43 episodes

Stay current on the latest developments in earned media relations and PR.

Earned Media Podcast Eric Schwartzman

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

Stay current on the latest developments in earned media relations and PR.

    Social Media and Misinformation (PODCAST)

    Social Media and Misinformation (PODCAST)

    Social Networks rose to dominance on the promise of dethroning the mainstream media. No longer would broadcasters and print publishers have a chokehold on what stories got told.

    Who needs journalism or public relations to protect your reputation if you can bypass the gatekeepers and tell your story yourself? Direct-to-audience storytelling and personal branding were the harbingers of direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Together, they’re called content marketing, and for direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies, they are a huge revenue opportunity.

    But the unintended consequences of unfiltered, unfact-checked information as well as entertainment from social media, we are now learning, are depression, isolation, addiction, eating disorders, and in the case of conspiracy theorists, vaccine resistance and election fraud conspiracies.

    What so many of us thought would be the democratization of information has become an infodemic. But it’s all reversible. Social networks move sensational posts to the top of the screen because they are financially rewarded and shielded from any legal liability. They profit from the spread of false news and downright crazy content because unlike broadcast media programmers, you can’t sue social media programmers for what they amplify. You can only sue the author of the post.

    That’s because of a law called the Communications Decency Act, which in Section 230 gives social networks broad immunity from any legal liability stemming from content created by others. They’re even allowed  to edit other people’s posts – whether for accuracy or civility – so long as their edits don't change the meaning.

    Misinformation on Social Media

    When Section 230 was enacted, engagement-based amplification hadn’t been invented. The thinking was that if telephone companies weren’t liable for what people said on phone calls, and Xerox wasn’t responsible for what people made copies of, social networks shouldn’t be able to be sued out of existence for what people shared on their platforms.

    At the time, social media feeds were displayed in reverse chronological order. The newest message appeared at the top of the stack, and people went back to see the latest post. Social networks played no editorial role in what posts were displayed at the top of the screen. That was determined only by the passage of time.

    But in 2006, Facebook introduced their Edge Rank algorithm, displaying by default those posts that got the most likes, comments and shares at the top of the screen instead of the most current ones. Reach became a factor of engagement. 

    As William Randolph Hearst – the original fake news purveyor – once said, “if it bleeds, it leads” and Facebook’s algorithm automated that concept by seeking out and putting the most emotionally engaging content at the top of what Mark Zuckerberg’s company opportunistically dubbed the “newsfeed.”

    Whistleblower Frances Haugen made it easy to understand that engagement-based amplification is intentional and not arbitrary, because Facebook decides who sees what. And if they make decisions about who sees what, they’re no longer an innocent bystander. 

    Facebook – and all the other digital media services that use engagement-based amplification – is much more like a news media outlet than a telephone company. For that reason, holding them harmless for what people say on their platforms doesn’t make sense. In fact, it gives them an unfair advantage over mainstream media, which are legally accountable for the information they amplify. 

    Facebook invented engagement-based ranking, but they aren’t the only social network using it to increase user session time. Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram,

    • 18 min
    How to Hire a Virtual Assistant with Mashon Thomas

    How to Hire a Virtual Assistant with Mashon Thomas

    If you want to know how to hire a virtual assistant, this episode is for you. I spoke with Mashon Thomas, who specializes in helping clients retain, onboard and manage outsourced virtual assistants. She has been doing it for over a decade, having started as a freelancer herself on upwork. She spoke to me about how she improves the success rate when it comes to hiring virtual assistants abroad.

    For all her tips on how to hire a virtual assistant, listen to this episode of the earned media podcast. She shares many of her secrets on how she successfully finds, tries and decides which virtual assistants to hire and which ones to replace.

    Instead focusing on find the dream person, focus on systems so it's easy to try people out and see who's going to work out and who isn't quickly. Rather than spend a lot of time on the interview process, the key to hiring VAs is to hire fast and fire fast. Focus on building systems that make the hiring and onboarding process easy.

    Test Projects

    Since you don't really know how someone works until you actually try working with them, she prefers to give new employees test projects to see how they do. She uses the online video briefing tool Loom to create short instructions so the briefing process is virtualized. That way, she can just give a new hire a link, and see how they do without having to invest on inordinate amount of time bring them up to speed.

    On Boarding

    She recommends preparing an on boarding document with the time zones of all the team members, the preferred Communications tools for various types of Communications email, slack, Zoom, a sauna, or some other means, whether or not Communications in an Outsourcing platform like upwork or Guru is acceptable, Mutual agreed working hours, and policy for time off.

    For new hires, she prefers to commit to a set schedule when that person will be working so that they can be contacted during working hours by their manager. Everybody wants flexible hours. But flexible hours must be earned, she says. So start out with set hours and let the virtual assistant know that they can earn their independence overtime.

    One way to improve remote Workforce collaboration if you are using a tool like Slack, is to make sure everyone uses their notifications and Away messages to let others know when they're at their desk or working. As long as everyone is diligent about when they're available and when they're not, slack can be a very effective tool for collaboration.


    Country compensations rates vary, but they are alway hourly. W2 companies have standard wages, but VAs working all over the world are compensated based on the averages in their resident country's economy.

    Based on some preliminary research I did, these are current rates for virtual assistants working abroad. As you can see, the rates vary based on the resident country.

    Phillipines $10India $11Malaysia $12Colombia $13Ukraine $14

    The benefit of a tool like Upwork is the ability to compensate remote employees and comply with the necessary taxes and deductions without having to handle that manually. Upwork takes care of making sure you are compliant with tax laws. On the other hand, Upwork is not a great tool for day-to-day communications. Mashon ikes Slack and Asana for collaboration, with Google Drive integrated.

    Task Hand Off Tracking System

    Mashon has created a task hand off tracking system template that she uses to onboard new VA hires, that you can download here.

    If you'd like to reach out to Mashon directly you can do that here.

    • 28 min
    Harvard Business Analytics Program Graduate and Ambassador Shonali Burke

    Harvard Business Analytics Program Graduate and Ambassador Shonali Burke

    Inside the Harvard Business Analytics Program with Shonali Burke, an accomplished public relations, corporate communications professional and recognized PR measurement expert.

    Shonali recently completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program. In this episode of the Earned Media Podcast, she talks about why she decided to enroll, what exactly she learned, just how difficult the program was, and whether or not it's worth the $51,000 investment.

    The Harvard Business Analytics Programs is a three shield program that combines faculty from Harvard Business School, the School of Engineering, and the School of Arts and Sciences to go well beyond just statistics.

    To give students a thorough understanding of digital transformation, which digital analytics are used to justify, the program covers programming languages like SQL and Python, as well as the building blocks of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    In this interview, Shonali talks about how the program teaches student how to take a more agile, modular approach to leveraging and harnessing data to drive business growth.

    The Harvard Business Analytics Program – which can be completed in as little as 9 months for full time track students – is made up 6 core courses (like Digital Strategy and Innovation and Foundations of Quantitative Analysis) which are 8 weeks each, 2 two-week seminars, and 2 3-day immersions which used to be on campus preCOVID but are not anymore.

    Much of the work can be performed asynchronously, but you do also attend live peer group discussions. Shonali says the live classes are fun, but in true Harvard Business School fashion, you have to ready to answer questions from Professor Lakhani who fires them away from the lectern without notice.

    Listen to full episode and find out why effective business communication is so foundational to digital transformation, how data can improve content marketing funnels and more.

    • 49 min
    Exclusive Interview with Business Insider Deputy Editor Jake Swearingen

    Exclusive Interview with Business Insider Deputy Editor Jake Swearingen

    Jake Swearingen, deputy editor at Business Insider has written for Consumer Reports, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Wired, Slate and LA Weekly. 

    In this exclusive interview we talk about Business Insider's meteoric rise to name brand status, media opportunities for coverage and the post-pandemic small business retail rebound.

    Discussion Topics:

    How New York Magazine determines if a story was successfulHow many page views a successful Business Insider story getsNumber of stories Business Insider publishes per daySmaller stories that Business Insider is interested inWhat do PR agencies do when they pitch Business Insider successfully?Does Business Insider run guest columns and how to get consideredHow they decide what articles to make free versus premium What lessons do you hope small businesses learned from the pandemic?How should small businesses be using technology to thrive at a time when the landscape is increasingly dominated by big tech brands?

    If you're a small business trying to get Business Insider's attention, or a public relations practitioner looking for insights on how to pitch Business Insider, this exclusive interview with Jake Swearingen, which is being release on the Earned Media Podcast, is well worth a listen.

    • 53 min
    Influencer Marketing with Mike Prasad

    Influencer Marketing with Mike Prasad

    Mike Prasad is the founder of TinySponsor, an influencer marketing platform that connects marketers with influencers, as well as Marketing Club on Clubhouse, a top 10 club globally and the biggest industry club on the platform with 270,000 members. Every Monday at 12pm PT Marketing Club hosts roundtable discussions on the latest marketing trends, case studies, and insights.

    Mike also serves as a digital marketing consultant advising brands, startups, agencies, and creators. In this episode of the Earned Media Podcast we discuss online influencer marketing campaigns, sustainable digital business strategy, and the Clubhouse app.

    In this episode:

    05:13 What is influencer marketing?

    06:25 How collaborating with an influencer works.

    07:52 How does TinySponsor work?

    09:42 How pricing works on TinySponsor.

    11:04 Making a living as a content creator.

    14:02 How brands can incorporate online influencer marketing in their growth marketing strategy.

    16:28 The best formats for driving traffic.

    18:01 How can small businesses create successful influencer marketing campaigns?

    20:38 How the pandemic changed consumer behavior, and how small businesses should adapt.

    21:59 Having a digital storefront versus a physical storefront.

    23:40 Do people prefer touchless transactions?

    25:16 How can small businesses that want customers to buy from them directly compete against tech giants?

    29:01 How a brand can build a loyal audience beyond social media.

    30:28 How do influencers generate income?

    31:28 The consequences of burning your audience.

    32:09 Which brands are spending heavily on online influencer advertising?

    32:55 Is consistency important when working with online influencers?

    33:41 What do successful small businesses that make use of online technology well do differently from small businesses that struggle to compete online?

    36:11 How does Clubhouse work?

    39:49 Is Clubhouse’s growth slowing down?

    41:41 Is Mike Prasad earning revenue from Clubhouse?

    43:24 Is Mike Prasad part of the Clubhouse creator program?

    44:37 Will Twitter Spaces be a threat to Clubhouse?

    46:33 How to get in touch with Mike Prasad. 

    SUBSCRIBE TO THE EARNED MEDIA HOUR PODCAST: https://www.ericschwartzman.com/earned-media-hour-podcast-subscriber/


    • 49 min
    Risks and Rewards of Artificial Intelligence with Cade Metz

    Risks and Rewards of Artificial Intelligence with Cade Metz

    New York Times technology correspondent Cade Metz talks about his new book Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World, a nonfiction narrative about the tiny clan of artificial intelligence (AI) visionaries who are rapidly changing our world.

    Cade is a technology correspondent covering artificial intelligence, driverless cars, robotics, virtual reality, and other emerging tech. Before that, he was a writer at Wired magazine.

    He also defines AI, discusses its capabilities, the ethical challenges and dangers it poses, the risk of replacement, and how public relations and earned media is used to help lure research and development funding.


    In this Earned Media Podcast episode:

    02:52 What is surprising about Genius Makers?

    03:47 Why Cade Metz wrote Genius Makers now.

    04:52 What is artificial intelligence?

    09:16 Neural network vs machine learning in AI.

    10:12 What is artificial general intelligence (AGI)?

    13:06 Why is the AGI Argument a religious argument?

    15:25 Moore's law and AGI.

    17:47 Is AI going to take knowledge workers’ jobs? 

    21:30 Which jobs are safe from AI?

    23:39 Public perception of AI: real or overblown?

    26:07 Inside Google’s top secret defense contract, Project Maven.

    27:45 What you need to know about killer robots.

    29:54 How to regulate AI without killing innovation.

    32:00 Does top-of-the-funnel data collection need to be regulated?

    34:01 Companies positioned to reap the rewards of AI.

    34:51 The US vs China AI arms race.

    40:10 Can AI solve the fake news problem? 

    43:36 Cade Metz reveals the news media outlets and voices that influence him and have earned his respect.

    44:43 How PR Impacts organizations developing AI.

    48:22 Elon Musk and fears about AGI.

    50:03 How Cade Metz wrote Genius Makers.


    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

WestTide92 ,

Love the in-depth interviews

Great series of feature interviews with established journalists and media makers from around the world. I love the insight and line of questions from Eric.

MrLeeR ,

Great Guests and Deep Conversations

My favorite podcast!

TO Terry ,

Helpful Digital Media Genius

Eric Schwartzman is a digital marketing genius. Whether you want to know what the latest effective digital marketing technology is emerging or you want to know how to use apps in the key digital media areas of marketing on the internet, Earned Media Hour is the place to find it. His guests include industry old pros, startup founders and CTOs and movers and shakers in internet marketing. Sign up for Eric’s podcast to get and keep educated on Digital Media.

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