Inside PR 416: All the news you can get on Facebook and Twitter

Martin here and I hope you don’t mind if I start with a plug. I’m heading to SXSWV2V in Las Vegas to be a mentor and on a panel called, The Best City in the World May Not Be a City at All. We’ll be talking about what it takes to make the kind of community people flock to live and work in and whether that’s a physical location, online or a creative combination of the two.

Now onto the show with our #IPRMustKnow for this week:

Meerkat introduces Cameo – a new feature that lets you hand off your livestream to other users and offer another angle on a real-time video story.

Twitter keeps getting better at paid promotion and rolls out campaign insights and audience personas to all users. 

Facebook changes its settings and allows people to choose which friends and brands they want to see more of in their newsfeed. Have you adjusted yours?

In our main topic, we discuss a recent Pew Study that focuses on how and where we discover and consume news. Turns out 63% of people on both Facebook and Twitter get news from those platforms. Which helps explain why social networks continue to evolve into media companies.

One stat that stood out: just over 60 per cent of millennials get political news from Facebook and 37 per cent from local TV. The numbers are reversed for boomers. What does that mean? Well, don’t think that millennials will switch to TV when they become ‘mature adults’ – because, hey, that’s what adults are supposed to do. It’s yet another wake up call to mainstream media – and PR – on the need to evolve and transform.

And while we’re on the subject of media, do you get a newspaper delivered to your door? If so, how often do you read it? Where do you go first for information and news – social platforms or MSM?

We’d love to hear from you.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, 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 392: The algorithm called journalism

We start this episode with a burning question from Gini: Is lasagna pasta – yes or no?

Joe and I both say yes. And so Gini, armed with the information she desperately needs, is ready to take on her dinner menu. That is, unless you, our listeners, think otherwise. Please let us know.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Joe starts the show talking about the notion of who makes news decisions – editors or algorithms. This was sparked by an Emily Bell speech and spawned a discussion online as well as several posts, including one by Jeff Jarvis.

In her talk, Bell contends journalists, who once controlled the determination and distribution of news, have lost their hold or maybe they’ve been supplanted. Their replacements? In digital channels, many editorial decisions are made by people fine-tuning algorithms or the algorithms themselves.

Martin says on the editorial front, we’ve traded one concentrated group of publicly-traded companies (media) for another (social networks as new media).

Gini says there’s so much info out there that until something’s been confirmed by the fourth estate, we tend not to believe it. Traditional media is the filter.

Joe contends PR is in an ideal position to bridge the gap between journalistic decision makers and the way algorithms pick content. And by seeing both sides of the coin, we can still help get news in front of people either though media or their feeds.

And that’s where understanding influence and influencers comes into play. Martin mentions a new type of influencer: a young video game player with an engaged audience who was featured in an article in the NYTimes. And the profession needs to refine its approach to public relationship-building to take this into account.

Are algorithms the new equivalent of editors – we don’t know who/what they are and yet they make many decisions? Is that a good or a bad thing? We’d love to hear what you think.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 391: Ch-ch-changes at F-F-Facebook – again

Martin here and apologies to David Bowie but Facebook’s at it again and I couldn’t help myself.

Earlier this month, the company announced that in January, 2015 people will start seeing fewer promotional posts from brands, that is, things that push you to enter contests and sweepstakes, install an app or buy a product.

Joe and Gini think this is a positive shift because it puts the onus on brands to earn their way into a user’s news feed with relevant and useful content.

I say this goes well with the way Facebook lets folks mute brands and friends we may not want to hear from so often. Then I wonder about coupons. They’re both commercial and yet important to some people. Is Facebook treating coupons as pure promotion too? We’re interested if any of our listeners have insights on that.

We switch gears and Gini talks about Facebook’s Rooms app, which is trying to connect people through a common interest and not necessarily their social graph. Gini likens it to the early days of Internet communities and anonymous posting. Here’s a blog she wrote about it and why you may not be as anonymous as you think.

Joe says Facebook’s two recent changes – offering a less commercial newsfeed and simplifying their privacy offerings – are driving more value to its business. He thinks they’ve got their mojo back.

I close off by talking about the latest meshmarketing conference and some highlights, including Ann Handley’s fun and informative keynote.

What do you think about Facebook’s algorithm tweaks? Will it improve your experience and, as a result, will you be spending more time on the platform? Will you be changing your privacy settings? We’d love to hear what you think.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 384 – It’s Spin Sucks anniversary – and we celebrate with blogging tips

Martin here…

It’s a big day for us at Inside PR – well, a big day for Gini, but we’re celebrating with her! Spin Sucks turned eight. And that’s a milestone.

Gini looks back and talks about her first post and how…um…disappointing it was. She said it was just a blog introduction without any links (though there were footnotes), but with a few references to some guy named Ray (they’re not sure who that was) and it had no images or optimization…

Back then they didn’t have a clear vision of the kind of content that would help them achieve their vision to improve the reputation of PR.

Gini took it over in 2009 and worked hard and consistently to create the type of content that built and engaged a community and made it into the runaway success it is today.

A big congratulations from all of us to Spin Sucks!

Joe says it’s not easy to keep up Gini and her team’s level of commitment and production and mentions a post by Darren Barefoot, who says he’s no longer doing most of his writing on his blog. Rather, he’s publishing on other platforms with bigger audiences so more people see and interact with his ideas.

In the second part of the show we ask Gini, who recently spoke about advanced blogging at Content Marketing World, to share some of her tips. Here are three:

  1. Follow trends and lists to discover fresh, relevant ideas.
  2. Imagine and reuse your content and turn a blog post into a podcast, video and other sharable social objects.
  3. Syndicate and distribute content beyond your social networks to build momentum.

Do you have any to add?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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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 Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 381: Penalties for bad reviews and questions about online privacy

Martin here.

This week, the gang’s together again…and we start by talking about a business that charges customers a penalty for negative online reviews.

Whaa?

In case you missed it, a hotel in upstate New York said it would levy a fine of $500 for bad reviews written by guests.

The company has since recanted the story claiming it was a joke that harkened back to a long-past wedding and they never removed the policy. Gini likens this to businesses that pay for positive reviews and says you can’t dictate what people say about you online good or bad. You just have to provide the best experience and customer service you can, listen and address issues. Here’s a link to the story for details.

We switch gears and discuss a study on online privacy by Craig Newmark and others that offers some insightful results. One of the main findings is that two-thirds of us either skim or don’t bother to read the terms of service. Which means we don’t know what we’re agreeing to or what rights we’re signing away.

Gini, Joe and I did a straw poll and it turns out the three of us all fall in that 66 per cent majority.

That’s not a good thing…

Joe links this to news that when Google receives a request under Europe’s right to be forgotten legislation, it has been informing webmasters about it before it takes down the links-in-question.

According to the WSJ, Google claims that alerting publishers to impending removals is the only way they can respond with their side of the story.

Joe’s concern is that we’re giving a private company the ability to make decisions about our privacy and rights based on its commercial self-interests.

I think the situation is similar to one we’ve always had with media: they have their own agendas, yet we trust them to filter stories and news.

It’s certainly a complex issue.

What do you think? About penalizing or paying for reviews? About reading terms of service, about the right to be forgotten…

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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 Ashlea LeCompte.

 

Inside PR 377: Big clients squeeze marketing companies and Facebook’s hold on youth

On Inside PR this week, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I talk about two very different topics: the squeeze large clients are putting on their marketing partners and Facebook’s hold on young users.

The Big Squeeze

Gini kicks off the discussion about the growing number of large companies that are taking longer to pay their marketing partners. In the case of some companies, such as P&G and Mars, advertising agencies, marketing and PR partners will find themselves waiting up to 120 days – four months – for payment. And that can be crippling to a creative business. Gini has some thoughts about how PR agencies can avoid being caught in the slow payment trap. In the short term, it may come down to this: If you don’t want to play the big client game, extending your credit to people whose credit rating is is probably much better than yours, you may just have to say no. And if they won’t attempt to find a workable middle ground, you may just end up saying no to working for them.

Martin believes that this would be bad for creative agencies and for marketing itself. It used to be that creatives would be constantly breaking off of the larger agencies they worked for in order to form new ventures. And with a fresh creative perspective, many of them would land a large account that would enable them to build an agency in their own vision. Heck, that’s how Terry Fallis and I started Thornley Fallis. A couple of guys with a fresh perspective on the business working on folding banquet tables in borrowed space. But we landed B.C.E. (Bell Canada Enterprises), then GlaxoSmithKline, and then Molson. And from there, the business took off.

Is that still possible in this current environment? Martin asks, “How can you compete to win clients like this if the financial terms would put you out of business before you have a chance to grow?” Yes it is possible, but ever more difficult. In order to succeed, small agencies need to keep a focus on what has always been the most important factor. Creativity. If we can do something that’s truly remarkable and memorable, we still can thrive.

Facebook’s Hold on Youth

Recently, some have suggested that Facebook is past its prime with teens. A  study from Forrester Research indicates that Facebook still remains young people’s favorite social network. Martin agrees that Facebook may still be used by teens. But he suggests that we look at an intangible factor that may point to the future. Do teens still consider it cool? Or are they there because they have to be because their friends are there? If that’s the case, Gini suggests that teens will not remain reliant on Facebook. Older people who have left school, moved away from their hometown, and are in mid-career, rely on Facebook to keep them connected with the people that they knew at an earlier time. Teens, however, are surrounded by their social network. They don’t need Facebook to stay in touch with friends. They know who their friends are and they can easily use different media, including texting, to stay in touch with their friends.

I think there’s a different between these two questions, “Do people use it?” and “Do people feel cool when they use it?” The first question finds its answer in past behaviour. The second question points the way to future behaviour. And if that’s the case, don’t count on Facebook keeping its stranglehold on youth. For now, young users are still on Facebook. But where will they be next year?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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 Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR 3.70: Tom Garrity on PRSA Counselors Academy Conference

It’s Martin semi-solo, this week; Gini and Joe are off.

I’m here with Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group and chair of the PRSA Counselors Academy conference for PR agency leaders, which takes place in Key West, Florida, May 4 to 6.

Tom and I start off by chatting about how some PR specialists are also hot air specialists. Actually that’s not quite true. We got on the subject because Tom’s agency represents the Alburquerque International Balloon Festival, one of the more visually exciting events around.

If you follow Inside PR, you’ll know we’ve discussed Counselors Academy before – that’s where Gini, Joe and I met. We’ve been to the event many times, recorded a few episodes there and I was conference chair in 2012.

I’ve said this a number of times: CA is my one must-attend PR gathering of the year, a chance to meet and get to know a smart, friendly and lively group of PR agency movers and shakers.

Unlike other conferences, Counselors is focused on the business of running a PR agency and provides an opportunity to take part in top notch professional development and lots of idea-sharing over casual conversations, coffee or drinks.

This year, one of Tom’s highlights is the closing presentation at Hemingway House, with keynote speaker and ad agency owner Steve McKee, who offers insights from his new book, Power Branding: Leveraging Success of the World’s Best Brands.

Other keynotes include 9 INCH marketing founder Stan Phelps talking about branding and strategic marketing and Shonali Burke on successfully integrating research into your PR plans and pitches.

Tom’s also looking forward to the Bold Moves session – raw conversations about major changes agency owners made in order to transform their business. It’s a Ted X type format moderated by past Counselors chair and Mitchell Communications CEO Elise Mitchell. Speakers include Aaron Blank, president and CEO, The Fearey Group, Lynn Casey, chairman and CEO, PadillaCRT, startup entrepreneur Forest Featherstone and Janet Tyler, founder and co-CEO, Airfoil.

There’s a round of short Ignite presentations, breakout workshops, roundtables and a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Tom recommends Counselors because it always helps him improve his agency and fill in what he doesn’t know.

Here’s where to go for the schedule. There’s still a bit of time to register if you’re interested. Or you can follow the hashtag on Twitter #CAPRSA.

I’ll be there and will interview some of the presenters for upcoming episodes of Inside PR. Stay tuned.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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 Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 361: Justine Sacco, poor judgment and the mob mentality

Martin here…And as I said on the podcast, I was waiting for Google to write this post for me…

We start 2014 talking about the mob mentality you sometimes experience in social media.

Picture this. You’ve had a busy year and it’s almost the holidays. You’re traveling halfway across the world to head home for some much-needed R&R. It’s a long and maybe a bit of a dull plane ride. There’s no Wi-Fi, so you’re unplugged. The perfect way to unwind.

Sounds tempting.

But when you land…you notice something’s different. Strangers recognize you. Are they pointing fingers? You get reconnected only to find out you’ve been fired with no warning – over a tweet.  The decision had been made when you were in the air.

I’ve just described what happened to Justine Sacco, who was a senior communicator for IAC. As in, past tense. The reason for her firing was a racist tweet she posted before leaving on the flight.

Let’s be clear, we don’t condone any racist remarks and this was clearly a case of very bad judgment (just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should).  If you followed the story, you’ll know it blew up when she was in the air and didn’t have access to Wi-Fi, there was an avalanche of critical posts, hashtags, a twitter storm and, of course, she abruptly lost her job.

Now that we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the situation from the perspective of a few weeks, we thought we’d discuss these questions:

– Is it wise to let the community do your thinking for you?
– When should you wait to make a decision and when should you react immediately?
– How do you deal with a mob mentality when you’re trying to make a change?
– If you react quickly, is your decision strategic or just designed to stop the noise?
– Do you dump first and then ask questions later?
– Shouldn’t everyone have an opportunity to answer for their actions before they feel the consequences?

It’s a complex and multi-layered issue, as you’ll hear in the podcast. Have a listen and let us know where you stand.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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 Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.59: Trends and fears for 2014

Martin here…

2013 is drawing to a close. And we know how busy people are with Christmas shopping, holiday parties and other seasonal celebrations. So we thought we’d keep it short and sweet and focus on one trend and one fear we have for 2014.

But first, I talk about PR Baton, a new initiative created by Dana Hughens, where PR people take part in a virtual relay on Instagram to visually showcase a day in the life of an industry pro. I was carrying the baton the day we recorded; here’s the photo I did to commemorate this episode.

Check out the PR Baton on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Now onto the show.

Gini’s Trend:
Agencies need to evolve or they will disappear. She references a study saying CMOs are unhappy with the roles ad and PR folks play in driving results for their organization because most agencies haven’t integrated digital with traditional and aren’t accountable for results.

Gini’s Fear:
Not being able to integrate the four media types – paid, earned, shared and owned – in a strategic way. PR especially needs to focus on learning about paid.

Joe’s Trend:
It’s going to be a year of big getting bigger; not necessarily for everyone’s betterment, but because there’s so much momentum in that direction. However, with that he sees an opportunity for independents who put their focus on innovation.

Joe’s Fear:
PR is going to become even more commoditized than it already is.

Martin’s Trend:
I harken back to 1999 and invoke another C word (and not content, communications or connection) – convergence. Next year is going to require a convergence of transmedia storytelling skills and agencies will have to take risks to find and  build the right team.

Martin’s Fear:
I reference a recent blog post that says while social media is fast, relationships and trust still take time. That’s something I hope we don’t forget.

What trends and fears to you have for 2014? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy holidays!

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.48: Transparency and Disclosure in Media Relations

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On this week’s Inside PR podcast, Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley tackle an issue raised by Gini in a post on Spin Sucks: disclosure by PR agencies of business interest in media relations pitches. Gini kicks off the conversation by asking the question, “Should media disclose every time they work with a PR person in preparing a story?” Martin tells a story of a lesson earned through experience and Joe argues that the real issue isn’t the activity of PR agencies, but the notion that PR agencies are attempting to influence objective news gatekeepers. And we go from there.

Also this week, Martin also recommends that PR practitioners should take a close look at Google’s recent Hummingbird search algorithm changes.

Finally, in this episode, we talk about taking Inside PR on the road. We’ll be covering MeshMarketing which takes place in Toronto on November 7. If you are a marketer near or in Toronto, this is a conference well worth attending. You can find details on the schedule and registration here.

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We would love your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine Simpson and Ashlea LeCompte.