Leveraging personal and professional ventures with a podcast is no longer risky business but a well-tested strategy to spread the word about your initiatives. With the potential to amplify your web presence, build community, and get people excited about what you do, podcasting is a powerful way to stand out in any niche.
This panel will share personal podcasting experiences, discuss how podcasting became a reality in their organizations, and provide various strategies to get you up and podcasting.
Photo by Bob Goyetche.
Mark Blevis: I am now and have always been Mark Blevis.
Bob Goyetche: And I aspire to be Bob Goyetche. Welcome to this special edition of the Canadian Podcast Buffet featuring yet more audio from Podcasters Across Borders 2007.
Mark Blevis: This edition of Canadian Podcast Buffet is brought to you in part by TD Canada Trust.
Bob Goyetche: You might not know this because you’ve been listening to every session religiously and we never quite mention it. But there is a PAB in 2008 in Kingston in June. Keep your eyes on Podcasters Across Borders.com and keep listening to the Canadian Podcast Buffet for more information.
Mark Blevis: What you’re about to hear is the last of the formal sessions from Podcasters Across Borders 2007. And you thought you couldn’t make it through? This is a panel called “The Power of Podcasting – Taking Your Initiatives To the Next Level” and your panellists are Kate Morgan of Podwise, Terry Fallis of Inside PR, and Ian Hull of Hull and Hull. And this will bring to a close the formal speaking session audio of Podcasters Across Borders 2007. Keep listening for some other little jewels that may come out in the feed in the month of August 2007.
Bob Goyetche: We’re going to be back with more regular Canadian Podcast Buffet episodes in the fall, that is after Labour Day, for Season 3 of CPB. So if you’ve got a podcast that you want to get promoted, you get in touch with us email@example.com.
Terry Fallis: Happy to be here. Ian and I are actually veterans of Podcasters Across Borders. We have been coming here since the very first time it happened. So we feel like we’re kinda part of it. Ian, in case you don’t know, is…and he would not permit me to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. He is recognized as one of Canada’s leading estate lawyers. So he may not fit into this crowd quite as well but he is well recognized in his field. And we’re gonna hear from him about how he has helped to let podcasting build his business. Kate Morgan was not here last year but is a podcast producer of some note and has actually started her own company to do podcasting. So I’m also very happy to be here. I’m a podcaster on the professional side and on the personal side. I have two podcasts, one on public relations which I’ll tell you about in a few minutes. And the other about really supporting my novel as Charles has done as well. And so we are happy to be here. We had many months to prepare for this. We’ve known about this panel for quite some time and we had several meetings to plan. At that first meeting at breakfast this morning, we decided that we would talk about our own podcasting stories, how we got started, why we got started, what it’s doing for our organization and things that we learned from it. So that’s what we are going to do. So I’m going to start ‘cause I have two to talk about briefly, and then we’ll go to Ian and Kate and then back to me and then we’ll open the floor for questions.
I work for Thornley Fallis Communications. We are a mainstream public relations agency. About 2 ½ years ago, my partner Joe Thornley who was here yesterday for much of the day, talked to me about the power of social media. He was just starting to learn about it. I give him all the credit for opening my eyes to it. And we decided collectively after a couple of months of kicking it around that social media in general and podcasting and blogging in particular were gonna change the way we deal with our clients. It’s gonna change the way organizations engage their audiences, sustain those relationships, sell their products, move minds, whatever it might be. And we got into it. Joe started blogging right away and since he was blogging and a number of other people in our organization were blogging, I thought I would take on the podcasting thing. So April, 2006, a year and a bit ago, we started podcasting. My colleague at the time, David Jones, and I started a podcast called “Inside PR”. It’s not a podcast about our organization. It’s a podcast about public relations. Something we do as a service to the community but also to, I hope, showcase our leadership in this space.
In those early episodes, both of our listeners were very complimentary. It went very well, but we decided we wanted to try and build our audience. So we actually recorded customized audio promos and we sent them to some of the leading podcasters in our space at the time, including Canadian Podcast Buffet. And given the generosity in this community which has been on full display all weekend, they played them and we saw and immediate bump in our stats at the time. So if anyone’s starting a podcast and haven’t thought about tapping into what a wonderful spirit of cooperation and generosity that exists in the podcasting world, do a couple of audio promos and send them around. Customize them to the show you’re sending it to and that will certainly help build your numbers. We did build our numbers, I think over time for a I think a couple of good reasons. First of all, I like to think it’s good solid content and we’re in this space with some other great podcasts like “Trafcom News”. Donna Papacosta is with us and was a great inspiration to us. Mitch Joel’s podcast came shortly after ours. In fact I think Mitch was saying he thought we were way ahead of him. I think we were in show 8 when Mitch started his podcast. And it doesn’t take long to get established in the space when there are only a handful of podcasts there.
But we had good content and good conversation. We went with the two co-host scenario. We don’t script really heavily or at all. We actually decide what we’re going to talk about shortly before hitting the record button but because they’re issues that we’ve been talking about in our own business for 15 or 20 years, it hasn’t been that challenging to come up with good shows. Good shows. I think the other thing that we did that has helped is we’ve never missed a week. We started a weekly show. It comes out exactly the same time every week and building up that kind of sense of expectation on the audience’s part, I think, has really helped us. We also have a familiar format. We do change it up as Neil said, which is a good idea to do once in awhile. But in general there’s a predictable format. People have come to expect it and they’re comfortable with it and so are we.
So what have we learned? We’ve learned that we have listeners all around the world now. We’ve built up the audience. It’s quite a solid and loyal listenership now. It has built profile for us as individuals. What complicated it was after about show 12, Dave Jones, my co-host, left our company and went to work for a dreaded competitor of ours. But again, given the spirit of social media and podcasting, we decided oh, the show must go on. It’s not about our firm, it’s not a competitive thing. So we continue to do the show to this day while he works at his big international agency and we work at our humble medium sized home grown Canadian agency. We have done other things to try and build the audience and sustain it. We have a Facebook Group now, which has about 300 members I think, something like that, or maybe 200. And Mitch Joel is now at 600 members I think, so he is doing very well on Facebook. And we have done an awful lot of interesting things. Met a lot of great people like Donna Papacosta, Mitch and others in this room. And what I think we learned is that if you build it, they won’t necessarily come. So, you need to promote it and get out there. And try and give it some legs along the way. I think I’ve had probably 25 or 30 speaking engagements in the last year on social media and podcasting, which is a measure of how new podcasting is when someone who’s been doing it for only a year and a bit is seen as someone who can get up and talk about it. That’s how new it is, but we’ll continue to do that. So that’s a little bit about “Inside PR”. If you’re interested in communications and how corporate image and reputation and how we communicate affects organizations, can make them and break them, I encourage you to check out the show. Let me turn it over to Ian, who is gonna talk about his organization and podcast.
Ian Hull: Well, thanks very much Terry. Yes I am indeed the dead guy, and I know a lot about dead and that’s about it. So I was talking with Terry with our podcast before we started and I immediately bought into it. There’s no sales pitch in terms of why we did it. I thought today, if I could, what I would like to do is just highlight what we, how we took what has been talked about a lot today and sort of executed it and what our steps to execution were to help, I don’t know, either encourage or give some ideas. We bought into Terry’s model in every respect, we’re consistent. We do two podcasts; one is for our core group of lawyers who we like to think send it…well who we know send us work and who would like to have little snippets of information. We give them a 10-minute podcast on topics that we know that affects their day. And it isn’t…we get the work to us because we do contentious litigation work and they don’t. They do the happy, someone comes in and dies. So, not so happy, but get probate and get the Will administered and so on. So our podcast is one group of that and I co-host that with a partner in my firm. And we have it done it actually the same number, we’re trying to keep up with “Inside PR”. We haven’t missed a week since last March.
But the other podcast we do is also a little more general public and we try to identify issues like why would you do a Power of Attorney or why would you do a Will. And we talk about those issues. So we think that hopefully we’re hitting a broader audience. Our numbers show that in fact that’s true. Our lawyer, sort of, focus podcast tends to get less, about half of the numbers we get. But that being said, the context of this…the whole concept was, in our world is that before podcasting came into our world and everyone else’s world, is being a good colleague and giving back, giving things for free. I mean, the whole internet is based on that, as Julien said yesterday and others have said. You know, there’s no magic here. It’s…the internet is you give something free and you get something back tenfold. On a business side or on a personal side, in almost every respect.
So we sat down and started this. We started the podcast and then we realized that as we we’re told by smart people like Terry that we have to supplement this with a blog. Again, we’re busy enough people that we didn’t really want to add a new thing to our day but we sat down and we blogged. And so we were daily blogging and we were podcasting two podcasts a week. My partner and I were getting a little overwhelmed by it so we…and we have fifteen lawyers in the firm. So we sat down and said okay, let’s break this down. And so then I had to turn into a sales person about the content set. Because not everyone buys into it because you’re going to eat away at their time and their efforts and so on. Like, I’m happy to say everyone in our firm now is podcasting and blogging. We’ve mixed it up. We keep our own separate podcast, one that we don’t let anyone else get into. But the others we share.
And so, you know, I mean I’ve had to sit down with fifteen, really some of them nice, not some of them not so nice, as nice as lawyers can be people. And I had to say, you know, look, how do you teach them this? And I said it’s like being the fat smoker. You already know what you should do. You should eat less and not smoke as much. Or nothing on the smoking and eat even less. And you have to stop what you feel, what feels good today and start working on long term. And those are concepts that don’t sit well with anybody and who’s sitting there really as…we’re just gerbils on a treadmill for a living. And all we want to do is keep the treadmill going and we say well, think ahead, look out. Well, look out a year, look out two years. Well, our numbers, when I was here last year, our numbers were about fourteen and I think it was a little high because I’m pretty sure my mother was going to two different machines and downloading. But, you know, now we’re up into the 100, 120 range. We’re getting tremendous feedback from our sources and it was all about executing.
So I just now…I’ll just take a minute now and just talk to you about the steps that we’ve taken over that year. We sat down and said our webpage was a joke before. And so we really liked the podcasting. That was our focus, that’s what we loved. It was a passion for us and so we wanted to build our presence around that because we don’t wanna stop that, we don’t wanna lose. You know, we don’t want a pod phase, we want to maintain our enthusiasm. So our webpage…purposely we just started off and said, what’s our mission statement? That’s…smart guys wrote that for us. We have an interesting sort of trust experience that’s our sort of position in the marketplace. That’s marketing guys telling us what to do. But then we…I said look, I don’t wanna…that stuff all works but I wanna start. So the first thing we put on our page to the left is hitting podcasts and blogs, lets people go to it. And I’ve told you what we’re doing on that…
Terry Fallis: Do you want me to click it?
Ian Hull: Sure, oh sure. And that takes us to our…wow, this is high-tech…takes us right to the webpage. And our blogs, we try to do two funny or not funny. Two interesting blogs and three substantive legal blogs. So that people are coming to it, aren’t sure what they’re going to get. Are they going to get like this one “The Effect of Intestacy on Adopted Children”. Not a big topic for a lot of people. But an important topic to those few who click. And we’re getting about 1,200 hits a week on our blogs. So some days are better than others. Some days we talk about Anna Nicole Smith and we get tons of hits right. So we started with that. We worked it…we dovetailed that…we started blogging because we had to. And we have, and we’ve split it now. Each lawyer takes it for a week and does it. So that it’s not so onerous. And it also keeps it fresh. Bu, you know, it was the only way we could sustain it.
Then we came back and we said okay, we want to make sure, again with our focus being the podcasting, that’s the thing we love to do. And then we sat down and we said okay, let’s add to that some bells and whistles. And so we have our next column, is we call Hull and Hull TV. We’ve got video streaming, we’ve got…we’ve taken the video casting into a new realm and we have some…it’s pretty informal, some of the video casts and stuff. But they’re things that, for lawyers who are interested in this, on how to do a Will Challenge Trial.
Other things below that are our Breakfast Series. We have a breakfast series three times a year. and now we webcast. And we say okay, now, if you’re going to webcast, we’ll want to put it up on the web reasonably quickly after. We picked that up. And then our third choice on the Hull and Hull TV is a total friendly…this is…it’s about a concept called The Family Meeting. It’s got nothing to do with being a lawyer. It is sort of the public friendly area of our marketing. But what we keep coming back to is our two podcasts. We have a public friendly podcast and we have a lawyer friendly podcast.
And our…so we’re just keeping taking our initial model and keep building on it. Then, of course, as all of us who can do it if we’re lucky enough to have done it is, is that we’ve got to flog a product. And so we flog our books there. Again, you know, as has been said, this is not a money-making endeavour. I mean, my book is published by a publisher who takes 99.9 cents on the dollar of anything that’s sold. I’m not making a living on it, but we have it there. Again it’s another feed. We talk about that on our podcasts. We’ve got twenty series, a twenty podcast series just on that book. So we help that. And then finally is our newsletter, which is something we send out four times a year. Often we’ll be talking about it on our podcast. We’ll say in our next newsletter we’re going to do this. So you can see how Terry taught us to sort of stream line these through. And we use Kate’s firm on the Podwise side to execute it over the year.
So that just, I thought might be at least interesting to some people to see where we took 10 listeners to 110. And I think 110 listeners who’ve listened to ours anyway are core. I know anytime I see somebody who sends me work and does listen to this stuff, they’re gushing about it. They can’t get over it. I mean, a newsletter is the old-fashioned way, we keep it up. We don’t forget the idea. The ideas, an the last comment I’ll say is, we looked at this. And I stole this idea from a podcast from the Harvard Business Review does a cool podcast on business stuff. And they said podcasting shouldn’t be looked at, in their view and I agree with this, as virile. It’s not one to one. I’m not sure that that’s the way…and so I took that you look at it as a seed. You plant a seed. And our seeds are things like the Hull and Hull TV, the books and “The Probator” . And what we do is we try to enhance that. So I try to hit 10,000…not 10,000…let’s say I hit a 100 people with one of my seeds. And I think eventually I’m gonna get 2 or 3 new people listening to my podcast. I don’t rely on the one on one 100% because I know, certainly in our practice, in our world, people aren’t nearly as friendly, people don’t share, people don’t like each other as much. It’s just…that’s just the reality of the business environment I’m in. And so I’m not going to expect one of my competitors to say, you gotta listen to Hull’s podcast, it’s amazing ‘cause it’s not gonna happen. So anyway.
Terry Fallis: Ian, just before we go to Kate, do you wanna mention the interesting promotional idea you pursued to get some of your clients to listen to your podcast?
Ian Hull: Yeah, I heard it earlier mentioned that it didn’t go well. We actually sent out iPods to 150 people. And we bought the cheapest one we could get. Of course, Apple doesn’t give you a deal even when you buy on mass. Because unless you’re buying 400,000 of them. But we sent them out to all of our core listeners. We’ve got a, you know, we’ve built up and people who are not listeners but people who are referred. And it went over the top. And the two things that came out of it; one is, is that people either walked down the hall and handed it to a friend or gave it to their teenage daughter. And that’s good enough. I don’t care if they don’t use it. And the other thing is, is that a lot of them are linked in and they linked it in. And what it developed is there’s two iPods now. I have an iPod for business and I have an iPod for music. And a lot of these people who are getting into that said the same things to me. They said look, I either gave it away or I got this. I’ve got one identified just for your podcasts. And we also sent them out pre-loaded ‘cause lawyers are monkeys. They can’t even turn on iTunes. So you give them a pre-loaded iPod and you say to them, if you wanna get it updated, send it back to us and we’ll update it. And it’s amazing.
Terry Fallis: It’s a full service firm they have.
Ian Hull: But it…but you can imagine the loyalty that creates. Like these guys just go, oh, this is unbelievable. Because they drive from, you know, Burlington to Toronto everyday in traffic and they fill it with some time with our…and we put on stuff that they ask for. Like, well can you add a couple of things about this or that. we don’t put any competitors on because there are no competitors. We’re doing estate law blogs and podcasts.
Terry Fallis: Thanks Ian. Kate, give us a sense of what you’re story is with Podwise and how you got started.
Kate Morgan: I started working with Ian a little bit at Hull and Hull just doing some marketing on the legal side, which isn’t…doesn’t happen that much. A lot of lawyers just work within sort of referral systems and they don’t do that much marketing. Ian’s really like ahead of the game in every aspect. So we started looking at different things that we could do. and Ian, through Terry, had got the idea of blogging and podcasting and had already started. So that’s really, to be honest, that’s the first time I had actually heard of podcasting was last summer. So I think when you’re in spaces like this, I was just at a MESH conference a little while ago. And when you’re in these spaces, it almost seems sort of like, what’s next? Like podcasting and blogging and that kind of stuff, is things people have been doing for years, but in reality, especially within the legal field, it’s not…I mean, I start most of my consultations with a basic description of what a podcast is and how it works. I mean, even going into RSS is just, you know, way over the top.
So, I think that within certain spaces, these are still new ideas and new concepts. So that’s sort of…and then especially within the legal world dealing with releasing information for free and, you know, collaborating and working with others, are not things that are easy to integrate. So I guess sort of my stance on it is that, as you see with all these different types of podcasts, different subject matter, you know, that’s being transmitted through podcasts, is that these tools can be really adapted. So depending on the client or depending on, you know, your need, you can adapt a podcast to basically just use it as a distribution channel to get whatever information you need out.
So, yeah, and I think that always the focus should be on what your knowledge base is and what your passion is and you should be talking about, you know, as has been re-inforced over this…these days, that you need to be talking about something that’s important to you. So, you know, with a lot of lawyers, law is their passion and is, you know, something that they work on everyday and, you know, means a lot to them. So for them to be able to have this channel to, you know, initially share legal knowledge and not legal advice, but just legal information, to a general public or to other lawyers, is a great opportunity. And it starts to really convey a lot of credibility. And they start to build, you know, separates them from other lawyers who aren’t sharing information like this. And they really become thought leaders in this space where people aren’t working with social media at all. And, you know, really sets them apart from the masses.
And then you can see this leveraging into potentially more business, more speaking engagements, things like that. And, you know, even from just hearing speakers today, the off-line world is tied really heavily to the on-line world. So when you meet somebody in an off-line context and hear them speak and meet them and have a great discussion with them, I think you’re a lot more likely to listen to their podcast. And I think it works, you know, the other way as well. When you listen to a really great podcast on-line, you’re obviously, as we said, you’re more likely to buy someone’s book, you’re more likely to go out of your way to hear them speak in on off-line context. Maybe if you’re looking for legal advice or something like that, you’re more likely to make a consultation with that person.
So I think that they really play off one another and we can’t really, you know, separate them. The…like I think sometimes we’re just on-line so much but the off-line context is still, you know, really valid and it’s where a lot of, you know, business and relationships are, you know, happening or built, so. We’re really looking at podcasting as just a way of sort of highlighting your skills, your services, becoming really credible. And you’re doing that through distributing information and knowledge. So those who are sharing the most information are in turn getting the most back, which is a concept that Ian brought up as well. So I don’t know, just at breakfast we were talking about on Hull on Estates, when we’re managing their blog page, all the comments that we get are people who are getting, you know, these really, really personal long comments, sort of like, you know, “my brother took this, you know, my brother took…got power of attorney and he’s doing all this stuff, you know, and our mother’s in a nursing home and I don’t feel like she, you know, really knows what’s going on. Like, what can I do?” People are getting, you know, really personal, people are really desperate for this information and this advice and they’re willing to put themselves out there. And obviously those comments don’t go on the page, but then it’s a direct sort of path to going to Hull and Hull and looking for, you know, real legal advice that, you know, people are obviously willing to pay for. So I think that that’s, you know, kind of the relationship as we’re seeing. You know, there are a lot of people that may just listen to it. It’s just an idea, it’s just a concept, they don’t go any further with it. But there’s definitely people out there hungry for knowledge and, you know, hungry for real advice. So that’s how we’re using blogging and podcasting.
Terry Fallis: Okay, thanks. We are going to open the floor for questions. There’s one more to talk about. We really touched on or concentrated on business podcasting. But Mark and Bob wanted us to do something on the personal side too. So I actually wrote a novel a couple of years ago and spent about a year flogging it to agents and to publishers. And it’s a novel about Canadian politics which doesn’t exactly cry out for broad distribution, I understand. But anyway, I tried that and banged my head against that locked door for a long time and I was getting rather discouraged about it. Then I went to Podcast Expo in Ontario, California last September and I saw a guy named Scott Sigler speak. And Scott, if you have any idea who he is, he’s probably…well he’s probably the leading podcast author, book author on podcasting out there. He sort of started it, the genre. I saw a session he did and I thought, hmm, that’s kind of interesting. And I came home and I thought, why am I going to bang my head against the wall for another couple of years trying to get it through. The first-time author, in this country at least, has a really big mountain to climb to interest even an agent in looking at the manuscript, let alone getting the whole manuscript published as a novel. Kudos to Charles for managing to break through. That’s terrific, but anyway, I decided I’d come back and in the true spirit of social media, I would self-publish the novel, definitely consumer generated content, and podcast the novel one chapter at a time.
So I started doing that in January and I podcast one chapter. Takes about half an hour to listen to. Took me a lot longer to podcast it but about a half an hour to listen to. There are nineteen chapters plus the prologue, so twenty episodes. And started coming out in January. I finished it up in May. I did what I did with “Inside PR”. I sent promotions to all my podcast friends and once again they were very generous in their time and played those podcast promotions on their shows including CPB. And Bob actually interviewed me for an episode of Canadian Podcast Buffet. And lo and behold, it started to take off. I don’t really know what the iTunes rankings mean. I don’t know if anyone can explain that to me or what it actually represents, but I was in the new and notable section once. I’ve been as high as 24 in the Arts and Literature category.
Shortly after the third chapter was published, I think, or posted, Podiobooks.com called me and asked if they could put it on their feed. And now I get half my listeners from Podiobooks.com, the rest through the regular Libsyn iTunes posting. And I’ve been surprised by a couple of things ‘cause for me it was really just a social media experiment. I had no expectations on what it might yield. But I have a larger audience than I ever expected. I kinda thought they’d only be Canadians who are interested in Canadian politics. Turns out I have authors in many different countries, particularly in countries that have a parliamentary system of government. I know Brian Person at the back has been kind enough to listen to the whole thing and he’s in the US. And I’m happy to know that the Canadian political stuff didn’t slow it down too much for him.
But lot’s more listeners than I thought. It’s actually created a demand for a sequel which I hadn’t really contemplated. But , so…yeah, Dwight’s been pushing the sequel idea. But…so I’m starting to map that out, not wishing to disappoint the listeners. And the book’s going to be coming out in print form in probably the next 6 to 8 weeks. And I hope that I’ve built up some demand perhaps for some sales based on the podcast. And many people have said, you know you want to sell the book. You’re giving it away for free in an audio format over the internet. And I don’t really look at it that way. I just look at it as building a bigger audience for the novel itself. And it’s been a very positive experience for me. I’ve started a Facebook group. Please feel free to join. There aren’t that many there now but I’m using that to sort of communicate to those who have been listening. So a really fun experience for me. So on the personal side and on the business side, it’s worked for us in both areas. So here endeth the sermon. Any comments or questions for us? We’re happy to answer them. Yes?
Bob Goyetche: Okay, I’m going to start here back with Chris.
Chris Penn: Hi, I’m Chris from Financial Aid Podcast. No, I’m not Mitch Joel. I have too much hair. Oh, oh now I’m Mitch Joel. For podcasters, promos tend to stay within the fishbowl. I mean that through advertising to people who are already inside podcasting. For some of us who don’t have large budgets, what, as PR professionals, would you say is a good low cost way of getting outside the fishbowl and getting a lot of attendance audience?
Terry Fallis: Well, one of the things you can do, if you know people in the media, we spent a lot of our time in the PR world trying to interest journalists in what we’re doing and what our clients are doing. So I, in a way, did that for myself, for the book. I actually did an interview with Steve Paikin who has the show on TVO called The Agenda. And we did a fifteen-minute interview. But I’m not sure it aired. It was really an on-line interview. But I saw an immediate boost in my subscriptions after that aired. So doing some straight old-style PR, trying to do some media relations. Issuing a news release is probably not gonna work, but doing some pitching, doing some email pitches to some journalists and getting out there. If it’s a book you’re doing, and it’s out, independent book stores don’t get a lot of authors coming through their stores. So setting up time to actually do a book signing or promoting the podcast while you’re there is not a bad thing to do either…I don’t want to hog all the floor…
Ian Hull: No, no you’re the PR guy.
Audience Member: Tommy, the Local with Talkshoe.com. Question for Ian or Kate, because I know you work on the Hull and Hull blog together. I noticed on the posting that you posted from Hull and Hull LLP, and yet you mention that the author of each post changes week to week. Is there a reason you chose to represent it as the company rather than the person writing it? If I see a blog and I wanna feedback to him, I’d rather write my email to Ian or write my email to Terry, rather than write my email to the company. Is there a reason you went that route?
Kate Morgan: They actually, if you scroll down, they finish with the name of whoever wrote the post.
Kate Morgan: So that’s how they wrote it, so you know, we could put a link from Natalia to her profile, which has her email address. But if you just go to the Hull and Hull site every lawyer has a profile with their email address so…it’s hard to see…but, yeah, it does fall sort of under the firm.
Ian Hull: Yeah, no, that’s exactly. But I find it comes back. The problem with having your name on the door is that everybody wants to talk to the person with the name on the door and it’s the same in the social media world. And it’s great but it’s also time-consuming. So anything that I can do to deflect some of that in a day just because we all have too many emails coming in and so we put that at the bottom. But the truth is, that they usually, a lot of the time, they’ll email direct to me or something like that will come around that way. But I just wanted to make one comment was this idea that, because I think we really are, like we’re a tiny sliver in this whole world of law and the world of podcasting and everything. But everything really is mainstream. I mean, I was looking at the “Economist” this week and I was reading an article on, you know, some rich…her name was described as Queen Brooke, and she grew up poor, married a rich guy at age 51 and died. The guy died 6 years later in the fifties. And she spent the next 50 years giving away his money and she’s very well known in New York City and she just died at 104. Her son let her decay and really basically rot in an apartment that was unclean. She died of Alzheimer’s. The son, the grandson had a big piece of litigation over it trying to get her separated from her son. And the whole story was, it just amazed me, was that that’s what we see every day in our little sliver. It was interesting enough to have a page in “The Economist” which is a fairly mainstream gig. And there’s no question that if you tell a story about whatever topic you’re talking about, tell it well. It goes a long way. And the other final technology thing, in terms of future that I didn’t mention was, they’re talking and there’s…if we get to the point where we have wireless iPods which is not an impossible scenario, I think it’s going to change the whole model of the monkeys that I have to feed to. Because once they get set up once, they don’t have to think again. And so that’s positive too. I think technology is really gonna…it feeds everything, but it’s really gonna help our little sliver as well.
Terry Fallis: Couple of hands in the air.
Audience Member: Thanks, I don’t have to stand, that’s awesome. I’m…we’re just sort of checking it out right now. but you’re taking all your feedback through emails and comments right now I take it, right? Are you doing any like audio or like live Skype or Talkshoe call-in sort of show?
Terry Fallis: Well I can sort of answer from our side. On the Inside PR blog we have a PodPress player right there. We also have mobiTalk so we accept audio comments. And one of the things we did early on is, instead of waiting to play the audio comments in the next show, we actually started posting audio comments we received right on the blog. We would still talk about them in the show and probably play them again, but just to keep the conversation a bit more immediate, we would actually post just the audio comment on the blog, as well, with a little right up and a link. So that’s how we’re doing it. You’re doing email mainly?
Ian Hull: Yeah, we’re not good at that. We’re trying to build that. It’s really hard. We’re finding it very hard because everybody just wants free legal advice, and it’s, you know, I try to…I’m happy to give as much as I can. But not as…you know, at some point I have to actually earn a living and…so our model is not working that great on the feedback side.
Audience Member: Hi, Robin Brown, I’m a federal government guy trying to get social media going in with the fed’s.
Terry Fallis: Good for you.
Robin Brown: This Inside PR, you say, is a business tool. Is there any way to measure whether it’s…I see where you’re trying to use it to increase your business. Is there any way to measure that?
Terry Fallis: Well, only in that, I guess, in the last year, our firm has produced, or I have produced on the personal side, about 150 podcast episodes, most of them are Inside PR, my book. But the last probably 50 or so have been for clients. So we have a number of clients who are podcasting. And our approach to social media was we don’t think we should be counselling clients on it unless we’re actually doing it. So if PR agencies are appearing before your organizations advising on social media, you should be asking them “well, what’s the…where’s your blog and what’s your podcast?” so I want to listen to them. So we took that seriously and are actually trying to walk the talk as it were. So it’s been really helpful to be doing it and it has given us a lot of insight. So we’ve made the mistakes on our own shows and have been able to apply that to our clients. So, yeah, it’s paying off. I don’t know for mainstream PR agencies whether or not it’s gonna be a really lucrative part of the business to turn ourselves into a podcast production house. That’s not really what we’re hoping to do. We want to be seen as advisors who can help organizations integrate social media into their broader communications efforts. Our belief is that social media is a tactic, not a strategy. Blogging is a tactic, podcasting is a tactic. The strategy is in the acceptance that conversations are moving markets. That conversations is the real strategic insight but …so we’re trying to integrate it in our broader PR work as well.
Bob Goyetche: Great, and I think that calls time Mark? Thank you Terry, Ian and Kate. Very informative.
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