My praises for For Immediate Release

December 19, 2009 at 11:36 pm 1 comment


I’ve spent the better part of the past two days listening to the backlog of For Immediate Release (FIR) podcasts I’ve been collecting in my iTunes.  FIR is a twice-weekly, hour-long podcast produced by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson about the convergence of online technology, new media, communication and business.  I discovered it in August of 2009, although they’ve been producing it since January 2005.  The more I listen to it, the more I love it.


I try to listen to it only when I’m doing mundane chores so that I’m sure to not miss anything really good that’s being discussed. (I haven’t blogged about my thoughts on multi-tasking yet, but I have a very strong opinion on human limitations when it comes to trying to do too many things at once.)  I keep a notebook handy while listening so that I can jot down anything specific that I want to follow up on.  It’s not entirely necessary to take notes while listening, though, as Shel and Neville do a fabulous job of summarizing each show and provide links in The New PR Wiki. But, my personal learning style depends on note-taking.  Also, the notebook I keep serves as a kind of journal, which also appeals to me.


The amount I’ve learned by listening to these podcasts is unmatched by any other method I use as I try to develop my expertise related to social media.  Since last May I have been reading books, attending webinars and seminars, participating in all the most popular social sites, surfing the Internet, and experimenting on my own.  Yet, by listening to a few podcasts, I always come away with a deeper understanding of issues that I’ve encountered personally, a heightened interest in subjects that I’ve heard about but know nothing about, and a greater awareness of the many concepts that are being introduced to our industry on a daily basis.


As an independent consultant, having access to the kind of discussions that take place on the FIR podcasts is invaluable.  I always feel like I’ve stepped into a corporation’s conference room and am participating in a brainstorming or update session.  Although I’m not listening live, I know that I could if I wanted to.  And, even after the fact, I can access a number of different channels to read comments from other listeners – which is all I really need at this point.  One day, however, I hope to be able to contribute. In the meantime, though, I’m perfectly happy to absorb all the information I can, and to observe the discourse and debate on subjects that have me completely enchanted.  Even though I’m not participating in the conversations directly, I feel no less engaged.


Through all this monitoring and listening, I’m realizing that staying current with the developments in social media and the communications industry overall, is more than a full-time job.  It becomes increasingly clear to me that a business owner or even an executive team can’t expect to do the job themselves; nor would they want to.  They do, after all, have a business to run, and keeping up with all the innovations and intricacies of communication tools today would distract them from their purpose.  That, of course, is the need I will be able to fill.  And, with a resource like FIR and the incredible network of listeners and contributors they are attracting, I should be able to do that.


The meaning, purpose and value of social media is constantly changing for me.  The more I use it, of course, the more I understand.  I love looking back at the notes I started posting to my FB profile seven months ago (currently private, but one day will be “published”) and seeing the transformation in my perception of this phenomenon.  I still hear people saying that it’s just a fad.  But, I’m here to say, “It’s here to stay!”


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Tough Decision Getting the most out of podcasts

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. ds cartes  |  March 24, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    As for the colors, navy blue, matte white and grays are the ones to go for.


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