For Immediate Release 109: CEOs Torturing English

Shel and I recorded the October edition of the monthly Hobson & Holtz Report. This month’s topics: Three distinguished PhDs propose a Magna Carta for Artificial Intelligence. Too soon? Research establishes a connection between CEOs who mangle English during analyst calls and falling share prices. What can PR agencies and associations do to build a reputation of trust in the wake of the Bell Pottinger scandal? New data points reinforce the importance of companies taking positions on social and political issues. Most importantly, Edelman’s 2017 Earned Brand study found that 30% of consumers are “belief-driven” buyers. In the UK, political activists are using an app to influence party conference votes. Two crises — one from Facebook and one from Unilever’s […]

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#Hashtag10: the best hashtag fails in a decade


How did we manage before Twitter? is a question I often hear, asked by a range of different people from casual personal users to immersed influence marketers. I’ve found it a great tool over the past decade to help me connect with others, share thoughts and opinions, bookmark ideas and join up the dots in conversations. It’s that latter aspect that is especially useful thanks to the hashtag, a device created by Chris Messina that came to the fore a decade ago as a means of connecting people and the conversations they have on Twitter surrounding a particular topic. Today, the hashtag is ubiquitous as a highly-effective connectivity tool in use in almost immeasurable ways and across the wide spectrum […]

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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 play your part in fighting fake news

Facebook News Feed

One of the scourges of modern connected times is the rise of so-called fake news, a phenomenon that’s invasive and pervasive and a driver of distrust about what you read, see and hear online as well as fear, uncertainty and doubt about the sources that publish it. And not only such reactions upon immediate discovery, but also the unwitting spread of fake news by those who publish, talk about or share such content without knowing it’s false. It’s not new by any means – in the pre-internet days, it was called propaganda. Today, though, with the vast connectedness with others we enjoy via the global internet, it is so easy to amplify falsehoods, wittingly or unwittingly, with a quick retweet […]

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Privacy, WhatsApp and Facebook: a matter of trust


WhatsApp has been getting a bit of stick this past week with news of changes to its terms and privacy policy that will allow the messaging service to share your usage behaviours and other data with Facebook. […] by coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of. There’s more to […]

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