In this day and age, when all we hear about the traditional media are stories of struggle and required reinvention, it’s ironic to think that we might be able to learn some useful lessons from this gang of ink-stained journalistas. But we can. After all, the new information economy is all about content, and they have been creating and peddling content since the first newspaper landed with a thud on the first doorstep many moons ago.
There’s no question that content is king. Consumers are looking for information about the goods and services they want to buy, and they are turning to the web to find it.
As marketers, it’s our job to provide the news. Here are a few tips on how you might organize your communications function, based on how the old boys in the newsroom do it:
1. Have an editorial mission. Know what you are trying to say. Make it bigger than “our mission is to sell 150 condominiums.” It should be altruistic, beneficial to an audience that will be interested in your product, and not all about you.
2. Establish an editorial lineup. What story themes are you going to tell, and when? Plan out a year in advance.
3. Use secondary sources. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are billions of stories already available on the web, at least a few will be of interest to your audience and align with our editorial mission. Use them (with due credit and links of course!)
4. Create your own original content. Send out photographers and videographers to capture points of interest. Hire a journalism student to write stories for you. Write your own. Be interesting and stay focused on your editorial mission.
5. Select the best channels to reach your audience. You don’t have to be everywhere. Facebook might not be for you. Maybe you don’t need a brochure. Be choosy. Conserve resources so you can do a bang up job on the channels you think are best for you.
6. Be consistent. Don’t stop. Keep pushing out more information. The more information you send out the more likely you are to be found when someone enters Google search terms that relate to your editorial mission.
There are at least a dozen other tasks and tactics you can employ to behave more like a traditional newsroom in the service of promoting your product. The list above is a great start.
If you doubt the power of this approach, go to Google and search for your company or product name. See where you show up on the rankings, and realize that more-and-more, this is how consumers will find you. Are you making it easy for them?