Inside PR 474: No-slide presentations. Step forward and be seen.

Good times for PR at PRSA Counselors Academy. No-slide presentations! Better tools for Facebook Groups. WordPress joins Hacker One and offers a bounty on bugs. Quartz has an Obsession with propaganda.

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are together for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Good times for PR at Counselors Academy

Martin returned this week from Counselors Academy and he reports that attendance was up substantially. Martin estimated that about one third of the attendees being first timers. We talk about the conference and the subject matter that stood out for Martin. And among the best news for Gini and Joe: Next year’s Counselors Academy will be held in Toronto.

Better Tools for Facebook Group Administrators

Facebook has provided group administrators with the ability to set up a brief questionnaire that prospective new members must answer when requesting membership in the group. It’s not a big thing. But it will help administrators to understand who is joining the group and what has drawn them to it. Thank you Facebook.

WordPress steps up its efforts to keep our Websites secure

Over 28% of the top Websites are powered by WordPress. So, it’s great to see that WordPress continues to take security seriously. So props to WordPress for joining HackerOne and for introducing a bug bounty program.

Quartz Obsesses on PRopaganda

Quartz has started a new collection of articles on a topic that should be of interest to PR practitioners: Propaganda. No, we’re not suggesting that we see ourselves as propagandists. But it would be naïve to suggest that the birth of the PR industry and propaganda weren’t closely intertwined. And in these times, its ever more important for us to pay attention to the ethics of communications. And when you’ve bookmarked the Quartz obsession, you may want to check out Tim Wu’s treatment of Ed Bernays and the birth of PR in The Attention Merchants. And for a lean-back experience that should spark further thought, find and watch The Century of the Self, a four part documentary first shown on BBC in 2002.

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.

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow.

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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 473: Feedly Features Filters (repeat quickly three times)

Twitter hooks up with Bloomberg. Feedly features mute filters. Sysomos integrates its services as stacks in a single platform. Yik Yak throws in the towel. And PR agency heads head to Seattle for PRSA Counselors Academy.

After several weeks of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back in one place at the same time for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

PRSA Counselors Academy draws PR agencies from across North America

Martin’s off to PRSA’s Counselors Academy in Seattle. And if the expected increased turnout materializes, it will put the lie to the notion that PR agencies are in trouble. On the other hand, we have a feeling that much of the industry is stuck in the traditional media relations niche. And it’s never a good to be tied to a shrinking sector.

Twitter and Bloomberg

Twitter’s partnership with Bloomberg to offer 24 hour video news is a positive move. It makes sense for our news feed to be running curated video news alongside the community-generated news. Twitter may not be the first app that Martin, Gini or Joe opens in the morning. But when news breaks, it’s the place we turn to find out the latest. So, we’re bullish on its new video initiatives.

Feedly features filters

They’re not here quite yet. But Feedly promises users that it soon will offer Mute Filters. And Feedly is going about developing them the right way. They’re surveying users about what they want and asking them to comment on a user interface. Feedly is one of the most useful tools for communications professionals . If you aren’t using it, you should be. Click over right now and create a Feedly account. (No, this is not a paid ad. We’re just big believers in the value of Feedly and want to share it with others.)

Sysomos integrates

Communications professionals have long relied on Sysomos MAP for the data used in communications audits and Sysomos Heartbeat for social media monitoring programs. But Sysomos has been acquiring other services. And now these services have been integrated into a single Sysomos Platform offering several functional stacks: search, listen, discover, publish, engage and analyse. All in one user friendly interface that anyone familiar with Tweetdeck or Hootsuite will find intuitive. It’s a whole new Sysomos. Let’s just hope that it isn’t priced out of the budget range of small and mid-size agencies. Sysomos Light?

Yik has Yakked

When were you last on Yik Yak. Our bet is not recently. And that’s what the company realized too. Users had dropped off steeply. And so Yik Yak threw in the towel. RIP Yik Yak.

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.

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow.

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 472: Meet you on Mastadon?

The NY Times is on Snapchat Discover. You’re probably not on Mastadon. But is that really important? Consolidation on the Internet. Facebook and augmented reality. Let’s go Inside PR. It’s just Martin and Joe this week. But we cover a lot of ground.

Facebook focuses on AR

Facebook just isn’t letting up on the pressure on Snapchat. Last year, Snapchat made waves with its glasses, pointing the way to a video future. Just as it has parroted other Snapchat features (Stories anyone?), Facebook is now pointing to an AR future and committing Facebook-scale resources to it. Competition is great, as long as the giant doesn’t crush the upstart.

Distributed publishing isn’t all publishers hoped it would be

News that the Guardian has pulled out of Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles comes on the heels of earlier reports that other publishers were not seeing the financial results they hoped to achieve from adopting the distributed publishing model being touted by Facebook, Snapchat and Google. And for those of us who publish our own content, take note. Don’t shut down your owned website quite yet.

The New York Times is looking for more on Snapchat

In April, the New York Times joined Snapchat Discover.

It’s hard to see how Snapchat Discover matches the nature of the Times content. Take an early Discover article as an example. On Sunday April 23, the Times ran a major feature on Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The version of the Times Website clocked in as just under 4,000 words.  The next morning, the Times launched its Snapchat Discover channel with the Kalanick story. And what a difference! The Snapchat version contained an animated GIF and three text panels containing under 160 words. That’s right. 4,000 words on the Times site. Less than 160 on Snapchat.

 

Consolidation on the Internet

A recent NY Times article underlined the degree to which the previously open Internet is consolidating around a handful of platforms. Consolidation of attention makes us less free, makes us less able to serendipitously encounter different views and different experiences.

Are you on Mastadon?

Probably not. But does that matter? Do platforms need to scale to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat levels to be of value? No, it’s not. It’s important that we support and play with new experiments like this. Whether Mastadon every grows, the very spirit that gives to its rise underlines the vitality of the Internet and Net Neutrality.

 

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 471: Tweak Week

It’s social media feature tweak week. Changes to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat underline how competitive the social media platforms are. Plus we get onside with changing norms in acceptable language. And Spin Sucks surveys PR pros.

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Stories Here. Stories There. Stories Everywhere … on Facebook

Facebook lets you had Stories directly from your mobile app. In a world in which more than half of Facebook usage is on mobile apps, this is the real start of the race for Facebook. If the essence of an attention getting story is a visual, then it only makes sense to let us compose stories from the device with a built-in camera.

Snapchat Keyword search

Casual users may find Snapchat much more welcoming now that Snapchat has upgraded its search to enable full key word searches.

Twitter confuses long time users

When are extra characters worth keeping around? When they are the @NAME convention in tweets that respond to other people’s tweets. Take it away and you have confusion on the part of many long time users.

Periscope live streams now appear inside Twitter Moments

Periscope is a great live streaming tool. It’s also less popular than other livestreaming services. So, anything that raises its profile is a good thing.

RIP the Egg

And we couldn’t let the passing of the Twitter egg go by without comment. Another of the quirky, idiosyncratic things that made early Twitter so distinctive is now just a memory. Say hello to generic head and shoulder outlines as the new avatar for trolls and newbies.

A small step for gender neutral language, a giant step for Mankind

Communicators must be aware of words and phrases that convey or reinforce values that are outmoded. This is a challenge in a time in which acceptable language standards are established by focused communities of interest. It’s a big challenge to stay on top of these changes in acceptable use. We struggle to keep up.

Spin Sucks surveys PR practitioners about the state of the business

Gini Dietrich’s Spin Sucks site asked readers to tell them about the PR industry they work in today. The responses came in mostly from people who work at small PR firms and independently, which itself says something about changes in the PR industry. Gini takes us through some of the insights she gained into the state of the business through this survey.

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 470: Fake news and the chasm of perspective

We celebrate a big award win for Maureen Judge (read on to learn of her connection to the podcast), test Instagram Hyperlapse and struggle with bridging the perspective chasm that seems to support fake news. Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnows

Kudos to Maureen Judge

It’s not strictly PR, but it is communication, communication as in documentary filmmaking. So, a quick shout out to Maureen Judge, whose documentary film, My Millenial Life, won the Canadian Screen Award. Maureen is not only a talented film maker, but she also is Martin’s wife. And Martin enjoys basking in Maureen’s aura.

Instagram Hyperlapse telescopes event videos

Hyperlapse, a new Instagram app enables users to speed up videos up to 12 times the speed in which they were taken. This should prove to be a boon for people staging events who want to produce behind-the-scenes, preparing for the event, or other kinds of videos capturing a longer time span.

Struggling with fake news and bridging the perspective chasm

We’ll be honest. Gini, Martin and Joe would all self-identify as progressive in our political perspective. And yes, we’re struggling with the challenge of fake news and the decline of traditional news organizations.

A story in the New York Times launched us into a discussion of the potential for social revenue sources like Patreon to support a bubbling up of entrepreneurial niche and community-based news media. But that quickly morphed into a discussion of the continuing problem of replacing the mid-sized news organizations that are most in trouble. And from there we found ourselves again struggling to come to grips with the immediate manifestation of these changes in the news ecosystem – fake news.

In our struggle with fake news, we move past the problem with social algorithms that lead to its distribution and the measures being taken, finally, by Facebook and other platforms to deal with it.
Simply tagging something as fake doesn’t bring us any closer to why people would believe it in the first place. It doesn’t bring us any closer to understanding why people distrust traditional news organizations. We have to understand the lived experience and perspective of those who reject the relevance of the facts that are advanced. They may be facts. But are they relevant to what these people really want to talk about? We need to listen to one another, engaging in a dialogue to find understanding and common ground.

Yep, it’s three liberals struggling with the challenge of fake news.

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 469: Don’t give up the ship

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Time Berners Lee reminds us about what the Web should be

Gini points out some wise words from Tim Berners-Lee about things that must change in order for us to realize the potential of the World Wide Web. And it starts with a concern for privacy. An article well worth reading.

Boaty McBoatface went for a swim

We just can’t get enough of this story. Boaty McBoatface sank beneath the waves – and then resurfaced. Turning a PR embarrassment into something positive and memorable.

Channels, Channels and Channels. Can you count on them?

Skype. Slack. Twitter. Snapchat. PR pros have adopted many new communication channels in recent years. Lately, there has been a great deal of concern about the future of Twitter. PR won’t die if Twitter dies. But it sure will change things. Twitter isn’t as much about pitching as it is about understanding the interests of journalists who we might want to pitch. People tweet about the things they care about. And knowing what a a journalist cares about is useful when deciding who to pitch a story to. Having said that, nothing is for ever. So, don’t get too comfortable with the tools you use today. You may have to make changes tomorrow.

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 468: Escape with us

Escape with us. From fake news. From our filter bubble. From annoying videos that play sound as soon as they scroll into view. From Snapchat hype.  Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Snapchat hype

In the wake of the Snap IPO, we talk about what really matters for its prospects – a disconnect between its user base and its business model. And since we recorded this program, the dramatic drop in Snap’s share prices suggest that, after the hype, others have taken a closer look at what’s really going on here and have decided that its time to pull back from overly inflated excpectations.

Who is asking for Sound on videos by default? Not us.

Facebook’s move to turn sound on by default on videos that scroll into your newsfeed is another example of what happens when the interests of advertisers are placed ahead of the wants and likes of users. It’s also something that happens when one player dominates the marketplace. It can do things that don’t serve users. But, heck, where can we go? (See Snapchat above.)

Facebook is getting better at identifying fake news

Facebook has begun to more clearly mark fake news when users attempt to share it. A good move. An overdue move. And another clear indicator that Facebook is a news media company. And it should shoulder the editorial responsibilities of a news media company.

Escape your filter bubble

Social media, with its newsfeeds  created by algorithms designed to retain our attention and increase our interactions, traps us in a filter bubble. We will only escape this through action on several fronts. By acknowledging and understanding  standards for journalism grounded in transparency of perspective in place of the illusion of objectivity. By continuing to pressure the social networks to acquit their editorial responsibilities as news media. By promoting increased media literacy among all people.

#TryPod

March is #TryPod month. During this month, we and other podcasters are encouraging you to share with your friends one or more podcasts that you love. For my part, I want to share with you two podcasts.

  • Brief Remarks. Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery veteran Susan Delacourt knows all the key players in Canadian politics. And every week, she interviews them. A chance to get to know not only the politicians we see every day, but the behind-the-scenes players who make government work in Canada.
  • The Daily. Every weekday, Michael Barbero provides an in depth look at one of the big stories or trends that the New York Times is covering. In greater depth than is possible in the newspaper or on a blog post. Interviewing the people who researched and wrote the stories. Providing context. It’s the podcast I listen to to start every day.

If you have podcasts that you love, share them with others. Post about your favourite podcasts on Facebook, Twitter or any social media using the hashtag #trypod. Share the joy of podcasting and look for the smile on your friends’ faces as they too discover content that matters to them.

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 467: Stay nimble!

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Note to Self’s Privacy Paradox series

Do you care about retaining (some) control of your privacy while online? Do you want to know who is creeping you and how they are doing it? Do you want tips for some simple measures you can take to retain some control over your personal information? If you said yes to any of these questions, click over to Privacy Paradox, a project of WNYC’s excellent Note to Self podcast. Register to participate and each day for five days you will receive and email with links to a special podcast episode, personal challenges you can take to assess your own privacy and tips on tools you can use to maintain awareness and retain some control. Time well spent.

The Washington Post goes to Snapchat

Snapchat’s user growth may have been slowed by Instagram Live Stories. But that’s not stopping news media from continuing to flock to it. The latest is the Washington Post, which launched on Snapchat Discover. I’m all for news media drawing revenue from any source they can. But it still seems to me that Snapchat is not a place people go to find the news.

The Neverending News Cycle

Round and round we go. When the United States has a President who seems to rarely sleep and always has his Twitter feed at hand, how can news organizations plan media announcements? Is there any such thing as clear space any longer. Or even a clear time of day?

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 466: Email responsibly.

This week, we talk about net neutrality, Canada’s PMO fighting back against Fox fake news. And we talk about how to be effective and responsible in our use of email. Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Net Neutrality is worth fighting for

New FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, has begun to undermine net neutrality. If you value innovation. If you want to ensure that the Web stays open for new entrants. If you care about choice, pay attention. It’s time to get ready to stand up again for net neutrality.

Nipping fake news at the source

We know that fake news usually is totally fabricated. But it also can be founded in erroneous reporting. So it was encouraging to see Kate Purchase, the Director of Communications to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tackle Fox News head-on to obtain a correction to an item that was being distributed as fake news. In the wake of the Quebec City, several news organizations reported early information that one of the suspected shooters was Muslim. That was wrong. He was an innocent bystander. In fact, the victims were Muslim and the person arrested was not. Other news organizations quickly corrected the error. Fox did not. At least until Kate Purchase sent them a letter and publicly shamed them by publishing it on Twitter. Canadians are nice people. But we also can make a point when we need to. Huzzah Kate.

Tips for responsible use of email

Previously, we offered advice about how to cope with an overflowing email inbox. This week, we talk about how to be responsible and effective as a sender of email.

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 465: We make it virtual

Let’s talk about the failure of distributed content, the elimination of U.S. privacy protections for foreigners, and taking your agency virtual. Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

#IPRMustKnow

Distributing content on Facebook and other social platforms hasn’t proven to be the bonanza publishers need

A new study, reported by Digiday, reveals that a year into the new Distributed Publishing era, in which news media publish their content on platforms like Facebook, Google Amp, SnapChat Discovery, the revenues have not lived up to expectations. In fact, only 14 percent of publisher revenue is coming from distributed content. Another bullet that turned out not to be so magical. So, the search for new revenue sources continues. And their search includes podcasting. Witness the new podcast from the New York Times, The Daily.

Foreigners take note. You’ve lost data privacy protection in the U.S.

In a world in which privacy protection is often assumed and opaque, news that non-Americans have been stripped of privacy protection in the United States may influence decisions about non-Americans to seek cloud and data solutions that guarantee that their data will reside outside of the United States. Thanks to Michael Geist for pointing this out.

Virtual vs. Brick and Mortar communications agencies

Gini did it. Martin did it. Joe’s playing with a hybrid version of it. As our work applications have moved into the cloud and video conferencing and document sharing has become a one click experience on both laptops and phones, it has become easier than ever to stay connected with a distributed team. Have we reached the point the tipping point in which the benefits of virtual teams have matched and even exceeded the benefits of assembling a cohesive team in one place?

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.