The end of a podcasting era

Here in Sweden, podcasts are getting more and more popular each day. Some of the most popular ones may have a hundred thousand listeners per episode or more. I’m not at all a heavy user but I discovered podcasts already 10 years ago and the one I started to listen to was For Immediate Release, The Hobson and Holtz Report by PR practitioners Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz.

FIR-Banner-design-2010

This podcast has been a tremendous resource on topics related to PR, social media and technology and I have been a regular listener since day one, with the exception of the last six months when I have not been as frequent.

Since the start they have produced an impressive 824 episodes of the highest quality. But this is the end of a podcasting era since Neville Hobson, which I have had the pleasure of meeting in person, has decided to call it a day to focus on other projects.

Shel Holtz will continue to run the podcast in a slightly new format on this new site. I would like to thank them both for the incredible amount of work they have put into this podcast over the years and best of luck for the future.

I will continue to follow FIR and I do recommend that you give it a try. To subscribe, just visit the subscribe page here.

Uber surge pricing during Sydney hostage crisis causes PR disaster

The week has barely started yet, but we can already crown the worst corporate tweet of the week. A crisis is taking place in Sydney, Australia as an armed man holds several people hostage in a Lindt café. The busy district is in a lock-down and mass evacuations created an increased demand for taxi services. So Uber, the taxi service app, quadrupled prices and at one point charged a minimum fare of AU$100. According to Quartz, this type of surge pricing is automatic but the tweet from @uber_sydney that followed was not.

uber_sydney_tweet

 

Of course, Uber was immediately slammed on Twitter for its cynic decision to charge a higher price during a crisis situation. Here are just a few reactions:

Uber soon had to backtrack to damage the PR disaster it had caused. A new tweet announced that rides out of Sydney now where free and that the company instead would refund passengers who had taken the expensive rides earlier this morning. A good move, but the damage to the company reputation had already been done.

uber_sydney_tweet2

 

Nissan’s brilliant Twitter response to #breaktheinternet

The web has been buzzing the last few days about Kim Kardashian’s rear end after it appeared on the cover of Paper magazine’s winter issue. Not surprisingly, some brands jumped on the bandwagon trying to not be left behind in the discussion. The practice of real-time marketing is a difficult one, butt one brand that really got to the bottom of the issue sent out a tweet to end the discussion.

Here’s Nissan’s first Twitter rear-time marketing effort.

Touché Nissan, or should I say, tush?

Best social media responses to arrogant Layvin Kurzawa celebration

Last night, Sweden and France played the second leg of the play offs for the U21 European Championship in football. France had won the first leg 2-0 but now Sweden were heading towards the 2015 championships as they were up 3-0 at home. But in the last few minutes of the game, France scored the crucial 3-1 goal that would take them through. The goal scorer Layvin Kurzawa decided to celebrate the goal in the worst possible manner, running up the Swedish players like striker John Guidetti and mocking them with a gesture that said “see you later boys”.

kurzawaguidetti

But justice was served just a minute later when Sweden scored 4-1 on a corner, sending the Swedes to the UEFA Euro U-21s at the expence of the French team. Rarely has a footballer had to eat his own words sooner and the Swedes celebrated by getting back at Kurzawa with his own medicine.

JohnGuidetti

Througout most of the day, Twitter and other social media sites have been mocking Kurzawa for his bad behaviour and in particular for celebrating too soon.

In France, the hashtag #Kurzawa was even the number one trending topic today.

Here are a few of the best responses so far.

Class / no class:

Today is Didier Deschamps’ birthday. L’epique offers him a Layvin Kurzawa cap:

Laddar

#Bleuets#Kurzawa#football#Espoirs#Equipedefrance#Thauvin#Bahebeck#Euro2015#Qualifications#Psg#Om#Benzema#Chelsea

Visa på Instagram

And finally this one which is definitely NSFW: https://twitter.com/fc1932/status/522323254686797824

Bed bugs a search problem for New York hotels

I am currently searching for hotel rooms in New York for an upcoming trip and as many people do, I search on sites like Hotels.com and Bookings.com. But I often also want to double check the reputation of the hotel by doing a regular Google search. When doing this, I soon discovered that bed bugs in hotel rooms seem to be a great worry for people who are about to travel to New York.

For many of the hotels I searched, the top suggested search terms by Google was related to bed bugs, meaning that this is one of the most used search terms.

newyorkbedbugshotel

If you are only searching one or two hotels, you might get the impression that this hotel has a problem with bed bugs. But that might not be the case at all. It may just be a general worry that travellers may have and that they want to make sure that this hotel is clean and tidy.

Hotels that have this phrase associated to them in Google Suggest should at least google it and monitor what is being said online. Sites like bedbugreports.com and bedbugregistry.com frequently pop up in the top of the search results. In case that there are inaccurate reports about your hotel on these sites, a hotel representative can contact the site and hopefully they will remove the posts.

Fashion app caught using fake LinkedIn profiles

I’m always a bit catious when someone out of the blue wants to connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn, for example. Often when people want to network, there is some kind of common denominator, like we both now somebody, have worked for the same company or something similar. So when total strangers make friend requests, I always check them out.


I recently got two friend requests from two unlikely individuals, both good looking women working for some fashion app called Okay and with a quite decent background in the fashion industry. One had been Creative Head of Glamour Magazine and the other Vice President of Creations at People Magazine.

Impressive. But why on earth would they reach out to me of all people? Naturally is suspected foul play.

Fake LinkedIn profiles
It didn’t take much investigation to find out that these LinkedIn profiles were completely fake, as were several others from the same app company. First of all, their resumés were very short and looked a lot like each other. Then there was the obvious fact that their profile pictures were stolen, unless one of them was the identical twin of a Miss Ecuador 2012 contestant.

The photo of “Chloe Anderson” is in fact the Norwegian model Polina Barbasova.

linkedin-chloe

linkedin-polina

The photo of “Ella Cooper” is the Venezualan actress Scarlet Ortiz.

linkedin-ella

linkedin-scarlet

And the list continues. More profiles of people said to be working at Okay are in fact fake. “Addison Walter” has the picture of the Miss Ecuador contestant Carolina Aguirre.

linkedin-addison

linkedin-carolina

“Natalie Portman” who runs PR for Okay has taken “her” picture from model Veneda Budny.

Needless to say, I didn’t accept the friend requests.

Why would anyone do this on purpose, one might ask. I suspect the answer is to get in touch with online influencers who in turn would spread the word about the app in social media. But even if I now blog about the app it’s not in a positive way. A marketing strategy involving fake LinkedIn profiles was bound to backfire.