For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release
By Shel Holtz
About this podcast
In addition to news items and in-depth discussion of trends and issues, you'll hear the Internet Society's Dan York report on technologies of interest to communicators and Singapore-based professor Michael Netzley explore communications in Asia.
In this podcast

Immediate Release

Shel Holtz

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Latest episodes
Feb. 12, 2018
The “story” above was produced using Apester, which is covered in this episode. Our lead story: Company founders are turning up more and more as spokepersons in advertising and marketing. (Have you heard the founder of Third Love or the co-founders of Bombas pitching their products on the radio instead of a paid spokesperson?) On this week’s FIR, hear conversations about this trend with Scott Monty and Gerard Corbett. Also on this week’s episode: * Facebook tests a downvote option * Publishers dropped from Facebook’s News Feed are turning to LinkedIn * Dodge faces backlash for invoking Dr. Martin Luther King in a Super Bowl ad * Smart speakers are gaining the public’s trust by making mundane tasks easier * Robots and avatars are starting to replace real people * Snapchat-like Stories are showing up everywhere * Three new studies advocate for companies taking stands on social and political issues Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. You can find the stories from which FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. About today’s guests Gerard Corbett is Chair and CEO of strategic communications consulting firm Redphlag LLC., Founder and Partner of Wise Counsel, and CMO of real estate tech startup Producers Forum, Inc. in Palo Alto. He also is an award-winning career coach, blogger and Past Chair & CEO of the 32,000 member Public Relations Society of America, having served as Chair and CEO in 2012. Gerry is a versatile branding, marketing, public relations and communications executive and coach having served four decades in senior marketing and communications roles at Global Fortune 100 firms and earlier in his career in aerospace engineering and information technology with Silicon Valley firms and NASA. Scott Monty is an internationally recognized leader in digital communications, digital transformation, social media and marketing. As partner in Brain+Trust Partners, he counsels brands and agencies on strategy, executive communications, influencer management, the customer experience, and digital initiatives. Scott spent six years at Ford Motor Company, as a strategic advisor on crisis communications, influencer relations, digital customer service, innovative product launches and more. He is a board member of the American Marketing Association and an advisor for RPM Ventures, My Dealer Service, and Crowd Companies. He writes about the changing landscape of business, technology, communications, marketing, and leadership at ScottMonty.com and is the executive editor and co-host of the Sherlock Holmes website and podcast I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. Links from this episode: * Burger King: Whopper Neutrality * Everything You Need To Know About The Face-Swap Technology That’s Sweeping The Internet (And Getting Banned Everywhere) * Facebook is testing a ‘downvote’ button — the next best thing to ‘dislike’ * Publishers eye LinkedIn as Facebook’s reliability falter * Dodge Super Bowl ad using Martin Luther King Jr’s speech sparks backlas...
Feb. 5, 2018
This week’s conversations featured Melissa Agnes on how two companies deftly handled surprise issues not of their own making, Kami Huyse on Richard Edelman’s assertion that PR needs to pivot from advocacy to education, and Sharon McIntosh on a Pew study revealing how workers feel about trending workplace issues. Also in this episode… * Could Facebook be getting ready to kill the News Feed altogether? * Facebook users accustomed to getting their news on the social network are going back to mainstream media for their news * People are creating porn with AI, using the faces of celebrities; here’s why companies should worry * Virtual Reality shipments were down in 2017; is this the blockbuster consumer product that never was? * Microsoft is opening an R&D center for its Cortana AI-driven virtual assistant * Jeff Bezos was taken by surprise by Alexa’s success * A new app could make hyperlocal citizen journalism a lot easier You can pre-order Melissa Agnes’s new book, “Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World.” The book ships on March 6. You can find more information on “Crisis Ready’ here. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About today’s guests Melissa Agnes is a founding partner of Agnes+Day, a crisis intelligence firm. In her role, Melissa is a crisis management consultant and keynote speaker, has developed an international reputation for crisis management, planning and training by helping large global brands prevent and manage a wide range of corporate issues and crises. Her client list includes government agencies, cities and municipalities, healthcare organizations, energy companies, global non-profits, financial organizations, the public and private sectors and many others. Melissa is an international and sought-after keynote speaker and guest lecturer. Kami Huyse is the founder of Zoetica Media. She writes an award-winning blog, Zoetica Talks, on the topic of public relations and social media strategy. Kami is a national leader in the use of social media for public relations. She speaks at social media events and conferences all over the country and her work in social media has earned her the SNCR’s 2008 Reputation Management award and IABC’s 2009 Gold Quill of Excellence Award. Kami was a 2010 fellow of the Society for New Communications Research where she pursued a study on how cause marketing in social communities can benefit companies. She is also the co-founder and organizer of the Social Media Breakfast Houston and serves on the board of CiviliNation. Sharon McIntosh is president of And Then Communications. With more than two decades of communications experience, she has a passion for creating and executing new ideas to drive employee engagement at companies both large and small. Most recently she served as PepsiCo’s vice president of Global Internal Communications, overseeing the company’s efforts to connect with its more than 274,000 employees worldwide. She and her team launched a number of innovative employee initiatives, including the company’s first social media training (SMART U), a social tool to share internal news externally and PepsiCo’s award-winning employee ambassador program. She and her team also developed a communications strategy to support the company’s first comprehensive, global and multi-year transformation initiative. Before joining PepsiCo in 2004, Sharon spent seven years at Sears. Among her greatest contributions there,
Jan. 29, 2018
The January installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report brings Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz together in a long-form podcast that covers the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer (including the role of influencers as influence marketing efforts move from agencies to in-house departments), the rise of live-streaming video (with 95% of executives planning to use it this year), pharmaceutical companies with strong social media presences, a department store encouraging customers to follow employees’ personal social media accounts, and the possibility that we soon will be gesturing at instead of talking to our smart devices. Dan York’s tech report covers Facebook’s effort to attract gamers, Facebook’s public library of video and audio effects, and Artificial Intelligence’s role in video surveillance. We also responded to a couple listener comments. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About Neville Hobson Neville Hobson was co-host of The Hobson & Holtz Report for over 10 years. For over 15 years, Neville has been a voice of experience and influence when it comes to speaking about digital technologies, disruptive change in workplaces and marketplaces, relevant trends to pay close attention to, and what it all means for your business. His experiences embrace deep understanding and subject-matter expertise in contemporary business issues that include social, digital and cognitive technologies, connecting that with a career in traditional public relations, marketing communication, employee compensation and benefits communication, and investor relations. Based in the Thames Valley some 30 miles west of London, Neville works either from his home office or from a client’s location; or from wherever he has a good network connection. Links from this episode * The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer * Trust in U.S. institutions plunges in Trump’s first year * Neville and Shel’s February 2009 conversation with Richard Edelman * Influencers must work hard to earn trust in 2018 * Brands are bringing influencer marketing in-house * 95% of brand execs say live video is key to their 2018 strategies * Live streaming as a way to establish your brand on social media * Which pharma companies are winning at social? Survey says… * The Pharma Social Media Ranking * Neiman Marcus Encourages Employees to Interact with Customers on Social Media * Soon We’ll Control our Devices with our Body Language, Not Our Voice Links from Dan York’s Tech Report * Facebook lets you tip game live streams $3+
Jan. 22, 2018
This week’s conversations featured Jen Phillips on CVS’s decision to eliminate airbrushing from ads for beauty products it carries and Augie Ray on Visa’s new sonic brand, a two-note sound you’ll hear when completing financial transactions using your Visa card. Also in this episode… * Internal communicators need to start explaining why their CEOs are paid so much * Facebook video views have plummeted in the wake of its News Feed algorithm change * The biggest investment company in the world has a message for business leaders: Contribute to society or look elsewhere for funding * Airbnb is promoting its properties in countries President Trump characterized as “shithole countries” * Augmented Reality hasn’t made much of a splash yet, except where it’s built into existing apps * A podcast network is suing Twitter over trademark infringement * Artificial Intelligence has outperformed humans when it comes to reading comprehension Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About today’s guests Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the director of marketing communications at CARMA. She previously ran 4L Strategies, consulting and providing content development for a variety of industries. She has worked in communications and public affairs for 20 years. Her background includes work in electoral politics, government, lobbying, and public affairs PR work. Augie Ray is a Research Director covering customer experience for marketing leaders at Gartner. He has had a diverse career, including leading a digital experiential agency, directing social business at USAA and managing a global customer experience team at American Express. In his present role, Augie researches and advises clients on topics such as Voice of Customer, customer journey mapping, customer experience strategy and virtual reality. Links from this episode * If the CEO’s high salary isn’t justified to employees, firm performance may suffer * The SEC’s guidance on CEO/employee pay ratio communication * Facebook’s News Feed tweak hurts video views * Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post about the News Feed algorithm change * This changes everything…or does it? How PR pros are planning for a new News Feed * Buzzfeed responds perfectly to Facebook’s changes * Augmented Reality is noRobots can now read better than humans, putting millions of jobs at risk longer a novelty * Augmented reality is here to help you plan your Super Bowl trip * BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support * CVS to...
Jan. 15, 2018
This week’s conversations featured Deirdre Breakenridge on the ROI of ethical behavior and PR’s role in serving as the company’s conscience, Marshall Kirkpatrick on American’s love-hate relationship with social media (as documented in a new Harris Poll), and Phil Gomes on Kodak’s announcement that it would introduce a blockchain-based photography registry and a cryptocurrency for purchasing rights to images. Also in this episode: * Facebook’s latest News Feed update focuses on friends and families to the detriment of brands and publishers * Facebook is also introducing a local news and events section to its mobile apps * Marriott International ran afoul of the Chinese government prompting a shutdown of its website * Snapchat data leaks and it isn’t pretty * A slew of smart audio announcements confirm that voice is the new user interface Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About today’s guests Deirdre Breakenridge is the CEO of Pure Performance Communications. A 25+ year veteran in PR and marketing, she is the author of six business books with her newest book, Answers for Modern Communicators to be published by Routledge in the fall 2017. Her other recent titles include, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” and “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.” Breakenridge speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, marketing, branding and social media. She is an adjunct professor at UMASS at Amherst and an online instructor at Rutgers University. She is also a LinkedIn video instructor with three PR courses published in 2015 and 2016 and two more marketing courses to be published in 2017. Breakenridge hosts the podcast show, Women Worldwide and is a blogger at PR Expanded. She was named by Traackr as one of the top Social Media Engagers in 2014, awarded the Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ in 2015, and recognized on the Richtopia 250 Most Influential Women Leaders in the World List in 2016 and 2017. Phil Gomes is a senior vice president of U.S. B2B Digital at Edelman. He has more than 20 years of experience in promoting and integrating new and emerging technologies, working in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where he currently resides. He is a founding fellow and advisory board member for The Conference Board’s Society for New Communications Research and the director of communications for the Chicago Blockchain Center, a public/private partnership. Phil has been exploring blockchain technology since 2014, open source software since 1994, and keeps a clandestine Linux machine under his desk at work, because reasons. After a successful career blazing trails in new media as one of the top tech bloggers in the world (first-hired writer at TechCrunch, co-editor of ReadWriteWeb), Marshall Kirkpatrick led the Little Bird team building software for enterprise marketers to do research, real-time market intelligence and marketing amplification. The tool for influencer marketing, content marketing, and research was recently by Sprinklr,
Jan. 8, 2018
This is a landmark episode of “For Immediate Release.” It’s the first show of 2018, the beginning of our 14th year of podcasting, and the introduction of a new, faster-paced format with a shorter overall runtime. Joining host Shel Holtz for some quick conversation are Gini Dietrich (on Snapchat’s new feature that lets you embed Snapchat Stories anywhere on the web), Paul Barton (on the increasing focus companies are placing on employee experience, or EX), and Olivier Blanchard (on just how much chatbots and smart audio will become part of our daily lives in 2019). Also in this episode: * Text descriptions for images shared on Twitter * The ROI of denouncing sexual harassment * An Augmented Reality version of the printed edition of TIME magazine * A surge in the use of QR codes, notably in mobile coupons * In Dan York’s Tech Report, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs; the rise of esports; the apparent demise of niche-oriented online communities; and Mark Zuckerberg’s personal project of the year Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About today’s guests Paul Barton, ABC, is business communications consultant who combines fresh thinking with decades of experience. Before beginning his solo practice as Principal Consultant at Paul Barton Communications and Phoenix Public Speaking, he had a successful 20-year career leading internal communications at six fast-growing Fortune 500 companies in multiple industries. Those experiences led him to write the book Maximizing Internal Communication. Paul is a long-time and accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and he is a frequent workshop presenter on internal communication, crisis communication, and public speaking. Paul also is a “serial adjunct-preneur,” teaching courses in business communication and public speaking at several colleges in the Phoenix area. When not working, you can find Paul enjoying life with his family and playing guitar. Olivier Blanchard is a French-born, American-based Brand Management and Digital Marketing consultant, the author of two best-selling books, and an acclaimed keynote speaker. As a Senior Analyst with Futurum Research, Olivier helps organizations better understand the crucial role that emerging technologies like Cloud computing, Big Data, Virtualization, Augmented Reality, Smart Automation, IoT and AI will play their industries and markets over the next 10 to 20 years. Though based in the US, his geographic range extends beyond North America to Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. Olivier is the author of the best-selling #1 social business desk reference for digital managers and business executives: Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts In Your Organization (Que/Pearson). Olivier is also a sought-after subject-matter expert and corporate trainer. Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm.  She is the lead blogger at the PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, is co-author of Marketing In the Round, and is co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications and social media.  Her second book, Spin Sucks, is now available! She speaks, she writes for Crain’s Chicago Business and other publications. Links from this episode * Twitter lets you describe your pics for the visually impaired
Dec. 18, 2017
This is the final FIR episode of 2017. FIR will return on January 8 in an all-new format. Listen to this episode for details! Neville Hobson joined Shel Holtz for the monthly installment of “The Hobson & Holtz Report” to discuss… * A group of UK newspapers using robots to help write stories * Research that found higher engagement for tweets that took advantage of the new 280 character count * Storify, a great curation tool aimed at journalists, is shutting down * GoFundMe is changing the shape of disaster relief * The FCC’s comment server was flooded with fake comments * Netflix sent out a tweet that many found creepy (but was it really?) * Dan York reports on Twitter’s new tweetstorm tool, the new ability to follow hashtags on Instagram, and Facebook opening its AR studio to more people Connect with Neville on Twitter at @jangles. Be sure to listen to Neville’s Small Data Forum podcast. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About Neville Hobson: Neville Hobson was co-host of The Hobson & Holtz Report for over 10 years. For over 15 years, Neville has been a voice of experience and influence when it comes to speaking about digital technologies, disruptive change in workplaces and marketplaces, relevant trends to pay close attention to, and what it all means for your business. His experiences embrace deep understanding and subject-matter expertise in contemporary business issues that include social, digital and cognitive technologies, connecting that with a career in traditional public relations, marketing communication, employee compensation and benefits communication, and investor relations. Based in the Thames Valley some 30 miles west of London, Neville works either from his home office or from a client’s location; or from wherever he has a good network connection. Links from this episode: * UK newspapers start publishing first joint human and robot articles * Minor League Baseball reports by the Associated Press are written by machines * We actually like 280-character tweets, it turns out * Storify’s standalone service is shutting down next year * Storify, once a hot tool among journalists looking to tell stories using social media posts, is shutting down * How GoFundMe Is Redefining The Business Of Disaster Relief * Millions of People Post Comments on Federal Regulations. Many Are Fake. * Yes, that Netflix tweet is creepy — and raises serious privacy questions Links from Dan York’s Tech Report * Twitter officially recognizes tweetstorms with a new threads feature *
Dec. 11, 2017
Doug Haslam and Ike Pigott joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… * A Weber Shandwick survey that found few employees strongly agree that their experience working for the company matches up with the employer’s brand * A small craft brewer poked the Bud Light bear and got very creative cease-and-desist letter for its trouble * LinkedIn is letting Slideshare fall into disrepair * YouTube’s crackdown on objectionable videos is sweeping up content creators whose videos are fine * Some people are taking money to link to content they produce for sites that rely on contributor networks for content * In this week’s Tech Report, Dan York asks if you’ve received the redesigned Snapchat app yet and reports on an update to Mars Edit, another data breach, Apple’s acquisition of Popup Archive, and an attempt to create a blockchain based encyclopedia Connect with Doug on Twitter at @DougH and with Ike on Twitter at @ikepigott. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: Doug Haslam’s  career has spanned a variety of disciplines within the communications field: radio technology, editorial production, public relations, marketing, social media and digital. Currently a senior consultant with Stone Temple Consulting, Doug began with public radio, producing news and thoughtful sports programs, moving into technology public relations, and currently to social media and content strategy for brands of all sizes and industries. Doug’s love of media has come full circle, as his most recent positions have seen him taking full advantage of his content creation skills, managing social media and brand publishing programs for a wide variety of clients. After more than 16 years in television news, Emmy-winner Ike Pigott left to feed his passion for crisis communication. While building his consultancy, he started working with the American Red Cross – first as a local communicator in Alabama, and finally as the Director of Communications and Government Relations for a five-state region. It was during his time at the Red Cross that he pioneered the use of social media, developed the first disaster-response blogs, as well as the non-profit’s Twitter account all the way back in 2007. For the last seven years, Ike has worked as a communication strategist and spokesman for Alabama Power, an electric utility that serves more than 1.4-million customers. He helped shape the Social Media Guidelines for Alabama Power’s parent, Southern Company, and serves on the system-wide Social Media Advisory Council. In addition to media relations duties and serving as editor of the corporate NewsCenter site, Ike works across the company to help individuals and departments get the most out of social media tools. Ike has been a featured speaker at dozens of communication conferences in the United States and Europe, and is considered a thought leader in the integration of social media in utilities and other regulated industries. Links for this episode: * Report on Weber Shandwick’s study,”The Employer Brand Credibility Gap: Bridging the Divide” * Bud Light hires old-timey town crier to issue cease-and-desist to craft brewer * Has LinkedIn Ruined Slideshare? *
Dec. 4, 2017
David Spark and Ryan Williams joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… * Henry Blodget’s recent presentation on 14 things you’ll want to know about the future of media * Some of the ways communication and marketing annoy us that communicators and marketers may not realize are annoying * Whether internal communications still needs to prove its value * How one Brazilian media company managed its digital transformation (by focusing on people instead of technology) * The conference trend toward high-profile speakers who are completely irrelevant to the focus of the conference * In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on Snapchat’s new design, Twitter’s expansion of Twitter Lite, and Mozilla’s annual report (and its focus on its work for an open Internet) Connect with David Spark on Twitter at @dspark and with Ryan on Twitter at @willy26. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: David Spark is a veteran tech journalist and founder the brand journalism firm Spark Media Solutions. Spark has worked with brands such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, and Indycar Racing. He’s reported on the tech scene for more than 18 years in more than 40 media outlets, and is the author of “THREE FEET FROM SEVEN FIGURES: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows” available at ThreeFeetBook.com. Ryan Williams specializes in internal communications, research, and leadership development. He has a passion for servant leadership and shares the positive impact it can have on the lives of employees and organizational performance. His experience has involved strategy development, service improvements, communication audits, change management, and employee engagement. He facilitates planning, designs research, constructs effective questions, communicates results, and produces action. Ryan has won five International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Gold Quill Awards and was recognized by the International Public Relations Institute (IPR) with the Golden Ruler Award of Excellence for Measurement in 2004 for his work with the Alberta Medical Association. Ryan earned his Masters of Arts in Leadership from Trinity Western University in 2007, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Administration with a major in Community Development from The University of Alberta. Links for this episode: * Henry Blodget’s 14 things you’ll want to know about the future of media * 10 ways companies are annoying us…and don’t even know it * Does internal communication need to keep proving its value? * How a Brazilian media company managed its digital transformation * The greatest distraction on earth: the intractable draw of the celebrity presenter at Dreamforce *
Nov. 27, 2017
Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips and Lynette Young joined host Shel Holtz for this week’s FIR podcast to talk about… * When to send your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotional emails if you want customers to actually open them * Can Google and Twitter (or media outlets) introduce provenance to facts in order to help readers know when what they are reading is true? * The growing importance of “brand safety” to chief marketing officers * Honda is using Facebook ad targeting for something other than selling cars. Could it open the door to other non-commercial uses of targeted advertising by brands? * New digital ad formats — including VR, AR, 360-degree video, and interactive content — are starting to deliver real results. * In his tech report, the Internet Society’s Dan York talks about new data breaches, the latest update to the Gutenberg editor (which will be part of WordPress 5.0), another Facebook appropriation of a SnapChat feature (this time it’s streaks), and the FCC’s plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. Connect with Jen Phillips on Twitter at @jenzings and with Lynette Young at @LynetteRadio. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. About our guest co-hosts: Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the principal at 4L Strategies, consulting and providing content development for a variety of industries. She has worked in communications and public affairs for 20 years. Her background includes work in electoral politics, government, lobbying, and public affairs PR work. She also brings nearly eight years of experience in digital and social communications and media analysis to her role at 4L Strategies. She worked in Fleishman Hillard’s Public Affairs practice, handling grassroots communications, coalition building, and communications strategy for clients with public affairs concerns. She also worked on a variety of grassroots marketing programs for clients to build support and enthusiasm for product line extensions for some of the most recognized names in consumer products. At CustomScoop (an FIR sponsor), she managed a team of media analysts who provided business intelligence to Fortune 500 companies through monitoring and analysis of the then-emerging field of social media. Jen is also a town elected official, serving as a Library Trustee. She was elected to the position in 2013 to complete an unfilled seat, and was reelected in 2014 and now serves as vice chair of the board. Lynette Young is co-founder and Director of Marketing ClaimWizard, a software-as-a-service workflow management system for the public adjuster industry. She is a marketing technology strategist and published author with focus on digital marketing and implementation services. With over 25 years in technology, 17 of those years in digital marketing, she is well positioned as a “full-stack marketer” giving her a distinct advantage in today’s fast-paced business and environment. Over her professional career, Lynette has worked with clients of all sizes ranging from Google, Twitter, Harlequin Publishing, and American Airlines to HVAC installers, an email marketing service provider, local appliance retailers, other agencies, corporate franchises, and public adjusting firms. Lynette heads up the ClaimWizard digital marketing products and team. She maintains her speaking, mind-mapping, and podcasting activities at Purple Stripe Productions. Links for this episode: * The optimal days for sending Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails