For Immediate Release is a twice weekly commentary on public relations and technology.  Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz host the show via the For Immediate Release website or through podcast.  Hobson is located in Wokingham, Berkshire, England and Holtz is located in Concord, California.  Together, they offer a well-rounded perspective on the ever-changing world of public relations.

 

After a short introduction, Hobson and Holtz cut to Eric Schwartzman in Singapore for a report on the current use of social media to help leverage government communications.  Singapore is the richest country in south east Asia and there has been an explosion in the use of social media by communication professionals.  Schwartzman noted that the people of Singapore are openly willing to embrace any and every aspect of social media.  He explained how the people of Singapore are adapting to social media much faster than Americans.

 

Nicholas Aaron Khoo a communication professional in Singapore explained how the speed in which social media is being adapted has had dramatic effects in surrounding areas.  In Malaysia an incumbent party of the past 50 years was almost defeated in an election because the opposing party used social media for their campaign.  Even with the success of social media, many communicators have not figured out the rules to this new technology.  The government in Singapore use social media to cover up problems instead of addressing the issues at hand. 

 

The next topic was focused on a practical joke that two employees of the BBC that made a prank call to a veteran actor using foul language during a radio show.  There were over 30,000 complaints to the BBC about the call.  Clearly, many people were outraged by the prank call, but it is important to note that a facebook group was made with 34,000 members supporting the pranksters.  Hobson noted that there has become a need to have a rapid crisis management team to help address such problems.

 

This was my first time listening to For Immediate Release and I really enjoyed listening to all the different perspectives that were provided.  Aside from the ridiculous transition music, the information is presented in a very comprehendible manner and the hour long podcast seems to pass rather quickly.  I will continue to listen to For Immediate Release because the information is so current and really helpful to a student like myself going into the field of public relations.