Happy new year, and welcome to episode #16 of For Immediate Release. This week’s panel includes digital communications consultant Arik Hanson, principal consultant with ACH Communications in Minneapolis; Todd Van Hoosear, vice president of Public Relations and Stakeholder Engagement for Eric Mower + Associates in Boston; and Dan York, the Internet Society’s senior content strategist. In today’s episode, we covered the following topics:
- Over the last several weeks, we have all been deluged with posts predicting social and digital trends for 2016. Arik argues they have gotten lazier and more, well, predictable over the last few y ears.
- One of the common threads in many of those prediction posts is the rise of Snapchat. Is it now a requirement for brands to have a presence there?
- Hubspot has been in the glare of unwelcome attention lately over the firing of its CMO, who employed some questionable tactics in an effort to get his hands on an advance copy of a book that is apparently critical of the company. There are crisis communication lessons to be learned.
- Om Malik wrote a New Yorker piece arguing that we are in a winner-takes-all economy, where algorithms, infrastructure, data, and the network effect preclude the rise of competition. (The piece was precipitated by the shutdown of Uber competitor Sidecar.) How can communicators help upstart companies avoid this fate?
- Another company (Coca-Cola this time) has been caught funding and influencing a front group. Is it time for the PR industry to end the practice once and for all?
- Coca-Cola experimented with a marketing campaign visible only to the color-blind. We talk about the idea of engaging many by targeting the few.
- The Iranian blogfather got out of prison after six years to find the online landscape dramatically changed. He sees the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites as far less compelling than the open web. But another blogger disagrees, arguing that Facebook won because it solved problems the open web couldn’t.
- Boston Globe reporters are delivering the newspaper in the wake of problems with the newspaper’s new delivery vendor — and they’re talking about it on social media. Is this a case of engaged employees serving as brand ambassadors, or a failure of the church-state relationship between a newspaper’s editorial staff and its business operations? Or both?
- News sites are shutting down their comment sections. Does their rationale make sense for corporate blogs?
Links to the source material for this episode are on Delicious.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
About this week’s panel
Arik Hanson is the principal of ACH Communications, a marketing and communications consultancy focused delivering business results through an integrated mix of digital and traditional PR and marketing channels. An award-winning communicator and marketer, Arik has nearly 20 years experience in marketing, communications and PR. Over the years, he’s worked with large, Fortune 500 clients like Select Comfort, Walgreens, General Mills and Deluxe, as well as smaller, more local organizations like UCare, Minnetonka Public School District and Bike Walk Twin Cities.
Todd Van Hoosear is Vice President, Public Relations and Stakeholder Engagement, EMA Boston (Eric Mower + Associates). Todd is a communications specialist with a deep understanding of the technologies underpinning today’s Internet. He has led regional, national and global public relations teams in the telecommunications, publishing, CAD/CAM, networking and Web spaces with excellent results. Along the way, his technology background ensured that he was an early social media adopter. In addition to teaching social media as an adjunct professor at Boston University, Todd was a founding member of the Social Media Club and is a Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research, where he explores his interest in research and measurement efforts around social media marketing.
Dan York, CISSP, is a passionate advocate for the open Internet focused on helping people understand the changes going on all around us within communication technology and practices. Dan currently serves the Internet Society as the Senior Content Strategist focused on the Deploy360 Programme – creating, curating and promoting online content that helps service providers, companies and individuals more quickly deploy Internet technologies such as IPv6 and DNSSEC. Separately, Dan is also the Chairman of the global Voice Over IP Security Alliance (VOIPSA). Dan is also active within the real-time communications area of the IETF.
Since the mid-1980’s Dan has been working with online communication technologies and helping businesses and organizations understand how to use and participate in those new media. An author of multiple books on networking, security, IPv6 and Linux, Dan is a dynamic and engaging speaker who frequently presents at industry conferences and events and has been blogging and writing online for over 12 years. His most recent books are “Migrating Applications to IPv6” and “The Seven Deadliest Unified Communications Attacks”.