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Category Archives: Podcasts

‘Doodles’ push up the audio channels on Google

If you’ve been on the Google search page today you couldn’t have missed the tweak to the traditional Google Doodle. This one is for International Women’s Day.

To call it a tweak is to both understate it (and to state the obvious!) These Google Doodles are always a tweak up on what we have expected.

Notice, too, how these Google doodles now have a neat audio quality? On Valentine’s Day it featured mini stories by Ira Glass –the best ‘radio voice’ today in the U.S. Just like Ira’s show This American Life, Google encapsulated vignettes related to romance in (what else?) little colored hearts. You could read about that project here.

The point of all this is that plain old audio appears to be making a comeback. Big time comeback, if you consider how services such as Sound Cloud, and VoiceThread have become popular.  Is it that we have become jaded by video and pictures –with every mobile phone on the planet generating all this flotsam that wears us down? Or, is it that we may be kicking our habit of glazing over stuff, and now yearn for deeper content?

I didn’t mean ‘plain’ when I said plain old audio. Recording devices now capture a lot more quality than before. We can capture a lot more conversations, and almost make our mini audio documentaries with them. Our own little ‘Audio Doodles’.

And we are richer for this!

Now if only some rich uncle (or Google) would underwrite this idea

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Media, Podcasts, Social Media

 

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Trademark ‘Violators’ in a Connected Era

If someone were to come up with an Encyclopedia of Lessons Learned it would surely run into volumes. I would love to help edit it!

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson bring up one more case of how companies get it wrong when trying to protect their brand by trying to silence a fan and calling it “infringement.”  (Check out For Immediate Release podcast. Show # 705)

The case involved Nutella, and a fan who started something called World Nutella Day, created by one Sara Rosso. It reminded me of a case involving the line “Eat More Kale,” that was completely different, in terms of not using a brand, but “infringing” on its tagline. (I understand that advertisersconsider taglines as “intellectual property” even when they are really  sharable markers, not some protected species.)

I interviewed Bo Mueller Moore for a section in my book that talks about “speaking out of turn” and why we do it. The reason these cases resonate with me is because I was the recipient of one of these silly, corporate Cease-and-Desist letters myself, way back in 2000. I know first hand, what it means when a fan-boy (or fan girl, in Rosso’s case) is asked to shut up, or face a battery of lawyers.

You could find more about this, in Chat Republic.

But to get back to the podcast, it features an excellent discussion on why, especially (but not exclusively) in an age of social media, companies should strongly think through what they are really trying to lock down: The brand identity, or the conversations arround it? I didn’t know this, but Shel Holtz, who once worked for Mattel, referred to how the company had tried to sue the band Aqua, for a song called “Barbie Girl” –in 1997.

In 2009, Mattel did an about turn. It sanctioned and released a music video with the song.

A sobering thought for anyone considering firing off a cease-and-desist, today.

 

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Brand Voices vs Brand Conversations

It’s easy to confuse the power of voice, when discussing ‘brand voice.’

(Don’t bother Gogling it, as there are some 441 million results, some of it with the predictable talk about signage etc.)

The Voice of the Brand belongs to two groups, depending on whom you speak to:

(a) The people who define the brand, and “know” what it stands for, and articulate it in their channels. This is really what I would call Brand Talk. Sometimes I cynically call it Bland Talk.

(b) The folks to buy it or use it, and talk it up in their own communities, and sometimes on the brand-owned channels. These are, arguably, more authentic Brand Voices. They tell you why people are using the product or paying attention.

But let’s cut through all this and look at brand conversations, to figure out what are the most valuable conversations? These are what social media helps us unearth: those incomplete, poorly phrased sentences, the angst-ridden, or cult-like exchanges in a forum, or comments section. Those self-appointed ambassadors and know-it-alls…

Sadly, brand managers are not always up to snuff on handling the latter; this sort of anarchy; of data-mining conversations; of engaging with those the bosses instinctively want to block or ban those outside voices from the website.

ONE OF THE FEW AD-MEN who bucks the trend and critiques one-way Brand Talk, calls for true brand conversations.

Nimal Gunewardena, CEO of Bates Strategic Alliance, happens to be moderating a round table discussion I will be part of, when I launch my book, Chat Republic, in Sri Lanka in a few weeks.

His screed about Brand Conversations, called for an abandonment of ‘sales talk’ and the 30-second-commercial mindset. It seemed akin to 1st century monks arguing against using calligraphy.

“It’s time to start thinking beyond that 30 second commercial. It’s time to combine the power of TV with the connectivity and engagement power of digital and social media. It’s time to explore new formats. Two-way conversations, rather than one-way broadcasts. It’s time to talk to communities who have common interests.

To which one person commented:

“oh how our vocabularies have changed recently! We are all part of a social media revolution and it’s simply not possible to have our heads deep in the sand any more.”

It’s so easy to provide knee-jerk responses to the role of conversations: To engage, to discuss, to share etc. I try to pry these apart in Chat Republic, and encourage readers to think of conversations as the ‘operating system’ for their community (OK, maybe the brand) they manage.

We cannot bury our brand-saturated heads in the bland.

 

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Podcasts on iTunes

For those who always ask, here are the podcasts of my radio show, Your Triple Bottom Line.

They are on iTunes

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/your-triple-bottom-line/id399839403?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Podcasts

 

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When you can’t broadcast, why not podcast?

A funny thing happened on the way to the radio station this week.

We had a great guest lined up, but were informed a day before that that time slot –7 PM Arizona time — was being preempted because the station, KFNX, had a prior commitment to carry the University of Arizona basketball game.

Rather than take a hiatus, I decided to pull out my trusty Zoom H4N and record a podcast with my co-host Derrick Mains. It happened to be a fitting week to talk of the launch of a baseline study by his company, GreenNurture and Miller Consultants. (More details here at the show web site.) This podcast also includes a report from Heather Clancy, our second on-the-ground correspondent.

The irony of this is, the radio show grew out of a weekly podcast! So, using social media-based format to broadcast a ‘show’  is more than a fall back. It’s an integral part of what I’m doing in radio in the digital era.

 

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Do HR Managers ‘get’ social media?

“If somebody in your industry becomes responsive to social media,” observed Jay Baer,  “then your silence becomes deafening.”

He was talking of how listening in for customer feedback, and hiring employees who are attuned to these kinds of feedback mechanisms, have huge implications for business. “Everybody in your company is in ‘marketing,’ whether they are in Marketing or not.”

Jay, a social media strategist, much sought-after keynote speaker, and author of an award-winning blog, Convince and Convert, was our first guest on the show.

We paired him off with Patty Van Leer, Exec/ VP. and Chief Strategy Officer of NAS Recruitment Communications.

We decided to do a show to talk about HR practices, and how talent acquisition (and retention, and employee engagement!) has changed and is changing. Employees today live a greater part of their personal and professional lives online. “HR is still process driven, she observed, so resumes are still used because of application tracking systems. “We still live in two worlds,” she admitted, but also recognized that for generations coming out, building a resume isn’t the first thing that employees do. Building an electronic profile is going to be their gateway to introductions with companies.”

Great show, touching on the hot-button issues of branding, customer service, marketing, and workplace behavior.

At the front end of this show, we also launched On The Ground With Abigail Rethore, a new segment, that will become a weekly sustainability report from different parts of the country.

In the last 10 minutes of the show, Derrick Mains officially announced the launch of a Sustainazility grass-roots movement, and the launch of the wiki -at www.Sustainazility.com.

The podcast is now available on iTunes.

Cross posting this from www.your3bl.com

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Podcasts, Radio, Social Media

 

Podcasts of Your Triple Bottom Line, now on iTunes

Now, there’s an easy way to get to podcasts of my radio shows, that I co-host with Derrick Mains, on KFNX 1100 AM, every Wednesday.

They’re available on iTunes.

Check them out!

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Podcasts, Radio, Social Media

 

A formula for going viral? Picking Everett’s and Brown’s brain

I had a great conversation with Brown Russell, former Chairman of Gum Tech (GUMM:NASDAQ), last evening on our radio show.

Brown was behind (and by this I mean he led) the launch of Zicam –the cold remedy, medicine. I didn’t know this but Zicam was one of the fastest growing new cold treatments in recent history.

The reason I thought he would be a great guest was because of a book I noticed on his desk one day. It was one of those thick books on communication that communicators who have just graduated may have not even heard about: The Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers, first published in 1962. (By the way Rogers published 30 books in 15 languages.)

To put this in perspective this was before the Internet was ‘discovered.’ And some of the concepts Rogers analyzed presaged  viral marketing by what, 40 years, maybe?

How do ideas spread and products take off, I asked? Is the diffusion of innovations across networks (the unwired kind) dependent on a marketing and PR push? Derrick brought us a good point –that demand, could possibly be influenced by planned scarcity (as in Apple’s play); by game mechanics (as in earning rewards), and filling the need that nobody has quite recognized (as in Facebook).

Here’s the podcast, if you’re interested. http://bit.ly/your3bl11

By the way, if you occasionally use terms such as ‘early adopters,’ ‘late majority’ or ‘laggards’ you’ve been borrowing from Roger’s theory!

 

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What’s a ‘Great Place To Work?’ Podcast of radio show

Employees are either ticked off or raring to go.  That’s the commonly held wisdom, right?

I wanted to find out and conducted a survey before my radio show, Your Triple Bottom Line.  Some pleasant surprises: A large percentage of responders have positive things to say about the workplace. (The survey is still open for a week, so that number could change.)

However, when asked to describe what a terrible place to work was, one respondent cited “Filth, blind micro-management, too many chiefs.”

Hmmm! Too many chiefs is a common refrain whenever I speak to companies about what’s the biggest stumbling block to a more collaborative workplace.

I conducted this snap survey because we were planning on asking our guest, a much-acclaimed author of the book Fired Up Or Burned Out, about what kind of leadership makes workplaces so dreary or at other times, inspiring. The book (it’s received great reviews on Amazon!) takes you into the ‘power of connection’ at work from the American Revolution to… Starbucks!

Show # 8 – with Michael Stallard

Download a PDF of the book free here.

Cross-posting this from the Show blog, Your3bl.com

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Book Reviews, Podcasts, Radio, Social Media

 

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Podcast: Is mobile marketing on the right dirt track?

I don’t know the answer to this. I don’t even know what ‘‘The future of the internet’ is, even though I was featured on a podcast by Antonio Edward about this week.

But I think he was trying to tease out what we practitioners of social media and Marcom think of the mobile device as it becomes the primary means of connecting, communicating and collaborating online.

http://mobicast.mobi/2010/08/14/the-future-of-the-internet/

This I do know.

  • There is far too much that tech companies and advocates of their tools take for granted. Many people are still in at the ground level when it comes to tagging, quick response codes, social media collaboration, and ‘location-aware social networking.’ What’s that? Exactly my point!
  • The iPhone and iPad are sucking up all the oxygen of publicity and discussion, so people on other operating systems haven’t begun to discover value in the ‘laptop replacement device’ in their pockets.
 
 
 
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