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.

The most neglected device in the office

Look around your office. What device has been on your desk longer than any other device? And what device has changed the least? The odds are, it’s your telephone.


Now ask yourself could you live without that telephone? A few years ago, the answer to that question would have been an emphatic “No.”Today, however, for most of us the answer probably is that we would just as soon do without this old-fashioned device.

The time has long passed that there was anything remarkable to noting that our communication had moved from voice telephone calls to email, to text, to Skype, to messaging, and to apps like Slack. If you’re like me, the phone may ring two or three times in a business day. And when it does ring, you look at the old-fashioned interface and wonder why it needs so many buttons for such a simple dumb task as a voice call.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that businesses are making the move to eliminate the desktop telephone.

My company, Thornley Fallis, is one of those businesses. A couple years ago,  we made the move from owning our own email servers to running our company through Microsoft Office 365 as a cloud-based subscription service. At that time, we retired our old-fashioned PBX and replaced it with a VOIP telephone system.

Now it’s time to make the next move. We are introducing Skype for Business onto the computers and mobile devices of our team. As we do this, we are experiencing the convenience and increased efficiencies of being able to launch voice and video calls with two or more people people using the devices that we use most. We can share documents and have calls involving two or more people, put them in our schedule or start them spontaneously with the click. It just feels more contemporary.

So far, we’ve been doing this internal to our team. The next step: adding access to the public switched telephone network, including teleconferences through it. That’s not a huge final step. But it will be a tremendous step for the people I work with.

Once we make this move, calls will come directly to our computers, tablets, or phones. Each of us will have our own number and it won’t matter to anyone whether we are answering at our desks in the office, at our kitchen tables at home, or in a hotel room on the road. We’ll just be there. We’ll just be accessible. And will be able to work whenever, wherever, and on the terms that we dictate.

So shed a tear for the old-fashioned desktop telephone. It was our constant companion for decades. But no more.

Announcing an Application Process for Verified Accounts

There goes the neighbourhood. Now we all can be sure that we are who we think we are. Twitter will verify it. 🙂

Verified accounts on Twitter allow people to identify key individuals and organizations on Twitter as authentic, and are denoted by a blue badge icon. An account may be verified if it is determined to be of public interest. Typically this includes accounts maintained by public figures and organizations in music, TV, film, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.

Source: Announcing an Application Process for Verified Accounts

Introducing Shrink-Wrap: What communicators can learn from Pokemon Go

I have been toying for a while with the idea of a short weekly video that goes into a little more detail on one of the hotter items I plan to include in my Friday Wrap, which I use to curate items of interest to communicators that have been published in the last week..

Each Friday afternoon, Shel Holtz publishes Friday Wrap, a quick-scan summary of the previous week’s articles and happenings in the world of communications and marketing that stood out for Shel.

Shel is well-known as one of the earliest and most prolific podcasters about public relations. He started the FIR podcast with Neville Hobson in 2005 and has been podcasting without break since then. Two years ago, he built on the success of FIR to create the FIR Podcast Network, which distributes a range of podcasts about topics of interest to communicators. (Disclosure: The podcast that I co-host with Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman is an FIR podcast.)

Now, Shel is experimenting again. He has launched a weekly video podcast, Shrink Wrap. Think of it as a video version of Shrink-Wrap. The curation and judgment that goes into assembling the stories featured in the written version of Shrink Wrap, but with the ability to convey Shel’s personality. Yes, there’s a lot of additional information in an expression or tone of voice.

Take a look. Subscribe. I’m sure you’ll find it’s a worthwhile commitment of five minutes a week of your time.


Source: Introducing Shrink-Wrap: What communicators can learn from Pokemon Go

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.

Inside PR 446: Let’s talk about podcasting on the verge

Is podcasting on the verge of tipping from a creator-driven medium to an advertiser-driven channel? UNU predicts the trends. Microsoft gets LinkedIn. And crises bring out the best in both social and mainstream media. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackle these topics and more in this week’s Inside PR podcast.


Midroll acquires Stitcher

A big deal by podcasting standards. Podcast advertising broker Midroll has acquired Stitcher. I think that independent podcasters have reason to worry that, if successful, Midroll/Stitcher will do to podcasting what Facebook did to the open Web. Martin and Gini are still making up their minds about this. Whatever your view, if you care about podcasting, this is an #IPRMustKnow.

Who knew UNU?

UNU is a site that uses the wisdom of the crowd to answer questions and predict trends. Very 2008.

Microsoft acquires LinkedIn

The news that Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn broke just before we recorded this episode. So here you get our first impressions of the potential benefits and downsides of Microsoft’s integration of LinkedIn with its Office suite.

Crisis brings out the best in us

Finally, in the wake of the Orlando shootings, we reflect on the current state of crisis communications, how news flows through social media and the important role of mainstream media to establish context, discern authoritative, credible witness testimony and curate the reports from social media.


This article is cross-posted on Inside PR.

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.