The FIR Podcast Network is the premiere podcast network for PR, organizational communications, marketing, and internal communications content. Each of the FIR Podcast Network's shows can be accessed individually. This is the EVERYTHING Feed, which gets you the latest episodes of every show in the network.
FIR Interview: "An Effort to Understand" Author David Murray
David Murray’s new book, “An Effort to Understand,” is a collection of essays drawn from many years of posts to his blog, Writing Boots. Addressing the challenges of communicating with one another in a polarized society, the book is structured first to define communication, then move from the personal to the organizational. Like the society on which the book is focused, not everyone will agree with everything in the book, but Murray offers sage wisdom about how to engage in conversations about these matters.
In this interview, FIR co-host Shel Holtz talks with Murray about the book, including his assertion that it is not communication if you know the outcome and that communication should not be civil.
Some of those watching the live stream of the interview asked questions and shared observations, to which David responded during the conversation.
About our Conversation Partner
David Murray heads the global Professional Speechwriters Association and comments daily on communication issues on his popular blog Writing Boots. Murray is also editor and publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day, one of the world’s longest continuously published magazines. An award-winning journalist, Murray is the author of Raised By Mad Men, a memoir about his advertising parents, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Tell My Sons: A Father’s Last Letters.
His latest book is An Effort to Understand: Hearing One Another (and Ourselves) in a Nation Cracked in Half. This book is available through Amazon and other booksellers.
Connect with Murray on Twitter.
FIR Interview: CiviliNation's Andrea Weckerle and Jolie O'Dell
Andrea Weckerle first appeared in an FIR Interview a decade ago after she had founded CiviliNation, a non-profit that is “taking a stand against online harassment, character assassination, misinformation, and violence.” That’s a tall order given the state of civil discourse these days. In this FIR Interview, Andrea is joined by CiviliNation’s new president, veteran technology journalist Jolie O’Dell. The conversation covers the organization’s approach to addressing the issues that underlie outrage culture, doxxing, and other behaviors that undermine the potential of online conversation.
FIR co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz spoke with Jolie and Andrea on Monday, March 8.
About our conversation partners
Jolie O’Dell is a journalist and nonprofit leader. As a news writer and editor, she contributed to tech-focused publications such as ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, and VentureBeat, with bylines appearing in national print outlets periodically. She also frequently appeared on local and national news and podcasts as a tech industry analyst. In addition to her media duties, she was also heavily involved in event planning and newsroom management. O’Dell is the author of four books with a fifth coming in 2023. She lives in Virginia with her dog, Lt. Barclay.
Andrea Weckerle is the founder of CiviliNation and the author of Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Jerks. She earned her Juris Doctor at the University of Richmond School of Law, where she served on the Senior Staff of the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology. She also holds a Master of Arts (MAIS) degree with a focus on Public Relations/Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Prior to founding CiviliNation, she ran her own boutique communications consultancy and also worked with national agencies, where her experience included legal and corporate communications, online communications, and social media.
FIR Interview: Phil Gomes on the NFT Craze
You can’t visit a news site or check your feeds right now without seeing articles about NFTs — non-fungible tokens — and how they have captured imaginations. Taco Bell, the National Basketball Association, the Kings of Leon, Jack Dorsey, and artists like the one who sold a JPG for $69 million are examples of digital assets that have been purchased (or are up for grabs) with NFTs.
There are scenarios that make NFTs exciting for brands and, by extension, for communicators. What are they and how do they work (in terms we communicators can understand)? For that, we turn to Phil Gomes, former digital executive at Edelman and current head of global communications and marketing for Bloq‘s multiple services and brands.
About our Conversation Partner
Phil is chief communication and marketing officer for Bloq’s multiple services and brands. Prior to joining Bloq in 2018, Phil spent 13 years at Edelman, guiding the world’s largest communications firm’s initial explorations across two generational technology shifts — social media and blockchain — and building its global blockchain center-of-excellence. In his near-decade in Silicon Valley prior to Edelman, Phil worked with startups and enterprise companies alike. His work helped guide clients to win the Technology Pioneers Programme Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Twice. Known for industry “firsts,” Phil is widely considered to be the first PR professional to start a blog (2001) and the first to describe and demonstrate the value of blockchain technology in communications (2015).
Links to Resources Mentioned in the Interview
* Imogen Heap and the Blockchain Revolution
* The Trust Machine (documentary by Alex Winter)
* About the Kings of Leon NFT
FIR Interview: Mayo Clinic's Dr. Sandhya Pruthi and Jay Maxwell on Creating a Smart Audio First Aid Skill
Voice will be the interface to everything.
Searching “voice technology” on Google News produces headlines like “Why voice technology is a marketer’s new best friend,” “Voice technology will change your relationship with consumers,” “Kayak sees potential with voice technology-assisted bookings,” and “Google goes all in on voice first with its latest product.”
The Mayo Clinic has a reputation for experimenting early with new and emerging technologies, both in medicine and in delivering information to and engaging with patients and healthcare consumers. Mayo dove into social media when most hospitals and other healthcare organizations were avoiding it over fears about regulatory compliance and patient privacy. So many hospital communicators got in touch with Mayo to learn about its social media activities that it established the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network to support the industry’s use of social media.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Mayo Clinic has been an early adopter of smart audio, the voice technology that underlies the Amazon Alexa platform, Google Home, and other Artificial Intelligence-based systems that enable appliances like speakers to interact with people through natural language. Mayo first entered the space with its Mayo Clinic Radio News Minute, available for Alexa users to add to their Flash Briefing. Now, the Clinic has introduced an Alexa First Aid skill, which “provides you with self-care instructions for dozens of everyday mishaps and other situations and provides quick, hands-free answers from a trusted source.”
In this FIR Interview, Shel Holtz talks with Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, the Mayo Clinic’s chief medical editor and associate medical director for Content Management and Delivery, and Jay Maxwell, senior director of Health Information, about the development of the skill, how it works, how they measure its effectiveness, and their approach toward preparing for a voice-enabled world. The interview includes a brief demonstration of the Clinic’s Alexa skill.
About our conversation partners
Dr. Sandhya Pruthi received her M.D. degree from the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1990, and completed a Family Medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in 1994. She was the Director of the Breast Diagnostic Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN from January 2002 to July 2010. She is a Consultant in the Department of General Internal Medicine and a Professor of Medicine. Dr. Pruthi’s research area is in breast cancer prevention. Her clinical expertise is the management of women at increased risk for breast cancer and providing pre-operative counseling to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. She is the Mayo Clinic principal investigator on several national breast cancer prevention and biomarker trials aimed at reducing the risk of breast cancer. She has collaborated in other women’s health trials studying complementary and alternative therapies for the management of menopausal symptoms and improving the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. Dr. Pruthi is the Chief Medical Editor and Associate Medical Director for Content Management and Delivery for Global Business Solutions. She is an Associate Medical Director for Development and physician partner in the Center for Innovation at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Pruthi is a board member of the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC).
In his role as senior director of health information, Jay Maxwell oversees content development for Mayo Clinic’s Global Business Solutions.
FIR Interview: Nicole Scheffler, Host of the Diva Tech Talk Podcast
According to its website, Diva Tech Talk “is a specialized communication channel highlighting women doing wonderful things in the technology arena by creating podcasts from interviews with successful female individuals in the field and covering various technology events. It was created to inform and inspire women of all ages to succeed in professional and life missions that are technology-driven.”
The podcast has also won Clarion Awards from the Association for Women in Communications in 2017 and 2016.
In this FIR Interview, Shel Holtz spoke with Diva Tech Talk co-founder and host Nicole Scheffler about the show’s origins, its goals, and life as a female engineer in a male-dominated industry (and what communicators can do to help change that).
Connect with Nicole at @Tech_Nicole. Follow the podcast at @DivaTechTalks.
About our conversation partner
Nicole Scheffler has been a Systems Engineer and has worked across business units within Cisco for over 12 years. She has created her own job rotation program serving across vertical as a sales engineer, in Technical Marketing, and as a Security focused Consultant. Currently, she proudly serves the Cisco partner community as a consulting engineer. She holds a Masters degree in Information Technology and several Cisco certifications. She has also been an Adjunct Professor at Davenport University and Lansing Community College in various networking and security courses. Nicole also highlights other women in tech with her Diva Tech Talk podcast and has started two community organizations for technology locally. She loves live music and spending time with her family outdoors.
About our sponsor
Thanks to Ragan Awards for sponsoring this episode. Use the code INTERVIEWS to save 25% on the following:
* The 2017 Video & Visual Awards which will celebrate the best corporate videos and visual designs from the past year. The final deadline is Oct. 25.
* The 2017 PR Daily Awards which will focus on the industry’s most successful PR campaigns, publications, and events. The early bird deadline is Oct. 13 and the final deadline is Nov. 8.
* The 2017 Ace Awards which honors individual PR practitioners, in-house teams, and agencies. The early bird deadline is Oct. 27.
Visit Ragan.com/Awards to enter.
FIR Interview: Phil Gomes on Blockchain and the Marketing Value of Digital Permanence
Blockchain, says Phil Gomes, has developed enough and is so imminent a factor in multiple dimensions of business, that communicators no longer have an excuse to ignore it. The landscape is filled with startups seeking to solve long-standing business problems and disrupt current business processes in everything from payments to identity and reputation, from data analytics to data provenance, from the financial services infrastructure to supply chains.
Communicators will be explaining the dramatic changes their employers or clients are going through because of blockchain — both the opportunities they are leveraging and the disruption blockchain is inflicting on them. But blockchain will have a direct impact on communication processes and tools, as well. There are blockchain startups focused on media, advertising, and social networks.
Gomes, senior vice president of U.S. B2B Digital at Edelman, has been studying blockchain and its impact on PR, marketing, and communications before most of us had ever heard the word. He recently authored a white paper, “Blockchain Technology: The Marketing Value of Digital Permanence,” published by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA). The paper makes a case for marketing and communication use of blockchain and introduces readers to some of the startups whose work will affect the way communication work gets done.
In this FIR Interview, host Shel Holtz talks with Phil about the paper and other dimensions of blockchain that will soon be part of communication workflows and processes.
Connect with Phil on Twitter at @PhilGomes.
FIR Interviews are sponsored by Thornley Fallis, the public engagement specialists. If you are looking for tools and up to date techniques to engage with your community, Thornley Fallis can help. Find them at thornleyfallis.com.
About our conversation partner:
Phil Gomes is a senior vice president of U.S. B2B Digital at Edelman. He has more than 20 years of experience in promoting and integrating new and emerging technologies, working in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where he currently resides. He is a founding fellow and advisory board member for The Conference Board’s Society for New Communications Research and the director of communications for the Chicago Blockchain Center, a public/private partnership. Phil has been exploring blockchain technology since 2014, open source software since 1994, and keeps a clandestine Linux machine under his desk at work, because reasons.
Customer ReviewsSee All
WOW…FIR Interviews Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Hobson & Holtz. Keep bringing it.