Inside PR
Inside PR is a weekly podcast about social media and public relations. Agency veterans Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley co-host the show. Each week, they take a look under the hood of the public relations/social media industries, explore topical and provocative issues, discuss listener comments, and even interview an interesting guest or two. Inside PR welcomes and depends on listener comments to ensure the continuing relevance of the show. Listeners can comment directly on the podcast blog at or, even better, send in an audio comment to If you’re already a business communicator or are looking to break into public relations, or even if you’re in another field but understand that communications, reputation, and image make and break organizations, listen to Inside PR.
Inside PR 462: Books that last

Books for communicators On this episode of the Inside PR podcast, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley talk about books that had lasting impact on us and that we would recommend to others: What Would Google Do, by Jeff Jarvis, an annual read for Gini. Always inspiring. "It's fun to watch the progression of my own business since I first read that book," says Gini. Spin Sucks, by Gini Dietrich. Martin says, "I'm not sucking up. I put it on the reading list for my social media course." Bowling Alone, by Robert Putnam, "A book written about how people were losing their social connections as they cocooned during the television age," says Joe. A must-read to understand what social media freed us from. Alone Together by Sherry Turkle. The other side of the social media and handheld device revolution. When can we be alone in a crowd? Disruptive Power, by Taylor Owen. A contemporary take on how these trends have led to the era of non-hierarchical collective action. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman writes in an accessible fashion about how and why we make unpredictable decisions. A primer on behavioural economics that we can all understand. Built to Sell, by John Warrillow and Bo Burlingham. Gini found this book invaluable in helping her to conceive of how to turn here services business into a process driven company that is scalable and less dependent on her personally. The Art of Strategy, by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J.J. Nalebuff. Martin read this book when he was selling his business. It helped him sort through his thinking about what strategy really is and how it differs from tactics and how to manage through situations in which people are acting on very different strategies. These books made a difference in our thinking. And we return to them repeatedly. So, we recommend them without hesitation. #IPRMustKnows Also, on this episode, we cover: A recent study underlines the persistent problem of people not being able to discern the distinction between native advertising and editorially-independent news on publishers' websites. Snapchat adds to its content with a deal with Turner to develop original shows for Snapchat based on TBS programs.

Direct download: IPR462.mp3
Category:PR -- posted at: 7:01am EST

We stand on guard for fake news

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back for another episode of the Inside PR podcast. This week, we discuss Instagram video and the allure of the ephemeral. Then we return to the issue of fake news. Fake news shouldn't be yesterday's story. The problem is in the algorithms. The solution is in human intervention. And that puts the onus on us.

Direct download: IPR461.mp3
Category:PR -- posted at: 8:45am EST

Inside PR 460

Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman recorded this episode in the wake of the US election and so it's not surprising that they reflect extensively on face news, the responsibility of Facebook and our relationship to news media. It’s your turn. We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to, leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini Dietrich, Joseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

Direct download: IPR460.mp3
Category:PR -- posted at: 9:17am EST

Inside PR 459: Speed podcasting

This week we try "speed podcasting." Martin, Gini and Joe triple booked ourselves. So, we only had twelve minutes to record the show. Could we make it in that time? Well we could if we focused on the #IPRMustKnows. #IPRMustKnow Vine faces its existential threat Say goodbye to Will Sasso and disappearing oranges. Say goodbye to Vine as Twitter focuses their business and decides that Vine is not part of its future. Could there be a white knight out there who will take Vine off Twitter's hands and keep it alive? Facebook launches digital masks It may be only in Ireland right now, but Facebook's emulation of Snapchat's most popular features marches on. Facebook's strategy: Never stay still. Look for what's hot. Copy. Profit. Trump's digital campaign machine We recorded this just prior to the election. And even though we couldn't see the outcome, Gini pays reluctant tribute to Donald Trump's digital team. A remarkable story. We did it! Inside PR in under twelve minutes. We had a great time recording this. It's like speed podcasting.

Direct download: IPR459.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07am EST

This week's Inside PR podcast comes to you from the PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis. Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman presented sessions at the conference and they bring us their sense of what is on the minds of North American communicators who attended the session. Even better, we're joined by a special guest, Michael Smart. Michael delivered a presentation on how to generate positive media coverage. And Gini and Martin dig in for his insights in this area. We also visit some of the takeaways of the panel on podcasting that featured Gini, Deirdre Breakenridge and Shonali Burke. Finally, Martin, Gini and Michael talk about the discussion around cybersecurity that really stood out for them at this year's PRSA conference. The audio quality has some background noise. Gini, Martin and Michael were in a room with a fair amount of traffic. But we think the content is good. So, I hope you will overlook the background sounds. They never quite drown out the conversation. Oh, and by the way, Joseph Thornley was here too.

Direct download: IPR458.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm EST

Twitter Moments for all of us. Large publishers' growing dependency on Facebook. Thinking ahead about the implications of AI in our devices and apps. And the ethics of the close-hold embargo. Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. #IPRMustKnows Create your Own Twitter Moments Twitter Moments, introduced for media and select users earlier this year, is now available for all users. This is a useful feature for anyone speaking at a conference or participating in an event or discussion that they want to curate and preserve. Bit by bit, Twitter is becoming even more useful. Large publishers are becoming dependent on Facebook. But where is the revenue? A report published by the International News Media Association and reported on by Nieman Lab indicates that 30% of visits to large publishers websites are referred from Facebook. That's huge. But if publishers are becoming ever more dependent on Facebook's network effect, and with Facebook favouring content published natively on it, the big question continues to be, is traffic paying off in revenue? Getting out front on AI The increasing introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into apps, social networks and internet-connected devices raise a broad range of ethical, legal and policy issues. And where that happens, government is likely to act. So, it should come as no surprise that large businesses are banding together in a number of organizations to address these issues in order in advance of legislation and regulation. Of course, we can only hope that the voice of civil society will be heard alongside that of business. A media relations issue to ponder: Close-hold embargoes Charles Seife, writing in Scientific American, introduced us to a practice we had never encountered: A close-hold embargo. And it gives us the opportunity to ponder the line between transparency and manipulation and the ethical questions that public relations practitioners must confront when negotiating terms of access with news media.

Direct download: IPR457.mp3
Category:PR -- posted at: 5:21am EST

#IPRMustKnows Snapchat is a Snap If you missed the news, Snapchat has rebranded and at the same time begun to move outside of its core business, including the promise of Snapchat video glasses. Snapchat may well pull off what Google Glass failed at. Why Allo? Google Plus redux? Do we need yet another duplicative app? The sprit of selfless sharing MOZ, the SEO app is a useful tool and source of expertise for many PR people who need to learn and apply pragmatic SEO to their programs. Recently, Ran Fishkin published a remarkable post in which he was both candid and insightful. And we contemplate his observation that "Inbound marketing never really became a thing..." A big deal if you are repositioning your company into the inbound marketing space. Something for PR people to think about as we reposition our businesses for the future. Not specifically about inbound marketing. But about any space we are moving toward. Will it still be there when we arrive?

Direct download: IPR456.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm EST

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. #IPRMustKnows From Docs to Podcasts A sign of the continuing professionalization of podcasts. In a few weeks, Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary film festival, will launch its first Hot Docs Podcast Festival. The lineup is heavily skewed to mainstream, large audience podcasts. I guess that means that we need to continue to look to community-generated events like Podcamp Toronto to represent amateur niche content. Things like Inside PR. :) Twitter - independent or acquisition? Can Twitter survive on its own? Would it be better being acquired by a larger entity? I know that, one way or the other, I don't want Twitter to disappear. As other services have refined their algorithms to present popular content first, I think that Twitter now holds a unique place as our newsfeed. An essential lense on the world that not only allows us to bear witness in real time, but also allows anyone to see it happening in real time. Google Automated Insights If you use Google Analytics, you must check out the automated insights that have been added to the Google Analytics mobile app. An invaluable tool that helps you quickly identify the most salient trends and events in the traffic to your site. Little by little, we are moving in the direction of the intelligent assistant. And it's free! PR can't stop changing For our main topics this week, we discuss the need for PR to accelerate the repositioning of its core business proposition in the face of shrinking newsrooms. PR will not disappear. It just won't look like it did a few years ago. And companies that haven't changed their focus away from earned media will find themselves left behind. The rise of Facebook as an aggregator. The decline of newsrooms. Sponsored content as the new norm. The end of print newspapers. PR must prepare itself for the post-newsprint world. Some PR agencies are well down the path of reimagining the business. The new firms seem to understand that the emphasis must continue to be on relationships. But different forms of relationships with different actors and agents (algorithms anyone?) Those that evolve in this way will succeed. Along the way, those that change will have to explain themselves to a marketplace that may not have understood the need for these changes. Those that don't will disappear. Bet on it.

Direct download: IPR455.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:52pm EST

Inside PR 454

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. #IPRMustKnows Martin Waxman's Social Media Marketing for Small Business is on Yes, this is a shameless plug. But since it's Joe writing this, Martin doesn't have to be embarrassed. In fact, I think Martin is as smart about social media as anyone I know. And now Martin is sharing this knowledge on Martin tells us about his trip to California to record a video course, Social Media Marketing for Small Business. Buzzfeed News isn't entertainment Buzzfeed separated its Buzzfeed news operation from the Buzzfeed entertainment operation. Prelude to a possible sale of Fuzzfeed News. Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith says no. WhatsApp shares user data with Facebook As happens so often with privacy concerns, after an initial spate of bad press, public protestations about Facebook's decision to share user data from WhatsApp with Facebook seems to have died down. Our concern with privacy is something that spikes occasionally. But then we put it out of mind as we enjoy the experience of social media. Wired tells us about teens and social media A few things in Wired's profile of teens and social media caught Gini's eye. There are a lot of do's and don't's. It's not about understanding young people. It's about looking at the social mores being established by a cohort that doesn't have the baggage of previously shaped expectations and behaviour, a cohort that can lead the way in assessing new channels and defining norms of behaviour on them. As Martin says, "One generation's romantic is another generation's lurker." (Apologies to John Cusack.) The NY Times on Facebook Liz Spayd, The New York Times Public Editor, recently offered her take on the content that The Times has been creating for Facebook. In her analysis, Facebook Live: Too Much, Too Soon, she states "’s the problem. After watching countless hours of live video in the past few weeks, I have hit upon many that are either plagued by technical malfunctions, feel contrived, drone on too long, ignore audience questions or are simply boring, by I imagine most anyone’s standards. "Too many don’t live up to the journalistic quality one typically associates with The New York Times." This leads Martin, Gini and I into a discussion of the nature of content appropriate to social media. It's not always going to stand up to The Times' traditional standards. But it will be effective in its new place, for different reasons. Also worth noting in this article is something I hadn't seen before. The New York Times has a contract to produce video content expressly for Facebook. "While the terms of the deal are secret, the transaction requires Facebook to give The Times a guaranteed sum (reported to be $3 million a year) in return for a prescribed amount of video (so far it’s averaging upward of four a day). Neither Times officials nor Facebook would discuss the deal, citing confidentiality. Several other media companies, including BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and Mashable, have also signed on. Their job: to stock Facebook’s pond with high-quality video so it can compete in the rapidly growing market for live-stream video." The Times as content creator for Facebook. That's something different from The Times posting its stories on Facebook. Different even from The Times posting its stories natively on Facebook. It is instead The Times creating content to meet Facebook's needs. That is different - and worth watching.

Direct download: IPR454.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:22am EST

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. This week, we discuss: #IPRMustKnow Instagram Stories continues to attract publisher interest. It could well be the combination of an engaging experience meeting a pre-existing audience. Blab shut down, abruptly. Another sign that the psychology of scale has beat out the idea of sustainability for many business founders? For sure, it's another reminder of the danger of placing your content eggs in any single shared space. Unless you promote it, they will not come Gini Dietrich schooled Joe on the importance and method of promoting content when she interviewed him for the Spin Sucks Inquisition. Within minutes of the post going live, Joe started to see mentions on his Twitter feed. Over the next week, he watched Gini promote the video. But beyond that, he watched Gini's network chime in and share it. So, this week, we discuss Gini's approach to promoting content, an approach which enables her to leverage a large and interested community of interest. Listen to the end for this week's outtake You know that we're not polished in our presentation. And if you heard us before the show is edited, you'd know that even better. But we genuinely like one another and have fun doing the show. Occasionally, this shows through in what we don't include in the final version. Listen to the very end to get a taste of the stuff we leave on the cutting room floor. We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you.

Direct download: IPR453.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EST