New Podcast: PRobecast #12 from Topaz Partners

Another glimpse of where I work– the latest episode of the weekly PR-related podcast from Topaz Partners, PRobecast Episode 12

I’m not in this one! But hey, I’m not proud… as usual, cross-posted from Tech PR Gems:

This week’s panel, Tim Allik and Rob Capra, discuss:

  1. Tim Allik’s recent journey to the SAE World Congress auto show in Detroit, and his liveblogging efforts from same.
  2. Virginia Tech– appropriateness and effects of NBC running the shooter’s video.
  3. China needs PR professionals– who knew?
  4. The Pet Food problem continues– the PR campaign does too, and the industry gets Tim’s Bright Side award for getting away with its less than forthcoming attitude prior to the crisis.
  5. Rob found $400. What could he do with it?
  6. The Battle of the Podcast Theme Songs is live now, as we finally take on the first challenger, BusinessWeek’s Cutting Edge podcast. Vote early and often!

We want your comments!

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Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
or iTunes.

Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML

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New Podcast Up– PRobecast #11

Just posted PRobecast, Episode 11 of Topaz Partners’ weekly PR-related podcast.

(Cross-posted at Tech PR Gems)

This week’s panel, Adam Zand and yours truly, discuss:

  1. Imus and Duke Lacrosse: a PR perspective on these two recent controversies. And shut up, Kelly Ripa.
  2. PodCamp NYC: Adam introduces his own report from the event.
  3. Blogger Code of Conduct: do we need one?
  4. Bambi Francisco leaves Marketwatch: conflict of interest? And podcasters take note: Frank Barnako is gone as well.
  5. Stock tip of the week: GOOG, and getting your news tips faster via Twitter.
  6. Happy Patriots Day/Boston Marathon Day/April Blizzard Day, Jackie Robinson Day, and RIP Kurt Vonnegut.

Wear Sunscreen.

We want your comments!

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Audio: Leave a comment on the feedCaster widget below, call +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam
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You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
or iTunes.

Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML

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Leaving Podcast Comments: Content Over (Sound) Quality

Having been involved in radio for years before going into public relations, and now being very involved with podcasting- included producing a podcast with my colleagues at Topaz Partners, it is tempting to accept only well-recorded content. By that I mean using a decent microphone and editing for best sound quality, even when simply leaving a comment for another podcast.

In radio, “phone sound” was the dreaded result of inferior setups and last-minute arrangements. To be avoided at any cost, as we were always proud of our production quality. So, I have recorded an occasional comment at my office and sent it off to For Immediate Release, New Comm Road, Six Pixels of Separation, and other podcasts to which I listen regularly.

I have found, though, that I am at my best when in the car going to work. No studio in there, just my cell phone. So, do I call when the ideas are fresh in my head and when my energy level is up, or do I wait until I have time at the office, am a bit hushed so as not to disturb the office, and have let the ideas go stale. The answer is obvious. Call and go off the cuff. I think it adds to the content even if the quality is less than ideal, and often makes the difference between recording a good comment and not doing it at all.

I should add that I thought about this topic after responding to Bryan Person‘s Twitter question, “When (where?) are you at your creative best?”

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Yet another Podcast: PRobecast #10

Welcome to the PRobecast, Episode 10 of Topaz Partners’ weekly podcast.

This week’s panel,Tim Allik, Rob Capra and I, discuss:

  1. UMass Boston’s Center For Media and Society and New England Ethnic News– Topaz recently spoke with students who are incorporating social media into their online news site
  2. A look at Technorati chief David Sifry’s “State of the Live Web” report
  3. Video blogger Josh Wolf released from prison
  4. Search Engine Marketing a threat to PR?
  5. PodCamp NYC, the PodCamp Foundation, and liveblogging
  6. Bright Side: Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin
  7. PRSA Boston’s 2007-2008 Scholarship Grant Program
  8. So long InfoWorld (print)
  9. Battle of the Podcast Themes is coming– honest!

Keep the feedback coming!

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You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
or iTunes.

Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML

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New PRobecast Podcast

PRobecast, Episode 9 of Topaz Partners’ weekly podcast is up. I’m not on it this week, but posting it here anyway. As always, you can play it here on the Hipcast player in the sidebar or use the RSS feed below. thanks to Adam Zand for the notes.

This week’s panel, Adam Zand with the road warriors from CTIA Todd Van Hoosear and Peter Gorman discuss:

1. CTIA – How can a client stand out? How can an agency cast a wider net?
2. Briefing sheet bruhahaWaggener Edstrom had a briefing sheet slip out from them and still got coverage in Wired from Fred Vogelstein – yeah, so what? Well, a lot of bloggers seem to care on Chris Anderson’s Long Tail post.
3. Should Curt Schilling (Happy Opening Day! Go Sox 2007!) blog? – What does it mean for our clients? (I wonder if Dan Shaughnessy will take the Boston Globe buy-out package and join a PR firm?)
4. Listener feedback – Adam points out to Rob Capra that is was 40-years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.
5. Bright Side of PR Award – After April 17, AG Alberto Gonzales might have a career with some soon-to-dot-bomb tech firm.
6. Happy Passover and Easter Week – PRobecast Trivia: Adam asks “Why is this PRobecast different than all other PRobecasts?”

Simple, it is the first episode not to feature Tim Allik on mic (although, he did yeoman production work while Doug Haslam was sick).

Enjoy! Keep the feedback coming!

P.S. This week will see the launch of the “Battle of the PR/marketing podcast them songs” – Watch this space for details as PRobecast challenges BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting in Round 1.
P.S.S. “We hope you have enjoyed the show – We’re sorry but it’s time to go!”

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Speaking at UMass Tomorrow

social media flyer2

Originally uploaded by douglashaslam.

This should be fun– my Topaz Partners colleague Adam Zand and I will be speaking on a social media panel at UMass Boston tomorrow (April 5), in front of a “Master Class” of students, along with academic and former journalist Robert Picard.

This should be interesting. Later in April, I will be doing something similar at Boston University.

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Bum Rush the Charts Post-Factum: Who are your favorite indy musicians?

Several friends in the social media-sphere were rabid supporters of Bum Rush the Charts last Thursday, March 22, and I joined in.brtcblack

In short, BRTC was an effort to show that people could join together in a grass roots fashion to push an independent musician to the top of the iTunes charts. the song “Mine Again” by Black Lab was chosen.

My immediate reaction was to object to the iTunes platform. I hate DRM (digital rights management), and in particular I detest the closed iTunes system (Apple’s protected AAC file format), which basically means you have to have an iPod if you want to buy and play songs from the iTunes store. There are workarounds, but to a one they are each a pain the ass.

I got over that objection quickly, deciding that refusing to support iTunes tyranny could temporarily take a back seat to seeing people try to flip a collective bird to the major record labels.

Other people objected to the song– they hated it. I say that’s beside the point– participate in the social experiment, concentrate on your own musical choices later (more on that point below). By then I had decided that whether I bought into the movement–or the song–or not, it would be fascinating to see a massive social media experiment at work.

And work it did. Getting the song to number 11 on the U.S. Rock charts was pretty impressive (more results here). Pushing aside some of the dreck on the charts for one day is a pretty good exercise.

But now what?

Can we do it again? Do we want to? Do we need to? It might be a thought to do this a few more times, just to get more attention to independent artists in general, and perhaps expand America’s pop palette (too much to hope for). Subsequent go ’rounds could include more of a press campaign, not just a couple of press releases (great effort by Christopher Penn et al though, and I got BusinessWeek’s blog to weigh in this first time)– I’m thinking busting into the music publications, online and in print– Rolling Stone, Spin, etc., to get the message outside of our social media clique and into the main stream.

(Update: Christopher Penn kindly told me about some other coverage he got for BRTC: Billboard, WashPost, Spin, Wired, Newsweek, CNET, CBC, BBC. I knew about a couple of these, but of the ones I didn’t, Spin and Newsweek in particular are impressive–I’ll stick with my point that all that and more is needed)

My other thought– everybody recommend some independent artists that you love and would like to see get more listeners– even just a few. You don’t need to have your own Accident Hash podcast to be able to identify worthy artists. Here are my two (both of whom can be found on iTunes, if you must):

Amelia WhiteAmelia White: Back in the 80’s she was part of the folk-rock group Sara Laughs, but has worked under her own name since at least the early 90’s. Boston-based until a few years ago, she has been making some great music in Nashville. She’s an old friend of my wife’s in Boston, and I have been proud to know her for the last 15 years. Amelia has several CDs, not a bad one in the bunch. And if you catch her live, buy her a Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and tell her I sent you.

Dave AaronoffThe other is Dave Aaronoff. I know Dave from when he was in a ska-ish band with my brother–Duck Duck, the toast (or Toast-’ems) of Lowell MA in the early 90’s. He later joined some Ducks in the Shods, but has several CDs under his own name (or with his band the Details). He has a bit of an Elvis Costello vibe, but his sound is his own. Trivia: he once was an assistant to Al Kooper (bow down to the great Al Kooper please), and told the Boston Globe that he did all of Kooper’s marketing; he went tot he vegetable market, the meat market, the dairy market….

So… who are your favorite independent musicians?

*I detest the term “post-mortem”– it reeks of death– no one died here, therefore: “post-factum”

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New Podcast Up- PRobecast #008

Just posted Episode 8 of PRobecast, Topaz Partners’ weekly Tech PR podcast.

This week’s panel, Tim Allik, Rob Capra and Doug Haslam, discuss:

Leave a comment! Whether you love what we said, hate it, or wonder why Doug didn’t mention Twitter even once in this episode, we welcome your feedback and will include it in the show.

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Bum Rush the Charts TODAY

I have been following Bum Rush the Charts, a massive social media experiment– and the eventtakes place today, March 22.

BRTC is an attempt to put an independent (non-major label) music artist in the iTunes Top 100 charts for one day, through word of mouth.

Go to Christopher Penn’s site at: to participate, which means only purchaisng one track, Black Lab’s “Mine Again,” from iTunes for 99 cents.

More information on the project is at:

Whether or not you like this band or this song, it will be fascinating to see the results of this effort. I bought the song (no, I won’t be expensing it). Will you?

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New podcast up…

Once again, cross-posting show notes for the PRobecast podcast with Tech PR Gems

This week’s panel, Tim Allik, Adam Zand and Doug Haslam, discuss:

  • Opening notes– a challenge to Bryan Person and Chip Griffin
  • Google moves to make search archives anonymous, and announces it on the company blog
  • State of the Media Report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism– tidbits from the Online section of this annual report, including: podcasting adoption faster than RSS? (Plus gratuitous Twitter mention.
  • Adam Zand and Jen McClure of the Society for New Communications Research from the New Communications Forum
  • Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick makes the show again, this time for making moves in the face of PR crises. Plus, word of the day: “Governoring.”
  • This week’s Bright Side: Tim finds a silver lining in the Frito’s/dead mouse story– plus, the stock tip of the week
  • Adam issues a Podcast Theme challenge to Heather Green of BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting
  • Things to do this weekend, even though it’ll be too late by the time you hear this: Elven drum circle in Second Life, St. Patrick’s Day/Evacuation Day, and a (ok, another) totally made up holiday
  • We ran out of time to mention it, but don’t forget to Bum Rush the Charts March 22

Leave a comment!
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You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
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