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Most companies probably don't need social media – Yahoo Canada Finance



FILE - This Wednesday, April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. Twitter said Thursday, June 13, 2019, it has deleted nearly 4,800 accounts linked to the Iranian government which served to promote state actions without disclosing their political connection. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

People like Chrissy Teigen and Alec Baldwin are opting out of Twitter. But companies are also deciding to get out of certain social media services, seeing too many cons and not enough pros. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Whenever a new social media platform emerges and catches on with the public, certain people – called squatters – flock to various handles in a mad grab for @coke, @apple, @nike, and so on.

The idea is that brands ascribe such importance to their social media presence, that they’ll offer thousands for the handle, providing a quick buck for those with fast fingers and early access.

Brands usually do follow the crowd and assign social media managers to populate the new channels that make the cut, often buying their names from these username squatters. (A prominent exception is the owner of @GQ, who kept their Twitter handle, unmotivated by Condé Nast’s offerings, because it’s his nickname).

But recently, some brands have begun to question the value of social media as a place to promote their brand, chasing earned engagement and paying for promotion. What if it’s not worth the drama, expense, and possible unforced errors? What if instead of saying something, you said nothing?

‘Social media doesn’t align’

On Jan. 8, just after the U.S. Capitol was stormed, candle company Keap decided to shut down its social media pages. In an email, the B-corp’s co-founders wrote that keeping a presence didn’t work for the company.

Stephen Tracy, who founded the company with Harry Doull after they worked at Google, wrote to customers that it was trying to foster connections in “our own lives,” and considered roadblocks to this progress.

“The answers are plentiful,” he wrote, “but one common thread often emerges: addictive technology that keeps us distracted and restless.”

Working at Google, Tracy added, provided an inside perspective on the motivations of the tech industry, namely engagement and the endless scroll. These habits were antithetical to the candle company’s mission.

“Armed with an insider’s knowledge of how these addictive technologies affect our lives, Harry and I have often felt that being on social media doesn’t align with what Keap is about as a company,” Tracy wrote to customers, advising them that the company’s newsletter would be their main source of communication henceforth.

“Though we had to overcome some initial uncertainty, we feel far more excitement about reclaiming our time from social media,” Tracy wrote.

Though it’s not common, this thinking isn’t unique to Keap Trader Joe’s, for example, does not have a Twitter account. British cosmetics brand Lush also shut down its Twitter account because of its perceived toxicity of social media.

It also extends beyond social media into the real world. Companies like REI have made the choice to opt out of the traditional Black Friday frenzy, closing its stores and giving employees the day off. Instead REI encourages Americans to #optoutside. If someone wants their stuff they know where to find them. Black Friday and social media are both defaults for many businesses, representing a standard, whose benefit is often unquestioned.

Is it worth it?

In a story in Harvard Business Review from 2017, researchers set out to study the effectiveness of social media in a marketing sense. At the time, 80% of Fortune 500 companies decided to have a Facebook presence, they wrote, with many marketers viewing the number of followers and likes as valuable since someone who follows a brand might be more inclined to make a purchase. They also examined paid promotion, when a company pays the platform to put its post in front of a group of users.

“The results were clear: Social media doesn’t work the way many marketers think it does,” the authors wrote. “The mere act of endorsing a brand does not affect a customer’s behavior or lead to increased purchasing, nor does it spur purchasing by friends.”

In other words, customers follow brands – brands don’t create new customers by adding follows.

The main takeaway from that study was that branded content can work well, but that companies ought to think critically about what they’re doing — just like the candle company.

Lauren Mathis, who founded a network of B-corps (companies with a private certification regarding social and environmental responsibility) in New York, told Yahoo Finance that social media has come up frequently in discussions with members, who are trying to be critical about their decisions and their broader impacts.

Mathis said that social media took over so quickly as a default way of operating and people don’t realize the other ways to do businesses until they consider leaving. “There’s this illusion we need it and it’s the only place to do business. I think we just need to break apart that illusion,” she said.

‘RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy’

It’s not hard to find a list of extremely cringeworthy unforced errors made by companies when it comes to social media. When a brand goes business casual on the internet, it can often result in something “fun,” making mild jokes and ribbing competitors, like when Wendy’s makes fun of other fast-food chains. That might be nice for the brand — somehow, in a goodwill sort of way — but it could easily result in something like Cinnebon’s infamous tweet commemorating the late Carrie Fisher, tweeting “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy,” which led, of course, to an apology.

Thus, brands need to evaluate the value-add of their social media presence. What is the upside for the brand? What does this goodwill exactly mean? I, personally, am a big fan of Spark Notes’ Twitter account, but have never used their services and would not (they provide summaries of books to high schoolers who don’t do the reading as well as other study guides). Whatever goodwill the company cultivates will do nothing for its bottom line. The TikTok generation barely even uses Twitter, but the company’s social media managers keep putting delightful videos into my stream. At least for now, this value, whatever it is, outweighs accidentally putting their foot in it, in the company’s view.

326.4k. Why? (Screenshot Yahoo Finance)326.4k. Why? (Screenshot Yahoo Finance)

326.4k. Why? (Screenshot Yahoo Finance)

This nebulous upside is the case across the board at many companies. More than 326,000 people follow @ExxonMobil on Twitter. Why? Even Salesforce, a B2B company has 537,000 accounts following it. Both have extremely minimal engagement. Are people reading these tweets? Is this necessary? Prominent anti-Twitter thinker Alex Balk, co-founder of the Awl, once gently reminded readers that if important news breaks on Twitter, you’ll find out very soon anyway.

Tesla and Berkshire Hathaway

A famous example of an expensive Twitter mistake was Elon Musk’s “funding secured” tweet in 2018, where he used the weed number (420) and then paid the SEC a fine of $20 million for it.

Musk said it was “worth it” and it’s hard not to believe that it was. The Tesla CEO has since become the world’s richest man, and part of that is due to his social media presence, his pulpit from which he tells it on the mountain to his acolytes — who either buy his cars or buy Tesla stock. Social media is a huge part of that company and its mystique.

But what if he didn’t tweet?

Take Warren Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha,” whose every word creates headlines just as Musk’s do — even after many decades. When a fake Twitter account emerged in 2018 (almost) bearing his name (“Buffet”), social media went wild with excitement. Kanye West followed the account at the time.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Tesla CEO Elon Musk exits federal court after attending a hearing on April 04, 2019 in New York City.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt over a tweet that accuses him of violating a settlement deal reached last year that required he get pre-approval for social media posts about the electric car company. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Tesla CEO Elon Musk exits federal court after attending a hearing on April 04, 2019 in New York City.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt over a tweet that accuses him of violating a settlement deal reached last year that required he get pre-approval for social media posts about the electric car company. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 04: Tesla CEO Elon Musk exits federal court after attending a hearing on April 04, 2019 in New York City. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt over a tweet that accuses him of violating a settlement deal reached last year that required he get pre-approval for social media posts about the electric car company. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“I just think there’s other things in life I want to do than tweet. I am not that desperate for somebody to hear my opinion,” the real Warren Buffett said at the time, in the aftermath. “I put out an annual report. I do not have a daily view on all kinds of things.”

The few tweets Buffett’s public Twitter has done were executed by a “friend of his,” a spokesperson for Berkshire said at the time.

Not only is this a flex — he’s not thirsty, people — Buffett sees the value in occasional missives rather than a play-by-play, giving him time to refine opinions and really decide what’s worth sharing. And, it makes any communiqué an event.

This same discipline can be applied to the company writ large. Berkshire, which is not consumer facing for the most part, has a website that I could design (the only thing I can do in html is make links and format text) and no social media. (If a squatter has the keys to the @berkshire account on Twitter, they don’t appear to have convinced the company to buy them.)

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, personal finance, retail, airlines, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.

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Media Beat, Sept. 23, 2021 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News



Who’s David Cheriton?: Meet the Canadian billionaire who made an early bet on Google and calls himself ‘cheap’

…After the US$220-million Cisco deal, “a bunch of people at Stanford thought I must know something about startups and business,” he told the Financial Post.

That included two Stanford PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who approached Cheriton with what they believed was great internet search technology. They wanted to license the technology, and despite Cheriton’s caution (“It’s just really hard to turn your baby over to somebody else to raise it,” he told them) he connected the pair with an intellectual property lawyer, to help search for a licensing partner. Along the way, Yahoo! turned down an offer to buy the Google technology for — brace yourself — $2 million. “Everybody makes mistakes,” Cheriton said. “Not many people make that big of a mistake.” – Quentin Casey, Financial Post

Corus says Rogers-Shaw deal would cause funding hit to local news stations

Corus Entertainment Inc. says the proposed acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers Communications Inc. would have a “detrimental impact” on local news production, as annual payments from Shaw to Corus’s Global News television network would stop. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

Federal court agrees to hear TekSavvy’s appeal of CRTC wholesale rates ruling

In court documents, the independent telecom argues that the regulator erred by reverting to the 2016 rates instead of again going through the process of calculating the cost of providing service. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

Liberal, Tory, same old story? Voting records say yes

The two parties voted together more than 600 times in Parliament since 2004, blocking dozens of progressive bills, data shows. – Martin Lukacs & Ben Cuthbert, The Breach

Michael Geist’s Law Bytes podcast

It is election day in Canada following a late summer campaign in which the focus was largely anything but digital issues: Covid, climate change, Afghanistan, and affordability all dominated the daily talking points. The digital policy issues that grabbed attention throughout the spring – Bill C-10, online harms, wireless pricing – were largely absent from the discussion and in some cases even from party platforms. Laura Tribe, the executive director of OpenMedia, joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss digital policies and the 2021 election campaign. Our conversation walks through a wide range of issues, including the surprising omission of wireless pricing from the Liberal platform, the future of Bill C-10, and the failure of privacy reform to garner much political traction.

The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

Bell Media specialty channels see record growth

With the 2020/21 broadcast year now at a close, final data from Numeris confirms that Bell Media’s entertainment specialty channels continue to achieve record growth and rankings, claiming the top three spots for entertainment specialty channel among Adults 18-49 and a total of five in the Top 10 among Adults 25-54. – Press release

Which Media benefitted from the Trudeau government’s Covid-19 funds?

Publications such as Maclean’s, The Logic, select Postmedia and Black Press papers, Daily Hive, and The Epoch Times benefited from emergency funding the Trudeau government has provided during the Covid-19 pandemic. But the news outlets that received the latest round of tens of millions of dollars in 2021 emergency funding have not been disclosed to the public. The funding initiatives add to other government funding pools some of the recipients were already benefiting from. – Jonathan Bradley, Canadaland

New report highlights how Gen Z is driving music streaming growth – but don’t count out traditional radio, either

A new report detailing US Media Consumption looked at several factors that have changed American adult behaviour since the pandemic. It reveals that for the first time, more Americans are streaming video content than watching live TV. But it also contains some important insights into how 18–24-year-olds interact with audio content.

Notably, 63% of Gen Z respondents said they listen to streamed music daily. 56% of that same category (18-24) said they have never listened to an audiobook. And 44% say they have never listened to a single podcast. Around 22% of Gen Z respondents said they listen to radio daily. – Digital Music News

Piers Morgan’s next big star has Rupert Murdoch’s backing

Piers Morgan has issued a breaking news alert about his own career, following the announcement that he is rejoining Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp after almost three decades.

The ex-Good Morning Britain presenter has signed a global deal that includes two weekly columns for the New York Post and The Sun, along with helping to launch a new channel, named talkTV.

The station will offer a mix of “hourly news bulletins, sports and entertainment shows as well as current affairs, debate, opinion and documentaries”, the group said in a statement.

The channel will launch in early 2022, with Piers Morgan’s new weeknight show being its main draw. – Roisin O’Connor, Independent (UK)

The sly old fox Rupert Murdoch is trumpeting his next big news channel

He may be 90, god bless him, but Rupert Murdoch can still smell blood in the water. GB News, it is fair to say, is a bit of a wounded beast in the shark-infested waters of the British media, not waving to its few remaining viewers, but drowning. Having previously swam away from the territory, Murdoch now spies an opportunity.

He’s watched GB News make its mistakes, waited until its only serious asset, Andrew Neil, left and now he’s circling and is going to launch his own channel, talkTV, next Spring. He’s going to put it out on every available medium, including Freeview and the web, he’s going to back it with the full resources and advertising heft of his media empire, and he’s signed up Piers Morgan, the big fish that got away from GB News. Nigel Farage will be left croaking on his precarious raft, like one of the migrant dinghies in the English Channel he so loves to hate.

But the thing about talkTV is that it might actually work. – Sean O’Grady, Independent (UK)

Media associations urge value for journalism in digital ecosystem

Seventeen media associations in the Americas and other regions today called, through a public statement, for a “fair and reasonable” remuneration for the publication of journalistic content on digital platforms.

The institutions comprise more than 40,000 media from Canada, United States, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

In addition to payment for content and advertising concentration, the associations pay special attention to algorithms, saying that their opacity discretionally affect the production and distribution of content. – Jamaican Observer

The Right Is waging its culture war by turning Its base Into bounty-hunters

When Texas recently passed SB 8, it not only turned Roe v. Wade on its head, leaving millions of women more vulnerable, it unveiled the latest and trickiest weapon in the conservative culture wars.

SB 8 outsources enforcement to private citizens, allowing any person to sue abortion providers or people who “aid or abet” them. In the wake of the law taking effect, many commentators (darkly or excitedly) imagined how else this could be used: Could, say, New York confer standing on its citizens to sue gun shops?

This weapon is already being deployed throughout the country. In Tennessee, students and teachers can now sue schools if they “encounter a member of the opposite (biological) sex in a multi-occupancy restroom.” In Florida, any student who claims to have been “deprived of an athletic opportunity” because a transgender athlete took their place is now bestowed with a private cause of action against the school. Missouri recently passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which not only serves as an assault on the supremacy clause, but grants $50,000 in damages to any party whose right to bear arms is deprived. And Kentucky citizens can now file a complaint with the attorney general if a teacher within their school district teaches critical race theory resulting in withdrawn funding from the school. – Scott Pilutik, Slate

Why your podcasts and newsletters need to be shorter

From studying usage data to conducting their proprietary quantitative and qualitative interviewing, they’ve got a bead on digital media trends and how their audience consumes content.

For both broadcasters and podcasters, monitoring the Washington Post’s activities is just plain smart.  Same with the New York Times.  They’re conducting and commissioning more research than most radio operations and podcast networks.

So, four main takeaways here, for commercial, public, and Christian radio, all of which can reap important lessons: – Jacobs Media

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired

For some of the jobs available, people don’t have the right skills, or at least the skills employers say they’re looking for. Other jobs are undesirable — they offer bad pay or an unpredictable schedule, or just don’t feel worth it to unemployed workers, many of whom are rethinking their priorities. In some cases, there are a host of perfectly acceptable candidates and jobs out there, but for a multitude of reasons, they’re just not being matched.

There are also workers who are hesitant to go back — they’re nervous about Covid-19 or they have care responsibilities or something else is holding them back.

The result is a disconnected environment that doesn’t add up, though it feels like it should. – Rani Molla & Emily Stewart, recode

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Discovery Blasts Polish Watchdog as US Media Row Drags On – BNN



(Bloomberg) — Discovery Inc. lashed out at Poland’s media regulator, saying its campaign to limit the company’s local operations jeopardized the rule of law and media freedom.

The comment is a response to the country’s watchdog, known as KRRiT, which said it may ask the U.S. broadcaster to adjust the ownership structure of its Polish business so that it complies with local law. 

KRRiT’s surprise announcement came alongside its last-minute decision on Wednesday to renew the permit of Discovery’s Polish news channel TVN24 to broadcast under Polish regulations. The move ended a process that started more than a year ago and came just days before the license was due to expire on Sept. 26. 

“The decision clearly shows there was no justification for delaying it for 19 months,” Discovery and its Polish unit TVN SA said in a joint statement on Thursday. The KRRiT’s accompanying decision “forces Discovery to curtail its Polish operations, being a direct threat to the rule of law and media freedom and a cause for concern among foreign investors in Poland.”

How exactly the watchdog plans to proceed remains unclear. KRRiT didn’t have an immediate response to additional questions from Bloomberg.

Polish regulations ban companies from countries that aren’t European Union members or aren’t closely associated with the bloc from owning majority stakes in Polish broadcasters. The U.S. is not part of that group. Discovery has for years complied with the law by running TVN through a Dutch-registered company, which some members of the Polish media watchdog say is against local law.

Concerns Mount

The European Commission will monitor the developments “very closely” to see how the regulator’s decision is applied in practice, its spokesperson said at a daily briefing on Thursday.

“We expect member states to ensure that the policies and legislation don’t have any negative impact on their commitment to ensure free and diverse media ecosystem,” the spokesman said. “Let me recall the Commission has repeatedly voiced its concern with regards to media freedom and pluralism in Poland.”

KRRiT’s new plan comes after the country’s ruling party approved a bill in the lower house of the parliament that would force U.S.-based Discovery to sell its controling stake in the Polish broadcaster, prompting a strong reaction from the EU and White House officials. The bill was rejected by the Senate, and President Andrzej Duda has suggested he may veto it.

The regulator’s proposal is an attempt to bypass that legislative process and the president’s potential veto, Discovery and TVN said in the statement.

TVN is also concerned it may have trouble with renewing the broadcasting license of its free-to-air movie and entertainment channel TVN7, Katarzyna Issat, head of the group’s corporate communications, said in an emailed response to Bloomberg News questions. The license expires in February.

Poland’s nationalist leaders lost their biggest international ally in Donald Trump and have since been at odds with U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration over their approach to LGBTQ rights, the restitution of property left by Holocaust victims and media freedoms.

TVN24 is the country’s biggest news channel, and its award-winning investigative reports have unveiled corruption at various levels of government.

(Adds comments from the European Commission, TVN from seventh paragraph.)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Media availability following Council meeting –



Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair, Ottawa Board of Health, Steve Kanellakos, City Manager, Anthony Di Monte, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services, and Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, will respond to media questions after today’s Council Meeting.

Residents will be able to watch the media availability on the City’s YouTube channel, or RogersTV Cable 22.

When: Wednesday, September 22

Time: 15 minutes after Council adjourns

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