Sunday, October 17

Breaking Rules: Fresh Content Project

Fresh Content ProjectSocial media was an exceptional step forward because it helped many communication-related industries start thinking out of their increasingly diminished boxes. However, there is an irony at work in that now; many of the recently freed communicators, public relations pros, and agency folks are now working double time to find a new box to climb into.

Right. With almost too many choices at their fingertips, all the previous specialists are finding out that their specialties don't work so well. So almost all of them have set out to break their old rules (only to make up new rules so they can say they are specialists again). These five posts, for the most part, pin down why many of the new rules are just as bad as the old ones.

Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of October 4

Paper Beats Digital For Emotion.
If you think direct mail doesn't work in the digital age, there is a study highlighted by Roger Dooley that might change your mind. Physical media leaves a “deeper footprint” in the brain. However, that is not to say that print is always perfect, Dooley cautions. "Digital ads can do things that print ads can’t match, like this Halo ad from Unicast." In other words, digital has the potential to make a multiple-sensory impact. So can print, with enough imagination. Suffice to say how you use a medium might matter in maximizing its potential.

• Going Direct With PR.
With trust in mass media at an all-time low, more public relations firms are considering direct-to-public tactics and strategies. However, unless public relations can execute these efforts right, the risks might outweigh the rewards. And a good part of what needs to be considered before you forward is becoming (or finding) a credible source. Valeria Maltoni includes several more worthwhile tips in her post, but the most critical of all, in my opinion, is recognizing that individual credibility underscores trust.

Shaping Networks.
More and more people are beginning to see the obvious. The freedom of the social networks, online and off, isn't always scalable. (In nature, all ecosystems move toward order, don't you know.) Ike Pigott shares some past experiences that demonstrate how this has always been case, which means (even online) networks beyond a certain point must have an internal structure and rules. Sure, you can create a network without any rules, but the rub will always be that people who populate it will make them on their own.

Content Curation: A Required Skill For Digital-Era Communicators
Shel Holtz wrote an interesting perspective on the increased need for public relations professionals to become content curators for their companies. He's right. Personally, I think they ought to have been taking care of this long before the digital age (and I don't mean simply cutting out clippings from the paper). Curation requires much more thought. It means finding the most valued information, organizing it, and — something not everyone does once they have it — drawing connections and conclusions. There is more to it than that. The rest can be found on Holtz's blog.

10 Sure-Fire Ways To Alienate Your Brand’s Most Devoted Advocates
Now that Social Media Explorer has several authors, it also added some new names to the Fresh Content Project. One of them is standup comedian Jordan Cooper. While the presentation is purposely twisted, he does an excellent job describing some sure-fire ways to lose an audience, including laying down rules of engagement, passing out ultimatums, attacking people who covered you over SEO, and so on. Truly, if you turn all of it on its head, you have the foundation of creating a real network. Of course, some people will still insist destroying them is more worthwhile.
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