Interviews

FIR Interviews

Monday, March 31, 2014

FIR Interview: Jay Lauf, Publisher, Quartz magazine

In September 2012, Quartz entered the evolving mainstream media landscape with its offering, a digital business magazine intended primarily for consumption on tablets and other mobile devices.

There is no print edition.

Quartz

In the eighteen months since the launch of Quartz - what it described as "a new type of publication in the new global economy for a new class of global business executive" - the digital magazine now reaches five million readers globally, according to publisher Jay Lauf, with 42 percent of this number outside the US, illustrating the strong international attraction of the magazine.

On the advertising front - Quartz’ revenue model is based on attracting the right advertisers that enable the magazine to be available free to readers - there are now over 50 international blue-chip companies participating, according to Lauf, ranging from car makers such as Porsche, Land Rover and Cadillac; to Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and UBS in the financial sector; Siemens, Boeing, GE and Exxon in global industrials; and luxury goods makers like Ralph Lauren and Rolex.

In this FIR Interview, co-host Neville Hobson spoke with Jay Lauf in a wide-ranging conversation that includes Lauf’s assessment of the media landscape of which Quartz is a disruptive part, how Quartz leverages the social web, and the future of print ("I don’t believe print will completely die out," he says); and an assessment of Quartz’ advertising model that, certainly from a reader’s perspective, is unlike most other advertising-supported digital media - with Quartz, you won’t find a pop-up ad, a flashing banner, or a sudden auto-playing video: instead, you have discreet and, often, elegant advertising that feels part of the magazine.

The conversation also covered brand journalism (with a look at the Wall Street Journal’s model of experimentation in this area), and the future for the mainstream media where the barriers to entry (and exit) in this evolving, tumultuous landscape have never been lower.

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About our Conversation Partner

Jay LaufJay Lauf is Publisher of Quartz and SVP of Atlantic Media. In his role, he oversees Quartz’s business operations and acts as a senior advisor to Atlantic Media on corporate initiatives.

Lauf assumed the role at Quartz when the digital, global, business news publication launched in September 2012. Under Lauf, Quartz’s innovative advertising has garnered awards and honors from Digiday, AdWeek, the Headliner awards, Deadline Club and more.

Prior to his role at Quartz, Lauf led The Atlantic’s revitalization as its Publisher. Under his direction, the publication attained its first profit in decades and transitioned The Atlantic to a "digital-first" brand earning the label from Ad Age: "an ultra-modern, multi-platform juggernaut".

Lauf has twice been named one of "The Most Intriguing People in Media" by minOnline (2010 & 2013), "Publisher of the Year" by AdWeek (2012), a part of the "Digital Team of the Year" by minOnline (2012) and "Publishing Executive of the Year" by AdAge (2010).

Connect with Jay on Twitter: @jlauf.

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 neville on 03/31 at 01:01 AM
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Sunday, March 09, 2014

FIR Interview: Dan York and Neville Hobson in London, March 7, 2014

[L-R] Dan York and Neville Hobson

FIR correspondent Dan York spent the past week in London at IETF 89, the conference of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), in his capacity as senior content strategist at the Internet Society.

The IETF is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of internet architecture and the smooth operation of the internet.

In far more an informal conversation than an interview, Dan and FIR co-host Neville Hobson met up in the evening of March 7 to talk (and reminisce) about the internet, the milestone of the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, and more, in a wide-ranging discussion that began with Dan’s perspectives on his week in London at IETF 89.

Their conversation embraced views about online security, privacy and identity, issues of trust surrounding government eavesdropping and surveillance post-Snowden revelations, and the "Internet of Things." It included Dan’s and Neville’s perspectives and ideas on what communicators need to be thinking about and doing that will help others understand the changes that online technologies bring to society, to organizations, to individuals.

  • Technical aspects: The conversation was recorded on an Olympus LS-14 portable digital audio recorder in WAV file format; final MP3 file production was carried out with Adobe Audition 3.

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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.

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 neville on 03/09 at 03:01 AM
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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

FIR Interview: Eric Sauve, co-founder and CEO, Foko (think of it as Instagram for the enterprise)

Foko appAnything that takes root on the Web eventually finds its way into the enterprise. Social visual communication has exploded in the last few years with the success of Instagram, Pinterest and other tools, along with the surge in photo sharing via Facebook and other social networks. Creative internal communicators found ways to take advantage of these external resources for internal purposes, but how long would it take before tools designed for employee-to-employee photo sharing emerged?

Foko is the first app designed for the enterprise. Launched at Demo 2013, Foko earned coverage from GigaOm, Simply Communicate, and BetaKit, among others.

In this FIR interview, co-host Shel Holtz talks about the app and its potential uses with Foko co-founder and CEO, Eric Sauve.

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About our Conversation Partner

Foko co-founder and CEO Eric SauveEric Sauve is the CEO and Cofounder of Foko, private photo sharing for companies. Previous to Foko, Eric founded Tomoye, an enterprise social software company which was acquired by NewsGator (now Sitrion). At Tomoye and NewsGator, Eric helped manage social business Intranet deployments at organizations such as the US Army, John Deere, Citi Bank and more.

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 03/05 at 09:34 AM
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

FIR Interview: Laura Thomas, Dell’s new Chief Blogger

Direct2Dell.com

One of the pioneering organizations that ventured into the embryonic blogosphere in the early days of social media was Dell with its Direct2Dell corporate blog.

Launched in 2006, Direct2Dell gained early praise for its authenticity and transparency in how it enabled the company to engage with customers, fans and critics during a challenging time for Dell in customer relationship management in what became widely known as "Dell Hell."

In the ensuing years under the leadership of Chief Blogger, Lionel Menchaca - who has been a frequent guest on FIR podcasts - Direct2Dell evolved and developed as a credible place on the social web for many individual voices to tell Dell’s story.

Now Direct2Dell embarks on a new chapter with the transition into the role of Chief Blogger by long-time Dell communicator, Laura Thomas.

In this FIR Interview, co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz discuss the transition with Laura, who talks of her vision and plans for Direct2Dell  as a "new era," expressed in detail in Dell’s Blog Manifesto, a guide for internal use that Dell has made public (embedded below).

 

Manifesto for Dell’s Official Blog – Direct2Dell.com from Dell Inc

Topics discussed in the interview include Laura’s desire to gain reader feedback (via an informal online survey) as a foundational step that will influence Direct2Dell’s development; and discussion on specific elements in the Blog Manifesto such as editorial policy for contributors and guidance on developing effective content.

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About our Conversation Partner

Laura ThomasLaura Pevehouse Thomas has been part of the Dell organization for 13 years playing various roles in corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and other online communication.

Laura is currently Chief Blogger for Direct2Dell.com, Dell’s official corporate blog that she helped launch in 2007. As part of Dell’s Corporate Communications team, she previously focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team.

When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in Second Life.

Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.

  • Connect with Laura on Twitter: @LPT.

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 neville on 01/16 at 02:09 PM
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

FIR Interview: Oracle’s Jill Rowley on Social Selling and Social Business

“I think a social business at the foundation is a business that is collaborative, that is transparent; that is engaged with its constituents, whether they be employees, whether they be customers, whether they be partners or even influencers. And I think a social business is a company that actually is very engaged in a two-way dialogue where that dialogue is happening and whether that be offline, whether that be online, it should be all of the time.”

Jill Rowley of Oracle was interviewed by Michael J Procopio, our correspondent, to get her views on social selling and social business. She is well qualified on these topics as she teaches social selling to the Oracle sales teams and has been doing social selling since before the term was popular.

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About our Conversation Partner

Jill RowleyAfter six years in Consulting and 13 years in Sales at Salesforce.com and at Eloqua, Jill made an about-turn in her career: She now leads Oracle’s Social Selling and Social Business initiatives. Jill is currently responsible for evangelizing and enabling Oracle’s global sales team on the Why, What, and How of Social Selling.

As an award winning, top selling sales executive, Jill utilized social media in her selling process. She mastered the art, and as a result is one of the most referenced experts in today’s shifting world of B2B sales and marketing. From LinkedIn to Twitter to YouTube to SlideShare to Facebook, Jill practices the ABCs of Social Selling: “Always Be Connecting and Curating” quality content.

Jill defines the modern sales professional as an information concierge, a content connoisseur, an insights professional, and a mini-marketer with a personal brand.

Connect with Jill on Twitter at @Jill_Rowley.

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 12/19 at 10:42 AM
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

FIR Interview: Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer on AirPR Analyst and the collaborative economy

AirPR Analyst

Back in August, FIR spoke with Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, the co-founder and CEO of AirPR, a collaborative marketplace that connects startup CEOs in need of media coverage with small PR agencies and independent PR practitioners. Since then, the sharing economy has grown immensely (as evidenced by the launch of Crowd Companies, the business council for large companies to explore and share information about how they can participate in this burgeoning business segment. (We spoke with Jeremiah Owyang, the man behind Crowd Companies, in an interview published earlier this week.)

Fouladgar-Mercer notes in this interview with FIR co-host Shel Holtz that he and his co-founder envision four elements to AirPR. The marketplace was first. Now, the company has launched AirPR Analyst, a data analysis service that “tracks media activity and provides top-level, actionable insights into your PR efforts to tell you what is driving engagement and moving the needle in terms of traffic, conversion, organic search, and even revenue.” Sharam provides some insight into the service, discusses the growth of AirPR, and chats about the sharing economy in general in this wide-ranging interview.

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About our Conversation Partner

Sharam Faloudgar-MercerSharam Fouladgar-Mercer is the Co-founder and CEO of AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. He was a former Entrepreneur in Residence at Shasta Ventures focused on consumer internet and the social graph. Prior to joining Shasta, Sharam was a Senior Associate at Sierra Ventures focused on consumer internet, enterprise software (cloud computing / virtualization), and mobile. He served as a Board Observer at Makara (sold to RedHat) and TouchCommerce.
 
Prior to joining Sierra, Sharam was in Mergers and Acquisitions at JP Morgan. Sharam began his career as a technologist at Appian Corporation, a business process management software startup. At Appian, he managed the first enterprise-wide tracking system for the Department of Homeland Security, concurrently managed the development of three software products, delivered training seminars, and authored white papers, best practices documents, and technical notes on Web Services.
 
Sharam has lectured at universities, events and conferences, and judged business plan competitions at Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, and Syracuse. He is also an advisor and mentor to eLab (Princeton University’s Accelerator), Dorm Room Fund (First Round Capital Accelerator), and Acceleprise (Enterprise Technology Accelerator). Sharam graduated with honors with a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Born in Syracuse, NY, Sharam played NCAA Division I ice hockey and is fluent in Farsi. He also enjoys barefoot waterskiing and playing with new technologies.

Connect with Sharam on twitter @sharamfm.

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 12/12 at 06:40 PM
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

FIR Interview: Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda, authors of ZERO

ZERO"Our position is that a perfect storm is coming," say Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda as an attention-grabbing way to start a discussion about ZERO: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model, the new book by the two authors published by Wiley in October 2013.

It may already be here, adds Jaffe: "In the book, we introduce several key arguments - business, economic, consumer, media and creative cases - any of which could, by itself, be enough to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but when combined presents a perfect-storm scenario."

In this FIR Interview, Jaffe and Albarda describe the central premise of ZERO to co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, explaining their thinking and passion behind ZERO’s core principle: if media inflation continues to outpace and run away from economic inflation, the bottom may fall out the media model.

They explain the meaning behind each letter in the book’s title - Zealots (advocacy), Entrepreneurship (innovation), Retention (customer-centricity), and Owned Assets (direct-to-consumer channels).

The two men believe that "ZERO marketing" is all about slow burn and long tail. "It’s about using existing customers to gain new ones," they declare. "It’s about utilizing customers and advocates in innovative ways, leveraging existing assets as opposed to piggy-bagging on the borrowed interest and/or equity of middlemen."

Specifically written for C-suite executives who work for leading brands, ZERO: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model is a ten-point action plan that responds to Jaffe’s and Albarda’s no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and their marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing, and dynamic media landscape.

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About our Conversation Partners

Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda

[Above: The two authors of ZERO (l-r): Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda.]

One of the most sought-after consultants, speakers and thought leaders on innovation, marketing, new media and social media, Joseph Jaffe is Founder and CEO of Evol8tion, LLC (www.startupsforbrands.com), an innovation boutique that connects early stage startups with established brands to partner via acceleration, pilot programs and/or investment. Evol8tion’s clients include Unilever, Mondelez International, Anheuser-Busch InBev, P&G, and Kraft Foods. He previously founded and ran social media boutique, crayon, before it was acquired.

Jaffe has authored four books, including Life after the 30-Second Spot, Join the Conversation, Flip the Funnel and now, ZERO - Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model (www.zeropaidmedia.com).

  • Jaffe blogs and podcasts at Jaffe Juice. Follow him on Twitter: @jaffejuice or contact him via e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Maarten Albarda started his career as a media planner at JWT Amsterdam. Three years later he moved to Leo Burnett Amsterdam as Media Director. In 1991 he took on managing Philip Morris and P&G Europe, Middle East & Africa and relocated to London.

After eight years, McCann-Erickson tasked Maarten with the Coca-Cola Europe & Africa business. Two years later he moved with McCann to New York to take on global responsibility for Coca-Cola.

In 1999 Coca-Cola appointed him VP, Media & Marketing Asset Management to Coca-Cola Japan. The next four years were spent developing the first IMC World Cup campaign. In 2002 Maarten moved to Coca-Cola Germany to implement IMC for all brands and support the next World Cup campaign.

In late 2005 Maarten relocated to Coke’s headquarters in Atlanta as Director, Global Media and & Innovation.

In 2008, Anheuser-Busch Inbev was formed as the world’s largest beer brewer. Maarten joined the company’s NY HQ in September 2009 as VP, Global Connections with responsibility for all consumer touch points.

In early 2013 Maarten formed MLA Consulting, LLC. He delivers strategic consulting on Integrated Marketing to Fortune 500 marketers and serves on several Advisory Boards.

     
  • Connect with Maarten on Twitter: @malbarda.

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 neville on 12/11 at 10:30 AM
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