Letter from London: hold bad news for Monday

Letter from London: hold bad news for Monday

Podcast creation, dissertation topics, beautiful decks, news management, organic social, fake news report and a new badge.


It’s been unusually warm in London this week. The most frequently asked question of houseboat dwellers is how do you cope with the cold? This week we’ve had the windows and doors open whenever we’ve lit the stove. It feels like Spring is close by.

🎙 How to make a podcast

Have you listened to the February edition of the #FuturePRoof podcast by Sarah and I yet? You know you should.

We’re frequently asked how to make a podcast. We’ve upgraded our tech for 2019 however podcasting needn’t be expensive. If you’ve got a smart phone you’ve got all the kit you need to record audio.

Professional recorders and condenser microphones improve the quality. Zencastr is a cloud based alternative that provides a Skype-like service for recording interviews.

Audacity is a useful open source tool for editing audio and post production. Anchor does a similar job in the cloud. Publish and share your podcast to iTunes and Spotify using a platform such as Libsyn.

📑 Choosing a media or PR dissertation topic

I ran a session with MA media and PR students at Newcastle University on Friday. It’s my fourth year teaching at the university as a Visiting Professor. During the session we explored how to choose a dissertation topic, explored 20 areas of modern practice, and discussed how to land expert interviews. Here’s the presentation deck and write up. Let me know what I missed.

🌸 Robot tool for building beautiful decks

Beautiful.ai is a cloud based tool for building presentations that look like they’ve been professionally designed. It provides a series of templates and integrates with a photo library. It’s more automation than artificial intelligence but is excellent nonetheless. It’s currently in beta and is free to use.

📆 Hold bad news over the weekend

I caught the train from London to Newcastle with Sarah this week, and overheard her counselling a member of her team about news management. “Never share bad news on a Friday, it’s seen as an attempt to bury it and leaves a 48 hour hole in the news cycle that people will fill themselves. Always do it on Monday.” It’s a solid lesson for media relations and life itself, although I’m holding my breath for Monday morning.

🛑 Game over for organic social media

More evidence that it's over for organic social media. Check out the engagement rates for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for different markets in this benchmarking report from Rival IQ. It’s a brutal read. Low percentage engagement rates are the norm. Algorithms have all but killed word of mouth on social media platforms. The exception are public service information and customer service.

🎯 Facebook easy target for fake news

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport fake news report is single-minded in its attack on Facebook as the destroyer of public discourse and democracy. Propaganda about Facebook is an example of how fake news can be targeted at scale but it’s one example alongside countless others. There’s limited mention in the report of the role of the following in the propagation of fake news: owned media, PR, news media; figures in public life; Twitter, Google or YouTube.

🏆 Top blog: thank you Vuelio and thank you

Thanks to Vuelio for listing this blog in the top slot of its annual listing of UK PR blogs. My blog is a means of thinking out loud and engaging with my network. Community is a much abused term in modern media but I’m grateful to everyone who engages with my blog via email and social media. Hit reply and tell me what you’re up to. I try to reply to everyone.

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