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Preview: a shel of my former self

Holtz Communications + Technology | Blog

blogging at the intersection of communication and technology

Published: 2017-03-17T19:48:00+00:00


Friday Wrap #210: China blocks Pinterest, bots flood Twitter, video search arrives, Lowe’s tries AR


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. Note: The Friday Wrap will take a break next Friday, March 24, while I’m traveling on business and won’t have time to put it together. News China blocks Pinterest—Add Pinterest to the list of website now kept from the Chinese population. How Pinterest has escaped the Great Firewall this long is a mystery since China blocks pretty much all Western social networking sites, but now the hammer has come down. The takeaway: Reaching the 721 million Chinese users of the Internet requires an understanding of the in-country alternatives those people use. And yes, there are several Chinese Pinterest clones. Read more McDonald’s corporate Twitter account hacked—McDonald’s has confirmed that its Twitter account was “hacked by an external source” that posted an anti-Trump message. McDonald’s deleted the tweet after it was notified of the hack by Twitter and taken steps to secure the account. “We are investigating this,” Twitter declared. The takeaway: The motivation for hacking big-name Twitter accounts has intensified in the current political environment. Don’t wait until after a hack to make sure your company’s accounts are secure. If you do get hacked, react quickly lest you incur the public wrath of the president, whose attacks on companies have sent stock prices plummeting. Read more Alphabet releases urban dictionary for tech jargon—Sideways is a new website from Alphabet company Jigsaw that offers easy-to-understand explanations of complex technology terms. You have probably seen explanations of terms like “two-factor authentication” that leave you still confused about what it is. How’s this for a definition: “It’s like Cinderella’s slipper. She can give her name and confirm where she was before midnight, but it’s only when the slipper fits that Prince Charming knows she’s for real. The Prince was an early adopter of 2FA.” There are even more analogies if you need them. The takeaway: I’ve bookmarked it. Read more Facebook introduces Town Hall—In an effort to make it easier for you to find and get in touch with your local government representatives, Facebook has introduced a new feature. Town Hall lets you enter your address (which will stay private), after which a list of officials at the local, state, and federal levels will appear. From there, you can choose to follow or contact them. Only officials with Facebook pages appear and contact options are limited to what they have shared. So far, Town Hall is only for U.S. users. The takeaway: More efforts like this will help Facebook cement a reputation of enabling civic engagement rather than contributing to filter bubbles and spreading fake news. An API would be great so developers could incorporate it into their apps and tools (but it’s not likely). Read more Why I use the Oxford comma—A court case went against a company, siding with the drivers who filed the complaint, because a missing comma in the guidelines by which the company expected them to abide created confusion. The takeaway: The next time somebody says, “We use AP Style here,” show them this article. Long live the Oxford comma. Read more Life imitates art—On the iconic “Mad Men” series, Don Draper and his team created an ad campaign for Heinz ketchup. The campaign was rejected on the show because the product was never shown—just hamburgers, fries, and steak with no condiments on them; underneath appears the words, PASS THE HEINZ. Now, Heinz is running with the campaign IRL. The real-world ad agency behind the campaign, David, is sharing credit with the fictional Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The takeaway: You have to wonder if the writers of that episode are getting anything for their idea. Still, these billboards will get people talking. Read more Google Hangouts retools[...]

FIR Podcast #78: A New Dawn for Earned Media


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network Jenn Floto and Christine Perkett join Shel Holtz for this week’s episode, which covered these stories… Chatbots seem to dominate the panels at this hear’s South by Southwest tech conference, but marketers are already starting to abandon the bots they’ve created. Are bots over before they’ve really begun? Advances in technology are raising the profile of earned media, which has taken a back seat to the paid and owned models. A study finds that Facebook likes aren’t worth very much unless you pay for them. Are we really still measuring effectiveness with likes? PRWeek argues that the CEO can no longer be divorced from the communications and culture of a company. To prove its point, they compared two CEOs: United’s Oscar Munoz and Uber’s Travis Kalanick. Dan York reports on the upcoming ICANN meeting in Copenhagen and web inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s letter, “Three challenges for the web” on the web’s 28th birthday. Connect with guest co-hosts Christine Perkett on Twitter at @MissusP and Jenn Floto on LinkedIn. Links to the source material for this episode are on Contentle. Join the FIR Gaggle for a chance to get a free copy of J. Kelly Hoey’s book, “Build Your Dream Network.” Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. FIR was recorded using Zencastr. About today’s guest co-hosts: Jennifer Floto is a veteran public relations practitioner who has worked on both corporate and agency assignments. She spent 10 years at TRW before doing stints at two of the world’s leading agencies: Ketchum and Manning, Selvage & Lee. An accredited communicator, Jenn continues to consult with such clients as the Beach Cities Symphony, Rotary International and the Keck School of Medicine. Floto was named “Professor of the Year” in 2006 and received the Mellon Mentoring Award in 2012.  She teaches an array of undergraduate and graduate courses and serves as adviser to TriSight, USC’s in-house PR agency, and PRSSA. Christine Perkett founded PerkettPR in 1998 and SeeDepth, a PR analytics platform, in 2013. She has been named one of the ‘Top 25 Authorities Moving PR Forward’ in a recent industry study, and is routinely recognized as one of the most social media-savvy CEOs – currently ranked as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter (by Hubspot), a “Top Influential Woman in Tech on Twitter” (by Google’s Don Dodge, alongside such greats as Marissa Mayer, WSJ’s Kara Swisher, Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington, and others), and featured two consecutive years in BusinessWeek’s Social Media Special Report (keeping company of notable CEOs from Zappos, Virgin, Digg, HDNet, Mint and more). Christine was also awarded “Best Communications, IR or PR Executive” by the American Business Awards. [...]

One True Answer and the declining relevance of search


A few nights ago, my wife asked me to bring her an apple. “There are Envies in the crisper in the refrigerator,” she told me. “There are Honeycrisps in the bowl on the counter,” I said. I don’t put apples in the refrigerator because grocery stores don’t. But this entirely forgettable exchange led me to ask Google Assistant, “Should I be refrigerating apples?” It was just a passing question, nothing I would have sat down and Googled. The ease of a single long-press of my Android phone’s home button and asking the question the same way I would an agriculture worker at a farmer’s market let me satisfy this passing curiosity in an instant. Google Assistant answered in her pleasant yet authoritative voice: “Here’s a summary from Farmers’ Almanac. Apples, pears. You can refrigerate these fruits, but don’t need to. The cold air inside the refrigerator tends to break down their crisp texture. But if you prefer your fruit cold, go ahead and refrigerate.” The answer also appeared on my smartphone screen under the heading, “18 Foods You Don’t Need To Refrigerate - Farmers’ Almanac.” There was a link to Farmers’ Almanac. From 10 search result choices to one And that was it. No top 10 results. A “Search” button linked to more traditional results, but I wonder how many people tap it when One True Answer has already been spoken to them. For those who get the information through a Google Home smart speaker, there is no invitation to explore other sources and assess the different answers. The One True Answer is, indeed, the One True Answer. To complicate matters, the snippet Google produces (or reads to you via Google Assistant and Google Home) is not always the same One True Answer. I re-queried Google Assistant about refrigerating apples. This time the One True Answer came from Still Tasty, informing me that refrigerating apples immediately after purchase will usually keep them fresh and crisp for one to two months. Neither Farmers’ Almanac nor Still Tasty dished up wrong answers. But they’re noticeably different. If I want my apples to stay crisp, I would leave them in the bowl on the counter unless I also needed to keep them fresh for six weeks, in which case I wouldn’t, but Google pushed each of those facts as parts of the One True Answer to separate queries. SEO participation trophies As conversation increasingly becomes the common interface to information, optimizing for search will decline in relevance. If your content is not the One True Answer, nobody will see it. Ranking number two on a search engine results page will be a little like getting a participation trophy in little league. This growing problem is even an on-screen issue. Google recently introduced what it calls a “featured snipped,” boxed content that appears at the top of the search engine results page, selected (by algorithm) from the typical 10-item listing. The problem, as articulated by Danny Sullivan in a SearchEngineLand post, is that the One True Answer (a term Sullivan coined) may not only be incorrect, it could spread conspiracy theories and politically-motivated propaganda. a video, asking Alexa to ask Church Cal what the homily is for this week means remembering that Church Cal was the skill you enabled. If you use it every week, that’s not a big deal, but if it occurs to you six months after you enabled it, you might struggle to remember the name of the service. Tide faces much less of a challenge than Church Cal does in getting people to find the skill in the first place and remember it’s enabled thereafter. Retention is also an issue. Only 3% of people who activate an Alexa Skill or Google Home Action keep using them after two weeks, according to a report from VoiceLabs, compared to 13% for Android apps and 11% for iOS apps. I suspect that’s because there was little useful or memorable about the most of the[...]

Friday Wrap #209: Amazon takes on Twitter, likes aren’t worth much, Snapchat loses influencers


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News JetBlue is the top social airline, but number two will shock you—The 2017 ranking of airlines using social media found JetBlue in first place, no surprise for an airline that has always been an upstart and has been effective in the social space. United Airlines took the second spot and ranked first as the most loved brand among 60 some-odd global carriers. American Airlines was third in the social ranking, followed by KLM and Southwest Airlines. The report assesses the volume of conversation, awareness (based on earned impressions), reach (a measure of owned impressions), net sentiment, and brand impression. The takeaway: If United’s ranking as the most intensely loved airline doesn’t convince you that engaging effectively in social media can alter the public’s perception after your reputation has been dragged through the mud for years, nothing will. Read more Google will overtake Microsoft as top platform for getting online—It was once unthinkable, but Android is poised to overtake Windows as the primary operating system people use to access the Internet. Windows currently has 38.6% of the market for Internet usage; Google is breathing down Microsoft’s neck with 37.4%. As mobile adoption continues, it won’t be long before Android is the main tool for getting online. (In case you’re wondering, Apple’s iOS represents a little less than 10% of the market.) The takeaway: Plan your communication channels accordingly. Mobile is beating desktop. Read more Is Amazon introducing a Twitter competitor?—Twitch, Amazon’s game-centric streaming media site, has introduced Pulse, “a place where streamers can post and engage with all of their followers and the greater Twitch community right on the front page.” Using Pulse, streamers “can post to their friends and followers with a mix of text, links, images, and videos” that will appear in a reverse-chronological stream. A lot of commentators think that, if Pulse succeeds on Twitch, it could be expanded to take on Twitter, which is extremely vulnerable. The takeaway: There were early competitors to Twitter with names like Plurk, Jaiku,, and Pownce, but Twitter owned the market. Now that Twitter is struggling, somebody doing it better could potentially steal a lot of dissatisfied Twitter users. Stay tuned. Read more Facebook rolls out fake news solution—Not much fanfare has been associated with Facebook’s introduction of a response to fake news distributed through its network. “The tool identifies links to sites known to produce misinformation,” according to Mashable. “The tool cites third-party fact-checking organizations like Snopes and Politifact. The takeaway: Seeing that a source is disputed by Snopes and Politifact may be a reason for Trump supporters to embrace it, since they are already under fire from some corners as liberal-leaning media. For most people, though, knowing the facts of the article someone is sharing are in dispute may help at least raise questions. I like the approach. Read more Twitter testing warning about profiles with sensitive content—While Facebook is focused on questionable news sources with its fake-news solution, Twitter is testing a feature that points to users’ profiles that might include sensitive content. If you click on one of these profiles from a link on Twitter, or if you visit the profile’s page directly, you won’t be immediately shown the user’s tweets. Instead, a warning message displays, reading ‘Caution:” This profile may include sensitive content.’” The takeaway: So far there is some confusion about how these profiles are identified, since some that produced the pop-up didn’t reveal anything particularly[...]

FIR Podcast #77: Blockchain, Brands, and Trust


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network Phil Gomes and Sherrilynne Starkie join Shel Holtz for this week’s episode, which covered these stories… Snap Inc.’s IPO went well and the stock is performing better than expected. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a bright future for Snapchat. One blockchain startup leader believes the technology can play a central role in rebuilding trust in business by encoding the company’s values on the blockchain. Dan York’s tech report looks at the Amazon Web Services outage. Companies invest a lot in social media but publishers are far more successful. Can communicators learn anything from how media uses social media? A special, brief report on what Shel means when he says “30” at the end of every episode. Connect with guest co-hosts on Twitter at @philgomes and @sherrilynne. Links to the source material for this episode are on Contentle. Join the FIR Gaggle for a chance to get a free copy of J. Kelly Hoey’s book, “Build Your Dream Network.” Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. FIR was recorded using Zencastr. About today’s guest co-hosts: Phil Gomes is senior vice president at Edelman, working in U.S. B2B Digital, advanced community engagement and special situations, a role he developed that focuses on preparing clients for advanced issues and special situations regarding online corporate reputation and emerging technologies. Phil has been with Edelman since 2005; before that he was with Dryden Marketing Group working as a media programs manager. Phil co-founded CREWE – Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement, and he’s a founding fellow of the Society for New Communications Research. Phil was a recent FIR Interviews guest talking about blockchains and their potential role in communications, a topic that will come up again in today’s show. For more than 20 years, Sherrilynne Starkie has been providing communications consulting and services to blue-chip organizations in Britain, Canada and the United States. She focuses on helping clients leverage digital and social media to achieve organizational objectives.  As President at Thornley Fallis, Sherrilynne is responsible for the profitable operation of the communications business including client strategy overview, business development, HR, quality assurance, marketing and team development. She is a blogger, an occasional contributor and is very active on social media. Recently, she’s been a speaker at the IABC World Conference, SXSWi, WTC and the UA Canada National Conference.  She is an active volunteer with IABC Ottawa has volunteered with many other organizations. [...]

Friday Wrap #208: Robots in the streets, media’s social domination, clueless marketers, Apple and AR


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News Bye-bye, net neutrality—Net neutrality is the simple proposition that all content should be treated equally over the Internet’s pipes, that no content should get preferential treatment. The FCC implemented rules to protect net neutrality, but President Trump’s new FCC chairman announced at the Mobile World Congress this week that the free market would ensure the expansion of broadband investment. Ajit Pai sees net neutrality as a roadblock to wider infrastructure deployment. The takeaway: It also means that startups without large budgets could see their content delivery slowed to a crawl because they can’t afford to pay the prices ponied up by a Google or a Netflix, both of which were able to thrive precisely because they didn’t have to pay to compete. (If you couldn’t tell, I’m staunchly pro-neutrality, though I agree that figuring out how to achieve it without too much government involvement is a challenge.) Read more Snapchat launches IPO, gets a “sell” rating—Snap Inc.‘s IPO was offered at $17, opened at $24, and then was almost immediately rated a “sell.” as one analyst set the target at $10 on the stock. Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wiester wrote, “Investors in Snap will be exposed to an upstart facing aggressive competition from much larger companies, with a core user base that is not growing by much and which is only relatively elusive.” The takeaway: I’m inclined to agree that Snap’s financial future is less than rosy—Weister isn’t the only analyst with a grim outlook—but this morning its shares are selling for $28.85, up nearly 18%. Anybody want to start a pool on when it will plunge? Read more Facebook wants to stop live-streamed suicides—Streaming a suicide on Facebook Live has, sadly, become a thing. Facebook will now interrupt these streams with messages prompting the individual broadcasting their suicides to chat with crisis experts or get other help. AI will play a role in identifying and removing content marked as suicidal. The takeaway: Facebook deserves credit for taking responsibility for the activities that can occur on its service rather than adopt the position that it’s just a platform that people use for whatever they want and they’re not accountable for the content its users share. Read more Virginia law lets robots deliver to your door—Virginia is the first state to approve legislation that will allow delivery robots to function on sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the state. The robots can’t go more than 10 miles per hour or weigh more than 50 pounds. The takeaway: Other states will undoubtedly watch Virginia to see how it all shakes out, but expect Amazon and food deliver companies to jump on the opportunity to reduce labor costs associated with delivery. Read more A new take on comments—Publishers have been scrapping their unwieldy and problematic comments section despite the fact that there’s value in reader feedback. A company called Opinary has introduced a new way to tap into that value. With its own newsroom, Opinary creates editorial polls that are then added to the news instead of comments. A team tracks the opinions of Opinary’s 25 million-plus monthly users and shares their results. Opinary is partnering with European media companies including The Times, The Independent, and The Huffington Post, among others. The takeaway: The graphical approach to reflecting reader opinion makes for compelling content. Surely brands could take advantage of this concept. Read more Another platform copies Snapchat Stories—A number of social networks and apps have introduced their own versions of Snapchat Stories, resul[...]

The economics of deregulation may not add up in the values-driven marketplace


The Clean Power Plan is one of the Obama-era regulations President Donald Trump promised to repeal as part of his promise to accelerate the economy and create jobs. The Plan, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and finalized by the administration in 2015, was designed to bolster the move toward clean energy through the introduction of standards for power plants and state goals for reducing carbon dioxide pollution. Presumably, power companies and others that produce carbon dioxide are celebrating the sweeping away of these costly regulations. After all, by lowering costs they can deliver higher returns to shareholders and, according to proponents of deregulation, enable them to hire more people. There’s also a chance some of those companies won’t be in such a hurry to capitalize on the lower regulatory burden. They may be thinking that just because they can stop investing in carbon dioxide reduction technology doesn’t mean they should. Competing on Values There is nothing altruistic or politically partisan in a company’s decision to turn its back an opportunity to save a buck. Cold, hard reality and practicality would lead a company to continue its efforts to reduce emissions even though it’s no longer a government requirement. The business world finds itself in the early days of a new values-driven marketplace. Companies’ behaviors increasingly drive decisions to invest in, work for, and buy from those organizations. Consider Millennials, for whom the environment is the top issue. Those born between 1980 and 1996 see the idea of sustainability as a social responsibility issue and making purchase decisions based on the manufacturer’s commitment to sustainability enables them to make a statement about their commitment to a better world. Nearly 60% of millennials, according to one study, are willing to pay a higher price for products that wear their sustainability on their sleeves. The issue goes deeper than just Millennials. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 75% of people agree that “a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.” With Millennials believing that environmental action is a social responsibility issue, companies will need to balance the benefits they can gain from lowered regulations with the consequences. A 2016 study from the Boston Consulting Group found that investors are connecting sustainability and performance and are using companies’ sustainability data to make investment decisions. “A growing number of investors are paying attention to ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance, as evidence mounts that sustainability-related activities are material to the financial success of a company over time,” according to an MIT Sloan Management report on the study. “Investors care more about sustainability issues than many executives believe.” Bad Behavior vs. A Great Brand Story With Millennials listing sustainability as their top issue, having a great story to tell can also impact recruiting. Numerous studies have shown job-hunters prefer working for companies whose employer brand includes a strong sustainability component. According to two researchers, companies with healthy sustainability credentials are a source of pride to employees, it suggests the company cares about issues that matter to its workers, and it links the company’s values to its employees’ values. Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey reinforces the point, noting that half of Millennials say they would take a lower salary if it meant they could work for a company that matches their own values. The Deloitte study found that Millennials value making the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable over money. Calculating the downsi[...]

FIR Podcast #76: The Perception of Unfiltered, Unedited Truth


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network Melissa Agnes and Olivier Blanchard join Shel Holtz for this week’s episode, which covered these stories… The #DeleteUber movement, which seemed to wind down after the conversation moved on from the company’s response to the Trump administration’s immigration ban, is back in full swing with a post from a former engineer outlining inappropriate sexual conduct at the company. Uber seems to move from one crisis to another. Will its response to the current crisis be enough? Consumer packaged goods companies are experimenting with IBM Watson Ads, which let consumers ask questions and get verbal responses from the ad itself. Voice tech also holds some promise for “quick service retail,” where it could replace employees with touch screen tablets who are there to answer customer questions. Distrust of experts is on the rise. One professor thinks storytelling is the solution to the problem. Most Millennials watch live-streaming video, yet most communicators aren’t ready to give it a try. Dan York reports on Stories, the Snapchat feature that has been appropriated by Facebook’s apps Instagram and WhatsApp. Connect with guest co-hosts on Twitter at @Melisssa_Agnes and @TheBrandBuilder. Links to the source material for this episode are on Contentle. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. FIR was recorded using Zencastr. About today’s guest co-hosts: 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. 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 ole 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. [...]

Friday Wrap #207: What “viral” means, oversized ads, patient influencers, Hologram Barbie, and more


I extract items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. To make sure you never miss an issue, subscribe to my weekly email briefing. News Zuck pens a manifesto—Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used his own platform to publish a 5,700-word mission statement on what he sees as Facebook’s future, its role in world affairs, and its influence. According to a Guardian annotation of the missive, the mission statement is contained in these two paragraphs: “In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us…Our job at Facebook is to help people make the greatest positive impact while mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness and isolation.” The takeaway: It’s a long read and the Guardians annotations are helpful. Arguments are still going on over the real meaning of the post. Does he plan to run for office? Rule the world? Or just sell a lot more ads? My bet is that he sees Facebook as the marketplace for ideas and civic engagement. Read more Twitter humanizes customer service—A lot of companies’ Twitter accounts are geared toward responding to customer service queries. Even though a human responds, what you see is the company avatar. To make those interactions a little more personal, Twitter has introduced custom profiles. In a trial with T-Mobile, customers looking for help through the mobile carrier’s Direct Messages will see the name and photograph of the actual person assisting them. The takeaway: As trust in companies slides but trust in real people rises, this should increase satisfaction with online customer service. Watch for the feature to move out of trials so you can adopt it in your company. Read more YouTube’s third-party measurement partners to be audited—Google announced that the Media Rating Council will audit YouTube’s third-party measurement partners. Google hopes introducing MRC’s audit will help standardize the metrics reported across all three of its measurement partners to eliminate discrepancies and ensure the Internet Advertising Bureau’s standards are met. The takeaway: It’s about time. Apples to apples metrics matter when assessing the performance of your YouTube investment. Read more Trends It’s time to get hyperlocal—Google Trends has shown a huge increase in the number of “near me” searches since mid-2015, leading to speculation that 2017 will be the year hyperlocal marketing truly takes off. The takeaway: If your company manages local retail operations and you don’t prepare for this trend, you could wind up seeing a drop in both online and in-store traffic. Read more Hotels up the social media ante—Social media is becoming a standard tool in the hotel industry’s marketing mix. Hotels are amping up the use of social channels to increase room reservations and guest satisfaction scores, in addition to interacting with guests—current, future, and potential—in real time. The hospitality brands represent the third most responsive industry on social media: 46% of messages require a response. The takeaway: This more than content marketing. This is one-to-one engagement with customers who prefer to contact the hotel via social media. Other industries need to pay attention and follow suit. Read more Going viral doesn’t mean what you think it means—We all know what we mean when we talk about a video or meme that “goes viral.” The term has its origins in medicine, where a disease infects multiple people and spreads. Research has found that’s not what happens with content. That is, the popularity of content is not diffused. [...]

FIR Podcast #75: The Quality of Your Intent


Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network Note: This episode continues our experiment with a streamlined format: two guest co-hosts instead of three panelists and fewer stories. We were able to shave even more time off the show this week and will aim for further slimming next week. Please let us know how you like the format — and the length — by sending an email to Doug Haslam and Augie Ray join Shel Holtz for this week’s episode, which covered these stories… An Accenture report found that loyalty programs aren’t working, with millions of reward points lingering unused while consumers have different criteria for what makes them loyal. Listener Tim Watt asked about our discussion in episode #73 about Volkswagen overcoming its emissions crisis to become the world’s top automaker. We discuss whether it would have mattered had the crisis been characterized as a public health issue rather than an environmental one. PewDie Pie was dropped as a paid influencer for Disney and Google dropped him from its premium ad program after he shared anti-Semitic videos. It’s a challenge for brands hold influencers accountable for their content. It’s also impossible to distinguish real rogue Twitter accounts created by disgruntled government employees from fake ones. Meanwhile, several media outlets nearly fell for a fake press release claiming McDonald’s was trying to acquire Chipotle, and a movie company launched a fake news campaign to promote a new film. With so much fakery everywhere, will consumers start distrusting everything they see? Dan York reports on social media passwords. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer calls for companies to put employees first, but new data from Gallup suggests most organizations aren’t heeding that advice. Connect with guest co-hosts on Twitter at @dough and @augieray. Links to the source material for this episode are on Contentle. Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music. FIR was recorded using Zencastr. About today’s 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. 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. [...]