unconscionable. What do you want? An apology? Or a commitment to change? Are either sufficient alone or even in combination?

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.

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 460: Fake News: When bad PR may not be bad

Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman recorded this episode in the wake of the US election and so it’s not surprising that they reflect extensively on face news, the responsibility of Facebook and our relationship to news media.

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.

Please rate us on iTunes

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 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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 458: From the floor of the PRSA International Conference

This week’s Inside PR podcast comes to you from the PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis. Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman presented sessions at the conference and they bring us their sense of what is on the minds of North American communicators who attended the session. Even better, we’re joined by a special guest, Michael Smart. Michael delivered a presentation on how to generate positive media coverage. And Gini and Martin dig in for his insights in this area.

We also visit some of the takeaways of the panel on podcasting that featured Gini, Deirdre Breakenridge and Shonali Burke.

Finally, Martin, Gini and Michael talk about the discussion around cybersecurity that really stood out for them at this year’s PRSA conference.

The audio quality has some background noise. Gini, Martin and Michael were in a room with a fair amount of traffic. But we think the content is good. So, I hope you will overlook the background sounds. They never quite drown out the conversation.

Oh, and by the way, Joseph Thornley was here too.  

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.

Please rate us on iTunes

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 iTunes.

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

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 449: Here an App. There an App. Everywhere an App.

Snapchat is more than ephemeral with Memories. Pokemon Go rules the world. And we pick up on Walt Mossberg’s discussion of our fragmented messaging environment. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Snapchat Memories for when ephemeral isn’t enough

Hard on the heels of news that Snapchat has surpassed Twitter in daily users, we say Snapchat switch from its ephemeral-always model to provide users with the ability to save their Snaps using a new feature, Snapchat Memories. Memories lets you save current and previous Snaps and then use them for future stories. So, now you never need to worry people missing that embarrassing photo of your best friend that you sent out 25 hours ago. You can reach into Memories, add the photo to a new story, and start the cycle all over again.

Pokemon Go Goes

Like virtually everyone else this past week, we have been entranced by Pokemon Go. For its privacy implications. And because it has brought the potential of augmented reality to the masses. It may be a fad. But it’s a fad that will have made a difference.

Here an App. There an App. Everywhere an App

It was simple in the days of email: Just settle on your client – Outlook, AOL… and then add all your email accounts to access them in one place. Today, as we spend more of our time on chat, with proprietary, non-interchangeable standards, we are again facing the need to switch constantly between apps – for social networks, for chat. Pain the butt? We riff on a theme recently explored by Walt Mossberg in a blog post, The Tyranny of Messaging and Notifications, and on his podcast, Ctrl-Walt-Delete.

Now 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], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, 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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 447: The Future of Social with Jason Keath of Social Fresh

Major media outlets launch sponsored content with their Facebook Instant Articles and Jason Keath takes us through the highlights of Social Fresh’s Future of Social research report. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Sponsored Content on Facebook Instant Articles

Screenshot 2016-07-03 10.33.45Neiman Labs reports that two heavyweight traditional news outlets, the Washington Post and The Atlantic, have begun running sponsored content in their Facebook Instant Articles. Happily, the illustration in the Nieman Labs story suggests that the content will be clearly labelled as “Sponsor Content.” I tried to verify that by reviewing my own newsfeed. However, I couldn’t find a single sponsored article from either the Washington Post or The Atlantic. That makes me think that either this sponsored content is so far very rare or Facebook is geotargeting the ads and my Canadian IP address puts me outside of the target area for them.

Jason Keath, Founder of Social Fresh

Jason Keath is the CEO of Social Fresh, which recently released The Future of Social, a report based on research involving over 500 social media managers and executives. Gini tracked him down and interviewed him about the report and the lessons we can take from it. Among the highlights:

  • Companies that invest in social media tools achieve a greater return than those who don’t.
  • 95% of respondents using social media software report a positive ROI on their social media activities vs. 63% who are not investing in tools.
  • Social media is best at connecting with existing audiences, customers, strongest leads, fans and stakeholders. Building awareness through social media can be an expensive proposition.
  • To increase leads and sales, focus more time on fewer pieces of content. For example, Social Fresh invests heavily both in their research and the conference. This enables them to stand out by being deeper and offering more unique insights.
  • Take your audience up the commitment curve. Ask little of them at the beginning. Reading a post. Downloading a paper. Registering. Then work them up the curve to larger commitments.
  • Instagram is on the verge of leapfrogging LinkedIn and Twitter to become the second largest ad platform.
  • Marketers report satisfaction with the results they are achieving with video content and they plan to increase their commitment to it in the coming year.

If you’re interested in more info about this year’s Social Fresh conference, it will be held August 18 to 21 in Orlando. Discounted registration is available until August 1.

We’d love to know what you think.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, 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 Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 445: The Internet of Trends

Chatbots, Snapchat, PR misadventures and Mary Meeker’s Internet trends. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Chatbots – Destination or Waypoint?

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.

IMG_0003Snapchat 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.

Internet trends that matter to PR pros

Finally, we look at Mary Meeker’s annual report on internet trends. Essential reading for every PR pro. Meeker points to several trends of importance to PR pros:

  • Advertisers are still spending too much on traditional advertising. The big opportunity will go to those who master mobile advertising.
  • Facebook and Google are even more dominant in advertising and distribution. And Facebook is charging ahead.
  • Facebook, with both Messenger and WhatsApp, is dominating in the fast growing messaging area.
  • Not all is bad news for Twitter, as the average daily time on Twitter has increased.
  • With over 10 billion views per day on each of Snapchat and Facebook, video live streaming is mainstreaming. As Martin says, we’ve gone from live to live – live TV to live streaming.

We’d love to know what you think.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, 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 Joseph Thornley.