The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #355: June 19, 2008

Content summary: Upcoming FIR Interview; free ticket on offer to KMP’s London conference; Dan York reports on ScreenFlow, seesmic and Skype 4 beta; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; discussion: AP’s rocky relationship with the blogosphere; US workers online study; UK senior civil servants to get Facebook lessons; Ricardo on Spanglish; listeners’ comments including discussion on Eric Schwartzman’s suggestion that blogger relations should avoid the email back channel; news about next week’s shows; music from Spanking Charlene; and more.

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For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, for June 19, 2008: A 62-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and almost live from New York City, USA.

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So, until Monday June 23…

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Paul

    Hi Neville,

    I posted this comment on Shel’s blog as well…

    Good podcast this week…a comment about Neville’s discussion of PR spam (disclosure: I’m the founder of a company that’s building tools to help address this problem).

    If I understood you correctly, you hypothesized that this is partially a result of the pressures agencies face from their clients. I agree whole-heartedly with this. What I don’t think is being discussed enough though is why this pressure exists. I think a lot of people just write it off as “clients don’t understand PR and social media,” and I think this misses the business realities that many businesses face. Two macro trends are affecting marketers efforts today: 1) traditional push-based marketing techniques no longer work, and 2) moving forward, “digital omnipresence” will be the key to success for getting your products found (i.e., be everywhere that your customer is when they’re involved with your products, topics, etc.). When marketers feel that the success of their business depends on getting seen everywhere, trying to convince them of the merits of something other than broad outreach is going to be a very hard sell.

    Bottom line — businesses are forced to choose between two bad options — 1) conduct personalized outreach that’s likely to show results, but is unlikely to reach enough people to move the needle, or 2) conduct broad, spammy outreach that’s ineffective at best, and potentially damaging to the brand. Both options suck, but if the success of the business depends on being everywhere, door number 2 is the rational choice.

    The counter-argument that some will make is that the “the power of the network” allows you to conduct personalized outreach and have it spread to a much larger audience (there was certainly a lot of this talk on the PR spam call-in you guys put together last week). Conceptually this is great…if you can pull it off. It’s great if it happens, but difficult to plan for.

    There’s been a lot of talk that better education is key to solving the problem. Yeah, it’ll help some, but the problem isn’t really going to be addressed until tools exist that help people reach more people, but in a personalized, thoughtful manner (which is what we’re working on).

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