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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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Live Forward Podcast 12/15

I’ll be hosting Forward Podcast 37 “What Are You Doing to Address Globalization?” over at BlogTalkRadio on Saturday. We put out podcasts on the 1st and 15th so this month we’re doing a live show about globalization.

Show goes live at 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific on the Forward Podcast Channel. Since it’s live, we’ll be taking your calls at US +1 (646) 716-9941.

Who: Richard Bailey, Robert French, Paull Young, Luke Armour and YOU.
What: Forward Podcast 37 Live
When: Saturday, December 15th 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific
Where: Forward Podcast channel on BlogTalkRadio

Tentative topics of discussion:

  • Learning of languages
  • Work experience overseas and in minority communities
  • Issues like trade, aid, labor, climate change and religious fundamentalism
  • What are you reading and watching?
  • Whatever’s on YOUR mind

Join us live or catch the archive on the Forward Podcast Channel archive or through the Forward Podcast RSS feed.

Listen to the archive from BlogTalkRadio: 

The Rundown with Todd Defren

This week I welcome Todd Defren, principal at SHIFT Communications, prolific blogger at PR Squared and tweeter on Twitter to a special Halloween episode of The Rundown. Mwa ha ha ha ha! Dress in your favorite costume and join us for this live internet broadcast.

As always, The Rundown is my weekly LIVE podcast featuring an analysis or summary of something by a knowledgeable person – and me.

As principal, Defren leads client services and business development efforts for SHIFT. More importantly he and his team have been instrumental in bringing the Social Media Release to life. I have some questions of my own about that, about what prompted him to get involved in the whole movement and what it means to public relations and journalism. I also plan on asking him what it’s like to bop from Boston to San Fransisco like a tennis ball. Don’t miss this exciting Halloween edition.

The Rundown airs on Tuesdays at 1:30pm Eastern. Because it’s live, your calls are welcome. Whenever I have I guest you’d like to talk to, question or heckle, just call in at (646) 716-8329. You can also email your text or audio comments to me before the show and I’ll fit them in. The archives will be available at my BlogTalkRadio host page or by subscribing to the show’s RSS feed. You can also subscribe to the show on iTunes.

Links from The Rundown with Todd Defren

The Rundown with Nettie Hartsock

This week I welcome Nettie Hartsock, blogger, book publicist, freelance writer and entrepreneur to The Rundown. As always, The Rundown is my weekly LIVE podcast featuring an analysis or summary of something by a knowledgeable person – and me. Nettie’s site reads:

Nettie Hartsock helps individuals, authors, and companies focus on creating, conveying and connecting their message to the world and creates actionable how-to-programs which establish a powerful base for attracting both blogger and journalists attention.

therundown.jpgWe’ll be discussing business and what it’s like to be an online book publicist including what that has to do with podcasting. Or does it at all? Call in, we’ll discuss whatever YOU want to talk about. Plus Nettie has this darling southern drawl that you won’t want to miss. Join me to get the rundown on Nettie Hartsock.

The Rundown airs on Tuesdays at 1:30pm Eastern. Because it’s live, your calls are welcome. Whenever I have I guest you’d like to talk to or question, just call in at (646) 716-8329. You can also email your text or audio comments to me before the show and I’ll play them. The archives will be available at my BlogTalkRadio host page or by subscribing to the show’s RSS feed.

Disclosure: I am employed at BlogTalkRadio

New Live PR Podcast – The Rundown with Luke Armour

Yes. It’s true. To answer a question Mitch Joel posed to me at Podcamp Toronto in February: Tuesday, Mitch, this Tuesday.

therundown.jpgI’ve started a show on the BlogTalkRadio network entitled that focuses on public relations, the web, promotions, publicity, internal communication, media relations, investor relations, online marketing, writing, public affairs, social media, issue management, blogging, crisis communication and any other form of public relations. The live-show-turned-podcast is entitled “The Rundown with…”

Since I’m not entertaining nor smart enough to hold your attention by myself, I’ve decided to do an interview-style show and get some smart folks to spend 30 minutes with me LIVE. Then I’ll do zany things with them for my own amusement. I think I can make that last until future guests listen to archived shows and start rethinking their commitment to talk to me. Anyway, the interview style definitely takes the most advantage of BlogTalkRadio’s live talk-show format.

The Rundown will air Tuesdays at 1:30pm Eastern. Because it’s live, your calls are welcome. Whenever I have I guest you’d like to talk to or question, just call in at (646) 716-8329. You can also email your text or audio comments to me before the show and I’ll play them. The archives will be available at my BlogTalkRadio host page or by subscribing to the show’s RSS feed.

So far I’ve got some great guests lined up and it should be fun. My inaugural show airs this Tuesday 10/16 and features Sarah Wurrey (the fool!) from Custom Scoop, its blog and the irreplaceable PR Blog Jots. Join me to get the rundown on Sarah Wurrey!

Disclosure: I work for BlogTalkRadio, but the show is still my puppy.

BlogTalkRadio Adds Social to Internet Radio and Podcasting

At the risk of turning my personal/professional blog into a billboard for my employer, I’m posting this post. I can’t help it, it’s too exciting and also one of the reasons I haven’t posted anything else since my last BlogTalkRadio post.

Today we launched a new site with new features and great new social media components. It adds more “social” to podcasting and Internet radio than ever before.

One of the biggest benefits to podcasting has also been one of my biggest complaints: asynchronous communication and community building. We all love podcasts because they’re “on demand.” We can listen when and where we want. But there’s always been that lack of immediate interaction. Most podcasts I listen to are community based and comment driven, but there’s that gap among when it was recorded it to when it was downloaded and when it was actually listened to and, finally, when it a comment was sent in.

For Immediate Release hosts Hobson and Holtz tackled this problem by having a few SkypeCasts in the past. Those were great shows and allowed the audience to directly interact with the hosts and each other. They had even set up a text chat on the backend.

But BlogTalkRadio does all that for you now. And it’s one of the reasons I joined the team. It brings community close to home. Well now it’s gone one step further and added a social networking component and text chat to the site. Hosts and Listeners can set up profiles, link to each other and build a bigger, stronger community on the network. I’m excited about it. Plus, cool new logo. Check out all the new stuff.

If podcasting was something you’ve wanted to try, but didn’t like the technical aspect of it, try BTR. Live, easy and still delivered via RSS.

Oh, and in full disclosure, I work for BlogTalkRadio if you haven’t figured that out by now.

Update: CEO Alan Levy has a good run down of the new features with a top level perspective.

Forward podcast picks up a co-producer, Peter Shankman guinea pig

canwedothat.jpgforward_podcast144.jpgI’m very excited to announce that I’m co-producing the Forward podcast with Paull Young over at the Forward blog. Forward is an online resource for young PR Pros and students. I interviewed Peter Shankman, CEO of The Geek Factory, for Forward Podcast 28 this week. Peter may be surprised to find out (or not surprised at all) that he was my guinea pig interview.

Peter is an unique PR professional with scads of experience, skill and understanding for such a nice young man. He authored the recent book Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts and Why Your Company Needs Them, which is an entertaining, informative business book for anyone, but especially PR pros.

Give it a listen to and let me know your thoughts on my interview style, podcasting skills or anything we talked about. And check out Peter’s book, I highly recommend it. Forward Podcast 28.

Friday Frivolity – Galaticast, geek parodies

galacticastMet these great folks at Podcamp last weekend. So of course, I had to check out their shows. Visit Galaticast.com for hilarious parodies of the geek world. From the website:

Background: GALACTICAST is a weekly comedy show parodying all the worlds of geek-dom. From their apartment studio, Casey McKinnon and Rudy Jahchan (along with the other Galacticast players) mash-up their love of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comics, and video-games to bring you hilarious sketches every Monday morning.

My favorites so far are Galacticut and Survivor: Dune. That last one actually makes me laugh just thinking about it. Subscribe, sponsor and enjoy. Something to take the edge of Monday…

Toronto Wrap-Up & Comment

cupcrazy.jpgMy first (real) social media meet-up and unconference was an outstanding success. Pounding the pavement in the Hockey Hall of Fame was a nice addition as well. Pictured is me and my good friend The Stanley Cup along with Terry Fallis of Inside PR and The Best Laid Plans book podcast. Terry was a perfect gentleman and chauffeur all weekend. If you need driven around town by the president of a very successful international public relations agency, I suggest him. Tell him Luke sent you.

Podcamp was a mind-blowing experience. Unfortunately I was mildly distracted by the relative star power. Of course I still learned quite a bit with the sessions I attended, but I’m incredibly grateful for the video of the entire conference posted on the wiki. To quote Mitch Joel, “I can’t believe all this content is free!”

I, for one, am going to have to revisit every session taught by Christopher Penn of the Financial Aid Podcast/Student Loan Network one tidbit at a time if I’m going to retain anything he said. Here’s a fanatical tech guy who actually understands the technology, grasps the communication aspects of the tools AND can talk intelligently about it. A rare breed of genius, that guy. He provided great hacks on increasing the podcast audience and marketing, for instance. Mitch and John Wall dropped some creative ways to SEO and Google juice your podcast in my last Saturday session.

geekdinner.jpgThe geek dinner with Mitch, Donna, Bryan Person of the excellent New Comm Road podcast, the lovely Carin, and John Wall, with a rock star cast at the table behind, fed my mind and body. Donna, in exceptional geek fashion, set up her rig and recorded for posterity. Should be on a future Trafcom News Podcast if it turned out. The night rolled right into a rocking good time at C’est What? with Uncle Seth. I’m a converted fan. Chris Clarke finally woke up long enough to steal $20 from me and keep me up way too late.

Our Sunday morning panel (photo) (video) was recorded and the audio was inserted in Mitch’s podcast this week. Great minds surrounded me as we tackled the question, “Should your company be podcasting?” Awesome insights from Donna, Terry, and the ever articulate Michael Seaton, who, by the way, is the only person I personally know getting paid to produce a podcast (okay, sure he does a myriad of other stuff, but still). He detailed some great info in his session (link to his video) on how to get buy-in from a huge multinational organization.

Without reviewing the videos, the most concrete things I walked away having are some outstanding new tools like StumbleUpon, Twitter, Mobatalk (met Michael Bailey by chance in the elevator Friday night, I love this stuff), and MyBlogLog. Too much to mention, but I hope to be using some of it soon.

Check out the tagged photos on Flickr and Chris’s blog post. Thanks to John for posting this snap. Bob and Donna both have good recaps of events as do many others.
I’m still crying myself to sleep about missing David Jones, but I hope to someday get over it. Why, David, WHY have you forsaken me?

Thanks to all those who took the time to share insights and chat about their knowledge. Shout out to Brogan and Casey & Rudy from Galacticast (a hilarious geek-focused comedy videocast) hope to see you all again soon. Apologies to the dozens of great folks I never had a chance to meet. Special thanks to Leesa and Brent Morris of The Closet Geek Show, Jay Moonah of Uncle Seth and Online Music Marketing, and Julien of the In Over Your Head hip hop podcast, and Mitch for all their hard work.

update: added a few more links to posts I missed earlier

Join me at Podcamp Toronto

Join me and hundreds of other people for Podcamp Toronto this weekend!

Not only will I be enjoying the company of some of my favorite podcasters, networking with other social media geeks, and enjoying the Canadian highlife, I’m also speaking on a panel Sunday morning.

The 10:45 Panel Discussion is entitled Should Your Company Be Podcasting? Moderated by Mitch Joel from Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. Panelists will be Michael O’Connor Clarke of Thornley Fallis; me; Donna Papacosta – Trafcom News; Terry Fallis – Inside PR and Thornley Fallis; and Michael Seaton – Scotiabank’s The Money Clip Podcast and The Client Side.

Donna has written a detailed post about it too, wherein she refers to me as a “prolific blogger and king of podcast parody.” Great, wait until the attendees hear what I have to say about whether their companies should be podcasting:

“…and so the real test is whether or not your business podcast is funny. If it’s not, don’t bother. Does that answer the question?”

“But I own a funeral home…”

“Were you not listening? Funeral homes are goldmines for funny. You should podcast, consult me on the side about how to make that hysterical. Next question…”

You can listen to a few of my travel plans as detailed by the hilarious and knowledgeable jokers David Jones and Terry Fallis from Inside PR, the Canadian PR podcast on these audio clips I stole from their shows here and here.

It’s going to be quite a weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. If you’re going to be in town, drop me an email or come to the panel discussion and lob softball questions at the panel. Actually, ask the tough questions, with this star studded cast, we just can’t go wrong. I might even ask a few questions of the esteemed panel myself!

Podcasting suggestions, advice from a guy who doesn’t podcast

mic.jpgSo I’m not a podcaster. I’ve participated in a few podcasts. I’ve recorded things on my computer, but never made a podcast. I’ve never even recorded a Skype call. So you might be wondering what qualifications I have to make suggestions or give advice about said medium.

Well, first of all, I’m not going to, because Donna Papacosta already podcasted the concept I was cooking up and going to write about, so there! (I’ll be coming back to this.)

Secondly, I listen to a lot of podcasts. And to me, knowing what one likes or doesn’t like about podcasts really gives that person ample qualification. Plus, I was in a band for over six years, engineered two full-length CDs and still record my own little ditties occasionally, so I know a little bit about recording equipment.

Tertiarily, this is my blog. I don’t have to have authority, experience or knowledge, I just have to have an audience. Which I’m sure I’m losing at about 6 readers per word at this point. Hey, isn’t that the point sometimes when you’re blogging? Isn’t that the blogosphere motto: Don’t have any facts, figures, or knowledge, but write vehemently about stuff you don’t understand.

Gosh, I’m snarky today. Sorry I’m so cynical, but you’ve got to tell me you’ve noticed. It’s either an echo chamber or it’s a blind rant…no, wait, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, sometimes it’s a complete echo chamber of ranting blindly. You wouldn’t know it, but I do love the medium. I love the whole shebang, bad and all.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to many, many podcasts since I first discovered them, oh…late 2005. Some good, some bad, and they’re getting better. I started thinking I’d write up a little top ten on what my suggestions would be to future or newbie podcasters. Things that people wouldn’t ordinarly think of without a little recording experience. The beauty of the medium is that the barrier to entry is so low, right? But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you should think about first.

However, in traditional I-used-to-live-in-New-York -and-then-I-moved-to-Canada-so-long-ago- I-forgot-how-to-carry-my-own-illegally-concealed-firearm fashion, Donna Papacosta came out with this great podcast on January 10th titled Insider’s Podcasting Secrets: 10 Things Every Podcaster Should Know, which is a cumbersome title and not one I would have used, but it’s straight forward and to the point. It was also featured on the Feedburner site, which must mean something because I know what Feedburner is and therefore what Donna has achieved must be important.

No, for the title of this post/podcast I would have chosen something with a little more panache. Something like, “Ten Ways To Cast Your Pod Appropriately” or “Don’t Screw This Up: How to avoid making your podcast the laughing stock of the entire freakin’ world,” or even “Podcasting suggestions, advice from a guy who doesn’t podcast.” But it’s Donna’s show, so she can call it whatever she wants.

This is a must listen – I’ll repeat – This is a must listen! Put your eye right up to the monitor just so you get it – this is a must listen for the podcast novice or anyone who has ever thought that maybe they would podcast or even participate in one just once. Even if you’ve done 10 shows, listen to this podcast. Her advice is simple, to the point, and very important. My big argument about podcasting is, yes, content is king, I’ll gladly put up with the occasional poor audio quality of a presentation because I know it’s going to be worth it. Better yet, next episode I might be able to actually hear something. It all evens out. But I have – those of you with weak stomachs might want to skip to the next paragraph break – but I have unsubscribed – YES, I ADMIT IT, unsubscribed to podcasts because they were the audio equivilant of fingernails on a chalkboard.

Oh, wait, that is audio. Bad metaphor.

Anyway, it was terrible to listen to episode after episode and no amount of “great content” can stem the flow of unscribes to that malodorous effluent. Yes, I had to look those words up.

One thing Donna doesn’t cover is sound effects. And this might seem a bit advanced, but it’s the only original thing I can come up with that she hasn’t covered. All I’m asking for here is a “ding” a “ping” or a “bong.” A musical trill, the sound of a drill, a reverberous gong. Arpeggio, just so you know, three notes of a chord. A puff on a flute, a little horn toot, a boat horn on the fjord. The point is, sometimes a little musical umph (technical term) can help separate segments of your show. I hate to brag, but one person who does this really well is Donna Papacosta. Just short little anythings can help tell your audience that something is changing. Visually, we’d see paragraphs indented in print or a super-bright flash in a video. Aurally, we need the help. So if you’re introducing an interview, ending an interview, going to a new segment, or having a flashback of an earlier show – help an ear out. And I like them short. I love FIR, but I can’t stand the musical introductions to their segments…too long. You could listen to Inside PR for the jingle I wrote for the Inside PRoper English segment…funny how they only used it for two shows…

Now, go listen to Donna’s Trafcom News podcast #48.