Looking for a Make-good

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I love podcasts. I truly love tech podcasts. Being a broadcaster for more than thirty years I really appreciate the efforts of those people who gather in front of a microphone to inform and entertain us. Consider this, many of these podcasters have little or no broadcasting experience at all. There efforts are successful in two ways. I religiously listen each week to them and if you look at my phone or pad you will clearly see their efforts to sell apps and products have been fruitful.

I started to write this blog a year ago. As with most of my blogs I fail to publish on the grounds of I don’t want to come off as being too negative or out of bounds. I feel this little podcasting problem has gone far enough. I hope you take my advice and recommendation to heart.

Podcast producers limit your advertisements to 30 or 60 seconds. On a tech podcast that I truly cannot wait until it hits the internet, one advertising message this week ran 4:30! I stopped timing it thinking it was over when the guest chimed in for at least another :30 seconds. I don’t complain about the length of the programs…say around 90 minutes…but if you have 3 advertisers that’s 15 minutes you could have saved your listeners. Remember it’s your time and it’s worth something. So don’t throw it away. Timed advertisements also open the door for more advertiser opportunity. Some companies may buy into an inexpensive thirty as opposed to a sixty.

Another recommendation: have one host do the spot and only one host. Bringing in more comments extends the time of the advertisement. Guests should never, never, really never comment on advertisers. Never. I cannot tell you how deep of a rathole that takes the podcast into. Plus…it doesn’t seem right. Guests were invited because of the expertise or talent. No one expects a guest on any interview show to turn around to the host after a commercial and say “Hey Jimmy, I love my pocket fisherman!” Imagine getting the chance to interview Steve Jobs and after a spot he chimes in on how great some product is…he would never do it. I hope you don’t either.

I’m not saying you have to time these down to the millisecond or that they have to be TV slick. But if I know I can make a sandwich, take the dog out and wash my car while you wax on about some app….I just might forget I was listening to the podcast in the first place.

Dying is Easy Comedy is Hard

From PR Newser: The Future of Content: Takeaways from the Council of PR Firms

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The Council of PR Firm’s latest event on content marketing concluded with some rock solid takeaways according to Mediabistro’s PR Newser,

“Despite what critics say, “content” isn’t going anywhere, and we’re only going to be making more of it.

We need to be as flexible as possible with our definition of the word.

Multimedia approaches are crucial, but good writing still lies at the heart of the content equation.

We need to prove ROI, but pageviews and Facebook likes won’t cut it.

Authenticity is the most important aspect of everything we produce. We can’t disguise our content as traditional journalism.

The most authentic sensation around is humor. A brand that can laugh at itself will instantly win attention and, hopefully, respect.”

I too believe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content marketing. Writing well truly helps but compelling writing helps even more. The Council’s point on metrics is right on. I’d much rather see an increase in sales, fundraising or participation than the number of Facebook likes you get. PR is PR, blogging is blogging both can be genuine and trustworthy. Journalism is about professional writers that are paid to write without opinion or bias on a subject, more often than not have no connection to. PR firms are working for a clients benefit. Bloggers have to continually prove themselves when it comes to trust. Bloggers that have a history of bias will carry that reputation. Bloggers that consistently prove they are unbiased will be welcomed into the fourth estate.

Now we come to humor…I’m all for humor. If you are successful at making them laugh and see an increase in sales, use the humor hammer sparingly from your tool chest. One must remember the class clown, he was a nice guy, everyone liked him but no one ever took him seriously. Too much of going to the funny bone can result what I call a false positive campaign. It’s like a TV commercial that’s creative and funny. Everyone remembers it…even talks about it… but no one remembers the product that was for sale. Humor like a strong spice can really make a dish unless it’s used too much then all people can remember is that you cook spicy food.

Content will be with us for a long while. It’s going to be interesting to see how PR firms handle it.