A brief primer on social licence

Social licence is a frequently-used, but little-understood term. It is referenced often in the debate around energy projects, especially in Canada.

So, if you’ve heard the term and wondered where it came from (coined in 1997 by mining executive Jim Cooney) and why people on opposite sides seem to be attaching a meaning to it that supports their own perspective, you’ll want to read “How social licence came to dominate the pipeline debate in Canada,” by The Canadian Press. It includes interviews with Jim Cooney, as well as advocates on both sides of the proponent/citizen divide.

Source: How social licence came to dominate the pipeline debate in Canada

Facebook Trending Videos point to deeper issues with Facebook as a media outlet

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Early data on the performance of Facebook Instant articles. Periscope makes videos permanent. Donald Trump does something that crosses the ethical line for PR pros. And we look at the deeper issues underpinning the discussion about Facebook’s Trending Topics.

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.

This week’s #InsidePRMustKnows:

  • Publishers are reporting mixed results with Facebook Instant Articles, according to Digiday. They are driving traffic, but it is less engaged. Nevertheless, revenue is flowing to publishers. So, Instant Articles as a publishing platform isn’t going away anytime soon.
  • Periscope is about to make videos permanent with save settings in its app. This is big news. Facebook Live Videos gained a huge advantage over Periscope by making it easy for people to save their videos. By making it easy for users to save their videos beyond the current 24 hour expiry date, Periscope will even up the playing field.
  • And in our “too bizarre not to be true item,” Gini offers her thoughts on Donald Trump posing as a PR rep in a call to media. “It’s not OK!”

Algorithms are not neutral

In our main discussion, we turn our attention to lack of transparency in how Facebook’s Trending Topics are selected. This is a far reaching and important issue. It’s about Facebook’s emergence as a media outlet. It’s about dominance of one player. It’s about the level of transparency necessary so that we can assess bias. And it’s about the additional obligation to transparency and scrutiny that Facebook should now be subject to.

During our discussion, we cite several sources that you should read in order to have the facts to make up your own mind about what is at stake:

This article is cross-posted at the Inside PR podcast blog.

Inside PR podcast turns 10

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We’re  belatedly celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Inside PR podcast. Terry Fallis and David Jones posted the first episode of Inside PR on April 3, 2006. Back then the tag line was “Inside PR: Going deep on the state and future of public relations.” After recording 200 episodes, Terry and David decided that they’d said all that they wanted to say. But they didn’t retire the podcast. Instead they passed it along to Martin Waxman, who had been co-hosting with Terry and David. Martin, in turn, brought Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley in as new co-hosts. And thanks to Terry and David’s benevolence, the Inside PR podcast now has been running continuously for over ten years. That’s a record of longevity that we’re proud of. And we’re not thinking of stopping anytime soon.

Also this week, we give a shout out to original co-host Terry Fallis, who has just been shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for his novel, Poles Apart. Terry has won the Leacock award twice before, for his first novel, The Best Laid Plans, and for his fourth novel, No Relation.  The award winner will be announced on June 11. So check your Twitter feed on the evening of June 11 and send Terry your best wishes.

This week’s #IPRMustKnows:

Also this week, we talk about the Counselors Academy Conference that Martin attended in Puerto Rico. Martin’s big takeaway from the conference was the continuing trend for PR agencies to integrate design, video, paid media and other disciplines as the traditional silos of creative, advertising, PR and content converge.

While at the Counselors Academy Conference, Martin interviewed one of the keynote speakers, Duncan Wardle, Vice President of Creative Inc., Disney Parks and Resorts’ creative think tank. He offers some great advice for priming creativity in our own organizations.

Marching to Facebook’s Tune

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PRThis week on the Inside PR podcastGini DietrichMartin Waxman, and Joseph Thornley chat about more changes to Facebook and their impact on our news consumption and publishers. Oh, and we couldn’t let Boaty McBoatface go by without comment.

Martin tells us that Facebook is testing sections in its newsfeed – sports, entertainment, lifestyle, politics, etc. A good idea that will make Facebook a better browser experience for news.

Gini wants us to be sure to note that Buzzfeed has demonstrated that Facebook Live Video can aggregate broadcast-size audiences. Over ten million people watched Buzzfeed staff wrap elastic bands around a watermelon until it exploded. At one time during the forty minute broadcast 800,000 viewers were watching concurrently. Could there be any clearer indicator that if Facebook will build a video platform, we will come?

And dredging up for Joe memories of happy hours spent playing with toy boats in the bathtub, Boaty McBoatface showed that the public may have a better sense of humour than people in authority. If you ask a casual question, be ready for a whimsical answer.

Finally, Martin points out the recent article on Wired, Facebook has seized the media, and that’s bad news for everyone but Facebook. News is important to Facebook. But it’s not what Facebook cares about. Instead, the platform is focusing on packaging content as an experience that will draw us and keep us. The content doesn’t matter to Facebook as much as the packaging and whether it holds attention.

We’d love to know what you think.

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.

This post was originally published on the Inside PR Podcast blog.

Wall to Wall Facebook on Inside PR 440

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman, and Joseph Thornley chat about all things Facebook on this week’s Inside PR.

It may be big, but Facebook is like a shark. It just keeps moving. Recently, Facebook opened itself to sponsored content. We talk about recent changes at Facebook, including sponsored content. We talk about the need for adequate disclosure of sponsored content to enable people to recognize it as such.

We also discuss Facebook Messenger’s second email inbox. It seemed to have sent a lot of people into a tizzy. Joe, on the other hand, is quite happy to have Facebook Messenger filter out as many messages as possible.

Facebook uses its huge data store to fine tune its news and advertising algorithms. But kudos to the company for this innovation: Facebook introduced auto captioning to make itself more accessible to people with site impairment. Good on Facebook!

And we couldn’t talk about Facebook without talking about Facebook Live Videos. They are available to all of us and we’ve been using it. Video for the rest of us. Video that persists (unlike Periscope which expires.) Video that we can schedule with an event. Or, as we have done, video available only to members of a group (join the Inside PR Facebook group to see the video Joe made of his end of the recording of this podcast.)

We’d love to know what you think. 

  • Is Facebook going to become the one social network to rule them all?
  • Junk filters? Nuisance or must-have.
  • Have you used Facebook Live Videos yet? How was your experience? Do you have tips for others who are just beginning to use them?

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.

The most important report you may read this year

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Comscore recently published its  2016 White Paper on the U.S. Cross-platform Future.

If you’ve missed the biggest change of the past couple years, it may be because you’re still interacting with the Web and social media on a desktop or notebook device. And if you are, you’re in the minority. Yep, that’s right folks. In December 2013, 53% of the time spent on digital media platforms was on mobile, 47% on desktop. Flash forward two years later to December 2015 and 65%, two thirds, of the time we spend on digital media platforms is now time that we spend on our mobile devices. Desktops have been reduced to one third of the time.

Comscore’s data also provides some interesting insight into the use of social media and the differences between people under 35 (think Snapchat) and those over 35 (think Facebook.) But regardless of which cohort you are looking at, Mark Zuckerberg can feel good, as Facebook and Instagram rank among the top three most-used social apps across all ages.

The other side of the move to mobile is the ongoing rise of video. And this data was collected before Facebook launched Live Video.

If you’re running a communications business, the Comscore report is a must-read. In fact, you may find that it provides you with the markers around which you’ll be building your business plan for the next year. You could do a lot worse than to place your business in the path of the trends charted out by Comscore. After all, there’s nothing better than be where the future is when it arrives.

And if you’re interested, you can listen to Gini DietrichMartin Waxman, and I discuss the report on this week’s Inside PR podcast.

Tips for Error Free Writing and Twitter’s Tenth: Inside PR

Twitter turns ten. Four tips for good writing. And a legal decision that brings nothing good to anyone.

Inside PR podcastThis week, on Inside PR 437Gini Dietrich and I fly without Martin Waxman. But we’ll all be back again next week. So, please come back.

This week’s first #IPRMustKnow: Twitter turns ten. It changed communications for Gini and Joe – and it’s still as relevant for us as it’s ever been. There’s been a lot of talk about Twitter being in trouble. And while it may not be meeting the venture capitalists’ expectations, it meets our expectations for a useful tool that we use every day. But as we look back, we know that Twitter was a learned tool. Just take a look at the very different first Tweets that Martin, Gini and Joe published.

Gini was true to her form, using Twitter to try another tool:

And Martin was loquacious. Why waste a good communications opportunity?

Finally, Joe was dry and matter of fact in his first tweet.

For our second #IPRMustKnow, we point to an article by Sylvia Stead, the Globe and Mail’s Public Editor, warning against the four most common sources of mistakes by journalists. As Gini and Joe see it, these aren’t just the source of errors for journalists, but also for any research-based writer. Stead suggests,

“…it’s worth keeping these things in mind: 1. Stay focused. 2. Don’t hurry. 3. Never assume you know. 4. Check one last time – especially names, numbers and factual statements.”

Finally, Gini and Joe talk about the Jian Ghomeshi trial and verdict in Canada. Not an easy issue. One on which we all have views. And not something that Gini or Joe would go near.

This post was originally published on the Inside PR Podcast blog.

Medium shows that even the routine action is an opportunity for creativity

Medium iOS App Update

Medium reminded me today that even the most boring and trivial interactions with your community can be a source of unexpected creativity and delight. I’m used to seeing the same old same old boring “bug fixes” explanations of updates to iOS Apps. But when I checked the iOS App updates on my phone today, I saw this messages, which was anything but routine. And as I read it, not only did it bring a smile to my face, but it reminded my that Medium is a place for creative ideas and intelligent discussion.

It’s easy to say, “OK, that’s Medium’s business.” But don’t go there. That’s a dead end. Ask yourself, “Why should the people at Medium be any more creative than I am? Don’t I have many opportunities in my day to turn the routine into something fresh and unexpected?”

We all get used to things that are routine. They pass by as a blur in our day. They may be unremarkable or even irritating necessities. But they don’t have to be.

So, make this promise to yourself, “Today, I will look at all the routine things I do and turn at least one of them into an unexpected moment of creativity and joy.”

 

Sylvia Stead offers advice all writers can use

Sylvia Stead, the Globe and Mail’s Public Editor offers some cautionary advice on the most common causes of mistakes by journalists. Stead illustrates these mistakes and their consequences with by referring to recent errors in Globe and Mail stories. According to Stead,

…four root causes of mistakes cover pretty much every mistake. For journalists, it’s worth keeping these things in mind: 1. Stay focused. 2. Don’t hurry. 3. Never assume you know. 4. Check one last time – especially names, numbers and factual statements.

Good advice is advice that can be readily put into effect. And Stead’s advice provides a set of common sense rules that should be remembered by every writer. Regardless of how pressing the deadline, don’t become a casualty of one of these lapses.

 

Inside PR 436: Meerkat pivots, Facebook Reactions, Snapchat videos

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and I are back together again for  Inside PR 436 – the first episode in over a month in which all three of us are together.

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In this episode’s #IPRMust Know segment, we talk about Meerkat’s pivot, Facebook Reactions and Snapchat’s big video view numbers.

Meerkat is moving away from live streaming and attempting to pivot to become some type of video social network. Not surprising, given the tight integration of Periscope and Twitter and the introduction of Facebook live videos. It would be tough to see how Meerkat could stand out with the two main realtime social networks offering their own live streaming platforms.

Facebook Reactions have been with us for several weeks now. Chris Penn’s early look at the impact of Facebook Reactions suggested that “haven’t statistically changed engagement yet. If you publish unengaging content, Reactions won’t help you. If you already have a highly-engaged audience, you will likely continue to do so – Reactions don’t appear to make it better or worse.”  We offer our own early reactions to Reactions.

If you didn’t have enough video in your life, take a look at Snapchat. Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel says that Snapchat users are watching more than 8 billion videos per day. There’s clearly an audience for video. So, if you produce video as part of your initiatives, it’s worth checking out what works well on Snapchat.

Fake accounts. Could this happen to you?

We close out this episode with a discussion of the communications agency executive who faked over $250 million in contracts go gain advancement at this advertising agency. Sad but true.

And a big thanks to Suzy Chisholm. Suzy, who heard me state a few episodes back that I preferred single purpose apps over those that take a “Swiss Army Knife” approach. Suzy, who lives in Switzerland, sent us three Swiss Army Knives, branded with the Philips logo (where Suzy works) and a very nice note. Thank you Suzy. You brought smiles to our faces and reminded us that there are times when you want to reach for that one thing that does it all. 🙂

Listen to the podcast

You can listen to this episode or subscribe on iTunes.

This post is first appeared on the Inside PR Podcast blog.