For Immediate Release 134: We start with Starbucks and end with drones


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In this April edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Neville and Shel talk about…
  • Starbucks’ response to a racial incident in Philadelphia that went viral and sparked protests
  • In an effort to reduce “noise pollution,” Ghana wants Muslims to issue the call to prayer via WhatsApp
  • The line between earned and paid media is blurring and consumers don’t care which is which
  • There’s a reckoning coming for terms and conditions
  • Augmented Reality is making huge inroads (except in corporate communications)
  • Journalists in developing countries are using drones and sensors to cover environmental crimes and pollution
In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on what he found when he downloaded his Facebook data, Jordan Peel’s deepfake PSA from Barack Obama, why Chrome’s article recommendation feature could drive huge traffic to publishers, Flickr has been acquired by SmugMug (which plans to revitalize the photo service), and Mozilla has issued a call
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For Immediate Release 109: CEOs Torturing English


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For Immediate Release 109: CEOs Torturing English
Listening Shel and I recorded the October edition of the monthly Hobson & Holtz Report. This month’s topics:

For Immediate Release 105: Centre Stage for Credible Sources


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For Immediate Release 105: Centre Stage for Credible Sources

Shel and I got together for the September edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report to talk about these topics:

For Immediate Release 96: The crisis that keeps on giving


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For Immediate Release 96: The crisis that keeps on giving
Southern Rail's social media Eddie In the July installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics:

For Immediate Release 92: Marketing failures of the UK’s Conservative Party


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For Immediate Release 92: Marketing failures of the UK’s Conservative Party
Labour won social media election - Guardian front pageWe said we’d do one episode together of the For Immediate Release podcast as a ‘limited return engagement,’ emulating The Hobson and Holtz Report that Shel and I did for ten years. We did do that with episode 84 in April. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do another one, and so we recorded episode 92 yesterday. In keeping with our ‘hefty but good’ slogan, Shel and I enjoyed a conversation over an hour and forty minutes that covered a big agenda:

For Immediate Release 84: the ‘limited return engagement’ episode


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For Immediate Release 84: the ‘limited return engagement’ episode
The Hobson & Holtz Report Recording episode 84 of the For Immediate Release podcast with Shel Holtz yesterday evening was like stepping into a new – but, at the same time, familiar – room to start a friendly conversation. It was The Hobson and Holtz Report again as we discussed a handful of highly-topical issues:
  • Will social media will be a significant factor in the snap election called for by UK Prime Minister Theresa May? We also considered the role of social media in the French presidential election.
  • Social media evidently had a larger-than-apparent impact on advertisers that pulled their commercials from Fox News’s “O’Reilly Factor,” the US cable news network’s biggest show.
  • The Telegraph newspaper in the UK has launched a daily audio show specifically for the Google Home smart speaker/voice appliance.
  • Could Facebook’s AR, VR, add hardware plans spell the end for
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One more time: A new episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast


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One more time: A new episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast
The Hobson and Holtz Report In September 2015, Shel Holtz and I recorded the final episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report, a business podcast we’d presented for more than ten years. What started as a 30ish-minute show twice a week evolved over that decade into a 90-minute weekly talk show – “hefty but good” as we’d say – that then became the anchor in a growing network of podcasts that Shel had big plans for developing further. And so I hung up the microphone after well over 800 episodes. Since then I’ve been a guest on a couple of episodes of Shel’s replacement show, participating as a member of the discussion panel Shel puts together for each show. Next week, Shel and I will once again be at our microphones, but this time recording a special edition of
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FIR is dead. Long live FIR!


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FIR: The Hobson & Holtz Report On September 7, I co-hosted and recorded the last episode of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report with my podcasting partner, Shel Holtz. It’s a ritual Shel and I have followed every week for the past ten years and nine months since we published the first episode on January 5, 2005. If you’re a regular listener of FIR (the show gained that moniker in its early days), you’ll know that we announced the ending of this podcast in August serving notice, so to speak, that more than a decade of commentary and opinion on all matters at that intersection of business, communication and technology is drawing to a close. In the final episode I touched on the reasons why I decided to stop doing FIR, and you can hear more detail on that in an interview with Joe Thornley I did for the Inside PR podcast last
From FIR to FIR...
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FIR #824: Is SEO really dead?


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Oh, SEO is dead, huh? Intro: Welcome to the final episode of ‘The Hobson and Holtz Report’; a quick note about ‘For Immediate Release’ beginning on September 21; Quick News: Hundreds of Wikipedia editors banned for secretly promoting brands, Barcelona Principles 2.0 unveiled, virtual reality update: Rebecca Minkoff VR headsets and VR’s role in B2B marketing, Spindle is a social app that encourages you to be selfish with your content; CustomScoop promo; News That Fits: Is SEO really dead? How content marketing and SEO can work together; Dan York’s Tech Report: Skype Messaging, mobile-friendly web pages, celebrities promoting sponsored ads on Facebook, and more; listener comments from the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; hotline launched to help CIPR members with ethical dilemmas; Igloo Software promo; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: recommending economic and communication hot topics for the coming months; Music by The Subways; and more,
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A new platform for a new network: the FIR Podcast Network is live


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FIR Podcast Network When we introduced For Immediate Release on January 3, 2005, we had no idea we’d still be podcasting more than a decade later. We didn’t know what the state of podcasting would be, that the scope of FIR would expand, or that podcast networks would be a thing. When we started, we just needed a website for show notes and a home for our audio files. Ten years later, we’re still here, with exactly the same website we started with. While our website hasn’t changed, though, everything else has. FIR is evolving into a podcast network, already home to The Hobson & Holtz Report along with the five podcasts we have spun off: Interviews, Book Reviews, FIR Live, FIR Cuts, and Speakers & Speeches. We are also already the home to 13 other communications-focused podcasts. We have shows that report on communication disciplines (such as
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FIR Interview: Julian Mills and Steven Green on social intranets


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tembosocialwordcloud Communicators struggle to build genuine online engagement among employees using the various social tools available for intranets. Study after study shows that few employees use these tools, regardless of how much they might be engaged with external social media. At Bank of Montreal, though, Julian Mills overcame the obstacles to introduce social tools employees at all levels used to advance business goals. In this interview, FIR co-host Shel Holtz talks with Mills about the impetus for the introduction of social channels, and with TemboSocial CEO Steven Green, who worked with Mills to introduce the internal social media tools that drove the interaction on the Bank of Montreal intranet. (Julian participated via mobile phone; the audio quality isn’t quite up to snuff, but it’s definitely listenable.) Listen Now:

FIR Interview: Harry Hawk interviews Clammr co-founder Parviz Parvizi


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Clammr In a recent post to her blog, long-time FIR contributor Donna Papacosta shared her first Clammr recording after learning about the iOS app at New Media Expo in Las Vegas. While at the Expo, Donna heard Mark Ramsay say, “People don’t share audio. They share conversations about audio.” Later, she met Parviz Parvizi, who claims Clammr to be “the Instagram of audio,” allowing users to share snippets of sound. “This would be a boon for podcasters seeking to build their audiences,” Donna wrote. In this FIR interview, FIR contributor Harry Hawk (@hhawk) chats with Parvizi, Clammr’s co-founder, about the core features of Clammr and its creation, and then dives deep into the importance of audio discovery. Parvizi discusses a wide range of use cases that would be beneficial to professional communicators. At its core Clammr is a metadata-rich audio file that is bite size, shareable,
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The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #807: May 11, 2015


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FIR-HHReport-logo-180x172Intro: Boston experiences, ‘Geeks Bearing Gifts’ book review is up, Harry Hawk interview with Clammr CEO Parviz Parvizi is coming; Quick News: There’s nothing fair about fair use at Soundcloud, forgotten wonders of the digital world: Second Life, new data on native advertising’s disclosure issues, more than one million click “I’m a voter” button on Facebook as opinion polls suffer major credibility crisis in UK general election; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; News That Fits: Every company is a media company, part 32,556: Uber looks for an editorial director; big moves in content marketing; listener comments in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; Dan York’s Tech Report: the power of Soundcloud, developments at Ello, and more; how Snapchat made QR codes cool again; the past week in the FIR Podcast Network; Igloo Software promo; catching up with Glenn Gaudet and GaggleAMP; Music from Guster; and more. Listen Now:

FIR Book Review: Geeks Bearing Gifts by Jeff Jarvis


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Geeks Bearing GiftsGeeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News is CUNY journalism professor Jeff Jarvis‘ latest book, exploring the pressures on current news models and the directions news organizations need to go in order to thrive in the digital world. FIR co-host Shel Holtz reviews the book, which has implications for organizational communicators, particularly in imagining the role of media relations in the future Jarvis imagines. From the book description on Amazon:
Technology has disrupted the news industry – its relationships, forms, and business models – but also provides no end of opportunities for improving, expanding, reimagining, and sustaining journalism. Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News is a creative, thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of the possible future(s) of news by Professor Jeff Jarvis, who leads the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Jeff JarvisTo Jarvis, journalism helps a community better organize its
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The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #806: May 4, 2015


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FIRIntro: Neville is in Boston, Gini Dietrich is guest co-host; Steve Rubel is hosting a new podcast, Content Convergence; Geeks Bearing Gifts book review coming this week; Quick News: Converse knows how to work with fans, bad tweets from the Houston Rockets and the City of Cleveland prompt different apologies, Johns Hopkins University students will no longer eat chicken, a change to Promoted Tweets gives more ammunition to native advertising’s critics; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; News That Fits: Bud Light promotes misogyny, Virtual Reality is coming to journalism, listener comments discussion, Walmart laid off employees and then provided well-being health advice to them, Igloo Software promo, Dan York’s Tech Report (including ISOC support for Nepal earthquake victims, how to test your website, certificate pinning, WebRTC voice chat web app, and Soundcloud as a podcast platform), the last week on the FIR Podcast Network, PR needs more SEO
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The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #805: April 27, 2015


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FIRIntro: Neville will be away in Boston next week, Gini Dietrich will guest co-host next week’s episode; FIR Book Review coming from Shel on Jeff Jarvis’s “Geeks Bearing Gifts”; Quick News: The fewer likes your Facebook page has the better its organic reach, NHL bans media from using Periscope and Meerkat, explosion of mobile messaging apps continues, Twitter sells sports tickets in tweets; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; News That Fits: Twitter begins to embrace its role as a destination for people who will never be active tweeters; Dan York’s Tech Report; the sudden interest in mobile video streaming apps; listener comments in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; Igloo Software promo; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: video advocating a day of rest for domestic workers ruffles feathers in Singapore; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; what journalists have to say about pitches; Music from Motorama; and
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The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #804: April 20, 2015


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FIRReminder: Neville away for May 4 episode, Gini Dietrich will guest host with Shel; Quick News: 40 organizations lead the world in employee engagement says Gallup, US federal government workers get social media guidelines, to speak Millennial use email, holograms protest gag law in Spain; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; News That Fits: Some podcasting updates including Podcast.com from Dave Winer, inside NPR’s podcast strategy, Spotify plans, and more; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: China’s Great Firewall is now armed with a cannon; being a full-stack employee: a viable model?; listener comments in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; engagement gains importance as companies look to employees for social media advocacy; Igloo Software promo; Dan York’s Tech Report: recently-patched Windows flaw, WhatsApp hits 800K users, #Mobilegeddon, and more; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; five reasons why Google+ died; Music from Holly Benton; and more. Listen Now:
Get FIR: Messages from our sponsors: Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir. For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for April 20, 2015: A 93-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content. FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+. You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for
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The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #803: April 13, 2015


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FIRCollaborate/London workshop with Igloo Software on April 16; Quick News: US Postal Service could find new business using augmented reality glasses, where to find and create your own animated GIFs, traveling employees embrace Uber and AirBnB, the Wall Street Journal’s approach to native advertising; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; News That Fits: How to run a successful blogger relations programme; Dan York’s Tech Report: Friendfeed really did shut down on April 9, Twitter ends its partnership with Datasift, and more; if leaders don’t use the internal social network, nobody will; listener comments in audio and in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; Apple Watch: altering the face of technology retailing forever?; Igloo Software promo; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; new modeling of the mediums of communication; Music from The Pink Tiles; and more. Listen Now:
Get FIR: Messages from our sponsors: Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir. For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for April 13, 2015: A 90-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Concord, California, USA. Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content. FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+. You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news. So, until Monday April 20… (Cross-posted from
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FIR Interview: Harry Hawk talks with Facebook marketing expert Dennis Yu


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FIR InterviewsWhile digital marketing dollars still flow into Facebook, marketers continue to express frustration at the social network, its reduced organic reach, and its ever-shifting algorithms. BlitzMetrics Chief Technology Officer Dennis Yu has a different perspective. A long-time Facebook marketing expert, Dennis believes good content can thrive organically on Facebook but that PR needs to adopt paid amplification of messages. He also makes the case that paid reach via Facebook should be seen as a gateway to using Google and other similar services (eg, promoted tweets) to amplify messages, and that these buys should be aggregated for a more comprehensive analysis. They’re not traditional ads, however, and should not be viewed that way. They can, however, contribute to ROI and other success metrics. In this FIR interview, FIR contributor Harry Hawk (@hhawk) delves into a variety of dimensions of Facebook marketing in a detailed conversation with Dennis. Additional links from the episode: Listen Now:
Get this podcast: About our Conversation Partner Dennis YuDennis Yu is the CTO of BlitzMetrics, which delivers Facebook analytics and content generation services. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also an author at Adweek’s SocialTimes column. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. Connect with Dennis on Twitter at @dennisyu or on his blog. FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+. You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a
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The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #802: April 6, 2015


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FIRThanks to Ragan Communications for their almost 8 years of sponsoring FIR; Gini Dietrich is guest co-host with Shel on the May 4 show while Neville is in Boston; Quick News: Collaborate/London intranet workshop from Igloo Software on April 16, alarming declines in social media among Inc 500, good advice in BBC’s updated social media guidelines, companies just aren’t listening to what reporters want from their online newsrooms; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; News That Fits: Does it make sense to do online Q&As on Reddit, Twitter, etc?; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: Gushcloud controversy and smear campaigns conducted by blogging cartels; would you use Periscope for employee communication as one CEO did?; listener comments in the FIR Podcast Community on Google+ and via email; The Economist study identifies Gen-narrators who could be effective brand advocates; Dan York’s Tech Report: Turkey blocks social networks, Flickr and the public domain, NASA space image library, and more; Igloo Software promo; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; with social still treated as an ‘afterthought’ by PR agencies, we offer some advice; Music from Adri-Ann Ralph; and more. Listen Now:
Get FIR: Messages from our sponsors: Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir. For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for April 6, 2015: An 87-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Wokingham, Berkshire, England. Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content. FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+. You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see
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