Interviews

FIR Interviews

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

FIR Interview: Melissa Agnes and Gerard Braud debate “going dark” with social media in a crisis

 

Dueling headlines

Social media has become a standard component of crisis communication efforts. In an August 6 blog post, crisis communications and media training consultant Gerard Braud of Braud Communications argued that there could be crisis situations in which institutions would be best served by taking down their Facebook page or other social media outposts. Looking at the flood of negative, critical, and even outrageous comments left to Emory Healthcare’s Facebook page after the hospital began treating an Ebola victim, Braud concluded, “Sometimes in a crisis, you may find that it is in your best interest to rely on conventional crisis communications tools. It may be better to take your social media sites down completely until the crisis is over. If people need information, they are smart enough to find it on your primary website.”

Melissa Agnes, president and co-founder of Anges+ Day, a crisis intelligence consultancy, took exception in a response on her own blog. “Social media presents so many powerful opportunities to communicate and build trusting relationships with your audiences,” Agnes wrote. “Just because people may vent and lash out against your organization is not a reason to hide and refuse to communicate on the channels that demand communication these days. Doing so will only hurt your organization’s reputation.”

Braud and Agnes engaged in a very professional conversation in the comments sections of their posts. In this interview, FIR co-host Shel Holtz talks with both crisis experts about their points of view, where they agree and where they differ, the role of social media generally in a crisis, and how that role could vary depending on the nature of the organization and its social media presence.

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About our Conversation Partners

Melissa AgnesMelissa Agnes, President and co-founder of Agnes + Day Inc., has developed an international reputation for crisis management, planning and training. Her client list includes government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, the healthcare industry, the oil and gas industry and a wide range of public, private and not-for-profit organizations. A sought-after speaker on the topics of crisis and issues management in this digital age, Melissa travels the world speaking to audiences including NATO, GCC, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Defence, Oil and Gas Associations and more.

Melissa is the editor of the highly acclaimed Crisis Intelligence Blog, and the host of the globally recognized Crisis Intelligence Podcast.

Read Melissa on Twitter at @melissa_agnes.

Gerard BraudGerard Braud is a 20-year veteran in the field of crisis communications. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as a journalist. He prides himself not on the crises he’s managed after they went public, but through the vast number of events that never reached the crisis level. his strategy is to help organizations write an effective crisis communications plan on a clear sunny day so they can communicate at their best on their darkest day.

Gerard is author of a crisis communications blog.

Reach Gerard on Twitter at @gbraud.

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.

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

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Posted by shel on 08/20 at 12:05 PM
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FIR Interview: Outbrain’s Jeff Pyatt on Outbrain, Content Marketing, and Native Advertising

OutbrainAmong the various classes of native advertising as defined by Edelman’s Steve Rubel, you’ll find “paid syndication,” in which “sponsored posts, articles, videos, slideshows and information graphics from corporations appear within the news section.” Rubel includes Outbrain among the examples of companies that “sprinkle sponsored links into a company’s earned or owned media in the footer of related news articles.”

Indeed, that’s precisely Outbrain’s approach. With dozens of algorithms that analyze user habits, Outbrain delivers a list of recommended links at the end of stories appearing on sites like CNN, Mashable, and Slate. Outbrain claims its links appear on 100,000 websites. The company serves over 150 billion recommendations and 15 billion page views per month, with a reach that extends to over 87% of the U.S. online population, not to mention international readers.

In this FIR interview, co-host Shel Holtz spends half an hour with Jeff Pyatt, head of Outbrain’s PR initiatives; he also addresses direct response clients. In this wide-ranging talk, Pyatt explains Outbrain’s value to PR practitioners and the kinds of content PR agencies generally pay to promote. The conversation also covers the ethics of native advertising, among other topics.

 

An example of Outbrain's recommendations

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About our Conversation Partner

Jeff PyattJeff Pyatt is the Head of Global PR Initiatives at Outbrain. In this role, he leads Outbrain’s content discovery business across all industries with a special focus on public relations. As such, Jeff has become an advocate for the PR industry within the company. He is passionate about the power of good storytelling and content-based journalism to develop brand loyalty. Prior to joining Outbrain, he worked in publishing and politics, including editorial and business development roles at RealClearPolitics, Yahoo! News and Health Central, and communications roles in the office of Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Jim Webb’s winning 2006 campaign.

Jeff’s a vocal advocate for expanding the role of the PR in brand journalism and believes they will win at content by leveraging their best asset: journalists and great communicators.

Connect with Jeff at @jeffpyatt.

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.

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

Podsafe music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 08/13 at 02:49 PM
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FIR Interview: Photographer/Social Activist Angus Malcolm on Online Communication and Fundraising

Warwick Rowers 2012 calendarAngus Malcolm has been behind the creative force behind the Warwick Rowers naked calendar, Warwick Rowers describes itself as a large and highly active sports club with substantial ambitions. This year the club is attending over 20 competitions across the length and breadth of the country during a 40-week racing season. Whether novice or experienced, male or female, as a member of Warwick Rowing, athletes can expect to participate in a determined and enthusiastic rowing programme.” The Naked Calendar is a fundraiser, with calendars featuring nude pictures of rowers that have been a viral success.

In this interview, FIR contributor Harry Hawk interview Malcolm about the role social media played in the calendar’s success among other topics, including fundraising, online communications, and helping to fight homophobia.

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About our Conversation Partner

Angus MalcolmWith a background in social activism, healthcare and media production, Angus Malcolm now specializes in promoting personal empowerment and social change through innovative approaches to communications. In particular, he focuses on how we can use viral media as both consciousness-raising and fund-raising tools.

His best known project at the moment is the Warwick Rowers range of calendars and films, which he produces.  These feature a group of predominantly heterosexual male college athletes in the UK’s equivalent of the Ivy League. For six years, rowers at Warwick University have been stripping naked for calendars and films that are popular with gay men as well as women.  The athletes undress to prove the point that we can all be comfortable with a diverse sexual culture that embraces all sexualities.  Alongside production of the Warwick Rowers products, he is currently focusing on establishing Sport Allies, a charity to challenge homophobia that is being funded from the sales of Warwick Rowers products.

Malcolm divides his time between homes in London and Southern Spain, and also travel regularly for his work.  Recent projects have taken him to South Africa, California and Australia, where a Sydney gallery hosted an exhibition of his photography.

Connect with Malcolm on Twitter at @Angus_Malcolm
Connect with Harry Hawk on Twitter at @hhawk

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.

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

Podsafe music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 07/29 at 05:28 PM
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

FIR Interview: Betterific Co-Founder Micha Weinblatt

BetterificBetterific has been described by many as Reddit for customer feedback. On the social site, users complete the statement, “Wouldn’t it be better if…” Otis, the elevator company, might be intrigued by the suggestion, “Wouldn’t it be better if, when you select the wrong floor in the elevator, you could unselect the floor you clicked by mistake?”

Coca-Cola campaign on BetterificAs on Reddit, users can also comment on suggestions and vote them up or down. (The elevator idea had amassed eight upvotes, for example.) Companies can monitor references to their own products and services, but they can also mount campaigns. ConAgra Foods brand Redi-Wip, for example, asked for suggestions on how to improve both the product and marketing. A current campaign, from Coca-Cola, asks users to share ideas on what kind of promotional items the company should give at McDonald’s with the purchase of a Combo Meal.

In this FIR interview, co-host Shel Holtz chats with Micha Weinblatt, the co-founder of Betterific, about the company’s origins, its community, its relationship with brands, and the focused campaigns that have become a recurring feature of the site and how they can serve as a different and better approach to focus groups and customer insight panels.

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About our Conversation Partner

Micha WeinblattMicha Weinblatt is an entrepreneur from Washington DC.  He graduated Magana Cum Laude with a Government and Politics degree from the University of Maryland in 2005, where he launched his first enterprise, Crooked Monkey T-shirts.  The brand has since been carried by over 500 retailers including Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Pac Sun, has been worn by celebrities Ryan Seacrest and Miley Cyrus.

In 2011 he was recognized for his efforts by CNN Money, which named him one of the top 10 entrepreneurs to watch.  Along the way he was named one of the Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and was selected to be a member of the Sandbox Community.

After running Crooked Monkey for 7 years, in June of 2012, he co-founded Betterific, the digital suggestion box that crowdsources innovation, out of the DreamIt Ventures accelerator.  In January of 2013 TheNextWeb named Betterific one of the top 13 east coast startups to watch in 2013. Since launching, they have grown their user base significantly and have partnered with Coca-Cola, ConAgra, the Washington Wizards and others to help them connect with their customers over ideas and innovation.

Connect with Micha on Twitter at @CrookedMonkey

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.

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

Podsafe music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 05/29 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

FIR Interview: Scott Monty on Leaving Ford Motor Company

Scott Monty sent shockwaves through the social media marketing community when he announced on his blog that he had resigned as Ford Motor Company’s top corporate social media director. His gracious post credited others rather than focusing on his own accomplishments, but there is no doubt that Scott’s profile rose as he innovated attention-grabbing approaches to employing social media on behalf of one of the biggest and oldest big-iron companies in the world.

Scott Monty speaks at NMX13

The commentary that followed Scott’s announcement painted his decision as a kind of turning point, a symbol of a significant shift in marketing’s adoption of social media—and not necessarily a very positive one. Writing for Forbes, Shel Israel said Scott’s decision was a great loss for Ford, then added, “It also heightens my growing fears about how big brands will handle social media in the coming years.”

Others speculating on the deeper meaning of Scott’s decision included Social Media Today founder Robin Fray Carey, former Dell social media director Richard Binhammer, Coca-Cola social media marketing chief Ashley Brown, and Citibank social media director Frank Eliason. Among publications reporting the move were AdAge, Adweek, and PRWeek.

In this FIR interview, co-hosts Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson talk with Scott about his reaction to the conversation about his resignation (hint: He doesn’t think it’s all that big a deal), his accomplishments at Ford, the future of social media, and his own imminent plans (but without a revelation about his next career move).

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Scott MontyAbout our Conversation Partner

Scott Monty is a communications and marketing executive who focuses on the nexus of creative and strategy within the digital industry. Scott speaks and writes about business, technology, communications, marketing and the vast changes in the industry that impact leadership and can be found at scottmonty.com.

Connect with Scott on Twitter: @ScottMonty.



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.

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

Podsafe music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 05/27 at 11:22 AM
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Friday, May 02, 2014

FIR Interview: Howard Greenstein and David Mitnick of domainSkate

FIR InterviewsHundreds of new top-level domains are being released by ICANN, the international organization that oversees Internet names and numbers. New domains like .guru, .london, .photography and .sexy are now available. And while companies aren’t exactly falling over themselves to pay the fee to register their trademarks and brands, other entities are reserving and registering domains—and they could be registering trademarked names.

According to a February Adweek story:

According to data from the Trademark Clearinghouse released Friday, unknown entities have prereserved their interest in registering domain names for every one of the nation’s 50 most valuable brands, as compiled by brand consultancy Interbrand. Research found that brands in the food and beverage space have left themselves most vulnerable with domains like pepsi.us, kfc.in, and kelloggs.net in the control of entities not affiliated with the brands.

domainSkateHoward Greenstein—one of the co-founders of The Social Media Club—and attorney David Mitnick have just launched domainSkate, certified by the Trademark Clearninghouse to helpcompanies protect their brands and trademarks in the world of New global Top Level Domains (New gTLDs).

In this FIR interview, co-hosts Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson talk with David (the CEO) and Howard (the COO) about the need for reputation protection (including some cases of infringement that have already occurred), how domainSkate works, and how the launch of the business is going.

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About our Conversation Partners

David MitnickDavid K. Mitnick is the Founder and President of DomainSkate, LLC, an Internet company that focuses on online brand protection. Mitnick created DomainSkate when he saw the potential in the expansion of the global Top Level Domain space. He also shares his expertise in the area of Internet Domain Law, having written for, or been quoted in, CircleID, Mashable, VentureBeat, Inc. and Digiday.

Prior to starting DomainSkate, David spent ten (10) years as an intellectual property lawyer with Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP in New York, working in all phases of intellectual property law including trademark licensing and prosecution, patent and copyright litigation and Internet law. Previously, David worked as a Finance Associate at the Sanwa Bank in the International and Project Finance Groups. He serves as the Advisory Board Chairman of the Brooklyn Law School Trade Secrets Institute.

An avid hockey fan and player, David is a volunteer coach for Ice Hockey in Harlem in the wintertime. Mitnick earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

Connect with David on Twitter at @domainSkate

Howard GreensteinHoward Greenstein has a deep understanding of both the technology and marketing worlds, and sits at their intersection. He has worked with clients from small businesses to the Fortune 500, Cable Networks, and Wall Street, as well as major non-profits and advocacy groups, helping them create their online presences. Greenstein also teaches social media in the Masters Program at the Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at NYU SCPS. He is currently contributing editor for Inc. Magazine, writing the weekly Startup Toolkit. He has been on the board of directors of Social Media Club and is currently president of the NYC Chapter. Howard earned a B.S. from Cornell University, and a MPS from NYU’s world-renowned Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

Connect with Howard on Twitter at @HowardGr

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.

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

Podsafe music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 05/02 at 12:10 PM
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

FIR Interview: Jill Rowley Social Seller

Jill Rowley Social Seller
In this FIR interview our correspondent Michael J Procopio interviews Jill Rowley a long time social seller who has just started her own business.

Jill explains what senior executives should learn from her being let go from Oracle, how social selling work and the power of a sales persons network. Jill describes the problem with cold calling and the solution social media in general and LinkedIn in particular bring to the toolkit of a salesperson.

Jill has consistently been a top performer in her 52 quarters in sales – closing over $30 million in revenue across more than 400 companies, including Salesforce.com, Square, Concur, Covidien, McAfee, VMware, Wells Fargo, Avid, Trend Micro, JDSU, SuccessFactors, Sybase, Ariba, Riverbed, DocuSign, ArcSight, Informatica, Synopsys and Seagate. Jill is an evangelist for Social Selling – she’s spoken at numerous events, done dozens of interviews and webinars, is on Social Selling University’s Top 15 Professionals that Utilize Social Selling list, and was featured in the October 2012 issue of SUCCESS Magazine as a Top Sales Star. She also won the 2011 Eloqua Employee of Year Award. Jill believes in the ABCs of Selling – Always Be Connecting – because the Connections lead to the Close.

You can connect with Michael at MProcopio.com, on Twitter:@MichaelProcopio; or LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/MichaelProcopio.

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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.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR presents Thought Leadership with Mitchell and Michael is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Posted by Michael Procopio on 04/26 at 08:47 PM
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