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11 TIPS FOR BUILDING A
BRAND NEWSROOM
HOW THE RULES OF CONTENT MARKETING
ARE CHANGING FOR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES

By Steve Smith
TAKE A FEW TIPS FROM
THE WORLD OF JOURNALISM
Whether you think “brand journalism” is a trendy buzz
phrase or a mantra, you can do worse with your
marketing than to take a few tips from the newsroom.
Technology buyers are bombarded with messages today.
Not only is it harder to rise above the noise, it’s harder to
connect with your sales prospects. Want to make a
connection? Try these 11 tips.
No. 1: CUT THE BULLS#!T
People see right through spin. Real journalists hate it and
will tell you in no uncertain terms. So be real. What does
your brand believe in? Know yourself, don’t be afraid to be
different, and then own it. Be yourself. You’ll connect with
people who share your values.
No. 2: THINK LIKE A JOURNALIST
The best journalists make it a mission to give their reader
something that they can use and makes their lives better.
Think about how your work can benefit your audience,
not just sell stuff.
No. 3: THINK LIKE YOUR AUDIENCE
Empathy is the goal. As you create content, don’t think
about how to sell to them. Think about how to be their
advocate. Develop personas so you know how to talk
with them, not at them or to them.
No. 4: THINK LIKE AN EVANGELIST
Like a crusading journalist, pursue The Truth with
fervor. You have to believe in something passionately and
feel compelled to tell everybody. Make your brand all
about changing the world and you’ll create an emotional
connection. You’ll also see demand increase.
No. 5: TELL STORIES
It’s not complicated. People have a primordial need to
hear stories. To tell a story worth hearing, adopt a
unique point of view. Use your brand's differentiation
goals, message, and products to filter your narrative.
No. 6: COMMIT TO CONSISTENCY
Whether your model is the daily paper or The Daily Show,
keep up a steady cadence of content. Whether you
believe in campaigns or the always-on approach (and you
should believe in both), remember that organizing and
developing content is a process. That means an editorial
calendar.
No. 7: BE AGILE AND BE TOPICAL
Remember this: You’re always on a deadline. React to
news in the moment. Embrace the urgency of now. And
never forget that good content in market today is better
than perfect content in market next month. And don’t be a
slave to your editorial calendar.
No. 8: BE RELEVANT
A key lesson from dead-tree media: What you say better
be worth saying. Deliver the right message to the right
person at the right time. How you say it is as important as
what you say. Commit to context. Timing is everything.
No. 9: THINK IN TERMS
OF RELATIONSHIPS
Newspapers call them subscribers. TV networks call them
viewers. You call them customers. It’s an ongoing
relationship, not a one-time thing. Treat your audience
like people who matter. Because they do.
No. 10: BE CONCISE
Newsflash: People today have short attention spans.
Deal with it. Says Michael Brenner from SAP: “Content
length will continue downward as our real-time, mobile
world seeks smaller, more ‘snackable’ and more
‘shareable’ content.” Think small. Like this e-book.
No. 11: GET A CHAMPION
You can outsource your work, but you can’t outsource
your passion. One person must own and exemplify your
passion — whether you call that person a managing
editor, a chief content officer, or a brand evangelist.
FINALLY!
For journalists, trust and credibility are
everything. You earn it every day. Your work must
communicate personal value and tangible
benefit. It’s the same in technology marketing.

BRAND JOURNALISM? SURE.
CALL IT WHATEVER YOU WANT.
BUT DO IT. NOW.
ABOUT THE STARR CONSPIRACY
You shouldn't have to pay an agency to get to know your industry. The Starr Conspiracy
already knows your market segment, who you are, and where you fit in. We're a
strategic marketing and advertising agency devoted exclusively to enterprise
software and services. When you partner with us, it's to build market share, multiply
brand awareness, and drive sales leads — not to bone up on the basics. We've been
"out there" for more than a decade, so you can hit the ground running. Founded in
1999 and located in Fort Worth, Texas, The Starr Conspiracy has won eight best places
to work awards and countless creative awards. Visit us on the Web at
www.thestarrconspiracy.com.

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11 Tips for Building a Brand Newsroom: How the Rules of Content Marketing are Changing for Technology Companies

  • 1. 11 TIPS FOR BUILDING A BRAND NEWSROOM HOW THE RULES OF CONTENT MARKETING ARE CHANGING FOR TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES By Steve Smith
  • 2. TAKE A FEW TIPS FROM THE WORLD OF JOURNALISM Whether you think “brand journalism” is a trendy buzz phrase or a mantra, you can do worse with your marketing than to take a few tips from the newsroom. Technology buyers are bombarded with messages today. Not only is it harder to rise above the noise, it’s harder to connect with your sales prospects. Want to make a connection? Try these 11 tips.
  • 3. No. 1: CUT THE BULLS#!T People see right through spin. Real journalists hate it and will tell you in no uncertain terms. So be real. What does your brand believe in? Know yourself, don’t be afraid to be different, and then own it. Be yourself. You’ll connect with people who share your values.
  • 4. No. 2: THINK LIKE A JOURNALIST The best journalists make it a mission to give their reader something that they can use and makes their lives better. Think about how your work can benefit your audience, not just sell stuff.
  • 5. No. 3: THINK LIKE YOUR AUDIENCE Empathy is the goal. As you create content, don’t think about how to sell to them. Think about how to be their advocate. Develop personas so you know how to talk with them, not at them or to them.
  • 6. No. 4: THINK LIKE AN EVANGELIST Like a crusading journalist, pursue The Truth with fervor. You have to believe in something passionately and feel compelled to tell everybody. Make your brand all about changing the world and you’ll create an emotional connection. You’ll also see demand increase.
  • 7. No. 5: TELL STORIES It’s not complicated. People have a primordial need to hear stories. To tell a story worth hearing, adopt a unique point of view. Use your brand's differentiation goals, message, and products to filter your narrative.
  • 8. No. 6: COMMIT TO CONSISTENCY Whether your model is the daily paper or The Daily Show, keep up a steady cadence of content. Whether you believe in campaigns or the always-on approach (and you should believe in both), remember that organizing and developing content is a process. That means an editorial calendar.
  • 9. No. 7: BE AGILE AND BE TOPICAL Remember this: You’re always on a deadline. React to news in the moment. Embrace the urgency of now. And never forget that good content in market today is better than perfect content in market next month. And don’t be a slave to your editorial calendar.
  • 10. No. 8: BE RELEVANT A key lesson from dead-tree media: What you say better be worth saying. Deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. How you say it is as important as what you say. Commit to context. Timing is everything.
  • 11. No. 9: THINK IN TERMS OF RELATIONSHIPS Newspapers call them subscribers. TV networks call them viewers. You call them customers. It’s an ongoing relationship, not a one-time thing. Treat your audience like people who matter. Because they do.
  • 12. No. 10: BE CONCISE Newsflash: People today have short attention spans. Deal with it. Says Michael Brenner from SAP: “Content length will continue downward as our real-time, mobile world seeks smaller, more ‘snackable’ and more ‘shareable’ content.” Think small. Like this e-book.
  • 13. No. 11: GET A CHAMPION You can outsource your work, but you can’t outsource your passion. One person must own and exemplify your passion — whether you call that person a managing editor, a chief content officer, or a brand evangelist.
  • 14. FINALLY! For journalists, trust and credibility are everything. You earn it every day. Your work must communicate personal value and tangible benefit. It’s the same in technology marketing. BRAND JOURNALISM? SURE. CALL IT WHATEVER YOU WANT. BUT DO IT. NOW.
  • 15. ABOUT THE STARR CONSPIRACY You shouldn't have to pay an agency to get to know your industry. The Starr Conspiracy already knows your market segment, who you are, and where you fit in. We're a strategic marketing and advertising agency devoted exclusively to enterprise software and services. When you partner with us, it's to build market share, multiply brand awareness, and drive sales leads — not to bone up on the basics. We've been "out there" for more than a decade, so you can hit the ground running. Founded in 1999 and located in Fort Worth, Texas, The Starr Conspiracy has won eight best places to work awards and countless creative awards. Visit us on the Web at www.thestarrconspiracy.com.