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For Immediate Release

English, Finance, 345 seasons, 108 episodes, 2 days 5 hours 24 minutes
About
In addition to news items and in-depth discussion of trends and issues, you'll hear the Internet Society's Dan York report on technologies of interest to communicators.
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FIR #386: Is AI Too Generic A Label?

In a LinkedIn post, internal communications thought leader Monique Zytnik wonders if there is not enough specificity in the "AI" label. "It's like trying to have a conversation about different animals and only being able to use the word animal. One person is talking about lions and tigers &#x1f981;and the other about cute chicks &#x1f423; but you're only using the word animal," she writes. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel tackle Monique's question and explore some real-world business uses of AI that were included in a Microsoft article Monique shared in her post, examine the pending European AI regulations Monique mentioned, and look at some other recent AI developments.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #386: Is AI Too Generic A Label? appeared first on <a href="https://www
14/02/202416 minutes 53 seconds
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FIR #385: Amazing Search Results That Drive Little Traffic

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing all manner of things. It should be no surprise, then, that it is bound to revolutionize online searching, which has been dominated by Google. A new search engine, Perplexity, threatens Google's dominance by delivering answers in narrative form with links to the resources from which the narrative was derived in two forms: annotations without the text and tiles that appear above it. Nowhere in evidence are the paid (and often lower-quality) links that occupy most of the first search engine results page these days. But how often will you click one of those links if Perplexity gives you the information you need? Neville and Shel have both become devoted Perplexity users and discuss it in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post <a href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-385-amazing-search-
09/02/202418 minutes 54 seconds
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FIR #384: Social Networks Shift Away from the Public Commons

People are spending less time on the big open public social networks, opting instead for closed communities, hidden away from public scrutiny. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel examine the phenomenon and share their thoughts on the challenges this presents to organizations trying to reach their stakeholders through social media.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #384: Social Networks Shift Away from the Public Commons appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
07/02/202416 minutes 50 seconds
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FIR #383: Leadership Traits Aren’t What They Used To Be

Back in 2012, business executives thought the most important traits to exhibit when interacting with stakeholders included things like forcefulness, a blue-chip pedigree, and physical attractiveness. No more. A repeat of the study 10 years later found that inclusiveness, a "listen to learn" orientation, and authenticity are among the new traits for a strong executive presence. Neville and Shel discuss the evolution of executive presence and communicators' role in helping their leaders adapt in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #383: Leadership Traits Aren&#8217;t What They Used To Be appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
02/02/202416 minutes 1 second
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FIR #382: Brain Implants Are a Thing Now

Elon Musk's company, Neuralink, claims it has successfully implanted a device in the brain of a human subject who is recovering well. These devices are designed to enable severely disabled individuals to manipulate computers with their minds, moving cursors, typing, clicking, and so on. It's the stuff of science fiction, but, like AI, it seems destined to become just another fact of life. The implications for society are huge, and there are considerations for communicators. Neville and Shel speculate about the concept and what it means for business and society in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #382: Brain Implants Are a Thing Now appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
31/01/202415 minutes 47 seconds
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FIR #381: The State of Trust in 2024

It happens every year, as surely as the Tiffany ball will drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve: Edelman has released its annual Trust Barometer with a focus on the public's views on innovation and the pace of change, along with the usual dimensions of trust the survey tracks every year. Neville and Shel examine some of the study's core findings and reflect on their meaning for today's communication professionals. Also in this episode, Neville and Shel discuss a court case in the U.K. in which an employee was told she could not work remotely and had to return to the office, along with other developments in the whole remote-hybrid-return-to-the-office battle; a global advertising conglomerate did something remarkably creative with synthetic media, demonstrating some of the positives that are possible with AI-generated hyperrealistic video; and a scandal 20 years in the making has erupted in the UK thanks to a four-part docudrama. In his tech report, Dan York reports on WhatsApp's la
29/01/20241 hour 23 minutes 3 seconds
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FIR #380: Vanguard Leaves Investors Twisting in the Wind

When the word came down from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that investment companies could offer Bitcoin ETFs, Vanguard shrugged off the opportunity -- but didn't make an effort to let its investors know, leading to high volumes of online criticism and some investors closing their accounts. Neville and Shel dig into the communication failure in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #380: Vanguard Leaves Investors Twisting in the Wind appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
24/01/202413 minutes 4 seconds
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FIR #397: Top Communication Trends for 2024

When blogs first got hot, every December, it was the rare PR agency and independent communicator that didn't feel compelled to post their predictions and assessments of trends for the new year. That practice has not slowed down. Rather than try to find and read through them all, just sit back and listen to this short mid-week episode of "For Immediate Release." Neville and Shel will summarize key 2024 trends drawn from a number of sources.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #397: Top Communication Trends for 2024 appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
16/01/202421 minutes 30 seconds
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FIR #378: AI for Crisis Communications

Deepfakes! Volumes of disinformation generated at scale! Hallucinated information shared as fact! Inherent bias underlying official communication! The number of crises people can imagine AI creating continues to grow. But do AI's abilities to aid in crisis communication outweigh these risks -- especially if we find ways to minimize or eliminate the risks? Crisis expert Philippe Borremans has released a study, "Artificial Intelligence in Crisis Response: Perspectives from Communication Experts," that begins to identify the multiple ways AI can do some heavy lifting during a crisis. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel look at the study results and discuss AI's potential during a crisis.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #378: AI for Crisis Communications appeared first on <
10/01/202415 minutes 50 seconds
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FIR #377: Two Decades of Podcasting

While this is officially episode #377 of "For Immediate Release," the fact is that we reset the episode numbers back in 2015 when we retired the show name, "The Hobson and Holtz Report," at episode #824. Add them together, and this is actually our 1,201st episode. It also marks the beginning of our 20th year of podcasting. We released our first episode on January 3, 2005, several months before Apple introduced podcasts to iTunes, an event that is widely associated with the rise of podcasting's popularity. In this anniversary episode, we briefly recount FIR's beginnings but spend more time on podcasting's status today and where it's heading.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #377: Two Decades of Podcasting appeared first on FIR Podcast Netw
05/01/202428 minutes 20 seconds
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FIR #376: Is the Internet Pendulum Swinging Back to Weirdness?

"We are about to see the biggest reshuffling of power on the internet in 25 years," writes Anil Dash, "in a way that most of the internet’s current users have never seen before." That power, Dash believes is a shift from big companies like Meta and Google back to individual users. Among the trends that have Dash believing this pivot is imminent are the nascent fediverse, the failure of X (formerly Twitter), court rulings that will open up alternative app stores, the rise of new networks (like Threads and Bluesky), and the rise of AI as a search alternative. What could a reshaped internet look like and how can businesses continue to take advantage of it when traditional means of customer connection become less and less effective? Neville and Shel consider the possibilities in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post
02/01/202422 minutes 28 seconds
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FIR #375: ChatGPT Speaks for Itself About Its PR Capabilities

Volumes have been written in the last year about how to apply ChatGPT and other generative AI tools to the practice of public relations and organizational communication. In this midweek episode, we let ChatGPT speak for itself about how it can enhance communicators' work -- and whether communicators are at risk of being replaced by AI. Shel is solo in this episode, so he interviews ChatGPT to ask about its processes for press releases and other PR writing and editing, its non-media and non-writing capabilities, ethical considerations, crisis communication functionality, and much more. Hear ChatGPT in her own words articulate the best approaches professional communicators can take to optimizing their work with an AI collaborator.Continue Reading &#8594; The post <a href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-375-chatgpt-speaks-for-itself-about-its-p
29/12/202357 minutes 58 seconds
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FIR #374: Getting Your News from AI

German publisher Alex Springer -- which owns Politico, among other media properties -- has inked a deal with OpenAI, which means ChatGPT will be able to include news in its responses to prompts. Debate over the pros and cons is robust, and there are implications for organizations trying to get their news into the mix. In the December long-form episode, Neville and Shel explore the ramifications and possible next steps. Also in the show: Starbucks has suffered vandalism and other blowback based on disinformation shared online. Is the iconic coffee company handling it well? The presidents of three top-tier universities gave cringeworthy testimony before a Congressional committee. Who counseled them before their appearances? Researchers worked with generative AI tools to develop a strategic plan for introducing a new service to a metropolitan community. How did it go? There will be a lot of elections across many countries in 2024. How will AI aff
25/12/20231 hour 29 minutes 6 seconds
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FIR #373: Has the Fediverse Reached a Tipping Point?

The speed with which media companies are announcing moves into the fediverse is accelerating, with Flipboard and Mozilla among the latest to signal their plans to support federation protocols. While most consumers are shrugging over the idea of decentralized social networks, the actual benefits will be evident once the protocols are implemented and people are able to take advantage of them. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel break down what the fediverse is, discuss the competing protocols, and explain what it means for users and social media managers.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #373: Has the Fediverse Reached a Tipping Point? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
20/12/202317 minutes 59 seconds
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FIR #372: More Disinformation Targets Companies

The rise of "non-credible publications" and the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence have fueled a surge in disinformation attacks aimed at businesses. Knowing where to look for this potentially harmful content and how to prepare your organization to address it proactively can help your company avoid a lot of grief. Neville and Shel explore some recent research and outline recommendations for communicators in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #372: More Disinformation Targets Companies appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
15/12/202317 minutes 6 seconds
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FIR #371: Employee AI Competencies

How much should a company's employees know about AI? Some companies are now looking for employees who can bring a range of AI skills with them for virtually any job the company has to offer. In this short midweek episode, we discuss how companies like software firm Deel and furniture site ufurnish.com are using AI tools like ChatGPT to boost efficiency. For example, they use AI to write website copy, code, and even employee performance reviews. Experts say AI adoption is accelerating, with job posts that reference AI skills doubling over two years globally. However, they caution that AI still requires human supervision, and biases in the underlying data could lead to discrimination if not managed properly. AI is starting to transform workflows, but true transformation requires rethinking processes, not just optimizing what already exists. Are employees ready? Are companies helping them get ready?<a href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-371-employee-ai-competencies/" rel=
13/12/202317 minutes 22 seconds
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FIR #370: War, Managers, and Empathy

Most organizations have remained silent about the Israel-Hamas conflict. Leaders don't see how any reference to the war is relevant to their companies' operations, purpose, or values, and they can't imagine any statement would satisfy everyone. Yet most employees want to hear from their leaders about the situation. Research found that trust in leadership rises considerably when they do speak up. But what employees want to hear from leaders, particularly their immediate managers, is not which side leaders are on. Neville and Shel discuss employees' expectations in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #370: War, Managers, and Empathy appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
08/12/202315 minutes 27 seconds
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FIR #369: Outdoor Guerilla Marketing Campaign Goes Viral

In Paris, commercial murals on walls are permitted only without logos or product images. Oatly, the non-dairy milk company, was entering the French market and planned and out-of-home (OOH) campaign that involved wall murals. Intent upon showing their product without violating the law, the company turned to a guerilla marketing effort that has gone viral. Neville and Shel explain in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #369: Outdoor Guerilla Marketing Campaign Goes Viral appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
30/11/202314 minutes 22 seconds
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FIR #368: AI and PR Codes of Ethics

PRSA has released as set of guidelines to govern the use of Artificial Intelligence by public relations professionals. The association has used its Code of Ethics as a roadmap. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel explore the recommendations -- and the landscape of AI ethics guides for the PR profession.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #368: AI and PR Codes of Ethics appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
24/11/202315 minutes 2 seconds
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FIR #367: Innovation Thrives When Employees Engage in Professional Networks

Individual employees can reap a clear benefit from participating in online social networks. The companies for which they work also benefit from smarter employees who can reach out for help that can speed up the completion of projects. New research suggests that the company's advantage goes deeper depending on how many employees are participating robustly in these networks. Neville and Shel share the research and discusses what businesses need to do to tap into that benefit in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #367: Innovation Thrives When Employees Engage in Professional Networks appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
21/11/202316 minutes 39 seconds
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FIR #366: DIY GPT

Pundits are proclaiming social media dead (or dying), and they have data to back up their beliefs. If it's true, what does it mean -- for society, for networking, and for business? Neville and Shel examine the evidence and trends and discuss the implications in the monthly long-form episode for November. Also in this episode: ChatGPT pauses new signups and other news A look at ChatGPT's GPT Builder The state of news on social media Generative AI and journalism A high-profile executive's fake Twitter accounts In his Tech Report, Dan York talks about Twitter's woes, WhatsApp news, Automattic backing off Tumblr growth, and the Cambridge Dictionary's word of the year Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #366: DIY GPT appeared first on <a href="https://www.firpodcast
20/11/20231 hour 24 minutes 42 seconds
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FIR #365: RyanAir’s Social Media Chief Doesn’t Leave Quietly

RyanAir has a reputation: For the lowest airfares in Europe, you'll get where you're going with the bare minimum of service. The airline's social media accounts -- notably TikTok -- have done a brilliant, irreverent job of setting expectations for anyone planning to fly on RyanAir, which the social media manager's skills were first-rate. When he left the company -- reportedly because of its cultural shortcomings -- he abided by the 90-day quiet period, then applied his social media skills to share his experience. His posts (not surprisingly) made headlines. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel break down what this might mean for RyanAir.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #365: RyanAir&#8217;s Social Media Chief Doesn&#8217;t Leave Quietl
15/11/202316 minutes 26 seconds
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FIR #364: Managers’ Most Important Communication Role

Internal communicators have long known how important employees' immediate supervisors are to the communication process. Based on the results of a new study, communicators need to shift their focus. Managers still need to serve as a conduit of information in both directions, but there's an even more important role they play that communicators are best suited to help them learn and apply. Shel and Neville discuss the study and its implications for internal communications professionals in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #364: Managers&#8217; Most Important Communication Role appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
03/11/202315 minutes 16 seconds
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FIR #363: Is the Israel-Hamas War a Communications No-Win Situation?

A review of the trove of articles about how brands have addressed the conflict in the Middle East suggests that there is no way to satisfy everybody, even for brands that opt to say nothing at all. Neville and Shel explore the peril of speaking out, even as expectations continue for companies and their CEOs to address societal issues. Also in this monthly long-form episode: The closure of Pebble (formerly T2) has implications for the entire fractured social media ecosystem A global PR body has ratified 10 principles for the ethical use of AI in PR and communications LinkedIn influencers are becoming a force to be reckoned with A poll from MIT explores key decision points for deploying AI in the enterprise Silicon Valley appears to have given up on news in social networks In his tech report, Dan York shares details about the flailing of Twitter, changes in Threads, WhatsApp channels, and Automattic's purchase of Texts.<br
30/10/20231 hour 32 minutes 4 seconds
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FIR #362: Why Did Pebble Sink?

T2 rebranded as Pebble because when tossed in water, pebbles create ripples (except in the song "Ripple," in which "there is no pebble tossed, nor wind to blow"). The microblogging social network created by former Twitter staffers never created enough ripples to sustain it. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel lament Pebble's passing, consider the reasons it is shutting down, and ponder what it means for the post-Twitter social media landscape.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #362: Why Did Pebble Sink? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
27/10/202324 minutes 43 seconds
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FIR #361: Is There A Seat At The Table in Corporate Communication’s Future?

A new study from Edelman polled hundreds of Fortune 500 Chief Communication Officers about the future of corporate communications. The results include some surprises, including the scope of the CCO's role and what they're spending their time on. The study also addresses the old canard about the communicator's quest for a "seat at the table." Neville and Shel dig into the report in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #361: Is There A Seat At The Table in Corporate Communication&#8217;s Future? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
25/10/202314 minutes 24 seconds
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FIR #360: Your AI Chatbot Confidant

At a school in southern England, a headmaster worked with an AI developer to create an AI "robot" named Abigail Bailey to serve as his "headteacher," giving him advice and helping with planning. He has another AI "robot" named Jamie Rainer serving as his head of AI after advertising for a human to handle the job. Can the same principles be transferred to the CEO of an organization? Find out in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #360: Your AI Chatbot Confidant appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
18/10/202314 minutes 30 seconds
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FIR #359: Your New AI BFF

OpenAI is rolling out the ability to have a spoken conversation with ChatGPT. Meta is making it easy to converse with the likes of Tom Brady and Paris Hilton (who have lent their voices to the effort). An AI chatbot called PI was built to let you discuss personal matters. Companies are rolling out AI girlfriends. (That can't end well.) It's all part of what Casey Newton calls the "synthetic social network," and it's the topic of conversation between Neville and Shel in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #359: Your New AI BFF appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
13/10/202318 minutes 43 seconds
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FIR #358: EY Goes AI

EY (formerly Ernst &#38; Young), one of the "big four" accounting firms, has launched EY.ai, which is (according to a press release) "a unifying platform that brings together human capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) to help clients transform their businesses through confident and responsible adoption of AI." Separately, EY has introduced EYQ, an AI assistant for its 400,000 employees. Neville and Shel discuss the news -- and how likely it is that EY's competitors will follow -- in this short midweek FIR episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #358: EY Goes AI appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
05/10/202316 minutes 48 seconds
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FIR #357: A Status Report on AI and PR

Artificial Generative Intelligence (AGI) has been widely available publicly for less than a year, but the public relations industry has moved quickly to assess its potential and begin the process of implementation. How is it going so far? A brief from the PR Academy looks at the state of AGI in PR. Also in this monthly long-form episode: Acast has risen to the top of the business podcasting services heap Despite political pressure, marketers continue to focus on diversity Gen Z journalists are not like their predecessors. What are their values and priorities? Deepfakes have been a concern for years. Deepfake scams have finally arrived. Website owners are looking for ways to block AI web crawlers from vacuuming up their content. In his tech report, Dan York looks at Mastodon 4.2 and the ActivityPub plugin for WordPress.<a href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-357-a-status-report-on-ai-and-pr/"
02/10/20231 hour 20 minutes 14 seconds
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FIR #356: The Long Arc of Network Disruption

It's easy to believe that the internet has already demonstrated its disruptive capabilities by pointing to everything from the transformation of the audience to publishers and the rise of disinformation. However disruptive these changes are, they are mainly uses of technology to do things we were already doing -- just doing it more easily and efficiently. Real disruption -- the invention of entirely new processes and approaches -- could take years, decades, even centuries to manifest, according to Jeff Jarvis in his new book, "The Gutenberg Parentheses". But we are starting to see early examples, and TikTok is the platform on which they are appearing. We'll share these examples, and provide more insight into Jarvis's book, in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-356-the-long-arc-o
27/09/202318 minutes 47 seconds
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FIR #355: The Future for Hashtags

In this short-form episode, we look at how hashtags have evolved over time and what&#8217;s next. Proposed by Chris Messina in 2007 for use on Twitter, hashtags were initially meant to categorize and connect conversations on social media platforms. However, in articles published on Medium in recent months, Messina explains his belief that hashtags have...&#160;Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #355: The Future for Hashtags appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
25/09/20237 minutes 42 seconds
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FIR #354: Law and PR Combine to Protect Reputations

The court of law is not the only place where reputations must be defended. Increasingly, it’s also in the court of public opinion. In response, British law firm Schillings takes on the PR industry by setting up its own agency for clients seeking a different way to manage their reputation. In this short midweek episode, Neville solo (Shel is away) discusses what it means for the PR industry and considers the challenges and opportunities for both professions.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #354: Law and PR Combine to Protect Reputations appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
14/09/20235 minutes 32 seconds
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FIR #353: Blogging in the AI Era

Generative Artificial Intelligence has a lot to offer bloggers, from easier research to better SEO. It can also let people crank out torrents of posts. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel examine the benefits and risks AI presents to bloggers and whether blogs are more or less important in the AI era.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #353: Blogging in the AI Era appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
08/09/202324 minutes 19 seconds
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FIR #352: AI and Elections — Should We Panic?

Generative Artificial Intelligence is poised to become a wild card in upcoming elections, most notably the 2024 presidential election in the U.S. Its primary use will be the creation of disinformation. But can voters be swayed by this flood of new content that (let's face it) joins the flood of disinformation people have been creating without AI? Neville and Shel look at multiple sides of the issue in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #352: AI and Elections &#8212; Should We Panic? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
05/09/202316 minutes 6 seconds
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FIR #351: No Such Thing as Peak Podcast

Can there be too many podcasts? That's just one question a panel of podcast luminaries answered for The Hollywood Reporter. Neville and Shel highlight key comments and discuss the direction podcasting is taking and whether it remains relevant for organizational communicators in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #351: No Such Thing as Peak Podcast appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
30/08/202320 minutes 20 seconds
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FIR #350: Success Breeds Imitation

The spectacular success of the Barbie movie has led Mattel to plan more than a dozen movies based on its brands, including Hot Wheels, Barney, Polly Pocket, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and American Girl -- not to mention a full-blown theme park (with a Barbie Beach, Hot Wheels rides, and a massive He-Man and the Masters of the Universe laser tag arena. Mattel's competitors are also making plans for movie versions of its products. Movies based on toys are nothing new (we've seen multiple Transformers movies, GI Joe movies, and a He-Man flick). But Barbie raised the bar. Will the inevitable flood of toy-branded movies rise to that level or just be the schlock we've come to expect? Neville and Shel dissect the possibilities in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post F
23/08/202318 minutes 54 seconds
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FIR #349: Marketing’s Pity Party

"Pity Marketing" is having a moment. Multiple reports have surfaced of people sharing tales of woe, mostly on the X (formerly Twitter) social network, leading many who see the posts to pull out their wallets. Could the same technique work for bigger brands? Also in the August long-form episode of "For Immediate Release": The Associated Press has published its AI guidelines for journalists Big advertisers are rushing to take advantage of AI Gartner has pegged AI at the peak of inflated expectations Motion identities are now a requirement for brands Brands are starting to sound alike on social media In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on Twitch's plans to roll out blocking, new features on Threads, developments with Mastodon, a new fediverse report, and scientists scaling back their use of X (formerly Twitter).Continue Reading
21/08/20231 hour 28 minutes 18 seconds
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FIR #348: The Consequences of AI Panic

Prosecraft was a useful site for wanna-be fiction writers. It violated no copyright rules and did nothing that should have been upsetting to authors whose works were included in the site's library. For several years, nobody gave it a second thought. But as AI has raised worries among creatives, some authors jerked their knees and demanded their works be removed. The loss of Prosecraft is bad enough. The chilling effect could be worse. Neville and Shel discuss the potential consequences of AI panic in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #348: The Consequences of AI Panic appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
17/08/202314 minutes 40 seconds
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FIR #347: Digital Media, Star Power, and Wrexham

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney made headlines when they bought the Wrexham Association Football Club. Since then they have poured cash into the team and applied business savvy to build a global fan base for the obscure Welsh club. Among the tactics employed was a digital media strategy focused on entertaining storytelling centered on team members and coaches. Can that approach work for other sports teams or businesses that don't have the star power of a Ryan Reynolds to draw attention? Neville and Shel discuss the story in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #347: Digital Media, Star Power, and Wrexham appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
15/08/202314 minutes 12 seconds
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FIR #346: The Daily Me, Video Version

In 1995, MIT Media Lab Director Nicholas Negroponte predicted "The Daily Me," a digital newspaper that would feature articles that aligned with the interests of each individual reader, leaving out news a well-rounded person might need to know. Now, courtesy of AI, a company is planning to develop a daily 30-minute newscast with AI-generated anchors sharing coverage of stories based on each viewer's interests. The concept can be useful where audience segmentation is important but also raises some serious questions, which Neville and Shel ponder in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #346: The Daily Me, Video Version appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
04/08/202315 minutes 14 seconds
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FIR #344: Sloganeering with AI

AI rewrote 50 of the best-known brand slogans, and survey respondents preferred the AI version 48 percent of the time -- even Apple's "Think Different" slogan fell to the AI alternative. Also in this AI-heavy monthly long-form episode: Newsrooms are adopting standards for using AI Google is pitching an AI news-writing tool to major media outlets How should newsrooms be thinking about AI? A study of more than 5,000 ChatGPT conversations reveals how people are using the chatbot Maybe AI isn't coming for everyone's job after all An NFT platform has launched a limited-edition print magazine What's behind Twitter's poop emoji PR? In his tech report, Dan York introduces himself to Threads, Mastodon analytics are now available, Vox is ending its CMS, a look at Llam2, worries about AI cluttering the web with useless content, and a new podcast to try. <a href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/
24/07/20231 hour 18 minutes 52 seconds
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FIR #343: Employees Caught in Activism’s Crossfire

A new activist tactic is targeting individual businesses, concentrating all of the movement's energy and resources on forcing that one business to bend to the group's will. These instances are usually based on business practices that reflect the company's values, such as support for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. How the business responds has a direct impact on the experiences of employees who interact with customers on a day-to-day basis, especially in retail and other customer-facing sectors. How communicators can help both the company and employees weather these storms is the focus of this short midweek FIR episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #343: Employees Caught in Activism&#8217;s Crossfire appeared first on <a r
20/07/202319 minutes 2 seconds
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FIR #342: Pulling at Threads’ Seams

Meta's Threads, a new micro-blogging platform, is now available to anyone with an Instagram account, and there has been no shortage of people willing to give it a try. Only about two weeks old, Threads is already the subject of speculation about its future. In the meantime, brands and journalists are jumping onto the platform. Should your company or brand be there, too? Neville and Shel share their thoughts in this short midweek "For Immediate Release" episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #342: Pulling at Threads&#8217; Seams appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
18/07/202320 minutes 54 seconds
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FIR #341: Influencers Amuck

In the world of influencers, brands pay for influencers to say what the brands want them to say. In the case of Shein, what they wanted them to say appears to be at odds with the facts. In this case, the blowback targeted the influencers more than the brand, calling attention to the gloss the company wanted to put on its tarnished reputation. Will every follower of an influencer know every time they're hearing a manipulated message? We explore the Shein story and its implications in this short mid-week episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #341: Influencers Amuck appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
07/07/202317 minutes 12 seconds
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FIR #340: Will AI Destroy the Web?

All the signs are there, according to observers. As one tech publication put it, "Google is trying to kill the 10 blue links. Twitter is being abandoned to bots and blue ticks. There’s the junkification of Amazon and the enshittification of TikTok. Layoffs are gutting online media. A job posting looking for an 'AI editor' expects 'output of 200 to 250 articles per week.' ChatGPT is being used to generate whole spam sites. Etsy is flooded with 'AI-generated junk.' Chatbots cite one another in a misinformation ouroboros. LinkedIn is using AI to stimulate tired users. Snapchat and Instagram hope bots will talk to you when your friends don’t. Redditors are staging blackouts. Stack Overflow mods are on strike. The Internet Archive is fighting off data scrapers, and 'AI is tearing Wikipedia apart.'" Is the worst-case scenario inevitable? Neville and Shel explore the possibilities in this short mid-week episode.<a href="https://www.firpodcastnetwork.com/fir-340-will-ai-destroy
28/06/202318 minutes 51 seconds
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FIR #339: Still Virtual After All These Years

The hype around the metaverse rises and falls, but Second Life is 20 years old and continues to draw users and make money. Neville and Shel explore the reasons Second Life enjoys its ongoing modest success in the June monthly long-form episode of "For Immediate Release." Also in this episode: The state of digital news raises concerns for the public's news literacy, how companies can get their news into the hands of stakeholders, and what "news" means to people today. The political assault on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is producing polarization among employees and, in some companies, questionable decisions by leaders. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have an impact on every department in an organization. That makes it a key focus area for Chief People Officers. The merger of the PGA and the LIV golf tour caught many players by surprise. They should have been a top priority.
19/06/20231 hour 39 minutes 58 seconds
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FIR #338: Adding Activism to PR

Public relations, both in academia and in practical application, has always been seen as a business practice. A new study produced by researchers from the Missouri School of Journalism and Penn State argues that community activism employs PR strategies and tactics. By recognizing community activism as a form of public relations, traditional PR professionals can incorporate some of the things it does better, including listening and taking a long view. Neville and Shel dive into the research in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #338: Adding Activism to PR appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
14/06/202316 minutes 43 seconds
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FIR #337: Is It All Over for Influencers?

A new survey finds that 90 percent of Americans don't trust influencers. What does this mean for the multi-million influencer industry? And where can brands turn now, since the old celebrity approach also doesn't carry much weight with consumers? Neville and Shel fill you in during this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #337: Is It All Over for Influencers? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
08/06/202316 minutes 46 seconds
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FIR #336: Trust, Likability, and Confirmation Bias

Multiple studies confirm that Americans (like most of the rest of the world) have lost their trust in the media. But people get their news and information from somewhere -- or, as a Gallup/Knight Foundation study finds -- someone. "Public individuals" attract followers who turn to them for news and information based on a number of qualities, ranging from likability to subject matter expertise. Many of these public individuals host shows on mainstream media outlets. What does this mean for PR professionals looking for the right outlet to pitch? Neville and Shel break down the study in this short midweek FIR episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #336: Trust, Likability, and Confirmation Bias appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http
31/05/202319 minutes 46 seconds
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FIR #335: BBC Fires a Shot in the Disinformation War

BBC Verify is the venerable broadcaster's latest effort to combat disinformation. With a staff of 60 journalists, Verify will provide details about the BBC's own reporting and debunk disinformation it finds online (as it has already done with a photo purportedly of a Pentagon bombing that was, in fact, AI-generated). Are there lessons in the BBC's approach that communicators can apply to their companies' online activities? And will other media outlets follow suit, even as they slash budgets and newsrooms?Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #335: BBC Fires a Shot in the Disinformation War appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
24/05/202318 minutes 44 seconds
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FIR #333: When to Disclose That You’ve Used AI

"Disclosure and transparency are the currency of the internet," wrote journalist and author Evan Osnos. That has proven to be true time and again. It undoubtedly will be true of using generative AI in marketing and communication. But will it be true every time we use AI? Even when we're just using it as a tool, like a calculator? The challenge of establishing guidelines for disclosing the use of AI is the subject of this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #333: When to Disclose That You&#8217;ve Used AI appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
18/05/202319 minutes 20 seconds
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FIR #332: Wikipedia Editors in Tug-of-War Over AI-Authored Articles

The volunteer editors responsible for Wikipedia content are divided over the role ChatGPT and other generative AI writing tools can or should play in the creation of articles for the online encyclopedia. Their struggle is most likely being repeated in businesses around the globe.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #332: Wikipedia Editors in Tug-of-War Over AI-Authored Articles appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
10/05/202320 minutes 6 seconds
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FIR #331: AI Completes Tasks and Raises Fears

The recent releases of Agent-GPT, AutoGPT, and BabyGPT have taken ChatGPT to a new level. Rather than simply responding to user prompts, these tools identify a series of tasks that must be completed to achieve a goal and then completes them autonomously. It's still early days, but the potential is huge. So is the growing risk of bad actors using these tools for nefarious purposes. We discuss these recent developments in this short mid-week episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #331: AI Completes Tasks and Raises Fears appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
03/05/202320 minutes 18 seconds
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FIR #330: Help Wanted. Prompt Engineer.

If your generative AI prompts aren't producing exactly what you want, there's help -- for a fee. You can buy pre-written prompts from prompt marketplaces like PromptBase and Prompt Attack or hire a prompt engineer through services like Fiverr. We dig into this newly-emergent cottage industry in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #330: Help Wanted. Prompt Engineer. appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
28/04/202318 minutes 52 seconds
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FIR #329: Post Once, Socialize Everywhere

Imagine posting to your favorite social network, the one you want your brand to be associated with, and having it appear for all of your followers in the social networks of their choice. It could be possible if the ActivityPub standard continues to spread the way it has been lately. And that could be an important evolution given the meltdown that Twitter is undergoing. Those are just two of the stories in the April long-form edition of the "For Immediate Release" podcast. Also in this episode... The "have a go" era of podcasting could be coming to an end, depending on how you interpret the data LinkedIn is going through some changes that not everyone likes A coalition of 500-plus ad agencies is taking a stand against fossil fuels A song reportedly produced using AI imitated the voices of some A-list artists, and the music industry isn't happy Dan York reports on the demise of Spotify Live, some Twitter news, Wikipedia's one-m
24/04/20231 hour 36 minutes 21 seconds
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FIR #328: What’s In Your Crypto Wallet?

Traditional wallets are stuffed full of cash, credit cards, debit cards, and identification. Crypto wallets have only held public and private keys needed to trade cryptocurrencies. Users are increasingly filling their crypto wallets with NFTs and other digital assets. It won't be long before digital wallets hold crypto, NFTs, digital assets, and your credit cards and identity verification. The only physical wallets you'll see will be in museums. Why communicators and their clients/employers should care is the subject of this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #328: What&#8217;s In Your Crypto Wallet? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
14/04/202315 minutes 37 seconds
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FIR #327: Laid Off In The Comfort Of Your Own Home

During the pandemic-related lockdown, with everyone but essential workers working from home, companies had little choice but to inform employees that their employment was being terminated using Zoom, Teams, or other digital channels. Now that people are back in the office, full-time or under a hybrid model, many companies have retained the practice. Some have asked all employees -- even those working in the office -- to stay home during a layoff so those who are being terminated can get the news remotely. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel discuss whether this approach is here for good and, if it is, whether there are implications for companies engaging in the practice.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #327: Laid Off In The Comfort Of
11/04/202319 minutes 52 seconds
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FIR #326: The (Metaverse) Winter of Our Discontent

Can the metaverse survive? Is this the Metaverse winter? Is the metaverse dead? Headlines like these appear across media as attention -- and investment dollars -- shift from the metaverse to Artificial Intelligence. Is the metaverse really destined for the trash heap of tech history? Neville and Shel take issue with all the doom and gloom in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #326: The (Metaverse) Winter of Our Discontent appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
07/04/202317 minutes 48 seconds
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FIR #325: Making AI-Generated Brand Magic

Coca-Cola is one of the first companies to demonstrate a big commitment to generative AI, launching a contest that requires contestants to use both of OpenAI's public tools: ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. Neville and Shel discuss the contest and some other brand experiments with generative AI tools in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #325: Making AI-Generated Brand Magic appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
28/03/202313 minutes 24 seconds
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FIR #324: Pitching Original Content

Some PR pros think you should withhold original research, infographics, and other original content from a pitch to a journalist. Others think you can share it, but only under some circumstances. Still others think it best to give reporters what you have. Neville and Shel explore the various recommendations in this short, mid-week episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #324: Pitching Original Content appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
21/03/202311 minutes 23 seconds
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FIR #323: Outright Theft Or Fair Use?

All generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) works fundamentally the same: AI neural networks learn from large training sets, gleaning patterns from the contents of those training sets in order to create original content based on their understanding of those patterns. When the companies behind those AI tools use content available on the web for training, do they need to ask permission from the content creators? You and I don't. We can look at as much as we like and learn as much as we can. Is it the same for AI training sets or is it something else altogether, more akin to Napster using existing music without compensating the artists? Neville and Shel are on opposite sides of the debate. Also in this episode: The University of Iowa's school of business has introduced a program to teach students how to tell stories. Storytelling is a crucial business skill that few businesses value. Communicators can help change that. A BBC football analyst -- a contractor, not a
20/03/20231 hour 39 minutes 40 seconds
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FIR #322: If Not Twitter, Then Where?

Network outages. Fleeing advertisers. Disaffected staff. News reports of abusive behavior. Rents in arrears. And news feeds are increasingly swamped with posts from trolls and bots. Things are not looking good for the bird site. But if it fails, what's the alternative? The fediverse is questionable. LinkedIn is solid, but its focus is on business. Jack Dorsey's Bluesky is coming, but it's federated, too.  Is there anything out there that can serve the function Twitter does? Neville and Shel examine the situation and explore the alternatives in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #322: If Not Twitter, Then Where? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
09/03/202320 minutes 29 seconds
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FIR #321: Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Crisis Comms

In the laundry list of mistakes and missteps from Norfolk Southern in the wake of the disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, what stands out the most is that the company seems to be making it all about them and not the people suffering the fallout of the crisis. (At a town hall meeting, a company representative kept repeating how awful everyone at Norfolk Southern felt about the incident. Nobody in East Palestine cares how anybody at Norfolk Southern feels.) You have to wonder if they're getting and ignoring good crisis counsel, if the counsel they're getting is bad, or if they're not getting any professional input at all.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #321: Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Crisis Comms appea
03/03/202319 minutes 46 seconds
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FIR #320: The Chorebots of 2033

Artificial Intelligence is already embedded in daily life, from product recommendations based on past purchases to playlist suggestions. If you use a smartwatch or health-monitoring wearable, you're using AI. The leap demonstrated by recently released generated AI apps suggests that future developments are going to come at an accelerated pace. We've also seen amazing robotic developments. (Have you watched a recent Boston Dynamics video or checked out Loona, the robotic pet that was the hit of CES in January?) Mix the two, bake for a decade, and imagine what you'll get.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #320: The Chorebots of 2033 appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
01/03/202321 minutes 2 seconds
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FIR #319: Return to Work Mandates Damage Engagement and Productivity

A lot of company leaders believe a return to the office is a prerequisite to raising productivity and employee engagement metrics. A look at the data seems to reveal exactly the opposite: Productivity rose near the start of the pandemic and plummeted when companies began demanding employees come back to the office. Engagement numbers also fell well after the start of the pandemic in 2020, according to the premier engagement researcher. The world of work has changed, whether senior leaders understand that or not, which puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of in-house communicators.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #319: Return to Work Mandates Damage Engagement and Productivity appeared first on <a re
23/02/202317 minutes 24 seconds
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FIR #318: AI, Mastodon, the Metaverse — Headlines vs. Reality

Mainstream and tech media alike have filled their pages with headlines about disastrous demos, worrisome uses, fleeing users, and evaporating investments. Is it all true? Or is it a combination of clickbait and a failure to understand what's really happening? In the February long-form episode of the "For Immediate Release" podcast, Neville and Shel look at generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments, mostly having to do with ChatGPT and Microsoft's integration of it into limited-release versions of Bing and Edge. Also in this episode: With all the AI coverage and some media still paying attention to the Metaverse, reporting on NFTs and other aspects of Web3 seem to have fallen off the radar, but there was a big Web3 development when the world's largest pharmaceutical company invested big money in a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that was launched to circumvent big pharmaceutical companies. To read the coverage, you would think that all tho
20/02/20231 hour 49 minutes 56 seconds
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FIR #317: The Rise of the De-Influencer

Influencer marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with Instagrammers and TikTokers with large followings pitching products in exchange for cash and other considerations. In response, some on Instagram and TikTok have taken to slamming those very same products -- for free. It's as trend that's on the rise.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #317: The Rise of the De-Influencer appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
15/02/202313 minutes 20 seconds
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FIR #316: Back to Blogging

Before Twitter, before Facebook, there were blogs. People who shared an interest in the blog's theme congregated there and had conversations. The general tone was positive, even when people disagreed. As the social media space deteriorates and Twitter's future is in doubt, storyteller and freelancer Monique Judge suggests a return to blogging as the primary means of online social engagement. Is such a pivot possible? Neville and Shel share their thoughts in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #316: Back to Blogging appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
12/02/202318 minutes 34 seconds
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FIR #315: Does Every Company Need A CCO?

In a lot of companies, the PR and communications functions live under Marketing. For a variety of reasons, that is not the best approach. Marketing, after all, has a distinct role to play in short-to-mid-term lead generation and other outcomes based mostly on paid outreach. PR, on the other hand, is all about earned media designed to build reputation and promote thought leadership. Someone needs to sit at a senior level to ensure these efforts and other communication functions, like advertising, investor relations, and community relations, are coordinated and consistent. Call that person the Chief Communications Officer. Is it time every company anoints one? Neville and Shel explore the issue in this short midweek FIR episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #315: Does
08/02/202316 minutes 51 seconds
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FIR #314: Show Or Tell?

Are written and spoken recommendations received equally? Contrary to what may seem logical, they are not, according to new research. In this short midweek FIR episode, Shel and Neville explore what the study's findings could mean for how marketers and communicators wield influence over the decisions people make.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #314: Show Or Tell? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
02/02/202313 minutes 33 seconds
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FIR #313: Will Gen Z Finally Kill Email?

There's a perception that people in their 20's, raised with digital technology and accustomed to more effective messaging technologies, simply don't use email. Could that spell the beginning of the end of this clunky, 50-plus-year-old business tool? Neville and Shel consider the possibility in this short, midweek FIR episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #313: Will Gen Z Finally Kill Email? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
25/01/202318 minutes 33 seconds
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FIR #312: The Social Media Press Release Redux

Everything old is new again, the saying goes. Despite touting the idea of a press release as a destination being a new idea, it actually dates back about 15 years -- and retains all of its value. Neville and Shel explore the idea of defeating paywalls with destination press releases in this monthly long-form episode of "For Immediate Release." Also in this episode: Follow-ups to stories about Artificial Intelligence (AI) interns and facial recognition used for nefarious purposes. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer -- and whether Edelman can claim to be trust experts A roundup of news and commentary about ChatGPT A decline in Mastodon users Dan York's Tech Report, which looks at some Twitter changes, good news for Mastodon users, a Mastodon instance for Medium users, Getty's lawsuit targeting the generative AI image tool Stable Diffusion, Wikipedia's new look-and-feel, and WordPress's upcoming 20th birthday. <a href="https:
23/01/20231 hour 36 minutes 21 seconds
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FIR #311: What Communicators Can Learn From Librarians

Library TikTok is growing -- organically. Librarians are meeting teenagers where they are, on TikTok, with videos that attract their attention and lead to library visits and more reading. Can this unorganized, grass-roots approach translate to marketing and communications? Is it looking at the idea of "influence" through a different lens? Neville and Shel explore the idea in this short mid-week episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #311: What Communicators Can Learn From Librarians appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
19/01/202312 minutes 30 seconds
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FIR #310: Shake Up Your Work-From-Home Routine

Working from home has become more commonplace in the wake of the pandemic, with executives who once believed productivity would plummet now reconciled to the fact that remote work, for the most part, has little impact on productivity (unless, as is the case in some organizations, it actually boosts employee outputs). And a lot of employees are thrilled to be working from home. That doesn't mean that things aren't getting a little stale. A Harvard Business Review article suggests remote workers might want to consider making some changes to their routines. The article even inspired Neville to take action he has been considering for a while. It's all part of this short mid-week FIR episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #310: Shake Up Your Work-Fr
18/01/202316 minutes 31 seconds
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Measuring Stuff That Didn't Happen

In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel tackle a question from listener Kris Hansen about developing a metrics dashboard for her organization's leadership.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #309: Measuring Stuff That Didn&#8217;t Happen appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
12/01/202317 minutes 48 seconds
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FIR #308: Here Come Virtual Workers

The virtual worker industry is booming in China. For about $14,000 a year -- 80 percent less than it cost just a year earlier -- you can get a three-dimensional virtual person to handle everything from tours to customer support. With expectations that the industry will grow by 50 percent annually for the next three years, the arrival of virtual persons in the West is inevitable. Neville and Shel dive into the industry in this short midweek episode of "For Immediate Release."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #308: Here Come Virtual Workers appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
06/01/202319 minutes 23 seconds
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FIR #307: We’ll Pay You…In A Year

Keurig Dr. Pepper has stirred up a controversy by issuing an RFP that included payment terms of 360 days. While some big PR and advertising agencies may be able to wait a year to be paid for their work, it's most likely a non-starter for small and minority-owned agencies. (If most big clients turned to one-year payment terms, even the big agencies might have difficulty accommodating the requirement.) The agency world has united in its condemnation of the move, and Keurig Doctor Pepper's response is tepid, to say the least. Neville and Shel discuss the situation in this short midweek episode of "For Immediate Release."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #307: We&#8217;ll Pay You&#8230;In A Year appeared first on FIR Podcast
03/01/202315 minutes 48 seconds
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FIR #306: Brand Name Pronunciation As A Marketing Ploy

It's not unlikely that you have been mispronouncing some well-known company and brand names like IKEA, Hyundai, Porsche, Bayer, and Adidas. Some brands use common mispronunciations as the foundation for a marketing campaign, as Hyundai has undertaken in the UK.  Neville and Shel explore some of these campaigns and examine the broader issue of hard-to-pronounce brand names in this short midweek episode of the "For Immediate Release" podcast.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #306: Brand Name Pronunciation As A Marketing Ploy appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
29/12/202216 minutes 40 seconds
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FIR #305: We See You And You Can’t Come In

A petulant venue owner is using facial recognition software to keep people with whom he has issues from entering his spaces -- including a mom with a Girl Scout troop. Also in this monthly long-form episode of the "For Immediate Release" podcast, Neville and Shel discuss the value of virtual goods and whether brands should start taking them seriously; business schools are exploring the potential for teaching in the metaverse -- especially classes about digital technology; it hasn't been a great year for metaverse activations, but at least brands are learning; it has been a year since Lush closed its Instagram and Facebook accounts, which means it's time to see how that decision turned out; and the better ChatGPT (the AI text-generating chatbot) gets, the more worried some people get about its impact on truth; and Dan York shares a year-end Tech Report with a range of updates including using WordPress for newsletters, WordPress's State of the Word 2022, and Tumblr Live.<a href=
26/12/20221 hour 25 minutes 47 seconds
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FIR #304: Reaching Employees Through Social Media

Social media consultant Arik Hanson wrote recently in a LinkedIn article that companies should consider devoting some of their LinkedIn activities -- 20 percent is the volume he suggests -- to matters of interest to employees. That's because data shows that 30 percent of a brand page's engagement comes from the company's employees. In this short mid-week episode of "For Immediate Release," Neville and Shel discuss the opportunity for communicators to reach employees on LinkedIn, along with the challenges and possible pitfalls.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #304: Reaching Employees Through Social Media appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
23/12/202216 minutes 17 seconds
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FIR #303: The Quest for a Twitter Alternative

One list includes 50 potential Twitter replacements -- none of which will offer every one of Twitter's features and none of which includes everyone you're currently following on the bird site. How do you decide where to go when you conclude that maintaining your current Twitter activity is no longer feasible? Neville and Shel sort it out -- with a focus on Mastodon -- in this short mid-week episode of "For Immediate Release."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #303: The Quest for a Twitter Alternative appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
20/12/202220 minutes 33 seconds
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FIR #302: Blockchain’s Widely Exaggerated Demise

New York Times columnist and Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman wrote recently that the crypto crash is far worse than even the direst descriptions and that it is proof that blockchain was never a viable technology. At the same time, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon sees value in blockchain technology, but only if companies like his control it. The truth is, blockchain is thriving outside of speculative crypto investing. Neville and Shel explore blockchain's future in this short midweek episode of "For Immediate Release."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #302: Blockchain&#8217;s Widely Exaggerated Demise appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
13/12/202217 minutes 53 seconds
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FIR #301: A Communicator’s Look at ChatGPT

ChatGPT is the latest buzzworthy Artificial Intelligence tool. Released just this month by OpenAI, ChatGPT has stirred up a considerable amount of conversation, much of it about experiments people have conducted, while others now seriously question how much longer writers will be employable. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel look at ChatGPT from the communicator's perspective.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #301: A Communicator&#8217;s Look at ChatGPT appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
08/12/202217 minutes 43 seconds
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FIR #300: Communicating Pay Transparency

In New York, pay transparency is required by law. It will also be a requirement in California after January 1. There's a lot of good that can come from pay transparency, but for organizations with cultures unready for it, the consequences could be dire. Are companies enlisting their internal communicators to help lay the groundwork for this level of disclosure?Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #300: Communicating Pay Transparency appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
23/11/202212 minutes 55 seconds
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FIR #299: From the Metaverse to the Fediverse and Back Again

Despite the forecasts of some pundits, it is still too early to predict Twitter's complete collapse. Still, it is not outside the realm of possibility. (Since we recorded this episode on Saturday, November 19, CBS has halted its activity on Twitter, blaming Elon Musk's "turbulent and potentially devastating moves following his takeover of the company," according to Variety. It is worth considering the consequences of Twitter's demise. How big a loss to society at large would it be? We can take that idea one step further. With Facebook experiencing its own declines and Gen Z demonstrating a preference for smaller social networks over broadcast-style social media, what would happen if social media completely faded into the background? Also in the November episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report: Thousands of Twitter users are migrating to Mastodon, a Twitter-like interface with some important differences, the key being that it is not owned by a single entity. Instead, it i
21/11/20221 hour 46 minutes 13 seconds
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FIR #298: Social Listening in a Post-Twitter World

While things are not looking good at Twitter, it is not yet time to characterize it as the social network's death spiral. Still, speculation is fun (and inevitable), and one of the prospects about which some people are speculating is the impact a Twitterless world will have on social listening activities. Neville and Shel explore the possibility -- along with some other potential fallout should Twitter shut down -- in this short midweek episode of "For Immediate Release."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #298: Social Listening in a Post-Twitter World appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
17/11/202217 minutes 22 seconds
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FIR #297: A Stirling Example of Augmented Reality

The Scottish city of Stirling is investing in the creation of Augmented Reality (AR) layers throughout the city, available on a free dedicated app, to become what they claim is "the first augmented reality city."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #297: A Stirling Example of Augmented Reality appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
15/11/202212 minutes 19 seconds
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FIR #296: What Elon Musk Can Learn From Patrick Collinson

Twitter and Stripe both laid off employees last week. The contrast between how these layoffs were conducted is striking. One CEO went to great lengths to ensure the employees remaining post-layoff would feel the least amount of survivor's guilt and be ready to move forward. The other didn't seem to care how survivors felt. Neville and Shel examine these approaches and some of the other fallout from Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter in this short midweek episode of "For Immediate Release."Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #296: What Elon Musk Can Learn From Patrick Collinson appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
09/11/202217 minutes 11 seconds
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FIR #295: The Value-Add Potential of NFTs

Neville attended NFT.London, the UK version of the NFT.NYC, which has been held since February 2019. There, he attended sessions that covered various topics, but he was particularly struck by those addressing the value-add potential of NFTs as well as their community-building characteristics. He reports from a semi-quiet corner of the conference in this short mid-week episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #295: The Value-Add Potential of NFTs appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
03/11/20228 minutes 46 seconds
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FIR #294: What Hath Elon Wrought?

It's not exactly a news flash that Elon Musk now owns Twitter (Chief Twit, he calls himself). Does he know what he's gotten himself into? It's doubtful, according to much of the evidence we've seen so far, in addition to some stinging commentary.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #294: What Hath Elon Wrought? appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
01/11/202213 minutes 30 seconds
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FIR #293: Big Changes at Wikipedia

For virtually all of its 22 years, Wikipedia has confined its technology to the wiki, which was already nearly 10 years old when the online encyclopedia was introduced. But some big changes are in store, including the use of machine learning, all in service of enticing more people to become editors.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #293: Big Changes at Wikipedia appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
27/10/202215 minutes 26 seconds
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FIR #292: The Sure and Steady Evolution of NFTs

To hear the media talk about it, NFTs are overpriced works of digital art on which a lot of gullible people will lose bundles of money. In fact, NFTs have utility far being investments, and savvy marketers are figuring it out, right down to local car washes. Neville and Shel share a handful of stories about such applications in this short midweek episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #292: The Sure and Steady Evolution of NFTs appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
26/10/202215 minutes 22 seconds
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FIR #291: Adding AI to Applications

AI tools that turn text prompts into images, video, and music are definitely cool, but they get a boost in utility when incorporated into a larger tool designed for a specific purpose. Omneky is one such tool, designed to improve the effectiveness of your social media ads. One element: DALL-E 2 is baked into the software, helping you create images that align with the software's assessment of your current and previous ads.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #291: Adding AI to Applications appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
20/10/202213 minutes 4 seconds
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FIR #290: Alas, Poor GIF, We Knew You Well

The first graphic format for the web to gain widespread adoption was the GIF. Even the advent of better formats replaced it for graphical display, it gained new strength through animation; what was once called an "animated GIF" became just a GIF. But today, for multiple reasons, the end appears nigh for all but the most die-hard fans. This short midweek episode is an homage to the GIF.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #290: Alas, Poor GIF, We Knew You Well appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
19/10/202212 minutes 39 seconds
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FIR #289: Bloggers, AI, and The Future of PR

New data suggests a lot of bloggers are employing practices that are the opposite of those that deliver results. Shel and Neville dive into the data from a new blogger survey. Also in this episode: Microsoft is bringing the DALL-E 2 AI graphic generator to Office 365 via a new app called Designer, as well as a tool called Image Creator that will be deployed through Bing and Microsoft Edge; virtual influencers, already a big deal in Asia, are making inroads in the US, performing in concerts, signing record deals, and pitching products for brands; Edelman's CEO, Richard Edelman has given an interview in which he outlines his vision for the future of PR and his company; the category of meme creators is heating up but a lot of these people aren't happy with Instagram's rules; a new Danish political party is being led by an Artificial Intelligence. In his Tech Report, Dan York reports on more digital services copying others, including yet another "stories" feature, this time on Si
17/10/20221 hour 27 minutes 29 seconds
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FIR #288: A Humanoid Robot Artist Gives Testimony

October 11, 2022, was not your typical day at the UK House of Lords, where Ai-Da, a humanoid robot artist, delivered testimony in response to questions posed by peers. The testimony came as some of Ai-Da's original artwork was displayed in a museum. In her answers, Ai-Da was candid about AI's threat to human artists but was also realistic about the role technology has always played in art. In this short mid-week episode, Neville and Shel review the testimony and explore some of the issues Ai-Da raises.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #288: A Humanoid Robot Artist Gives Testimony appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
11/10/202216 minutes 32 seconds
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FIR #287: Internal Podcasts Gain Momentum

Some companies were experimenting with internal podcasts -- for employees only -- before companies sent employees home to work remotely as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Faced with reaching and engaging employees who now never interacted face-to-face with their colleagues elevated the value of a podcast, which could establish a personal connection. At the same time, podcasting had gone mainstream, making more employees receptive to listening to one from their employer. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel look at some of the companies that have adopted internal podcasting and how they plan to evolve them in the new post-pandemic world of work.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #287: Internal Podcasts Gain Momentum appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" hre
06/10/202217 minutes 16 seconds
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FIR #286: Managers Believe Remote Work Produces Lower Productivity

We read everywhere about increased productivity resulting from the remote work the pandemic forced upon companies. In fact, that increased productivity is leading several companies to adopt remote or hybrid work as the new status quo. But research conducted by Microsoft finds that not everyone agrees with the assessment. Managers are not on board with the notion that remote work has led to greater productivity, and the gap between what managers believe and employee perspectives is considerable.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #286: Managers Believe Remote Work Produces Lower Productivity appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
04/10/202215 minutes 44 seconds
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FIR #285: Alignment Through Conversation

You have a business initiative, an organizational change, a new value proposition. Success depends on getting employees aligned around the vision and the path to get there. Could small group conversations be the means of achieving that alignment? A new study suggests it's at least worth a shot.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #285: Alignment Through Conversation appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
30/09/202213 minutes 23 seconds
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FIR #284: Ad Agencies Embrace AI Art

From experimentation, ideation, and storyboarding to producing the actual images to be used in an ad, advertising agency creatives are finding Artificial Intelligence image generators like DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion instantly useful, saving time and money without sacrificing the end results. Does this spell the end of the graphic arts business?Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #284: Ad Agencies Embrace AI Art appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
28/09/202217 minutes 4 seconds
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FIR #283: Communicators Helping Leaders Lead Through Communication

Neville and Shel were together in person to record this episode, which focuses exclusively on leadership communication. The recording happened on Neville's dining room table as Shel and his wife were on a two-week vacation in England and Ireland.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #283: Communicators Helping Leaders Lead Through Communication appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
26/09/20221 hour 3 minutes 50 seconds
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FIR #282: If You Need Me, Text Me

A lot of the communication with customers for which businesses once used email has transitioned to text messaging -- along with communication among friends, families, and pretty much everyone. To some extent, that even includes employee-to-employee communication. Whether it's SMS messaging or a messaging app like WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram, people increasingly prefer the functionality and speed of response with text messages. Email isn't going anywhere but its uses may be diminishing.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #282: If You Need Me, Text Me appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
06/09/202217 minutes 18 seconds
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FIR #281: Advertising and Marketing in the Metaverse

Advertising on the Web is two-dimensional, with a consumer on the outside looking in. In the Metaverse, consumers will be active participants in virtual worlds, participating directly with virtual objects and one another. That opens the door for entirely new forms of advertising. In this short mid-week episode, Neville and Shel discuss what advertising might look like in virtual worlds and some of the technical, ethical, and legal challenges that organizations will face selling their wares to denizens of these immersive spaces.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #281: Advertising and Marketing in the Metaverse appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.
01/09/202216 minutes
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FIR #280: What’s Behind the “Quiet Quitting” Trend?

"Quiet quitting" is all over TikTok, with mostly Gen Zers talking about their disdain for going "above and beyond" at work. Is this really anything new, or is it just the first time a generation has used a label to share their feelings online? Or, as some suggest, is it that most Gen Zers entered the workforce during the pandemic when the boundaries between work and life were not clear and now that companies are getting back to what executives perceive as normal, they don't agree with the expectations the company has of them? Is this even confined to Gen Z? Neville and Shel look at "quiet quitting" in today's short mid-week episode.Continue Reading &#8594; The post FIR #280: What&#8217;s Behind the &#8220;Quiet Quitting&#8221; Trend? appeared first on <a
25/08/202217 minutes 1 second
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FIR #279: Business Buys Into the Metaverse

According to a new PwC survey of 1,000 senior U.S. business leaders from across industry sectors, businesses have bought into the inevitability and utility of the metaverse. The study also surveyed 5,000 U.S. consumers who are less aware and enthusiastic than executives are. Also in this monthly long-form episode of "For Immediate Release": Gartner has released ins 2022 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Consumer trend experts anticipate the impact web3 will have on consumer trends. Ukraine has perfect the art of advertising in support of its resistance to Russia's invasion. Each quarter, Microsoft adjusts the language it uses to advise the investment world of its ambitions. One CEO who had to lay off staff took to LinkedIn to explain how hard it was on him, including a selfie of him weeping over it. Was it effective? In his Tech Report, Dan York recounts his experience with Reddit's new social audio tool, looks at "s
22/08/20221 hour 44 minutes 21 seconds