Yesterday provided a feast of social and media goodness for Melbournians as Edelman’s Steve Rubel came to town to moderate a News Limited and Herald Sun panel on the future of journalism and speak to the local Social Media Club about his insights on the future of the media.
If you’re in media/communications/marketing/social media and have an hour to spare, I highly recommend checking out the full hour-long video discussion regarding the future of journalism. As an add-on, you might also like to check out the discussion on Twitter via the #heraldsunfoj hashtag.
Moderated by Steve and featuring Phil Gardner, Campbell Reid, Renee Barnes and Russell Howcroft, it discusses not only on journalism, but topics including marketing, advertising, paid content, communications and the wider use of social media by media organisations (particularly newspapers).
Pixels & Ink: A Discussion About the Future of Journalism
Here’s just a fraction of what he had to share….
‘Media as a snack’ vs ‘Media as a four-course meal’
Steve described two types of media content in the current environment – that which we snack on in bite-sized pieces, and that which we delve deeper into (the four-course meal). Media need to understand consumer engagement with each form, as well as the ability they provide the consumer to share this content.
Content surplus as a bankable trend
In an era of self-publication (for brands as well as individuals) and increased noise we’re all faced with the problem of too much content and not enough time. For media companies, scaling this information and providing value through quality curation is a great opportunity to solve this problem for the consumer.
Steve’s top tips for being a quality curator:
- Be knowledgeable and well read on your subject matter of choice
- Save materials for later reading – it’s all an opportunity to be well informed and provide value to others
- Focus on depth, not breadth. As Steve said, he knows a lot about a few things, and little about most things.
People want to engage with people
People ultimately want to engage with people. The same applies for brands and media. That is, people want to connect with the human element of a brand and those that work for the organisation. Just look at the spectacular success of Zappos and the introduction of Reuters’ ‘social pulse’ as examples of this.
Journalists and media are now community managers
Following on from the previous point, with media personnel now across social media as part of their day-to-day function sharing, curating and creating content – they now have to be adept at managing a community.
Those leading in the media field understand this, and see their role not only as a reporter/journalist/presenter – but as a brand ambassador who is able to acquire consumers and an build an audience through these channels.
Steve cited The New York Times’ Brian Stelter as the best example of this media professional – and I most certainly recommend following Brian and his colleague David Carr on Twitter and subscribing to them both on facebook if you’re interested in media and communications particularly.
Media need to understand the channels
Media need to invest the time and resources to not only understand the distribution process for established and emerging channels, but to investigate how content is being spread, which particular content is being spread, and by whom.
Steve’s top three emerging trends for media?
- Building business models that incorporate curation,
- Increased data mining and analytics about real-time engagement with media content (Steve used the particular example of chartbeat during the discussion), and
- The increased importance of facebook’s open graph. Those media that understand and utilise the open graph to increase views, shares and engagement will improve their edgerank greatly. In short, those media that engage with facebook in this manner will be more valuable than those that don’t.
The public no longer sees media and social media as separate
The one point that Steve wanted the audience to take from the discussion is that the public don’t see media and social media as separate – they see them as one. For that reason, it’s up to media organisations to embrace and understand these channels, and how their story pervades across those with which they choose to engage.
What do you think?
Do you have any additional tips for being a curator or trends you think we’ll be seeing in media?
Were you there last night, and if so did any additional points stand out for you from the discussion?
What are your favourite media brands and who are your favourite media individuals engaging in social media. What about their practice do you particularly admire?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.