On this week’s episode of the FIR Podcast, Chip Griffin and Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips joined guest host Dan York, who stepped in for usual host Shel Holtz. The hour-long discussion covered a broad range of topics, including ad data audits, determining offensive content, changing Google algorithms, the state of Snapchat, the influence of investigative journalism, united fronts against fake news in Europe, and the importance of the Oxford comma.
Below are some key takeaways from the conversation:
- During the opening discussions about independent ad data audits, Jen referenced P&G’s recent statement about their expectations for advertisers with which they partner. Jen explained that advertisers want to invest in ads with concrete metrics, but according to Chip, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the company investing in ads to determine what is working best.
- The speakers discussed concerns from global advertisers about having their brand’s content appear next to potentially offensive material on Google and YouTube, but Chip and Jen agree that it’s difficult to address this problem, as there’s no definitive guide to defining what counts as offensive.
- Google algorithms are changing in an attempt to combat this offensive content, but the speakers are in agreement that this shouldn’t change communicators’ strategies. According to Chip, writing and sharing good content is more effective than trying to satisfy the often-changing search algorithms.
- Similarly, the speakers believe that chasing popular social media may not be the most effective tactic. Jen states that even with the rise and fall in popularity of networks, people tend to gravitate to specific channels, as well as to ones they feel most comfortable with, while Chip explains that organizations should target and create content for the networks their intended audience uses.
- Media outlets’ recent expansion of hiring investigative journalists has important implications for both the media and communicators. Chip explains that more investigative journalists will provide more original news, rather than the “me too” content that saturates the internet. Additionally, Chip believes that a greater emphasis on unique, fact-driven writing will encourage communicators to produce research-based content marketing.
- A united effort has emerged among European news outlets to combat fake news. Jen recognizes the importance of this effort, especially with upcoming European elections, but Chip admits that it will likely have no real impact on the fake news epidemic. Similar to offensive content, identifying fake news can be a matter of perception.
- Finally, a discussion on the significance of the Oxford comma wrapped up the conversation. Although Jen and Chip differed on being absolutists regarding the comma’s necessity, they agree that proper grammar is necessary for clarity in writing, but writers, even those who produce important work like legislation, often neglect correct standards.
For a breakdown of the stories that inspired this week’s talk and to listen to the entire podcast, visit FIR’s site.