you missed it


If your only source of news is national media, you may not realize that a U.S. city was heavily damaged this weekend.

Yes, the Gulf oil disaster should be the top story and the Times Square car bomb attempt was news as it happened. However, the 38th largest MSA in the U.S. (and the capital of one of its states) was (is) being destroyed by flooding and the only place I was getting information about it was through Twitter.

I am a fan of Nashville for many personal and professional reasons. I have several clients and friends there. I consider it “my big city”. It’s where I fly from and where I go when I need resources that aren’t available locally.

WordPress guru @studionashvegas has a great post about how Nashville has been forgotten and makes some good points about how social media, the community, and traditional local media are the future of information…

National media is dead. Local media, and social media, are the blend of information services we need to survive.

If consumers can’t find the information they need, they will seek it out or create it themselves. We’ve already seen this happen with citizen journalism about in-depth topics. It’s now happening with the real time web for breaking news.

Sure. There can be a mob mentality in these situations where mis-information is disseminated exponentially. But that’s exactly the reason why credible news orgs should be participating in social media offering facts such as @tndotcom, @nashvillest, and @wkrn did during the Nashville event.

The lesson for (any) media is this: Consumers’ first concern is always with what’s happening NOW. They’ll mull the consequences later. Your worries need to lie with why you’re not offering immediate information in an immediate media environment instead of worrying about how to create the souvenir of the news the day after it happens.

Part of the lack of national response for Nashville may come from the lag between the real time web and when traditional media figures out there’s a story. I wrote a post about this phenomenon of the tuned-in minority back in 2008. More recently, I tweeted this on April 20th. I saw the story pop up in newspapers and on TV three or four days later. We’ll see if Nashville gets on the radar in the next few days.

UPDATE: I called it. It was an issue with the tuned-in minority. http://shotgunconcepts.com/2010/05/nashville2

[ btw — if you want to help people in Nashville, you can find info here:
http://nashvillest.com/2010/05/03/so-nashville-is-flooded-how-can-i-help ]

no such thing as bad press?

Marketing Tip — Always put your logo on the buoyant end of the plane.


btw– Supposedly this was the first pic of the event taken from an iPhone and immediately uploaded to Twitter using Twitpic. The MSM then interviewed the citizen journalist nearly a half hour after he broke the story.

Other reports say that Sean Connery was standing near the crash mumbling something about Charlemagne and armies of rocks and trees and the birds in the sky.

brewed stupidity

This happened today:
–Well established local media organization wants to shoot video of the Starbucks coffee for votes promotion (which btw could be illegal)
–The barista-in-charge won’t allow interviews or footage to be shot in the store.
–Free coverage and promotional value to a large captive audience goes out the window

If you’re trying to embrace viral marketing, you can’t be scared of cameras and people who are wanting to spread your message.

And beyond viral issues, you just need to teach common sense to local employees so you don’t miss out on opportunities like this. Corporate won’t always be there to dictate. Employees should know how to handle unique situations.

While I understand they may be trying to limit their legal snfau, shutting down coverage isn’t going to help. This is a news story today (albeit a minor fluff one), SBUX should have issued talking points and done a heads-up to local stores about media relations.

In fact, organizations should make sure each and every person in your organization is familiar with the current marketing plan and know how to handle media interviews. (or in today’s world, anybody who comes in with a camera.)

embedded and right

A NYU journalism student has written an “embedded report” about Quarter lifers / GenY’s outlook on journalism and online media for the PBS Mediashift blog.

In the online journalism class that I teach, I find the exact same results as Alana at NYU. Turns out most of this demographic that media and marketers think are totally saturated in online engagement — just aren’t. In fact, I made the same point back in July 2007.

Every semester, I introduce members of this “online” generation to things that you (as an assumed engaged online user) think are basic knowledge. Flickr. Digg. Twitter. They’ve never heard of them. Most of them are on Facebook and watch (not upload) video on YouTube, but that’s about it.

As companies develop marketing plans or the media develops media strategies, it needs to be remembered that most people (not just this demo) are NOT actively participating in online activities. Building the entire campaign and platform to focus on online users will make you lose in the short term. You need to be online, but you can’t expect it to pull all the weight at this point in time. Online growth is phenomenal, but we’re not ready to throw away other parts of the mix for younger demographics. And it goes the other way, too. I know of many marketers making the opposite mistake and just focusing online to younger demographics, when older demos (especially boomers) are going online and participating.

When I do posts like this, the online community thinks it’s heresy and I usually get a few disbelieving comments/emails. But YOU are online and if you’re reading a blog like this one, then it’s likely that your worldview is skewed. I’ve made the challenge before….

Get your head out of Dungeons & Dragons a/k/a Second Life and get out in the real world to start promoting this thing that you’re so passionate about. And I don’t mean at a conference full of tech people. Go to a local Chamber meeting, find a small business person, and ask them if they’re using blogs to talk to their customers. When you’re checking out at the grocery, ask the mother behind you if she reads Dooce. Ask a marketing director if she checks a blog search engine for mentions of the company.

You may be surprised at how out-of-touch you are by being so in-touch. If you’re wondering what other journalism students think about Alana’s embed, I’ve assigned my students to react to her post on thier blogs by next Monday.

Media and Marketing in a Tragedy

A few observations about the events this week at Virginia Tech…

Change of the Guard
Where did all these kids immediately turn to for information? They didn’t huddle around a radio. They didn’t gather around a TV. They didn’t even pick up a phone. It was all internet and Facebook. What medium are you using to reach a 22 year old?

Content not Production Value
Some in the media have looked unfavorably at the cell phone footage of the shots being used on the air. But it has become CNN’s most viewed and downloaded clip of all time.
The truth is that it no longer matters what it looks like. It matters what the content is. Look at most of the stuff on YouTube. If it looks like it was “produced”, it’s not as well viewed while the amateur looking stuff is gangbusters. It’s going to take a major realignment of the thinking of media and marketers (including me) to get to the point that polished delivery is not always what the public wants to consume.

Branding
Why did he send the package to NBC? The only major network address that I can rattle off the top of my head is 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, NY. What about you? That’s an example of a long term brand strategy. A peacock is just a logo.

Media
NBC gets a double whammy of good and bad. On one hand, I’m sure they saw it as an exclusive delivered right into their lap. But on the other, it’s a curse. What do you do with it? Holding it makes people mad. Airing it makes people mad. They picked one of the two bad choices they had.

Citizen Journalists
The kid who shot the cell phone footage and the kids who taped the S.W.A.T team through the peephole have provided content that hangs in the realm of battlefield journalists. People and cameras will increasingly become more prevalent and high profile as time goes by. How long before a “scandal” of improper use of citizen journalism? How long until a citizen journalist becomes injured or gets killed while holding up a cell phone camera?

You can’t own information
A colleague and I were discussing the Virginia Tech student newspaper website today. They have stripped it down to bare bones updates (because there really is only one story on campus and to help handle the server stress.) But there is a legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page about having written consent to reprint/republish/etc their intellectual property. He had actually sent them an email suggesting a Creative Commons license.
Trying to hold on to content is now useless. You want people to take what you’re creating and spread it. Your lawyer wants you to place hurdles in people’s way. You need to make it easy as possible.

There are lots more points on media and marketing about all of this – Jeff Jarvis has made some good ones.