Category: For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release #3: People who don’t want Peeple

Welcome to episode #3 of For Immediate Release. This week’s panel includes Internet Society Senior Content Strategist Dan York (Dan is also the FIR Podcast Network’s tech correspondent), Scott Monty of Scott Monty Strategies, and 4L Strategies partner Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips. More details on the panel appear at the end of this post.

On today’s show, we explored the following topics:

  • Volkswagen has brought four PR agencies on board to help deal with its self-made emissions cheating scandal. Does VW need PR or do they just need to start behaving ethically? And are PR practitioners out of line for writing posts and commentaries about the crisis?
  • Peeple is an app due for release in November that will let people rate other people the way you can rate a restaurant on Yelp. The public response can be charitably described as outraged while the developers insist it’s nothing but positive.
  • Business Wire released a report on the convergence if PR and investor relations. Is this consolidation or just a preferable business practice?
  • It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and marketers everywhere are turning to pink to promote their brands’ solidarity. Most of it is just “pinkwashing,” though. How can brands be serious about their commitment to this (and, for that matter, any) cause?
  • Google is about to take the wraps off an open-source project to compete with Facebook’s Instant Articles (not to mention similar offerings from Snapchat and Apple). What does this mean for the news ecosystem in which PR plays such an important part?
  • Shot is a Kickstarter project that aims to make it easy for people with iPhones to create Virtual Reality (VR) photos and videos. In the meantime, newsrooms everywhere are gearing up to embrace VR.
  • Millennials are willing to pay for content — just not news.
  • ScottTrade is the latest institution to have to react to a data security breach. Shouldn’t any company that keeps customer data on servers be prepared to address an unwelcome intrusion?
  • PR StackBook version 2 is out, with 30 PR professionals contributing 48 practical guides to more than 250 digital tools we can use in content marketing, PR, and SEO.
  • Tumblr now lets you hide your Tumblr blog from the web. Some say this is creating yet another walled garden that is antithetical to the underlying philosophy of the Internet.
  • Facebook has revamped Notes to make it more of a blogging tool to compete with Medium and LinkedIn.
  • Beloved comic strip Bloom County is back after nearly 25 years. It’s on the Web only, and creator Berkeley Breathed is using it to attack the one-or-two-spaces-at-the-end-of-a-sentence controversy.

Links to the source material for this episode are on Delicious.

Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

Join us next week for our third episode. Joining me on the panel will be Mitchell Levy, Lynette Young, and Doug Haslam.

About this week’s panel:

scottmontyScott Monty is an internationally recognized leader in digital communications, digital transformation, social media and marketing. As principal of Scott Monty Strategies, he counsels brands and agencies on strategy, executive communications, influencer management, the customer experience, and digital initiatives.

Scott spent six years at Ford Motor Company, as a strategic advisor on crisis communications, influencer relations, digital customer customer service, innovative product launches and more. He is a board member of the American Marketing Association and an advisor for RPM Ventures, My Dealer Service, and Crowd Companies. He writes about the changing landscape of business, technology, communications, marketing and leadership at and is the executive editor and co-host of the Sherlock Holmes website and podcast I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.

jenzJennifer Zingsheim Phillips has  worked in politics–many sides, including political party work, working for a state senator, and lobbying. She also has worked at Fleishman Hillard, one of the biggest PR firms in the  world, and she has also done a stint in retail, working in customer service at a well-known furniture and lifestyle store. Jen currently is a partner at 4L strategies, an online media analysis and monitoring firm.

Jen’s work has been published in business magazines. She also brings to the table web content creation experience, podcasting, and fiction writing.

Dan York, Host of FIR on TechnologyDan 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”.


The post FIR #3: People who don’t want Peeple appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.

FIR #2: Volkswagen’s reputation crisis

Welcome to episode #2 of For Immediate Release, the successor podcast to The Hobson & Holtz Report

This week’s panel includes Redphlag CEO Gerry Corbett, former CustomScoop CEO Chip Griffin, and W20 Corporate and Strategy Director Lionel Menchaca. More details on the panel appear at the end of this post.

On today’s show, we explored the following topics:

  • Volkswagen’s self-made crisis and what the company must do to rebuild trust with stakeholders including dealers, customers, and the public
  • Speaking of rebuilding reputations, we discuss Brian Williams’ return to NBC (and his new reporting breaking news for MSNBC), and how Williams’ situation could be applied to a leader’s loss of credibility in any organization
  • What do we really mean when we talk about the need for authenticity?
  • The PR implications of commitments made at the Sustainable Development Summit
  • Stephen Colbert has been interviewing tech CEOs, a departure from the usual late-night talk show fare. Should PR departments be wary of invitations to have their CEOs appear on similar programs?
  • The Mayo Clinic’s content partnership with the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the ethical issues that could surround this and other similar agreements.
  • The importance of building social connections at work, and the importance of face-to-face connections in developing those networks.
  • The Wall Street Journal has revealed that Ray Lane, who was at the time chairman of Hewlett-Packard, tried to kill the disastrous $11 billion acquisition of Autonomy. What does a revelation about the company’s past mean to its present and its future?
  • Heather Armstrong is giving up her ground-breaking mommy blog in the face of (among other things) extraordinary demands from sponsors. Could this be a trend in niche blogging verticals?
  • What does it mean for Twitter and for users — especially communicators — that Twitter has enabled anybody to distribute a poll through the service?

Links to the source material for this episode are on Delicious.

Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

Join us next week for our third episode. Joining me on the panel will be Dan York, Zennifer Zingsheim Phillips, and Scott Monty.

About this week’s panel:

gcorbettGerry Corbett is Chair and CEO of strategic communications consulting firm Redphlag LLC., Founder and Partner of Wise Counsel, and CMO of real estate tech startup Producers Forum, Inc. in Palo Alto. He also is an award winning career coach, blogger and Past Chair & CEO of the 32,000 member Public Relations Society of America, having served as Chair and CEO in 2012. Gerry is a versatile branding, marketing, public relations and communications executive and coach having served four decades in senior marketing and communications roles at Global Fortune 100 firms and earlier in his career in aerospace engineering and information technology with Silicon Valley firms and NASA.


cgriffinChip Griffin is a writer and entrepreneur with a particular interest at the intersection of communications and technology. Chip has helped clients communicate more effectively through strategic messaging, writing, digital advice, and innovative web-based software. He sold one of his companies, CustomScoop, in the summer of 2015. After first getting involved with digital marketing and communications in the mid-1990’s, Chip became one of the first individuals to serve as a Chief Digital Officer of any major public relations firm. He has written for clients and publications for more than 20 years.



lmenchacaLionel Menchaca serves as director of Corporate & Strategy for W2O Group. In this role, he helps clients of all sizes to develop content and engagement strategies so they can connect directly with customers. He’s worked extensively on social media training for organizations and on helping organizations build and launch employee advocacy programs. He also works with teams of developers to build tools companies need to manage an increasingly complex flow of content. Before W2O, Lionel worked at Dell for 18 years and was the founder and chief blogger of Direct2Dell, Dell’s main corporate blog. Over the last 7 years, Lionel authored hundreds of posts on behalf of Dell. He helped expand it into several continues to extend Dell’s global presence. Before the blog, Lionel was one of the main architects behind Dell’s blog monitoring process begun in April 2006. He was Dell’s first full time employee paid to handle social media efforts.

The post FIR #2: Volkswagen’s reputation crisis appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.

FIR #1: Does social media marketing need a reboot?

Welcome to the first episode of For Immediate Release, the successor podcast to The Hobson & Holtz Report.

Our panel this week includes Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment-Dietrich, a Chicago-based public relations agency, and Frank Eliason, innovator of the Comcast Cares social media customer service program and former head of social media at Citi.

Today’s conversation addressed these stories:

  • Josh Bernoff’s follow-up post to the blog-based conversation he and Augie Ray had about how close to death social media marketing is.
  • Edelman has announced it will no longer work with coal-producing companies or any company that promote denial of climate change. Was this a PR move or is there substance behind the policy?
  • Live streaming video is heating up, with new players from Facebook (with Facebook Live) to startup Blab, which one thought leader believes could overtake Periscope and Meerkat.
  • Dan York’s Tech Report covers the release of the Wirecast Go beta, Skype’s outage and implications for business, and a broader discussion of the “messaging wars.”
  • Google and Twitter are partnering to take on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News.
  • Some journalists are now balking at producing content for brands’ content marketing program.
  • Mark Zuckerberg believes Virtual Reality could one day connect everyone in the world in a fully immersive, 3D environment, while Satya Nadella said the Augmented Reality product Microsoft is working on — HoloLens — will first have an impact in the enterprise where once you use it, you can never go back.
  • Some companies — like Target, Southwest Airlines, and — are scoring viral hits with content foduced by front-line employees. Is this a sustainable model for other companies?
  • Uber has produced a print publication, following in the footsteps of Airbnb. Does print still matter?
  • Social media changes politics forever in Scotland where the YES campaign attracted 45% of the vote despite virtually no supportive coverage from mainstream media. What can that tell us about social media in the current U.S. presidential campaign?

Links to the source material for this episode are on Delicious.

Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

Join us next week for our second episode, with Chip Griffin, Gerry Corbett, and Lionel Menchaca.

The post FIR #1: Does social media marketing need a reboot? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.