Social Mediators 6 – Living with the iPad; Living with less PR podcasting

In this week’s episode of Social Mediators, Terry Fallis, Dave Fleet and I talk about some of the limitations of the iPad and changes to two of the longest running PR podcasts – Inside PR and For Immediate Release.

OK. OK. The iPad is selling like hotcakes. But I still think that Steve Jobs has made a mistake with the product by limiting its usefulness for content creation. Dave Fleet thinks that “Steve Jobs has always doneĀ  – what Steve Jobs wants to do.” Terry doesn’t see it as a mistake and expects that Apple will sell a “whack of them.” I think that the iPad takes us back to the era of creators and consumers. And I hope that competitors will push Apple to do better.

Also, after four years and 200 episodes of Inside PR, Terry Fallis and David Jones have given up podcasting. Martin Waxman will carry on with new co-hosts. Why did Terry quit? Partly fatigue. But also a sense that the show needs to be refreshed, that it will benefit from an infusion of new ideas.

We also talk about the changes to the longest running PR podcast – For Immediate Release – as Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson announced that they’ve cut back from two shows a week to a weekly podcast. FIR is a must listen for Terry, Dave and I and we’re glad that Shel and Neville are carrying on.

My first podcast. How did I do?

Shel Holtz has posted the episode of the For Immediate Release podcast that I recorded with him today.

FIRI had a great time doing this with Shel. The hour rushed by for me, as I hope it will for anyone who listens to the podcast.

And thanks to this peek behind the curtain of FIR, I came away with even more respect for Shel. He is a gracious and generous host. He took my hand (figuratively) and guided me through my first podcast experience, making a fairly complex process feel effortless.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty good. However, what you think matters a heck of a lot more than what I think.

So, if you listen to the show, please let me know what you thought of it. And if there are ways I could improve my own performance, feel free to leave a comment with any advice you’d care to offer.

Things I'd like to discuss on the For Immediate Release podcast

FIRShel Holtz has asked me to co-host the For Immediate Release podcast with him tomorrow. Regular co-host Neville Hobson is busy attending Twestival in the U.K. and Shel needs a foil for the day. And that’s me.

Shel has asked me to suggest some topics for discussion on the episode. Here are a few ideas I’ve developed. What do you think of them?

One area I’d like to highlight in the discussion is Canada’s experience of being close neighbours with the United States and the opportunities and challenges that social media present for us to see ourselves while being part of the larger global community. One aspect of this is what I call the “Content Creation Gap.”

What do I mean by a content creation gap? Well simply put, the Forrester Social Technographics data shows that U.S. Internet users are more likely to engage in active social media content creation – authoring, critiquing and collecting – than are Canadians.

To understand the potential significance of this, consider that search engine algorithms already reward the most popular links. A U.S. population ten times Canada’s population is more likley to click on U.S.-relevant pages, driving them higher on future search results for the same term.than links relevant to other countries. Add to this that we are less likely than Americans to produce as much content on a per capital basis and it seems to me, there is potential for it to become harder for us to see ourselves reflected in the increasing flow of social media content.

Another aspect of living close to the U.S. and being so similar to Americans is the profound impact it has on the composition of our business community. As Chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms, I see that Canadian public relations firms are most directly affected by the consolidation of accounts into global relationships, most often anchored in the United States. This is a different approach to a topic I’ve heard addressed at both this year’s PRSA Counselors Academy conference and the IABC World Conference – how the (mostly-U.S.-based) PR industry can ensure that its strategies and programs are sensitive to the unique cultures and contexts of every country in which they are rolled out.

Another topic I’d like to discuss would be the importance of public relations practitioners grounding their approach to social media in sociology and anthropology as well as technology. Yes, the technology is important. But more important than the shiny new objects is what people want to do with them and how they interact and form communities of interest. This continues to be public relations strong suit, if we keep our focus on it.

What do you think of these topics? Are there related topics that I should add?

Are there other things you’d like me to discuss?