Topics included PR’s failure to embrace the PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) content channel model as well as a continued measurement focus on outputs and outtakes 9but not outcomes); the rise of content production houses to feed the social media beast in a timely manner; the possible downsides of Virtual Reality (as well as Cision’s distribution of VR goggles to PR agencies and Dell’s efforts to engage customers about its products’ VR capabilities); President Obama’s social media legacy; live Periscope streams now appearing directly in Twitter feeds (if you’re using an iOS device); and whether brands should be jumping on Peach — the latest shiny object — or focusing resources on email marketing.
* Over the last several weeks, we have all been deluged with posts predicting social and digital trends for 2016. Arik argues they have gotten lazier and more, well, predictable over the last few y ears.
* One of the common threads in many of those prediction posts is the rise of Snapchat. Is it now a requirement for brands to have a presence there?
* Hubspot has been in the glare of unwelcome attention lately over the firing of its CMO, who employed some questionable tactics in an effort to get his hands on an advance copy of a book that is apparently critical of the company. There are crisis communication lessons to be learned.
* Om Malik wrote a New Yorker piece arguing that we are in a winner-takes-all economy, where algorithms, infrastructure, data, and the network effect preclude the rise of competition. (The piece was precipitated by the shutdown of Uber competitor Sidecar.) How can communicators help upstart companies avoid this fate?
* Another company (Coca-Cola this time) has been caught funding and influencing a front group. Is it time for the PR industry to end the practice once and for all?
* Coca-Cola experimented with a marketing campaign visible only to the color-blind. We talk about the idea of engaging many by targeting the few.
* The Iranian blogfather got out of prison after six years to find the online landscape dramatically changed. He sees the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites as far less compelling than the open web. But another blogger disagrees, arguing that Facebook won because it solved problems the open web couldn’t.
* Boston Globe reporters are delivering the newspaper in the wake of problems with the newspaper’s new delivery vendor — and they’re talking about it on social media. Is this a case of engaged employees serving as brand ambassadors, or a failure of the church-state relationship between a newspaper’s editorial staff and its business operations? Or both?
* News sites are shutting down their comment sections. Does their rationale make sense for corporate blogs?
This week's topics include:
* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued explicit new guidance on native advertising. Will this help or hinder the growth of the category?
* Edelman is closing in on a $1 billion year as it wraps ups its more than year-long restructuring. Does the new structure make sense? Should other agencies follow suit?
* In 2013, Congress passed legislation that effectively ended the ban on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America broadcasting within the U.S., a prohibition that went back to the 1940s. Have PR practitioners benefitted?
* Most organizations don’t recognize the downsides to workplace collaboration. How can communicators help prevent or overcome these issues?
* Share buttons are routine website acourtements, but they can cause significant problems. Do we fix them or ditch them?
* Dan York’s Technology Report covers the malware attack on Hyatt, the introduction of adblocking to ASUS’ default browser, and the war of words between Medium founder Ev Williams and blogging pioneer Dave Winer (including a discussion by the panel)
* The TSA — a reviled government agency — has launched a new Twitter account specifically to handle real-time traveler issues.
* Denver Water wants to be the go-to resource for all things water, first with a blog and in the Spring with a dedicated news site.
* Nearly half of CEOs aren’t involved in their companies’ crisis planning and training. Does this render existing crisis plans useless?
* Podcasting is on the rise, and what gets big on the Web usually gets big on intranets. Ron has been producing podcasts for internal consumption. Is this going to be a thing?
* Millennials, as it turns out, place high value on face-to-face interactions at work to build their reputations — even more than their GenX and Baby Boomer colleagues. Is it an internal communications role to provide opportunities for face-to-face engagement?
* Where does employee news belong? Is the traditional news hole on the intranet effective, are there better ways, or should it be everywhere?
* Dan York reports on the World Summit on the Information Society, the demise of Skitch, and the launch of Wirecast Go.
The panel for FIR #12: Deirdre Breakenridge, Neville Hobson, and Eric Schwartzman.
Here's a rundown of our discussion topics:
* Lewis PR has dropped “PR” from the company name; it’s just Lewis. The firm asserts it’s because they offer a broader scope of communication services, although PR remains “core” to its services. Is there an underlying belief that “PR” is confusing or limiting as part of an agency’s name?
* The fourth annual Creativity in Public Relations report is out, showing that clients are turning to PR agencies far more these days for creativity and agencies are investing more in its creative capabilities. Nobody seems quite sure, though, just what “creativity’ means.
* Three online (and printed) PR initiatives worth discussing: Futureproof, a collaborative book dubbed “the biggest conversation ever about the future of public relations,” #PRTech, an online resource addressing the intersection of public relations and technology, and #PRStack, a series of case studies now in its second edition.
* What books should communicators read during the holidays?
* Should brands podcast? GE is, and it has nabbed the top spot on iTunes. But is it a good idea for every brand? (Hint: It depends.)
* Dan York reports on GitBook, Twitter’s new look for photos, telcos’ attempts to eliminate the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, and Snapchat’s reporting on last week’s shootings in San Bernadino, California.
* KMPG is dropping employee engagement surveys in a pilot test because (they claim) engagement is poorly defined and metrics aren’t useful. Really?
* How should brands decide whether to invest their time in Instagram versus Snapchat?
* The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, which found the trust gap widening between informed publics and the mass population.
* A post from Jay Baer that offers brands three pieces of advice when tempted to offer “thoughts and prayer” when tragedy strikes or a celebrity dies.
* Sports Stadium, a new app (for iOS only so far) from Facebook that seeks to become your second screen during sporting events.
* The diversity issues arising from the boycott of the Oscars over a second consecutive year of all-white acting nominees, including a look at the issue in other industries and how PR and communicators can play a role in addressing the situation.
* Why do PR trade publications devote so much space to job announcements?
* Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has hired two PR firms to help with PR needed as a result of the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Will it help. Could it help?
* Dan York reports on efforts to bring the Internet to populations without connectivity or financial means to afford it.
That's accreditation, certification, or (continuing) education -- the three "shuns." I will moderate a panel of four IABC Fellows to talk about the pros and cons of the shuns at noon EST on Thursday, January 28, over a Google+ Hangout on Air. You'll be able to watch this episode of Circle of Fellows live and ask questions of the panel. (And if you can't make it in real time, the discussion will be saved as a YouTube video and distributed as an audio podcast on the FIR Podcast Network.)
This week’s panel includes Paul Gillin, a speaker, author, and consultant specializing in social media for B2B companies; Phil Gomes, senior vice president at Edelman working in B2B Digital, advanced community engagement, and special situations; and Heidi Miller, a content marketing specialist and chief conversation officer at Spoken Communications, a cloud-based contact-center-as-a-service provider.
In today’s episode, we covered these topics:
* In the season when predictions for the new year are as plentiful as food photos, we take a look at five social media trends from Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes
* Our panelists share their top predictions for 2016
* A quick look at some video trends for the new year
In texting, punctuation conveys different emotions; ending a sentence with a period is viewed as insincere, according to research.
* Reuters has banned freelance photographers from submitting RAW images, citing speed and ethics.
* Does the fact that someone liked Donald Trump’s Facebook page mean they like the candidate — and would you unfriend someone over that?
* A year-end review of the best native advertising demonstrates how these kinds of ads can be effective and ethical.
* Dan York reports on WordPress 4.4, Matt Mullenweg’s annual State of the Word post, and WSIS +10 (a meeting that could shape how the Internet is governed for the next decade)
* There’s a new Content Marketing Handbook dedicated to helping content marketers write about data
* Periscope is Apple’s iPhone App of the Year. What does that say about the future of live video streaming?
* Why are social causes easy to launch in social media but difficult to sustain?
* Should robots take over contact center jobs?
In this episode, we covered these topics:
* “Growth-hacking” content strategies as one of the major trends that will rewrite the PR playbook. (Others include deeper customer insights and the need to analyze multiple data sources, measurement and metrics, and social purpose and brand activism.)
* How brands are using Periscope despite its uncertainties, what they like about it, and why perhaps some of them shouldn’t be rushing to adopt it. (Hint: It’s a lot like older tools we don’t use much anymore.)
* Has print’s demise been overhyped? Book sales are rising as e-book sales decline. What does this mean for the use of print in organizational communications?
* A report suggests TechCrunch isn’t making good on its promise to produce articles to winners of its SiriusXM radio show, Pitch-Off. There are ethical implications for journalists offering articles in exchange for anything, and even more when they don’t deliver on their promises.
* Aer Lingus has given social media responsibilities to an employee who is suing the company. What does this say about how carefully organizations consider to whom they’re handing their microphones?
* There’s no question the lines are blurring between PR, marketing, advertising, SEO, and content marketing. This doesn’t spell the end for public relations, but it does suggest the direction of PR’s evolution.
* Dan York reports on the latest hack of customer data and companies’ need to have a plan in place to address it when it happens to you, a Facebook post from Jeremiah Owyang that suggests Facebook is taking over pretty much everything people want to do online, and a new WordPress interface and Mac app (and whether we need to embrace tools like this to prevent walled gardens from killing the free and open web).
* The panel launched into a discussion about Dan’s last item — do walled gardens like Facebook spell doom for the free and open web?
* Small companies are using audio to build the brands. Podcasts are great, but is there value in sharing music playlists?
Hobson is based in Wokingham, Berkshire, England, while Holtz is located in Concord, California, in the United States.
Their podcast is updated every Monday.
In addition to the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, FIR features interviews, book reviews, recordings of speeches and panel discussions, and more.