“Content marketing is not the ‘same as what we have always done’, it is a reaction to – and development of – the increasingly fragmented and diverse mix of channels and media which we are all exposed to nowadays.”
Importantly it brings competitive advantage to those who can exploit it well.
“We must look past the smoke and mirrors, and identify – for the audiences that are important to us – the content that is important to them, and create it. Because if we do not, our competitors absolutely will.”
Read the full article here.
This is a quick recap of a breakfast event I attended organised by PRNewswire with CorpComms magazine.
The event was held at the Adam Street Club just off the Strand.
The discussion panel was pretty strong with the topic being ‘Do journalists use Twitter to find their stories?’
- Paul Murphy, editor-in-chief of FT Tilt, and founder of FT Alphaville
- Mark Leftly, deputy business editor, Independent on Sunday
- Giles Fraser, co-founder, Brands2Life
- Steve Dineen, columnist, City A.M.
- Andrew Bowman, senior key account manager, PR Newswire
- Moderated by Helen Dunne, editor, CorpComms Magazine
The debate started with Giles Fraser introducing a report ‘Oriella PR Network Digital Journalism Study_2011’ and discussing a few key findings from the report; this quickly got picked up by some people on twitter who were in attendance. (website link here).
Of most interest was how twitter and Facebook were used to (a) find stories and (b) verify stories.
With nearly half the journalists polled saying they use twitter to find stories, along with just over a third using Facebook, perhaps it should not be surprising that over a fifth of journalists were using Facebook/twitter to verify stories. However, this latter point raised the hackles of most of the panel with the general opinion being that these were not authoritative sources and should not be used to confirm facts.
Mark from the IoS was particularly scathing of a general decline in standards of journalism of which he saw this as only one example.
The debate carried on with discussion of the regulation of blogs/citizen journalism. I asked a question whether the panel felt that if more control/regulation was introduced, there would be a shift to new platforms that provided unrestricted/anonymous opportunities to air their views; the Mark on the panel responded that there have been and there would continue to be attempts to control libellous conversation, but Andrew Bowman highlighted the difficulty of calling to account bloggers or sites across international boundaries.
This seemed to be a theme with the panel having a mixed view of citizen journalists (‘make all journalism look amateurish’, ‘actually, I think social media is rather fun’), generally accepting view of journalists using social media, (‘it is expected of journalists now’, ‘I would never break a story on twitter’, ‘I don’t want stories pitched to me via twitter or Facebook – I have an intray full of PR’s’, ‘good for getting reactions to a story’) and reflecting that it is likely that many, if not all, publications are likely to end up in exclusively digital formats at some point.
The response to the latter was that there would still be a need for hard copy versions of papers, citing New York as an example where people still read newspapers on the Metro, as opposed to Londoners, where iPad or similar news reading device is common.
My conclusion from the event is that there are poles of opinion around the use of Social Media by journalists and lack of confidence in how to treat it in the newsroom. My view on what the response of professional journalists should be was summed up by a message I tweeted during the event:
There is absolutely a role for serious and authoritative journalism on digital platforms – when we see a story that we’re not sure about, we turn to the BBC, CNN or similar sites which are regarded as ‘proper news’ and that stories will be well-researched and facts checked.
My thanks to the team at BBC World Service who invited me for an interview on the ‘World Today’ current affairs radio show with Tom Hagler. This was for a story about Derwent Capital Markets, which has launched a $40million fund that will invest based on sentiment measured on Twitter.
Paul Hawtin from Derwent Capital and I both pre-recorded interviews which were broadcast around 3am on Friday morning, May 20th, along with commentary from Tom Hagler.
I think this is a fascinating project and am very curious to track it’s success. It’s especially interesting as sentiment is notoriously difficult to measure and really requires a skilled analytics specialist to sense check and audit the measurement. It is a generally accepted rule of thumb that the best automated sentiment engines achieve 60-70% accuracy with identifying sentiment – there are only 140 characters per tweet which isn’t a lot to go on!
At Waggener Edstrom, we work with a number of clients tracking their social media presence and performance. It is becoming clear to businesses that Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc. are not trivialities and can have a serious commercial impact, to the point that if you are not online and in social media it starts to raise questions for customers. Even our clients that offer B2B services are finding real commercial benefits from a well thought out and implemented digital strategy.
So it’s not surprising that the financial sector is also looking at the benefits of Twitter, in this case as a predictive market indicator, somewhat similar to the ‘Hollywood Stock Exchange’.
Click here to listen to the interview:
The whole show, including the interview with Paul Hawtin is on BBC iPlayer for the next week or so.