This morning I caught a tweet from Steve Neuman asking news anchor Jason DeRusha about customizing WCCO’s popular “4 Things to Know” segment specifically for his life. The 4 Things segment has run for years and is a quick-hits snapshot of the news of the day.
I jumped into the fray listing my errands for the day: post office, city hall, bank and parent teacher conferences.
How would you feel to see your daily list of errands queued up with a professional broadcast news approach? Here’s the result:
Bob Collins at MPR almost immediately picked this up, citing Jason’s adorableness in turning around such witty and custom content so quickly.
What I think is most impressive is the fact these are posted on WCCO.com itself, with videos hosted on their video server, and all the standard advertising surround you would get with a “normal” story. These weren’t filmed with an iPhone or posted surreptitiously on YouTube. They were professional produced, titled and shared. This wasn’t an influencer campaign designed to draw clicks. But I’m driving clicks to it for the pure fact it’s so well done. Serendipity + quality content = attention.
This is just Jason doing what he does best: 1) Understand consumer culture and how social media works; 2) Understand how TV works; 3) Be clever; and 4) Knit those three together.
PS: I already hit the post office, bank and city hall. Parent teacher conferences aren’t until later tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes on the News at 10.
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“Not one artist’s album has gone platinum in 2014. Is it streaming, albums, the music or all three?
If you’re looking for evidence that the sales model is dead, here it is. If you’re a marginal band on the road surviving on $20 signed CDs, if you’re employing sales shenanigans as publicity to drive concert attendance, I’ve got no problem with that.
But if you’re decrying the death of sales as a vast conspiracy of the military industrial complex, I feel sorry for you. Things change.
Agitating for a return to the past based on the loss of some beneficial features in the future is futile in a world where we sacrifice the keyboards of our BlackBerries for apps on our Androids and iPhones.
Something is always lost in the march of progress.
You could lament the disappearance of vent windows in automobiles with the advent of air conditioning but you’d be fighting a losing battle because the exclusion of these small windows saved the manufacturers money and most people didn’t miss them, when was the last time you even thought of them?
So, so long platinum records. You were a construct of the classic rock era, when the music was so good everybody clamored to own it. Music was the iPhone of its day.
But this really isn’t news. Everything I’ve said above has been in plain sight for nearly half a decade. So if you’re complaining, if you’ve been caught flat-footed, I feel sorry for you. You’re behind the times. In the information age you know nothing. You run your operation on your heart instead of your head.
Then again, if you put your heart in your music we might want to listen to it.
All we want is some truth. From someone who can write, sing and play.
Sounds simple, it’s not”. — Bob Lefsetz
“I love advertising because I love lying…
I just want to enjoy the commercial….
We know the product is going to stink. We know that because we live in the world, and we know that everything stinks. We all believe, ‘Hey, maybe this one won’t stink.’
We are a hopeful species. Stupid but hopeful.
But we’re happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase.
And I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.”
–Jerry Seinfeld, 55th Clio Awards
Is disruption a myth? Is it a nice to have, a thing you’re supposed to do, or is it an innovative business driver? The Atlantic’s Justin Fox posits the question given the lack of significant market-changing technological leaps.
I tend to believe people are more entrepreneurial than ever, but are focusing that spirit within existing channels (namely online, in creating blogs/boards/etc, and through apps) or ways that can’t be directly measured (like the “innovative” way I fixed my rotting bathroom floor instead of calling a professional craftsman).
For brands and companies today, the bar shouldn’t be set as high as electricity and internal-combustion engines, as Fox notes below. Rather, I think self-disruption and diversification should be the cornerstone of every company looking to compete, grow and truly impact the world.
Key quotes from the piece:
But it’s also possible that a decades long accretion of regulation has come to weigh on new-business formation and growth; that for all the tales of Silicon Valley swashbuckling, most Americans have become more cautious and less entrepreneurial; or that—and this argument springs straight from Christensen’s keyboard—the pressures of the financial market and a preoccupation with corporate financial metrics have left most businesses “afraid to pursue what they see as risky innovations” and focused instead on cutting costs.
Still, some companies are pursuing risky innovations and disrupting established industries. Business publications are full of stories about them: Google and Uber and Amazon and Salesforce and Workday and many more. They just haven’t had a measurable impact on the overall economy yet. One group of economists says to give it a few years— the adoption of new technologies has always affected productivity in fits and starts, and the rise of smartphones and cloud computing and Big Data will show up in the numbers eventually. The other view is that today’s technological innovations pale in significance beside electricity and the internal combustion engine—they’ll have some positive impact, but growth will be slower than it used to be.
What these arguments share is the conviction that, however sick many of us may be of hearing about it, disruptive innovation is something we need more of, not less. We, in this case, means some abstract collection of current and future humans—not people with jobs that are about to get disrupted out of existence. The uneven dispersal of rewards from technological change is always a problem, and may be especially fraught this time around. But uneven progress still seems better than no progress at all.
So many good quotes about the current state of brand publishing, brand journalism, native advertising and content marketing here from FT. A must-read…
The invasion of corporate news: The lines between journalism and PR are rapidly becoming blurred as business interests bypass traditional media to get their message across
“People these days don’t care as much about where the story comes from as long as it tells them something,” says Tomas Kellner, a Columbia Journalism School-trained former Forbes journalist who now edits GE Reports.
General Electric’s online news site has evolved from a list of press releases to a virtual magazine using animated gifs, professional photography, videos and infographics (“all the different points of entry we used at Forbes”, Kellner notes) which features tales of innovation, science and technology from around the giant industrial group. Many are engaging and informative, and some – such as a feature on a Japanese indoor lettuce farm powered by 17,500 GE LED lights – get as many as 500,000 readers.
The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom is not involved in sponsored content but its commercial team tells advertisers it can “deploy sophisticated storytelling techniques in order to help brands create content-driven connections with audiences”. For some reporters and editors, this is tantamount to media being complicit in its own displacement. Yet few readers have protested.
For PR Week’s Barrett, this point is at the heart of the debate over whether “brand journalism” counts as journalism. “Is it news? At the end of the day, the consumer decides,” he says.
As trust in business has fallen, the appeal of telling stories that humanise companies has grown. The history of advertorials shows that brands have long wanted their advertisements to look like news, but as the subjects of news increasingly want to decide what counts as news, and as they get ever more skilled at doing so, they are posing a challenge to journalism’s traditional storytellers.
Appropriately, the challenge may have been summed up best by the words of their new digital competitor at GE: “Our content has to be as good as theirs, if not better.”
Definitely read the whole piece: The invasion of corporate news – FT.com.