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.
Snapchat 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.”
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?
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 (ProPR.ca 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
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.
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.
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:
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.
If your practice touches on public participation or digital engagement, the IAP2 North American Conference in Montreal in September may be for you. Members of the IAP2 – the International Association of Public Participation – from the United States and Canada will gather in Montreal for three days of speakers and panels on public participation best practices and case studies. I attended last year’s conference in Portland and found it to be a unique learning opportunity. And this year, I’ll be not only learning, but also sharing some of what I know in a session titled, “Reaching the People at the Back of the Room: Using Online Engagement for More Inclusive Public Participation.”
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.
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?
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. 🙂
Martin leads off with a discussion of Jack Dorsey‘s attempt to shift perceptions in the ongoing conversation about the future of Twitter. Gini talks about the importance of managing crises by participating in conversations where they are already taking place. As Gini points out, many people resist change to the applications they know and are accustomed to using. That resistance will only be overcome with clear explanations and allowing people time to consider and try the new and changed features.
Speaking of shifting perceptions, Martin and Gini have a great discussion about ads featuring celebrities. And then they use this as a launching point to talk about advertising equivalencies (AVEs) and the importance of the PR industry to measure meaningful outcomes.
On this week’s episode, Inside PR 434, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I take a look at PRSA’s Counselors Academy this week. The Counselors Academy conference is coming up May 1-3 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All three of us have participated in the past. It is a unique opportunity for PR agency leaders to learn about the “business of the business.” It’s a networking place to find others who share the same business challenges that you do as a communications business leader. In fact, Martin, Gini and I first met at the Counsellors Academy annual conference in Phoenix. It’s not too late to register for this year’s conference. If you do attend, make sure to say hello to Martin! 🙂
For our second topic, Gini asks the question, “Is specialization in PR a thing of the past or the way of the future?” Martin and I weigh in with our views and how they have harnessed generalist and specialist knowledge in their careers. But, why not download the episode or subscribe to the podcast to listen to the complete episode?
Ten years in, we’re making a change to the way that we record Inside PR that could lead to a significant change to the format of the show that we publish.
For all of its life, we have recorded Inside PR as a double ender, with the hosts each recording their tracks locally on their computer or a dedicated recorder. Following recording, we upload our individual tracks to a shared dropbox. Then the show’s producer edit combines the voice tracks together with the musical intros and outros, edits out the bloopers (yes, there are even more than the ones that you hear) and runs the finished product through a program called Auphonic to eliminate background rumble and level the sound across the different input sources.
About a month ago, we started to use a new tool, Zoom.us that transforms the way that we record the show and opens the possibility to making it available as a video podcast as well as an audio podcast.
Zoom.us replaces the double ender recording of individual tracks onto separate devices with a single online recording which can be downloaded as a single, level-balanced track. This eliminates a lot of work. But even more importantly, it also enables us to capture the recording on video. And we’re keen to add a video component to what until now has been an audio-only podcast.
For now it’s an experiment. If you listen closely to Inside PR episode 428, you’ll hear some significant variations in the sound quality between Gini, Martin and I. We’re attempting to identify the source of the differences – mic quality, the age and specs of the computer, the quality of the internet connection are the obvious first candidates for scrutiny. But as we bring up the general quality level, we hope to move on to offer a video feed in addition to the traditional audio feed. So, stay tuned for that.
Facebook has made its platform even more attractive as a place to publish videos by providing new tools to give publishers greater control over how they post their videos and target their reach. Facebook has joined YouTube as a must-publish place for video. If you aren’t already publishing your videos to both places, it’s time to test a dual publishing approach. Test it for several videos. Watch your stats closely. Then draw your own conclusion about how these two platforms work together to enable you to reach the people who are interested in your content.
Google isn’t giving up on video. It keeps innovating with YouTube. It is updating the YouTube mobile app, to make it easier for you to upload, find and view videos.
And going the other way – reducing a service’s scope and reach, Google announced that it is decoupling Google+ profiles from the login for other services, starting with YouTube. What does this mean for Google+. Trying to strike a positive note, Bradley Horowitz, Google’s product manager for Google+, said in a post on his Google+ page that,
“Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine (like the recent launch of Collections – https://plus.google.com/collections/featured).”
So, there is a lot happening with both Facebook and Google+. Things you should know about.
If you find these #IPRMustKnows to be useful to you, click over to the Inside PR podcast blog to subscribe to receive the new episodes as soon as they are published.