Canada's Prime Minister podcasts – kind of

Canada’s federal government is making some tentative moves into social media.

Prime Minister Stephen HarperLast night, the Prime Minister of Canada’s Podcast popped up on iTunes’ Canadian podcast page. The files can also be accessed through a streaming player on the Prime Minister’s website, as can video files. However, the files on the PM’s site cannot be downloaded.

Without doubt, this is a medium that will enable the Prime Minister and his government to reach past the Parliamentary Press Gallery and speak directly to the citizens of Canada. However, the current presentation is nothing more than the raw audio files of the PM’s speech. This is likely to appeal only to the committed partisan or policy wonk.

To attract a larger audience, the Prime Minister’s Office should enhance the production. Definite must dos: a musical intro;  an introduction by a host to estabish the context and provide a summary of the content and maybe even a brief interview with the Prime Minister after the sound clip to provide some content that is unique to the podcast.

Bottom line: a first step by Canada’s new Prime Minister. Hopefully, there will be more.


A great handout idea: bookmark page

Kami Huyse picked up a great presentation handout idea from Todd Defren:

I assembled a purpose-built page to accompany my presentation. So, no handouts, just one simple URL that contains all the links. Hat tip to Todd Defren for the idea, who is using it to track the meme of the social media release and who just got some coverage of the idea in the issue of BusinessWeek on the stands now (not bad, Todd).

Kami's page
Great idea. I have a couple of presentations coming up in the next couple of months. I’m going to try this and see how the audience likes it.

Is this my company's next inter-office meeting?

This past Monday, my company held a day long leadership retreat in Kingston. That required people from Toronto and Ottawa to trek from Ottawa and Toronto to a hotel mid-way between the two cities. Almost as much travel time as face time.

Neville Hobson last night participated in a meeting that may well point to the way that companies like Thornley Fallis cut out the travel time in the future.
Neville reports on a panel session that was conducted in Second Life. The session drew marketing and new media professionals like Joseph Jaffe and Mitch Joel for a serious discussion of avatar-based marketing.

Meeting in Second Life

This is a picture of the meeting taking from Neville’s perspective. That’s him in the foreground.

According to Neville,

… this was something quite extraordinary. Here was a group of people getting together in a virtual world for a business meeting. You didn’t know who anyone really was, whether who they say they are is who they really are, where they’re from, and whether it really is a man or a woman you’re talking to.

But none of that matters. It’s part of the experience and interactions in a virtual world.

Neat. And for the folks at Thornley Fallis who are reading this, don’t be surprised if the next interoffice meeting you’re invited to requires only that you travel as far as your computer to sign into Second Life!

Feedflare for New PR Digg Site

Constantin BastureaConstantin Basturea has posted step by step instructions for Feedburner users to add an “Add to New PR” feedflare to their posts. (Mine should show up at the end of this post.)

The instructions are very clear. Even a total coding incompetent like me was able to follow them and successfully add the feedflare to my Feedburner feed.

Thank you Constantin for another great addition. You are making the New PR Digg site an even more accessible resource.

Society for New Communications Research calls for awards nominations

Society for New Communications ResearchShel Holtz points out that the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) has opened nominations for its new awards program.

The SNCR says that the awards “will recognize excellence in the use of new communications models and solutions.” Nominations must be submitted by September 8, 2006 and the awards will be granted later in the autumn at the society’s inaugural research symposium. Case studies for the winning awards will be published in the society’s online New Communications Review.

Rick Spence asks for input on readers' podcast preferences

Rick SpenceBusiness writer Rick Spence has been asked by a friend (wonder who?) to start a podcast. Before doing so, Rick wants to learn more about his readers’ interest in podcasting.

He asks:

Do you listen to podcasts? Where, and when? Do you listen live, or download to an iPod? Do you have favorites you listen to regularly? Why do you listen to them? What have you gotten out of them?

Help Rick make up his mind about whether to podcast. Tell him about your podcast habits.

PR Girlz join the conversation

Another blog has joined the Thornley Fallis community – PR Girlz.

Thornley FallisPublic relations is an industry that is populated predominantly by women – at this year’s PRSA Counselors Academy, one presenter suggested that approximately 70% of PR practitioners are female.

And yet, PR bloggers are overwhelmingly male.

This imbalance became the topic of conversation in our office. And it spurred several of the women in Thornley Fallis to action. They decided to launch a group blog, PR Girlz. Jennifer Nebesky, the first of the PR Girlz to post, said:

I decided to enter the world of blogging when I noticed that there were not many women in the blogosphere talking about public relations…the glorious and the not so glorious work we do. It is my mission to get the conversation about women in PR started…who knows, one day we might dominate the social media world just like we dominate the PR world – one can only dream!

Welcome to the PR Girlz. We look forward to having you as part of our community.

Shel Israel outlines Global Neighbourhoods; asks for comments

Shel IsraelShel Israel has posted a preliminary overview of his new book project, Global Neighbourhoods. And he’s asking readers for advice about how he can make the book stronger, tighter and more useful.

Israel introduces the new book in the following way:

In some ways, Global Neighborhoods will be a sequel to Naked Conversations. I have great pride in the last book, but was never completely happy with the last section in which we attempted to paint a big picture that went beyond blogging into something called a Conversational Era. While accurate, the term has not caught on, nor do I think it is suited to describe the enormous fundamental change being created by a connected world. Global will attempt to paint a bigger picture of what the world, and large organizations will look like a few years down the line from today.  Naked Conversations examines the cause of the change.  This time I am more concerned with the effects of the change.

Read the rest of Shel’s overview and give him your input. It’s our chance to shape Shel’s thinking before he leaves for his world research tour with Rick Segal.

Are you a member of my community?

Who are you?My community is the people whose blogs I read and communicate with. My community is also the people who read my thoughts on this blog. Some enter into a conversation through comments and trackbacks. Some are silent.

The people who I read and link to may be much more important to me than I am to them.

It’s a bit like the false intimacy we all feel with Katie Couric or Peter Mansbridge. They sit across the room from us every evening and project their personalities onto the world around us. We feel like we know them. But they know us only as demographics and ratings.

Celebrities have known this false intimacy for years in the people who walk up to them, address them by their first name and start to ask questions about the personal details of their lives.

The blogosphere is a bit like that. In the PR world, I regularly read Hallett, Holtz, Hobson, Israel, Eggertson, Jones, Baradell, Basturea, Defren, McKay, Cody, Rubel, Clarke, Jenkins, Papacosta, Demopoulos, Sansone, and Fallis. I frequently comment or trackback to their sites. Of course, I am only one of dozens of people who do this. So, if I asked these folks if they think of me as part of their community, I wouldn’t kid myself about their answer. Some would respond with “Who’s Joe Thornley?” Others might go so far as to say, “I know him. He comments or leaves trackbacks to my site from time to time.” Does this make me part of their community? Maybe. But very much on the periphary. Is this bad? Not at all. Community is built over time.

The traffic numbers on my site tell me that there are many people who read my blog, but who have yet to comment on it or link to it. I’d like to know who you are.

So, a request. Please help me to know my community better. Leave a comment on this post to let me know who you are, what part of the world you hail from and what you do. (e.g. PR, advertising, student, etc.) And if you have your own blog, please write a brief post with a trackback to this article. I want to add you to my blogroll.

Then, check back to see who considers me part of their community.