Talking about the New York Times creating video for Facebook

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast.  


Martin Waxman’s Social Media Marketing for Small Business is on

Yes, this is a shameless plug. But since it’s Joe writing this, Martin doesn’t have to be embarrassed. In fact, I think Martin is as smart about social media as anyone I know. And now Martin is sharing this knowledge on Martin tells us about his trip to California to record a video course, Social Media Marketing  for Small Business.

Buzzfeed News isn’t entertainment

Buzzfeed separated its Buzzfeed news operation from the Buzzfeed entertainment operation. Prelude to a possible sale of Fuzzfeed News. Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith says no.

WhatsApp shares user data with Facebook

As happens so often with privacy concerns, after an initial spate of bad press, public protestations about Facebook’s decision to share user data from WhatsApp with Facebook seems to have died down. Our concern with privacy is something that spikes occasionally. But then we put it out of mind as we enjoy the experience of social media.

Wired tells us about teens and social media

A few things in Wired’s profile of teens and social media caught Gini’s eye. There are a lot of do’s and don’t’s. It’s not about understanding young people. It’s about looking at the social mores being established by a cohort that doesn’t have the baggage of previously shaped expectations and behaviour, a cohort that can lead the way in assessing new channels and defining norms of behaviour on them. As Martin says, “One generation’s romantic is another generation’s lurker.” (Apologies to John Cusack.)

The NY Times on Facebook

Liz Spayd, The New York Times Public Editor, recently offered her take on the content that The Times has been creating for Facebook. In her analysis, Facebook Live: Too Much, Too Soon, she states

“…here’s the problem. After watching countless hours of live video in the past few weeks, I have hit upon many that are either plagued by technical malfunctions, feel contrived, drone on too long, ignore audience questions or are simply boring, by I imagine most anyone’s standards.

“Too many don’t live up to the journalistic quality one typically associates with The New York Times.”

This leads Martin, Gini and I into a discussion of the nature of content appropriate to social media. It’s not always going to stand up to The Times’ traditional standards. But it will be effective in its new place, for different reasons.

Also worth noting in this article is something I hadn’t seen before. The New York Times has a contract to produce video content expressly for Facebook.

“While the terms of the deal are secret, the transaction requires Facebook to give The Times a guaranteed sum (reported to be $3 million a year) in return for a prescribed amount of video (so far it’s averaging upward of four a day). Neither Times officials nor Facebook would discuss the deal, citing confidentiality. Several other media companies, including BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and Mashable, have also signed on. Their job: to stock Facebook’s pond with high-quality video so it can compete in the rapidly growing market for live-stream video.”

The Times as content creator for Facebook. That’s something different from The Times posting its stories on Facebook. Different even from The Times posting its stories natively on Facebook. It is instead The Times creating content to meet Facebook’s needs. That is different – and worth watching.

Perceived bias or real bias? Inside PR 451


Twitter opens verification to everyone. Yahoo closes an era. Anthony Ponce is a backseat rider. And the New York Times Public Editor shines a spotlight on the importance of perceived bias.

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley cover these topics on Inside PR 451.


RIP Yahoo

Yahoo once was the directory of the internet. So, we couldn’t let it fade into oblivion without marking the event.

Verify me, Twitter

It has been a widely-coveted symbol – the Twitter blue verification check mark. Now, we all can apply for it. Many will be called, but few will be granted? Have you applied for Twitter verification under the new process? Has your application been approved?

Backseat Rider

Anthony Ponce left his job as an on-air news anchor to spend full-time driving tax and posting the stories he picks up to his Facebook page. An interesting experiment. Politicians long have known that the best briefing they could get when visiting a city is the discussion with the taxi driver. They go everywhere and see everything.

Bias in News Media Redux

This is the issue we live with on a day by day basis. It’s also something which viewers of Fox News seem to accept, even welcome. Liz Spayd, the recently-appointed Public Editor at the New York Times reminds us that perception and reality do not necessarily converge when it comes to the issue of bias in news coverage. We’ve talked a lot about bias and personal perspective. And Spayd’s column brings us back to this topic.

Listen to the full podcast

Download Inside PR 451.

Post Ghost’s battle with Twitter raises issues that just won’t go away

Post Ghost logoPost Ghost, a service that preserved deleted tweets, was told to cease doing this by Twitter. Post Ghost complied and shut down its service. But it did not go quietly. They published an Open Letter to Twitter, arguing that the deleted tweets of people with very large followings could have as much impact on public issues as the tweets of politicians. Citing deleted tweets about the Brexit vote by British celebrities with large followings, they say, “the ability to reach millions of followers instantly and leave no trace is a massive and growing power, and one that is currently completely unchecked and undocumented.”

The Post Ghost letter raises important issues that have been debated before and will continue to be debated. And that’s just what Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley do on this week’s Inside PR podcast.

You can listen to the entire episode on the Inside PR blog.

Snapchat Memories, Pokemon Go and App Attention on Inside PR 449

Snapchat is more than ephemeral with Memories. Pokemon Go rules the world. And we pick up on Walt Mossberg’s discussion of our fragmented messaging environment. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more on Inside PR 449.


Snapchat Memories for when ephemeral isn’t enough

Hard on the heels of news that Snapchat has surpassed Twitter in daily users, we say Snapchat switch from its ephemeral-always model to provide users with the ability to save their Snaps using a new feature, Snapchat Memories. Memories lets you save current and previous Snaps and then use them for future stories. So, now you never need to worry people missing that embarrassing photo of your best friend that you sent out 25 hours ago. You can reach into Memories, add the photo to a new story, and start the cycle all over again.

Pokemon Go Goes

Like virtually everyone else this past week, we have been entranced by Pokemon Go. For its privacy implications. And because it has brought the potential of augmented reality to the masses. It may be a fad. But it’s a fad that will have made a difference.

Here an App. There an App. Everywhere an App

It was simple in the days of email: Just settle on your client – Outlook, AOL… and then add all your email accounts to access them in one place. Today, as we spend more of our time on chat, with proprietary, non-interchangeable standards, we are again facing the need to switch constantly between apps – for social networks, for chat. Pain the butt? We riff on a theme recently explored by Walt Mossberg in a blog post, The Tyranny of Messaging and Notifications, and on his podcast, Ctrl-Walt-Delete.

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

Inside PR 448: Twitter Engage, YouTube Livestreaming and Integrated Marketing Communications

Twitter brings easy analytics to your mobile device. YouTube plays catch up in livestreaming video. And we ask why, after all these years, integrated marketing communications isn’t the norm. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.


Twitter Engage brings Twitter analytics to the masses

Twitter just made it a whole lot easier to track analytics like follows, @mentions, retweets, and video views, with the launch of Twitter Engage, a new iOS app. Real-time monitoring in your hand. The app launched on iOS in the US-only. You can hear the collective sigh of disappointment from Twitter addicts in the rest of the world.

YouTube Livestreams from your mobile

Livestreaming videos to YouTube from your mobile is about to be possible. YouTube announced at VidCon that it is testing livestreaming with select publishers. Available to the rest of us soon. With YouTube’s huge catalogue of videos that we already have uploaded, it’s going to be competitive with both Facebook Live Videos and Periscope. Does that mean that I have to buy a third phone to livestream events to all three services?

Integrated Marketing Communications: Many are called. Not all answer.

Gini Dietrich wrote in a blog post that, with the proliferation of platforms and the need to integrate ephemeral and chat channels, integrated marketing communications is more important than ever. We’re all heard the term integrated marketing communications for over a decade. Independent agencies seem to have embraced integration. PR agencies in particular have moved to the PESO – Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned – model. So, why isn’t integrated marketing communications practised each and every day? We talk about the impact of tight communications budgets and the persistence of silos within corporate marketing and communications functions. We also look at the legacy of separate profit centres in holding company agencies. The need to maximize returns for individual centres may work at odds with making integrated marketing communications a daily way of life for people working in holding company networks.

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

Inside PR 447: Sponsored Content in Facebook Instant News and the Future of Social report


Major media outlets launch sponsored content with their Facebook Instant Articles and Jason Keath takes us through the highlights of Social Fresh’s Future of Social research report. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.


Sponsored Content on Facebook Instant Articles

Screenshot 2016-07-03 10.33.45Neiman Labs reports that two heavyweight traditional news outlets, the Washington Post and The Atlantic, have begun running sponsored content in their Facebook Instant Articles. Happily, the illustration in the Nieman Labs story suggests that the content will be clearly labelled as “Sponsor Content.” I tried to verify that by reviewing my own newsfeed. However, I couldn’t find a single sponsored article from either the Washington Post or The Atlantic. That makes me think that either this sponsored content is so far very rare or Facebook is geotargeting the ads and my Canadian IP address puts me outside of the target area for them.

Jason Keath, Founder of Social Fresh

Jason Keath is the CEO of Social Fresh, which recently released The Future of Social, a report based on research involving over 500 social media managers and executives. Gini tracked him down and interviewed him about the report and the lessons we can take from it. Among the highlights:

  • Companies that invest in social media tools achieve a greater return than those who don’t.
  • 95% of respondents using social media software report a positive ROI on their social media activities vs. 63% who are not investing in tools.
  • Social media is best at connecting with existing audiences, customers, strongest leads, fans and stakeholders. Building awareness through social media can be an expensive proposition.
  • To increase leads and sales, focus more time on fewer pieces of content. For example, Social Fresh invests heavily both in their research and the conference. This enables them to stand out by being deeper and offering more unique insights.
  • Take your audience up the commitment curve. Ask little of them at the beginning. Reading a post. Downloading a paper. Registering. Then work them up the curve to larger commitments.
  • Instagram is on the verge of leapfrogging LinkedIn and Twitter to become the second largest ad platform.
  • Marketers report satisfaction with the results they are achieving with video content and they plan to increase their commitment to it in the coming year.

This article is cross-posted on the Inside Pr podcast blog.

SnapChat Discover, Chatbots, and Internet Trends: Inside PR 445

Chatbots, Snapchat, PR misadventures and Mary Meeker’s Internet trends. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.


Chatbots – Destination or Waypoint?

It’s been a month since Facebook introduced Chatbots at F8. Martin reports on his experience with the CNN chatbot. Interesting. For sure. Useful. Not as good as it could be. But Facebook is doing its best to keep you inside its ecosystem of apps. Digiday reported this assessment of CNN’s experience with its Facebook Messenger Chatbot.

IMG_0003Snapchat changes the Discover feature to help publishers attract attention

It was telegraphed by Snapchat. Previewed by publishers. And now it’s here for all of us. The Snapchat Discover feature has been overhauled to a more magazine-like appearance. The hope is that the replacement of the small, circular icons with larger tiles including both text and images will give publishers a better platform to attract attention from Snapchat users.

You know you’re in trouble when the PR person becomes the story

Good PR people advise, prepare and support. But we know that media want to hear the words from the mouth of the principal. I’m sure every PR adviser has a story of having watched even the most well-prepared client get tripped up and make a mistake in an interview. But as PR pros, we’ve held out tongue and dealt with it after the fact. Few of us would dream of stepping in front of the camera or intervening to order a live recording stopped. After all, once the recording starts, isn’t it all fair game? Well, this week we have an example of what happens when a PR person loses sight of the fact that a recording of an interview is the media outlet’s to with as they please. The headline of the article from KWTX news tells you all you need to know: “Question leads to awkward interruption during Starr interview.

Internet trends that matter to PR pros

Finally, we look at Mary Meeker’s annual report on internet trends. Essential reading for every PR pro. Meeker points to several trends of importance to PR pros:

  • Advertisers are still spending too much on traditional advertising. The big opportunity will go to those who master mobile advertising.
  • Facebook and Google are even more dominant in advertising and distribution. And Facebook is charging ahead.
  • Facebook, with both Messenger and WhatsApp, is dominating in the fast growing messaging area.
  • Not all is bad news for Twitter, as the average daily time on Twitter has increased.
  • With over 10 billion views per day on each of Snapchat and Facebook, video live streaming is mainstreaming. As Martin says, we’ve gone from live to live – live TV to live streaming.

This article is cross-posted on the Inside PR.

Working with the PESO Model and Apple Podcasts Connect

Are you using the PESO – paid, earned, shared, owned – model of PR? Trying to understand why Google is introducing another new chat app? Trying to figure our how to use Apple’s new Podcasts Connect portal. Or just trying to protect your PR company from defamation litigation arising from online activity?

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


Allo Google?

In this week’s #IPRMustKnow segment, we talk about Google’s announcement of Allo and Duo. Allo is an intelligent chat app. Duo is a new one to one video calling app. They will be added to Google’s existing Messenger and Hangouts app, giving Google a total of four messenger apps in the market. (Did we say Google+? Not really, as it looks like G+ is continuing its long fadeaway.) We talk about what Google is up to. Why new apps when it has two reasonably successful apps already in the market? The answer seems to lie in the integration of Google’s intelligent assistant. But with all the churn in apps, has it lost the trust of people? Has it lost the sheen of the new that enabled newer entrants like Instagram and Snapchat to catch on. Can a middle-aged Google compete with the new and lean startups that have come up? Or will its huge database of knowledge about us give it an unassailable advantage in the era of the intelligent assistant.?

Protecting your company against defamation litigation

If you are an online publisher, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a defamation lawsuit. Gini points us to an article in PR Week by Michael Lasky of law firm Davis & Gilbert. Practical advice for the firm with a problem.

Understanding Apple’s Podcasts Connect Portal

If you’re a professional communicator, the odds are that you are creating a podcast or are considering starting a podcast. iTunes is the channel through which most people receive their podcasts. And it also has a reputation among podcasters to be demanding and unforgiving in setting up and maintaining podcasts. Recently, Apple has introduced Podcasts Connect, a new portal through which podcasters register and list their podcasts through iTunes. And as an illustration of nothing is ever as straightforward as it should be or may appear to be, reports have bounced around social media about podcasters messing up their podcast listing on iTunes as a result of changes they have made via Podcasts Connect. Happily, we have YouTube. And Libsyn, one of the leading podcast hosting services ( is hosted on Libsyn) has posted an “Explaining Podcasts Connect”  explainer video. Libsyn’s Krystal O’Connor walks through the functions of Podcasts Connect and shows how to use each. A great resource for newbie or experienced podcasters alike.

The PESO – Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned – Model of PR

For our main discussion, we turn to a couple articles Gini Dietrich wrote regarding the PESO Model – the Paid, Earned, Owned, Shared Model  and using PESO to drive your PR program. We talk about which to prioritize each tactic, how to integrate the paid portion and how to measure the effectiveness of each in our own programs.

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

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PR

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


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.