For Immediate Release 105: Centre Stage for Credible Sources

Shel and I got together for the September edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report to talk about these topics: The self-inflicted downfall of the UK PR agency Bell Pottinger (and kudos to the PRCA for putting teeth in its ethics code) How various fields will be affected by speech recognition (including PR and communications) Mitch Joel’s open letter to the advertising industry: Let’s not mess up ads for voice The proliferation of fake scientific journals (and what it means for the PR industry) The Pew Research Center has identified five “types” of people who search for facts and information, with implications for content marketing Are Americanisms killing British English (and does it matter)? In his Tech Report, Dan York […]

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For Immediate Release 100: Locked and Loaded

Using Twitter

In the August episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics: The Society for New Communications Research has launched an initiative to assess options for the communications industry to address fake news. An artificial intelligence bot can detect plagiarism (85% of the time). Supporters of US President Donald Trump are amplifying their tweets through a little-known Twitter feature that lets you create and name a Direct Message group. And let’s talk about that twice-daily folder the president gets filled with only positive coverage about him. Agencies are cropping up that focus exclusively on Generation Z. The Westin hotel in Buffalo, NY, is putting an Amazon Echo in every room. Ask Alexa for a toothbrush […]

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How to get the media on board to end AVE

Fearless Girl

One of the hurdles along the road of seeing an end to the “advertising value equivalence” (AVE) measurement metric that’s decried by many in the PR and measurement communities is persuading organisations to stop using it. The issue with AVE is well summarised in a white paper published by The Institute for Public Relations in 2003, in which this succinct text appears: We urge you to move away as quickly as possible from statements of the nature, “Our news coverage this quarter was worth $X million in advertising.” Instead, talk about how you achieved your prominence goal, how your coverage gained in prominence over the year, or how you beat out your competitors in terms of the prominence of your […]

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The end of AVE in PR?

If there’s one phrase guaranteed to generate debate in the PR business, it’s ‘advertising value equivalence,’ AVE for short. In simple terms, AVE looks at the volume of space an editorial article takes in a print publication, or the amount of time an editorial audio or video segment plays, and equates its value to the price you’d have paid if you had bought the equivalent-size space or time as advertising. For decades the use of AVE has been a controversial activity, one that has been viewed as unethical by some practitioners and professional associations regarding its perceived lack of validity as a metric to measure the value of a public relations activity. You can read this argument in considerable detail […]

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Addressing privacy and fake news on the web: Tim Berners-Lee’s call to action

Tim Berners-Lee

The recent rise and spread of so-called fake news is a topic that’s generating a great deal of opinion on what to do about it. I’ve weighed in, too, in a recent episode of the Small Data Forum podcast. Now, on the 28th anniversary of the founding of the World Wide Web, its creator Tim Berners-Lee offers compelling perspectives on this contemporary phenomenon, outlining three challenges for the web and, as he puts it, what we must do to ensure it fulfils his vision of an equalizing platform that benefits all of humanity: We’ve lost control of our personal data. The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this but […]

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