FIR 182: Hot Bee Action


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Beesexual
The April 2019 episode of “For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report” features co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz discussing the following topics:
  • How China is shaping the future of shopping — it’s online, social, and highly appealing to Gen Z
  • Media coverage of local news is evaporating. Should business pick up the slack?
  • Customer reviews are the new content marketing, says Jay Baer
  • Movements mean more than brand purpose. Just look at Pornhub’s new movement to save the bees.
  • The UK government has added 12,000 pieces of information to Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa
  • When you think of Augmented Reality, do you think of audio? You should.
  • Dan York reports on MindNode 6, WordPress 5.2, Pocket, Minnesota’s “Right to Repair” legislation, and Mozilla’s move away from IRC.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
FIR 182

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Would Anyone Notice?


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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I have the distinct pleasure of being chairman of the Institute for Public Relations and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. This past week each organization convened in Manhattan for the IPR board meeting and Page Spring Conference, respectively. The issue of the day (or week) was the purpose of purpose. Organizational purpose, that is. I participated in three different purpose brainstorming sessions that included the best and brightest from the worlds of corporate America, academia and the agency world. The bottom line is that purpose is still very much a work in progress. For example, it is still seen by some Wall Street-focused CEO’s as non mission-critical (one participant referred to that baffling phenomenon as “the CEO blind spot”). Others noted that purpose is still being confused by some CCO’s, CMO’s and CHRO’s with the corporate mission. Most of the IPR/Page members “get” purpose. It’s intended to
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FIR 181: Some decisions to consider about social media


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With this episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report, FIR 181, Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz embark on a renewed journey every month with conversation at the intersection of business, communication and technology, just as when they first started out in January 2005. In this episode for March 2019, H&H discuss these stories:
  • Print is still a viable communication tool; Raspberry Pi is distributing multiple print magazines
  • Pandora is the first streaming service to introduce a sonic logo
  • In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in New Zealand, we find ourselves at a fork in the social media road
  • The nature of a news story determines the trajectory of its lifespan
  • Gartner expects AI to assume 80% of all project management tasks by 2030
  • Companies are now mining your voice to learn more about you for purposes both noble and nefarious
  • Facebook just won’t change even though the
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Featuring Photography as a Primary Content Element


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Content marketing today requires great visual media. That’s why most marketing efforts I work on feature photography as a primary component. Taken in Havana, Cuba.
When launching a digital content marketing project, I often feature photography as a primary storytelling tactic. Optimal content in a smartphone world requires visual media. It’s the old adage, “Show me, don’t tell me.” Marketing copy bores people. Smart brands delight their customers with more than just a need/solution pitch so that customers notice them. Yet, the Internet is filled with boring text-based marketing drivel:
  • Social media streams fill up with links to boring brand-centric blogs
  • Websites offer laden lame product-centric white papers that no one really reads
  • Promotion and spam boxes annoy with super lame emails, short or long
Beyond boring, many brands simply litter their long text-heavy material onto screens across America. Sometimes, good quality information gets lost along the way.
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Does the D in Digital Stand for Dying?


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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I’ve read quite a few recent articles in the advertising and marketing trade press suggesting the halo surrounding the magical word “digital” is not only fading, but actually becoming a bit of an albatross. According to this article in Marketing Week, more and more marketers are disbanding their separate digital departments and teams and folding them into the larger marcom group. Why? Because, just as was the case with social media, digital is no longer perceived as a standalone “thing.” It’s now seen as simply one more channel in the never-ending battle to engage with stakeholder audiences in a holistic way. And, as the article points out, we all live in a digital world. So let’s move on and get back to calling ourselves marketers and not digital specialists or influencer specialists or CSR specialists, etc. We’re marketers, pure and simple. This development comes as no surprise to
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FIR 176: Our 1,000th episode is hefty but good


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FIR 1000
The February 2019 edition of the Hobson and Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR episode 176, is a show that marks a big milestone for Shel and I. It’s the 1,000th episode* of a podcast that we began in January 2005. In addition to recollections of times past and comments from listeners from throughout FIR’s 14-plus-year history, plus special news from Shel about continuity plans, we report on these stories in this episode: Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the
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Designed to Fail.


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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It seems that every new day brings with it another egregious self-inflicted crisis caused by racially and gender-insensitive marketers. The most recent examples are the truly horrific gaffes committed by Adidas and Gucci, respectively;

How could anyone think this was okay?

“There are somethings that just don’t make sense in life; Adidas celebrating black history month with this shoe is one example”

While the in-house marketing team and agency partners are unquestionably at fault for their lack of social awareness, I think the real genesis of these blunders lies with the designers and engineers. These are the uber cool and uber insulated types who are constantly trying to come up with the hippest, sleekest and most cutting-edge sneakers, sweaters and widgets. Having worked with designers and engineers alike, I know they live within their own ivory towers. They obsess over trends, technology and ease-of-use, but are oblivious to the
😎
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Shattering Glassdoor’s Reputation


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Achieving five stars on Glassdoor for an organization is the equivalent of a restaurant receiving 3 stars from Michelin Guide. But based on an explosive Wall Street Journal expose, all that glitters at Glassdoor is most certainly NOT gold. Here’s Peppercomm Partner Deb Brown’s POV. Personally, I’d give it 4.5 stars: What happens when your entire business model is questioned? That’s what happened to Glassdoor recently when the Wall Street Journal published an investigative report titled, “How Companies Secretly Boost Their Glassdoor Ratings.” That title has to hurt, especially when on its website, Glassdoor states, “Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency…”

Employers flood the ranking site with 5-star postings requested from enthusiastic staffers, leading to unusual spikes, a WSJ investigation found.

To be fair to Glassdoor, employees who are upset at their former or current employer are probably more likely to post negative reviews than content employees
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For Immediate Release 172: The double-edged sword of a Facebook meme


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Suspicion about the consequences and outcomes of the #10YearChallenge meme on Facebook kicked off discussion in the January episode of “The Hobson & Holtz Report”, aka FIR podcast episode 172. Is it just a harmless meme? Or is it a surveillance nightmare? Shel and Neville weight in. Here’s the line-up of all the topics that caught our attention and prompted lively conversation in this episode:
  • Lost trust in Facebook led to wariness about a user-generated meme.
  • Adobe is bringing part of “Minority Report” to life.
  • The Internet of Things was everywhere at CES.
  • A picture of an egg is the most viewed Instagram post ever. What does that bode for influencer marketing?
  • Picture what Google will look like if the EU implements Article 11 of the Copyright Directive.
  • Brands are weighing in on the U.S. government shutdown.
  • Dan York reports on the web’s growing complexity, Jeff Jarvis’s Facebook screed,
    FIR 172
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Nurture an Oasis During a News Dry Spell


This post is by Guest Contributor from Shonali Burke Consulting


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newsGuest Post by Heather Caouette Most companies have gone through them – periods without clear cut news. A product release has been delayed, new customers have paused in the sales pipeline and there are no plans to open a new location anytime soon.
How do you stay relevant and in front of your target audiences when traditional reasons for communicating have temporarily evaporated?
There are several ways to keep your name out there in a manner which continues to build brand equity: 1. Develop a Content Calendar This is recommended regardless of how much your news is humming. Content calendars help you schedule a steady cadence of materials and avoid the inevitable peaks and valleys. A plan enables you to more effectively leverage evergreen content and make use of it across multiple media venues. This is especially important as companies add additional social channels or other communications outlets. Creating a
Heather Caouette
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It’s a close shave


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No matter how one analyzes Gillette’s controversial new campaign “Is this the best a man can get?” it’s fraught with uncertainties. And it most certainly has further divided an already divided country.

Truly the best a man can get?

First, though, a tip of the hat (or razor) to Gillette’s management for having the courage to double down on its purpose and values. But have they? Or is the campaign a mere ploy or stunt as some detractors claim whose only goal is to drive sales? I think there are several factors to weigh when analyzing the Gillette campaign: 1) Is alienating a significant percentage of the male shaving market worth the risk of taking a stand and saying the right thing? We asked that very question of 50 CCOs and CMOs we interviewed in a joint research study with the Institute for Public Relations. One CCO, who managed
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What Businesses Should Do Before Taking a Stand on Social Issues


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It wasn’t very long ago when staying quiet and avoiding controversy were the tried-and-true PR rules for businesses. But the consumer-company relationship is quickly evolving, along with people’s expectations of companies. A recent study by Clutch shows that 71% of people expect companies to take a stance on social movements. Because this expectation is so new, many businesses struggle with what to say and when, always being aware of the risks involved. Best case scenario? They speak out and their stance resonates with the majority of their consumers, resulting in higher revenue, an elevated brand, and greater awareness for the issue. Worst case scenario? They speak out and their stance alienates consumers to the point of revenue loss and tarnishes their brand. Staying silent isn’t safe either. Silence might keep the company out of controversary, but if it’s regarding an issue relevant to the company’s brand, it could hurt the
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“Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan.”


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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While it’s a day late and a dollar short, I’m pleased to share this infographic with you. Created in partnership with BrandFoundations, our longtime strategic marketing partner, the list below analyzed the best and worst managed societal crises of the past year Note: We define a societal crisis as anything ranging from a mass school shooting and the Southern border chaos to trade wars and environmental rollouts. We’ve also included #MeToo crises and self-inflicted wounds. Traditional crises such as product recalls, financial malfeasance and price fixing were not included in the analysis. As you will see from the infographic, we chose to grade the organizations based on three criteria: – Speed: How quickly did the organization take a stand on a societal crisis that either aligned with, or was the polar opposite of, their values? – Strength: Was the stand taken by the organization unequivocal, or could it be interpreted
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For Immediate Release 168: The Facebook dilemma


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Neville Hobson joins Shel Holtz for the December installment of “The Hobson & Holtz Report.” The stories Neville and Shel covered include…
  • The passing of PR fixture Jack O’Dwyer
  • Marketers are turning their attention to messaging apps
  • Not everyone is free to leave Facebook, even if they want to
  • The death of keywords (or is it?) as audiences become key to targeting in search
  • Rising Instagram stars post fake sponsored posts to get brands’ attention
  • What we learned about GDPR in 2018
  • Research reveals how journalists can rebuild trust in media; could it work in business?
  • Dan York reports on the Quora data breach, rural connectivity, free (for now) LinkedIn Learning courses, more on Facebook’s woes, Slack banning users with links to Iran, and a new podcast all-in-one mixing desk.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. Links from this month’s episode:

SDF Podcast 24: Reading the runes for 2019


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The SmallDataForum celebrated its third Christmas with a highly calorific and somewhat alcoholic Italian lunch, followed by post-prandial musings about high- and low-lights of 2018, and some crystal ball gazing for 2019. Our regular followers / listeners – or just about anybody with any interest in tech and communication – won’t be surprised by a list being topped by Facebook, and then some more Facebook. Followed by GDPR and other regulatory activities, mainly by the EU. And of course we also touched on the topic that’s been with us from episode one, when it was called Brexit. These days, Brexitexit is beginning to sound more fitting. In his analysis of FB’s / MZ’s predicament, Sam combined review and preview. He sees FB’s annus horribilis as the beginning of the end for the meaningful global connector. At the time of the 2019 SDF Christmas lunch, he expects FB’s chief apologist to
Thomas Stoeckle
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15 Metrics You Should Measure in Content Marketing


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content marketingGuest Post by Brandon Brown Did you know that 47% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers don’t measure content marketing ROI? And one of the main reasons is that they find it difficult to measure. Another reason why marketers don’t measure content marketing ROI is that they simply don’t know how to do it. The solution to these challenges is identifying the right metrics to measure the ROI of your content marketing and using tools to track these metrics. While Google Analytics or other analytics tools can easily take care of the second part, we’ll help you with the first one. Following is a list of 15 content marketing metrics that you should measure: 1. Unique Visits One of the most commonly used metrics to measure the success of any content marketing campaign is the number of unique visitors who view the content in a given timeframe. Since
Brandon Brown
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Mega problems for mega industries


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I never thought I’d be writing a blog that included the NFL and Big Tobacco at the same time but, hey, social media makes for strange bedfellows. Both obscenely rich businesses find themselves in a world of hurt due to denial, deception and delay.   Let’s kick-off with the NFL. Did you know there are 72,000 FEWER high school students playing the sport today than just four years ago? Would you believe that outdoor track has overtaken football as the most popular high school sport? Somewhere Jesse Owens must be smiling. The reason why is obvious. Parents simply won’t let their sons play the vicious sport which, despite a few superficial changes to the rules by the NCAA and NFL, remains the ultimate end zone for players suffering from CTE and other debilitating brain injuries. By the way, here’s an interesting stat that was buried in the articles I read
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How Does a Beloved Brand Apologize to Billions?


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Today’s guest blog is authored by Melissa Vigue who suggests a few things Dolce & Gabbana might consider doing if they ever want to sell another product in China…. This weekend, we observed as one the world’s iconic luxury brands took a lashing following a huge cultural misstep in China. ICYMI, Dolce & Gabbana released eating with chopsticks, a series of videos, in the lead up to what was billed as one on China’s biggest fashion events ever, expected to draw not only the fashion elite but China’s most revered cultural icons. In an effort to grab attention by being humorous (?), the brand and its patriarchs have deeply offended those of Chinese descent worldwide and the rest of us who don’t think using race or cultural practices as fodder for marketing is acceptable. The situation was further exacerbated by supposedly racist Instagram posts by Gabanna. He and
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SDF Podcast 23: Pretty crazy ideas about the Facebook


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Facebook “The ever-present function of propaganda in modern life is in large measure attributable to the social disorganization which has been precipitated by the rapid advent of technological changes.” This is not the latest comment on the perpetual missteps, mishaps and misuse of Facebook, but a quote from Harold D. Lasswell, eminent media scholar and creator of the eponymous and never-aging model and formula to determine media effects: who says what to whom in which channel with what effect? Who said what to whom, and subsequent effects – that was also the theme of a multi-thousand-word investigative piece on Facebook and its executive team in the New York Times on 15th November. By now, I’m sure anybody with even the remotest interest in the SmallDataForum canon of themes will be familiar with the story and the fall-out: basically, Facebook got burned by burning all sorts of lobbying,
Ruins
Thumbs down
Screwed up
Thomas Stoeckle
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For Immediate Release 155: Did neglect kill SlideShare?


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slideshare-tombstone For the September episode of the monthly Hobson & Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR 155, I was the solo host with Shel away. Doing the show like this reminded me of the old days of FIR when Shel and I recorded a weekly show for over ten years, where one of us would typically do it all solo if the other was away. This was one of those times! Anyway, you have a show to listen to so here’s what’s in this month’s H&H Report: In his Tech
FIR155graphic
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