Inside PR 452: Does the Hub and Spoke approach need a tire change?

A recent Ontario arbitrator’s ruling reminds us that the law and social media are in an ever-changing relationship. The Olympics’ once again aggressively enforce trademarks on social media. Instagram Stories are feeling good. And the trend to distributed publishing prompts a rethink of the hub and spoke content publishing model. Join Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley as they discuss these topics on this week’s Inside PR podcast.


Employers’ social media responsibilities are fluid

You may think that social media has been around long enough that you’re comfortable that you know what you should, can and must do when interacting on social media for your employer or client. Well, an Arbitrator’s ruling in a dispute between the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the union representing its employees should remind us that nothing is fixed when it comes to social media. As reported in the Toronto Star, the Arbitrator ruled that the TTC, when operating @TTCHelps, its Twitter outreach ID, failed to take all of the measure it should have to protect its employees from online harassment and abuse. The union argued that, by operating its customer service Twitter ID, @TTCHelps, the TTC was providing a forum for abuse and harassment of its employees. While the arbitrator did not support the union’s demand to shut down the account, he did indicate that the TTC be more assertive, telling people to take down posts, images, etc. considered offensive to employees, blocking Twitter uses and requesting Twitter to close the accounts of those users who do not cooperate. We have a good discussion about this ruling. Regardless of which side you come down on, this is a reminder to be ready to revise your practices on social media. The law still is being made.

Olympic-sized trademark enforcement says its about big money more than athletics

It’s become a tradition. Noting the hyper-aggressive trademark enforcement surrounding the Olympics and the use of any of their registered terms. Small businesses need to keep themselves as safe as the larger entities. And that’s just not fun.

Instagram Stories make a good social media platform even better

Gini has been posting to Instagram stories daily, and she reports that it’s a much simpler, intuitive experience than posting to Snapchat. Simpler. Intuitive. A solid foundation for success.

Does the hub and spoke need a tire change?

The hub and spoke approach to creating, distributing and promoting content has been a best practice for several years. However, after hearing that 75% of the content Buzzfeed produces isn’t published on, Martin wonders if it’s time for marketers to reassess the role of the hub. Gini and Joe aren’t quite ready to abandon their blogs, but they agree with Martin that we need to challenge our accepted practices.

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.


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.