These are things we all take for granted, sort of like the sewer beneath our cities, but they are necessary for making things work.
And there are things that have transformed the way we’ve done business in the past 18 months. While we certainly used Google Video or Skype or Zoom, it tended to be once or twice a month—at the most.
Now we’ve found that video chat is the primary way work is done and we now all take for granted that it’s the preferred way to communicate.
Even as some organizations go to a hybrid model or even back to the office full-time, there will be times that video is warranted.
And, as schools reflect on the best learning, some students will be in-person while others are at home. Martin speaks to his experience teaching in a hyflex classroom, which is hybrid and flexible.
The classroom is like a studio and students have to sign up to be there in person.
For those that are learning at home, the teacher (Martin, in this case) has a camera that follows them around automatically, capturing the lecture—and then everyone in the class, in-person included, will all Zoom in and any group work will be done through breakout sessions.
It’s a new way of working and, certainly, the plumbing of the internet will continue to evolve as we adapt to new ways of learning, working, and living.
Join us for this episode to learn more!
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Gini: How do you drive more traffic to a podcast? Eden Spodek, who’s launching her own podcast in a few weeks, suggests posting the audio and an image to YouTube and Gini tried that. We’ll let you know what happens.
Now onto Joe’s conversation with Neville …
As you’ve probably heard, Neville is leaving the FIR Network after 10 years and tells us he’s going to be focusing on creating more written content. In a wide-ranging discussion, he takes us on a journey that begins with the early days of podcasting, or as he calls it ‘home brew radio’. Neville tells stories about what he’s observed and learned along the way. He mentions some of the people who inspired him and shares his thoughts on what makes a podcaster great (hint – curiosity).
Martin here. On today’s show it’s Joe and me. Gini’s on the road but she’ll be back next week.
Our topic comes from a post by Mathew Ingram about the state of blogging and how it has evolved. We’ve noticed a number of people who were active bloggers have slowed down their output, moved away from the platform or started publishing somewhere else.
So is that a trend? Are we entering a post-blogging landscape?
Joe starts off by mentioning a series like Sherlock that looked edgy and new a few years ago, yet seems a bit dated today. He thinks the same may be true for blogs.
I always considered blogging more of a publishing platform rather than an unedited stream or conversation. And as a PR person who wrote for clients, I found my voice again when I started my blog.
Joe thinks blogging has become more of a place for personal journaling. It hasn’t gone away but now it has a specialized purpose.
Joe also noticed that for a number of years we were fixated on the river of news and that’s not the only way for information to be organized. New apps value content that doesn’t carry as much weight and that the search engines can’t grab and data mine.
It’s a bigger range of content. And it’s about distinctive voices – columnists. In many ways, it always was.
And before we go: I noticed, as I was listening to the episode and writing the notes, that I said, ‘The Snapchat’. Yipes. Honestly, I didn’t mean to. Let’s chalk it up my affinity for the old Triple-W… and (hopefully) leave it at that.
Is blogging simply publishing? Are you moving to something more ephemeral like chat? Do you want your ideas archived or would you like your comments to be delivered and disappear?
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Martin references Clay Shirky’s Last Call post on Medium about the impending demise of print.
Shirky offers three pieces of advice to journalists to help reposition themselves and Gini thinks they apply just as well to communicators.
Get good with numbers – we’re in an age where we need to be focused on how the content and communications work we do becomes an investment, not an expense.
Learn to use social media tools to get ideas for stories. That’s something we’re good at already, but we need to continue to test and learn.
Collaborate – that is, integrate paid, earned, shared and owned programs and understand how the pieces fit together.
What do you think? Are we heading into another tech bubble? How will that affect the landscape for journalists and communicators? Can we redouble our efforts to adapt and retrain ourselves? We’d love to hear from you.
And we remark on how the two companies took different approaches when it came to communicating their situations to customers.
Feedly posted notifications on its Twitter feed and blog but nothing on Facebook.
Evernote updated its Twitter feed and used the same content on Facebook. But the company did not post on either of its two blogs.
Here are a few suggestions for communicating during a crisis that came out of our conversation:
Use your owned property – your blog or newsroom – to break the news and continue sharing regular updates there.
When posting updates on Twitter, link back to your blog to add details and context to the situation.
Personalize your message. Record a video or short series of videos to let people know what happened and the steps you’re taking to fix it.
By all means post on Facebook, but if you’re not buying ads, know that not as many people will see your news as on other sources.
Take a page from MSM and be consistent with your communications. Let people know when they’ll hear back from you. That way people will know you’re on top of things and more news will follow.
In the second part of the show, I offer my take on the 2014 IABC World Conference that was taking place in Toronto. One highlight was a talk by Leslie Quinton on the human side of crisis communications and how important it is to always remember your moral compass; that is, continue to ask yourself if what you’re doing is the right thing to do.
I also caught up with Shel Holtz who, if you haven’t seen him speak, is always a sharp, insightful and engaging presenter. He talked about visual storytelling and presented a strong case for why all communicators should move in that direction.
If you haven’t been to an IABC World Conference, it’s worth looking into because it offers you an opportunity to meet and learn from communicators around the globe. Next year’s conference is in San Francisco, June 14 to 17, 2015.
We start this week on a sad note as we remember Arthur Yann, vice president PR, PRSA, who passed away suddenly in June. Arthur was an industry leader, a man of integrity and intelligence and a good friend of Inside PR. His untimely death is a big loss for the PR industry and we want to send our deepest condolences to Arthur’s family and colleagues at PRSA.
This week we talk about two things – some of the innovations advertising has been making in recent months and whether or not PR is in danger of being commoditized – again.
Martin recaps a blog post he wrote on recent changes to the ad landscape including the launch of Instagram video, hashtags on Facebook and Google/YouTube training advertisers how to make their videos more viral.
Gini wonders if PR is just not creative enough as an industry and perhaps that starts with the way we name our agencies, like lawyers and accountants. Joe suggests that it’s not an industry that innovates, it’s the people in it.
Martin mentions an observation by Dave Jones, one of IPR’s founders, who made the leap from PR to the ad and now digital worlds. Dave suggests PR people default to one of three strategies when they develop campaigns: celebrity spokesperson, charitable component or survey. And if you can work in all three, that’s the holy grail. He says the industry needs to liberate itself from that mindset.
And speaking of a new mindset, Joe talks about AirPR, an online platform, just out of beta, that claims it can match clients to PR agencies more effectively than RfPs. Joe and Gini think it may be worth trying, while Martin feels it’s a step in the wrong direction because it places no value on relationships.
And finally we want to thank podcaster and video producer Steve Lubetkin for leaving a comment on Inside PR 3.36. We appreciate your thoughts on the subject of visual storytelling. You can read more of Steve’s insights here.
That’s a wrap for this week. We’d love to hear what you think.
We’re at the Social Capital Conference in Ottawa…face to face for the first time a while. Gini has just finished delivering a stellar keynote and we figured that’s a great topic for the show.
But before we get into that, Joe asks Martin, who’s just back from vacation, if he felt out of synch from a social network perspective when he was in Japan. Martin says he noticed the different news/communications cycle, though he didn’t pay as much attention as he normally would (and actually went on a bit of a Twitter vacation, too).
Martin also mentions that being in such a different culture means your eyes are wide open all the time as you experience the world from a fresh POV.
Building an engaged community
Gini’s keynote was all about how to approach blogging in a strategic way, develop a lively and engaged community and drive results for your business.
She says assembling an active community may look easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of work and time. She talks about how some people look at her success and tell her she’s come from nowhere, but she and her team have been blogging since 2006. She says they made a lot of mistakes along the way because there wasn’t any formal instruction. You had to learn as you went along.
Her secret sauce or success formula comes down to this: participating in conversations, sharing content, visiting other people’s blogs and taking part in conversations there and making people feel welcome. She does her best to get to know people online and understand why they’re visiting the blog in order to make the Spin Sucks content relevant for them.
Joe talks about how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate people and suggests Inside PR should take a page from Gini’s strategy and rededicate ourselves to putting listeners back into the podcast.
So we’d like to encourage all of you to join (or rejoin) the conversation and share your questions, insights, and any suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover. We can talk about them on the show and continue the discussion on our Google+ and Facebook pages. We’d love to hear what you have to say.
This week, our episode is short, but sweet (well, we can at least guarantee the first part). We recorded this show before US Thanksgiving and Gini’s trip to Amsterdam to give a talk to the PR community there. We’ll hear about her adventures next show.
We continue our discussion on producing and sharing remarkable content and Joe mentions an article Aaron Dun wrote for Marketing Profs on why creating a single blog post on a particular subject is no longer good enough. You need to learn how to re-purpose your content – in a major way.
Dun recommends an approach he calls ‘extreme reuse’, that is building out and spreading one idea across multiple platforms. He suggests you start by considering everything you do as fodder for content, whether it’s a call with clients, a brainstorm, an article you read, a conversation, trends… Then figure out how you can take your concept and adapt it to other channels including blog posts, slides, webinars, Google hangouts, infographics, video, email marketing, etc.
Gini talks about all the content she creates – and how she doesn’t know where she’ll find the time to do any more…
That’s where having a talented and diverse team comes in. In order for extreme reuse to be effective, organizations need people with different areas of expertise to add their perspective to a story and bring it to life in various media.
Martin suggests we should also look at things strategically and realize not every idea is a big enough to merit that much reuse. So be selective.
Is content marketing something you can do on your own or do you need partners who are good at other things and who can create a series of social objects around a subject or a theme?