Inside PR

Thursday, January 30, 2014

FIR Presents Inside PR 362: The importance of conflict in video storytelling

FIR Presents Inside PRSo you’ve made a video. And you’re disappointed that it just sits there, with few viewers and little discussion. Why do so many videos made by companies and organizations fall flat? In many cases, its because they lack an essential component of effective storytelling – conflict.

Think of any story you love and you’re sure to find conflict at its core. That’s what Mike Edgell, the Video Creative Director at 76BrandFilms, tells Martin Waxman and me in this week’s episode of Inside PR.

What are the essentials of storytelling? A hook, context, conflict, build, and resolution. Omit any of these and the viewer is lost, the narrative falls flat. Of these, the essential component, the one that drives the story, is conflict. And this can be a problem for brands who hear the word conflict and immediately run the other way. Who take a black and white view of conflict.

In fact, conflict arises in virtually every situation and with a nuanced approach, it can be built into virtually every video story. So, how does a brand do this? Mike has some tips.

  1. Find a conflict that the organization can overcome. An internal challenge can ring true and does not run the risk of pitting the organization against outside forces.
  2. Have empathy. Be sure that the conflict relates to the interests of your target audience. Don’t start with what the organization wants to talk about. Start with what the audience fears, wants and cares about. If tell your story with the audience in mind, your content stands a higher chance of resonating with them.
  3. Finally, make sure your conflict has some significant risk. There has to be a consequence to failure. Otherwise, why should a viewer care about the story? This risk can embrace both the loss of something and the continuing absence of something desirable. In both instances, tension can be built up and the situation resolved, providing the audience with a satisfying experience.

Simple rules often overlooked.

Listen to the full podcast as Mike develops these ideas and illustrates them with real life examples of videos that met the challenge of incorporating conflict to engage audiences.

Gini Dietrich fans, don’t despair. Gini couldn’t make this week’s recording, but she will return next week.

Get this podcast:

FIR Community on Google PlusShare your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also reach Inside PR’s hosts by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or join the InsidePR Google Plus community or Facebook group. InsidePR is on Twitter at @Inside_PR. You can send us an 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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 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.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR: Our theme music was created by Damon de Szegheo; Roger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

FIR presents Inside PR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: http://www.ragan.com

Posted by shel on 01/30 at 11:36 AM
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

FIR Presents Inside PR 361: Justine Sacco, poor judgment and the mob mentality

FIR Presents Inside PRMartin here…And as I said on the podcast, I was waiting for Google to write this post for me…

We start 2014 talking about the mob mentality you sometimes experience in social media.

Picture this. You’ve had a busy year and it’s almost the holidays. You’re traveling halfway across the world to head home for some much-needed R&R. It’s a long and maybe a bit of a dull plane ride. There’s no Wi-Fi, so you’re unplugged. The perfect way to unwind.

Sounds tempting.

But when you land…you notice something’s different. Strangers recognize you. Are they pointing fingers? You get reconnected only to find out you’ve been fired with no warning – over a tweet.  The decision had been made when you were in the air.

I’ve just described what happened to Justine Sacco, who was a senior communicator for IAC. As in, past tense. The reason for her firing was a racist tweet she posted before leaving on the flight.

Let’s be clear, we don’t condone any racist remarks and this was clearly a case of very bad judgment (just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should).  If you followed the story, you’ll know it blew up when she was in the air and didn’t have access to Wi-Fi, there was an avalanche of critical posts, hashtags, a twitter storm and, of course, she abruptly lost her job.

Now that we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the situation from the perspective of a few weeks, we thought we’d discuss these questions:

  • Is it wise to let the community do your thinking for you?
  • When should you wait to make a decision and when should you react immediately?
  • How do you deal with a mob mentality when you’re trying to make a change?
  • If you react quickly, is your decision strategic or just designed to stop the noise?
  • Do you dump first and then ask questions later?
  • Shouldn’t everyone have an opportunity to answer for their actions before they feel the consequences?

It’s a complex and multi-layered issue, as you’ll hear in the podcast. Have a listen and let us know where you stand.

Get this podcast:

FIR Community on Google PlusShare your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also reach Inside PR’s hosts by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or join the InsidePR Google Plus community or Facebook group. InsidePR is on Twitter at @Inside_PR. You can send us an 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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 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.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

FIR presents Inside PR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: http://www.ragan.com

Posted by shel on 01/22 at 06:43 PM
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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Inside PR 360: The Morning After the Day Before

FIR Presents Inside PRTwas the morning after New Year’s Eve. January 1 2014. And Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are here – barely – to wish you all the best for the coming year.

We hope that you’ll make a date to listen to Inside PR each week as we enter our eighth year of podcasting.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR: Our theme music was created by Damon de Szegheo; Roger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Get this podcast:

FIR Community on Google PlusShare your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also reach Inside PR’s hosts by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or join the InsidePR Google Plus community or Facebook group. InsidePR is on Twitter at @Inside_PR. You can send us an 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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 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.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

FIR presents Inside PR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: http://www.ragan.com

Posted by shel on 01/01 at 05:59 PM
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

InsidePR Presents InsidePR 3.59: Trends and Fears for 2014

FIR Presents Inside PRWelcome to the first episode of Inside PR as an FIR Podcast Network show!

Martin here…

2013 is drawing to a close. And we know how busy people are with Christmas shopping, holiday parties and other seasonal celebrations. So we thought we’d keep it short and sweet and focus on one trend and one fear we have for 2014.

But first, I talk about PR Baton, a new initiative created by Dana Hughens, where PR people take part in a virtual relay on Instagram to visually showcase a day in the life of an industry pro. I was carrying the baton the day we recorded; here’s the photo I did to commemorate this episode.

Check out the PR Baton on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Now onto the show.

Gini’s Trend:
Agencies need to evolve or they will disappear. She references a study saying CMOs are unhappy with the roles ad and PR folks play in driving results for their organization because most agencies haven’t integrated digital with traditional and aren’t accountable for results.

Gini’s Fear:
Not being able to integrate the four media types – paid, earned, shared and owned – in a strategic way. PR especially needs to focus on learning about paid.

Joe’s Trend:
It’s going to be a year of big getting bigger; not necessarily for everyone’s betterment, but because there’s so much momentum in that direction. However, with that he sees an opportunity for independents who put their focus on innovation.

Joe’s Fear:
PR is going to become even more commoditized than it already is.

Martin’s Trend:
I harken back to 1999 and invoke another C word (and not content, communications or connection) – convergence. Next year is going to require a convergence of transmedia storytelling skills and agencies will have to take risks to find and build the right team.

Martin’s Fear:
I reference a recent blog post that says while social media is fast, relationships and trust still take time. That’s something I hope we don’t forget.

What trends and fears to you have for 2014? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy holidays!

Get this podcast:

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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 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.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the "everything" RSS feed.

FIR presents Inside PR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by shel on 12/19 at 04:50 PM
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Inside PR joins the FIR Podcast Network

Inside PRIn April 2006, we were delighted to find a pair of experienced, smart and articulate Canadian communiators had launched a new communications-focused podcast. Inside PR, with Terry Fallis and David Jones—both of whom worked at the time for Thornely Fallis Public Relations in Toronto—took an agency-centric (and uniquely Canadian) approach to their show. They addressed topics such as when to turn down work because of ethical issues, how not to leave an agency, conflicts of interest, PR measurement and a host of other meaty topics, along with operational matters like agency structure and hourly billing practices.

We became avid listeners to Inside PR, and continued to be devoted to listening to the show when, in March 2008, Terry and David (who had by then moved on to a new job) turned the microphone over to Martin Waxman, Keith McArthur and Julie Rusciolelli. The hosting of the show went through a few changes until,—having recorded their 100th show—invited Martin Waxman, Keith McArthur and Julie Rusciolelli to join them as co-hosts. Keith and Julie departed after about a year and Martin continued to host it with Terry and David. Then, in April 2010, Inside PR settled into its current hosting format, with Joe Thornley, Martin Waxman and Gini Dietrich. Still featuring an agency focus, the show covers PR and social media from a more global perspective, but continues to present a rich conversation sprinkled with the occasional interview on-site reporting from PR events, and other insightful content. (Thanks, Martin, for the correction!)

Today, we’re delighted to make it official: Inside PR is joining the FIR Podcast Network.

As Joe Thornley reminded us when we spoke about the possibility of including Inside PR in the FIR family of communications-themed podcasts, The Hobson & Holtz Report was the original inspiration for Dave and Terry when they decided to launch their show. (We were humbled and flattered when we first learned that.) It’s entirely fitting, then, that the shows join forces to expand Inside PR’s reach to FIR listeners, and to introduce FIR’s shows to longtime Inside PR audiences.

The weekly podcast will begin appearing in the FIR Podcast Network in the coming weeks. For those who don’t know the Inside PR hosts, it’s our pleasure to introduce them:

Gini DietrichGini Dietrch is the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a Chicago-based public relations agency.

The author of Spin Sucks, Gini has delivered numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR.

One of the top rated communication professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person, according to Klout and TechCrunch, on the channels, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel.

Follow Gini on Twitter: @ginidietrich.

Joe ThornleyJoe Thornley  is CEO of Thornley Fallis and 76design, a company he established in 1995 to provide strategic communications and public relations advice and counsel to senior executives in large public and private sector organizations.  He has more than 25 years of experience providing clients with communications strategies and programs.

Joe has been actively engaged in social media since 2004 when he started exploring wikis, RSS feeds and online communities. He has been blogging at ProPR since 1995.

Joe is a regular speaker, moderator and participant at conferences on public relations, communications and social media. He regularly conducts social media workshops for a variety of organizations. He is the past-chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms.

Joe holds an Honours B.A. and an M.A. in political science, both from the University of Waterloo.  He completed Ph.D. course work in political science and public administration at Carleton University.

Follow Joe on Twitter at @thornley.

Martin WaxmanMartin Waxman, APR, is a social media and communications strategist, principal of Martin Waxman Commmunications, senior counselor at Thornley Fallis Communications and co-founder of three PR agencies. He has worked in communications and PR for 25 years, and specializes in social media, consumer marketing, product launches, corporate and internal communications, b2b and entertainment.

He writes a blog, myPALETTE.

Martin received his APR from the Canadian Public Relations Society, guest lectures on PR at universities and community colleges and teaches a social media course at McMaster University. He’s currently past president of the CPRS Toronto board of directors and a member of Counselors Academy’s executive committee.  Martin received an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in film, television and theatre from York University in Toronto and is the author of two published books of fiction.

Follow Martin on Twitter at @martinwaxman.

Posted by shel on 11/13 at 01:28 PM
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