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The Emperor Has No News

 The Future of the Corporate News
                Feed
“We’re gonna update it,
       Daddy.”
We’re at an odd point in the
history of marketing where
   brands can talk to us.
The concept of a post-purchase
relationship with a customer is
          quite novel.
Relationship Starters
!  Purchased digital content that required an
   account
!  “Liked” them on Facebook
!  Tweeted about them
!  Registered at their website
What should/can brands “say” to
  make us buy more of their
          products?
Question #1
How is news different from
     other content?
Question #2

How effective is news content?
Question #3
How can news content be
 made more effective?
News as opposed to…
!  Reference content
!  Branding/lifestyle content
News vs. Reference Content
!  Reference content generally has no time
   sensitivity
!  Reference content is pulled, news content is
   pushed.
!  Reference content is generally known-item
   searching – it’s not usually browsed
News vs. Branding Content
!  Branding content is meant to drive home an
   impression of a brand
!  Imparting actual information about an
   organization is secondary
!  More advertising, less news
Key Differences of News Content
!    Time horizon
!    Information architecture
!    Delivery
!    Intent
Time Horizon
Time Horizon
!    Temporal vs. Eternal
!    Post vs. Page
!    Blog vs. Wiki
!    Dynamic vs. Static
!    Chronological vs. Permanent
CNN




      Wikipedia
“With Wikipedia, you’re not seeing a
series of posted items. You’re seeing a
       single body of information,
   continually updated and groomed.
Thus, the basic information stays right
 where it’s easy to see. Wikis are more
    ‘speak to me like I know nothing’
  information, rather than ‘tell me the
     very latest nuance’ information.”
Time Horizon
!  News is generally tied to some moment in
   time.
!  It either follows or precedes an event.
!  After the moment has passed, does news
   have any value?
  !  Is the event of any historical importance?
Information Architecture
Information Architecture
!  News content is not “placed”
!  It’s generally subject to two large groupings:
  !  Date
  !  Topic
!  Pages have an intentional relationship to the
   pages “around” them.
!  News items have no
   “spatial” relationship
   with other content.
!  Only relationships:
  !  Time
  !  Topic
Delivery
Push or Pull?
Pull?
!  Very few people browse
   news feeds
!  Any searching of news
   feeds is generally known-item searching
!  Posting news items to a news feed is helpful
   as a link target
Push
!  To the general public, news content is
   pushed, rather than pulled
!  Users know that reference content is there,
   so they go looking for it – known-item
   searching.
!  They don’t know news content exists, and it’s
   temporal, not permanent.
Problem:
Pushing news dilutes your
       analytics.
Solution:
Push notifications which drive
  users to pull from a single
           location.
Drive traffic to a central point
Intent
The Big Eight
!    To Inform
!    To Impress
!    To Associate
!    To Introduce or Elaborate
!    To Recount, Then Position
!    To Educate, Then Position
!    To Comply
!    To Magnify
To Inform
!  Promote an event the consumer might want
   to be involved with
!  Recount an event the consumer might not
   have been involved with
To Impress
!  To demonstrate some level of momentum
!  “Top of mind awareness”
!  “Forget me not”
The audience is often the
press or financial analysts.
To Associate
!  Associate the
   organization with
   another that
   might be held in
   esteem
To Introduce or Elaborate
!  Explain services and offerings from the
   organization that the consumer might not be
   aware of
!  New product announcements
To Influence
!  Official position on a
   government decision
   or external event
To Recount, Then Position
!  Tell a story of a particular event and then
   position the organization’s utility to this
   event
!  “Case Study”
To Educate, Then Position
!  Announce a statistic, then position the
   organization’s response
!  Traditionally the domain of white papers
!  Oftentimes they maintain a veneer of
   neutrality
To Comply
!  Required
   announcements
To Magnify
!  Our organization
   “in the news”
How do we make news better?
   Painful Facts and Key Questions
Painful Fact #1
   Almost* no one is going to
browse the news on your website
    through sheer interest.
Painful Fact #2
A majority of news is posted out
   of a sense of obligation or
 routine, with no larger goal or
         plan of action.
Painful Fact #3
  News that is not proactively
targeted to an audience and then
  pushed onto that audience is
       probably wasted.
Key Question #1
Who is the audience for this
        news item?
Something is
      only
“newsworthy”
in the context
of an audience.
Key Question #2
How is my audience going to
 find out about this news?
News that isn’t pushed, is
  news that is wasted.
Key Question #3
What do I want this audience to
do because of this news item?
The Big Eight
!    To Inform
!    To Impress
!    To Associate
!    To Introduce or Elaborate
!    To Recount, Then Position
!    To Educate, Then Position
!    To Comply
!    To Magnify
Goals
!  Attend an event
!  Know about a product or service offering
!  Develop a sense of urgency about their
   circumstances
!  Think more highly of my brand
Key Question #4
What steps have I taken to enable
my audience to achieve my goal?
What is the call to action?
1. Who is the audience?
!    Current clients
!    Prospective clients
!    Prospective employees
!    Local press
2. What is the goal?
!  To Impress:
  !  Blend is growing and therefore needs more staff
     to keep up with demand
!  To Inform:
  !  Be aware that Blend now has increased capacity
     and can engage more work
3. How is it pushed?
!    RSS
!    Facebook
!    Twitter
!    Pushed to Silicon Prairie News
!    Companion press release to Argus Leader
4. What is my call to action?
!  There was none.
!  It could have been:
  !  Visit their new profile pages
  !  Contact Blend to see how we can use this new
     capacity for your benefit
  !  Apply at Blend
News has to become less
obligatory, more purposeful.
The End

(FYI: You made it through 85 slides.)

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"The Emperor Has No News" - Sioux Falls Content Strategy Group, October 2011

  • 1. The Emperor Has No News The Future of the Corporate News Feed
  • 2.
  • 3. “We’re gonna update it, Daddy.”
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. We’re at an odd point in the history of marketing where brands can talk to us.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. The concept of a post-purchase relationship with a customer is quite novel.
  • 11. Relationship Starters !  Purchased digital content that required an account !  “Liked” them on Facebook !  Tweeted about them !  Registered at their website
  • 12. What should/can brands “say” to make us buy more of their products?
  • 13.
  • 14. Question #1 How is news different from other content?
  • 15. Question #2 How effective is news content?
  • 16. Question #3 How can news content be made more effective?
  • 17. News as opposed to… !  Reference content !  Branding/lifestyle content
  • 18. News vs. Reference Content !  Reference content generally has no time sensitivity !  Reference content is pulled, news content is pushed. !  Reference content is generally known-item searching – it’s not usually browsed
  • 19.
  • 20. News vs. Branding Content !  Branding content is meant to drive home an impression of a brand !  Imparting actual information about an organization is secondary !  More advertising, less news
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23. Key Differences of News Content !  Time horizon !  Information architecture !  Delivery !  Intent
  • 25. Time Horizon !  Temporal vs. Eternal !  Post vs. Page !  Blog vs. Wiki !  Dynamic vs. Static !  Chronological vs. Permanent
  • 26. CNN Wikipedia
  • 27. “With Wikipedia, you’re not seeing a series of posted items. You’re seeing a single body of information, continually updated and groomed. Thus, the basic information stays right where it’s easy to see. Wikis are more ‘speak to me like I know nothing’ information, rather than ‘tell me the very latest nuance’ information.”
  • 28. Time Horizon !  News is generally tied to some moment in time. !  It either follows or precedes an event. !  After the moment has passed, does news have any value? !  Is the event of any historical importance?
  • 29.
  • 30.
  • 32. Information Architecture !  News content is not “placed” !  It’s generally subject to two large groupings: !  Date !  Topic
  • 33. !  Pages have an intentional relationship to the pages “around” them.
  • 34. !  News items have no “spatial” relationship with other content. !  Only relationships: !  Time !  Topic
  • 35.
  • 38. Pull? !  Very few people browse news feeds !  Any searching of news feeds is generally known-item searching !  Posting news items to a news feed is helpful as a link target
  • 39. Push !  To the general public, news content is pushed, rather than pulled !  Users know that reference content is there, so they go looking for it – known-item searching. !  They don’t know news content exists, and it’s temporal, not permanent.
  • 40. Problem: Pushing news dilutes your analytics.
  • 41. Solution: Push notifications which drive users to pull from a single location.
  • 42. Drive traffic to a central point
  • 44. The Big Eight !  To Inform !  To Impress !  To Associate !  To Introduce or Elaborate !  To Recount, Then Position !  To Educate, Then Position !  To Comply !  To Magnify
  • 45. To Inform !  Promote an event the consumer might want to be involved with !  Recount an event the consumer might not have been involved with
  • 46.
  • 47. To Impress !  To demonstrate some level of momentum !  “Top of mind awareness” !  “Forget me not”
  • 48.
  • 49.
  • 50. The audience is often the press or financial analysts.
  • 51.
  • 52. To Associate !  Associate the organization with another that might be held in esteem
  • 53.
  • 54.
  • 55. To Introduce or Elaborate !  Explain services and offerings from the organization that the consumer might not be aware of !  New product announcements
  • 56.
  • 57. To Influence !  Official position on a government decision or external event
  • 58.
  • 59. To Recount, Then Position !  Tell a story of a particular event and then position the organization’s utility to this event !  “Case Study”
  • 60.
  • 61. To Educate, Then Position !  Announce a statistic, then position the organization’s response !  Traditionally the domain of white papers !  Oftentimes they maintain a veneer of neutrality
  • 62.
  • 63.
  • 64. To Comply !  Required announcements
  • 65. To Magnify !  Our organization “in the news”
  • 66. How do we make news better? Painful Facts and Key Questions
  • 67. Painful Fact #1 Almost* no one is going to browse the news on your website through sheer interest.
  • 68. Painful Fact #2 A majority of news is posted out of a sense of obligation or routine, with no larger goal or plan of action.
  • 69. Painful Fact #3 News that is not proactively targeted to an audience and then pushed onto that audience is probably wasted.
  • 70. Key Question #1 Who is the audience for this news item?
  • 71. Something is only “newsworthy” in the context of an audience.
  • 72. Key Question #2 How is my audience going to find out about this news?
  • 73. News that isn’t pushed, is news that is wasted.
  • 74. Key Question #3 What do I want this audience to do because of this news item?
  • 75. The Big Eight !  To Inform !  To Impress !  To Associate !  To Introduce or Elaborate !  To Recount, Then Position !  To Educate, Then Position !  To Comply !  To Magnify
  • 76. Goals !  Attend an event !  Know about a product or service offering !  Develop a sense of urgency about their circumstances !  Think more highly of my brand
  • 77. Key Question #4 What steps have I taken to enable my audience to achieve my goal?
  • 78. What is the call to action?
  • 79.
  • 80. 1. Who is the audience? !  Current clients !  Prospective clients !  Prospective employees !  Local press
  • 81. 2. What is the goal? !  To Impress: !  Blend is growing and therefore needs more staff to keep up with demand !  To Inform: !  Be aware that Blend now has increased capacity and can engage more work
  • 82. 3. How is it pushed? !  RSS ! Facebook !  Twitter !  Pushed to Silicon Prairie News !  Companion press release to Argus Leader
  • 83. 4. What is my call to action? !  There was none. !  It could have been: !  Visit their new profile pages !  Contact Blend to see how we can use this new capacity for your benefit !  Apply at Blend
  • 84. News has to become less obligatory, more purposeful.
  • 85. The End (FYI: You made it through 85 slides.)