Gini Dietrich

Four Reasons You’re Not a Media Company

By: Gini Dietrich | June 20, 2011 | 
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At last week’s Vocus User’s Conference, I had the pleasure of sitting in on Adam Singer’s session.

He spoke about the importance of becoming a media company and about building equity in a community.

Last week, we talked here a bit about the importance of building your own community via your own website or blog.

Adam repeats that importance by saying, “Most companies are playing around in platforms someone else owns. Most companies are not building a hub for traction.”

Following are the four reasons you’re not a media company (yet) and Adam’s recommendations for solving these issues.

You have a lack of cadence

People ask me all the time how many times they should blog. In fact, Marcus Sheridan wrote a fun post last week about  the best blogging schedule (hint, it’s not the same for everyone).

Three years ago I would have answered that question differently. Now I’ll tell you that consistency is key. If you decide you want to blog once a week or once a month, that’s fine. Just do it on the same day at the same time so people know when to expect to be able to read or view your brilliance.

My favorite thing Adam said during the presentation (which was to a room full of communication professionals) was,

If you can’t come up with a blog post idea every day, you’re in the wrong field. Put on your media hat and go tell the story.

To him, this means you should be blogging daily. To me, however, people are creatures of habits. Just let them know when and how often to expect your content.

You’re focusing only on Facebook and Twitter

We’ve also talked quite a bit here and at Jayme Soulati’s blog about how important it is that communication professionals learn some marketing skills. While I usually focus on the numbers, the math, Adam says you also have to think beyond Facebook and Twitter.

The Web is bigger than the two social networks. You must learn how to use search and social.

You shouldn’t be marketing on the web if you don’t have conversion goals. Get access to your analytics, have your techy guys show you how to add goals, and track those goals. Don’t know what those goals should be? Call me. I’ll help you.

Your design is outdated

Come on, people! With WordPress and a few plugins, your design can be updated and pretty. Sure, it may cost you a couple hundred bucks when it’s all said and done, but that money is well spent when you’re competing on the web with other companies who’ve taken the time and invested in their content efforts upfront.

Too often companies invest in their design after they hit a certain pinnacle. Are you sure you want 10,000 readers before you invest in design? My guess is no…because you won’t get to 10,000 readers with crappy design. Don’t know what to focus on? Ingrid Abboud asked her readers a couple of weeks ago what they look for when they visit a blog. Read the comments there. You’ll get plenty of ideas.

And guess what? Once you buy your domain and upgrade to WordPress.org (from .com), most of the plugins are free.

Do it. Do it now.

No one understands your content

Are you using corporate Bingo, as Lisa Gerber calls it? That means you’re using acronyms and vernacular only your colleagues can decipher.

We work with a Fortune 10 company that uses acronyms in their every day speak. It took us two years to a) figure out what the heck they were saying and b) get them to stop.

Adam says the secret to producing content is to publish a blog on your own. As communication professionals, this is extremely important.

When I wanted to figure out what worked and what didn’t, I launched My BFF’s Beauty Bag as a test blog. You’ll see I’ve published nothing there for two years, but this launched me into writing for Spin Sucks every day. I understood how to build a community on the blog using Twitter and Facebook as promotion tools. I understood what content people wanted to read about. And I learned who I needed to follow in order to gain inspiration and ideas.

I know. I know. We’re all busy. You don’t have time. Blah, blah, blah.

If you really want to understand how to produce great content, it’s non-negotiable.

Ask yourself these questions

As you learn how to develop content for your company or for your clients, Adam suggests you ask yourself the following questions:

  • So what? How is this useful/different/fresh?
  • Does it have character and uniqueness?
  • Is it relevant to my target audience?
  • Does my headline stand out?
  • Will the content make people look funny or smart by sharing it?

He says,

You have to care about your content. Be creative, be networked, and be passionate.

So what can you do, today, to either get started or freshen your content?

P.S. You can visit The Future Buzz for more information, charts, graphs, and case studies on solving these four issues. The blog post is here.

 

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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111 Comments on "Four Reasons You’re Not a Media Company"

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Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago

What a fab post and food for thought. Thanks for the love, Gin Blossom. I’m coming back to share and echo some of these when I return from being taxi service. I kinda like being the first to comment…at least I’m on the ball somewhere today! Happy Monday and great to know Vocus put out.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Soulati Oh they put out and I didn’t even have to buy them dinner!

rachaelseda
4 years 10 months ago

This is a really helpful post for both people and companies with established blogs and those looking to start a blog. I found the “Questions to Ask Yourself” to be the most important. I am going to copy & paste these onto my desktop notes and remind myself to read them before I hit publish. Thanks as always!

faybiz
4 years 10 months ago

You get to have all the fun!

As an inconsistent person, I will second the need for consistency

adamsinger
adamsinger
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks for the post on my session Gini – and BTW, it was great to finally meet you! :)

Glenn Ferrell
Glenn Ferrell
4 years 10 months ago

Gini – I think that (fundamentally) you’re just a great conversationalist who has forgotten that you are talking through a keyboard (I almost said – gag – typewriter) instead of face-to-face. :)

There is a nice little blog checklist embedded in this post. I always have such difficulty collating my past tweets, it would be nice to see a post of “best blogging checklists” sometime. I know that is not precisely in your target area but… just saying.

samtaracollier
samtaracollier
4 years 10 months ago

Spin sucks is my inspiration on how to do blogging right! It’s dependable, on schedule, entertaining AND incredibly informative. I get a lot of my inspiration right here :)

Because I work in the legal industry 50% of the time I try and put a legal spin on all the latest social media news. If it affects lawyers and law firms I write about it, if not, I don’t. I need to work on creating a schedule though – no too good at that!

DannyBrown
4 years 10 months ago

Adam is one of the best media guys and bloggers out there, full stop. I read his blog religiously and, though I may not comment all the time, I sure as hell appreciate what he’s doing.

wabbitoid
4 years 10 months ago

Excellent! I’ve been doing all of these and I have to say that this plus a little bit more definitely works. I will disagree about the “crappy design” because I’ve deliberately not updated mine to see where I can go and I’m at 10k visits a month – but I have thought about updating it to see what it gets me (it’s all about experimenting with me!). So I very much appreciate what you say here, especially the call to cut out the jargon.

johnfalchetto
4 years 10 months ago

Corporate Bingo was one of my favorite posts on SS. It’s such a great description of the disease which affects many offices across the world.

Great questions by @adamsinger . It’s like cycling isn’t? There is no finish line, we need to work at it everyday to keep it interesting and alive.

TheJackB
4 years 10 months ago

People over think blogging. They spend too much time worrying about what they are going to write and trying to make sure that it is perfect. There is a reason why people practice writing and that is because practice makes you better at it.

You get better at developing story ideas and better at producing posts. Adam is right, there are a million story ideas staring at us daily. Sit down and start writing.

And you Gini are correct about the ease of setting up a blog. The costs are minimal and the only significant one is time.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago
First of all I am media. No media exists except for me. Look up Wikipedia what Media is. Hurry before they change it back! I call it CAIM. Do you know CAIM? You should. It means Chief Alien Is Media. The Lingo Thing is really important. Especially if people who are not industry specific might read your blog. My last Corp job was selling similar parts into Aerospace, Military, Automotive, and Healthcare Device Industry. They all had different lingo and it drove me nuts. But the lingo meanings when written long hand have meaning everywhere. I used to be asked… Read more »
ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg
4 years 10 months ago

This was a good article and reminds me how much my own blog sucks. I really need to invest some time in making it less horrific to view. I’m adding it to my todo list.

Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago

May I please ask you a question? Why did you elect to label yourself as “extremely average?” Is that good branding? I bet you’re quite top notch (after all, you’re here), and as a marketing/PR tweep, I’d like to suggest you alter your self image so people who don’t know you might want to. Just sayin’ and no offense suggested. I don’t know you, but I’d like to! @ExtremelyAvg

Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago
OK, promised I’d stop back…interesting thoughts over @DannyBrown guest post today re “when you begin to monetize you lose the passion, hot content” via @mschechter aka Superman (I mean did you look at his avatar??). When newbie bloggers begin, it’s a struggle to find voice for a good six months (hard to teach that and it’s an experience you have to experience). It takes a year to get to those other points you raise above, and then the dance begins — when to tweak design, how to keep content fresh, what can you do about being passionate every day you… Read more »
Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago

Howie, I’m gonna “like” this comment b/c I really don’t think anyone else will. I’m in your camp, we’re flying a spaceship together, Man. @HowieSPM

PattiRoseKnight
PattiRoseKnight
4 years 10 months ago

I love when Gini says: Do it. Do it now. You better go do it now :)

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

Corporate Bingo. Brillient. :)

Oh, and by the way, you need not spend hundreds on a great looking site even. I joined a premium theme group for something like $40 and installed 1 premium theme on our newest blog and am in the process of updating my old site with another – all for the same price. :)

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg
4 years 10 months ago
@Soulati Soulati . I am, at my core, someone who loves words. I like how they play off of one another and have the power to elicit a chuckle. About 12 years ago, my roommate’s fiancé bought a new Treeing Walker coon hound. She named him Roger. Treeing Walker coon hounds look like beagles, but have long legs. When he was a puppy, he was ALL legs and cute. My other roommate, Bryce Miller (Currently the Executive Sports Editor for the Des Moines Register, and a fine wordsmith), looked at Roger and said, “Roger, you are…extremely average.” It struck my… Read more »
Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago

Points taken, Friend! Love that storytelling knack you have, too. Thanks for sharing how you came to be and being so good about it. @ExtremelyAvg

bdorman264
bdorman264
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM Well sir, I do believe we have been called out but I’m sure she probably had you in mind; after all, I’m the invisible one. I mean, how can you not notice an alien?

Howie’s my bud, @Soulati I have to like; we stick together like that………:)

Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago

Yeah, I see how you both use free blogging tools instead of migrate to WordPress.org; Uh-huh, like glue to feathers. @bdorman264 @HowieSPM

bdorman264
bdorman264
4 years 10 months ago
I hear ya and I don’t even have anything silly to say. All I know is if you set your goals low enough, it really is hard to be disappointed. If I would have even had an inkling of how this was going to go, there are probably a few things I would have done differently. I didn’t jump into this thinking I’m going to grow my blog to X. I just wanted to be able to comment and reply and thought it was part of the ‘game’. Of course, now the pressure is on because I’m really at a… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@rachaelseda I especially like the last one: Is what I’m writing going to make my community smarter?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@faybiz So did you just make a commitment to be consistent??

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@adamsinger It was awesome to finally meet you, too! Thanks for the great content ideas!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Glenn Ferrell LOL! We just had a conversation about the typewriter the other day. Too funny. And thank you!

I like the blog checklist idea. We were talking about some content ideas in our staff meeting this morning and more blogging tips came up. So I will take your advice.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@samtaracollier The schedule really helps because you have stuff to write even when inspiration doesn’t strike. I’ve begun adding drafts in my admin so I can stay on schedule and get the right content out (not blog posts about nothing). It really, really helps.

And thank you for the nice compliment. You’re welcome anytime! :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown I agree. And he has really good ideas that aren’t stuck in the echo chamber.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@wabbitoid Update your design! I’ll bet it helps. Immensely. It did for Spin Sucks when we updated a year ago.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@johnfalchetto We play Corporate Bingo here a lot. It’s fun! It is like cycling…or running…or growing a business. There is no finish line – just steps along the way.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@TheJackB I tell people all the time that if they pay attention they’ll see blog posts in every day life. Kind of like the post you wrote about the mean moms. I loved that one!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM ROM?!? That made me LOL!! Adam said, “Good blogging is industry agnostic.” Say amen, Alien. Amen.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@bdorman264 @HowieSPM Oh it was to both of you. Invisible or not.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@ExtremelyAvg Your writing is SO GOOD that everything you do should match it. It’s so easy and you’ll draw a larger audience for your pet projects. You deserve HUGE success.

faybiz
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich crafty woman.

I think we all do each day when we wake up- or at least we try. I can’t be consistent about it

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@faybiz LOL!!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Soulati I think you misread. These are content tips, not blogging tips. The point about creating your own blog is a great way to figure out how to deliver good content before using it for your company. For those of us who work with many companies, it’s IMPERATIVE we understand how all of this works, by using the tools ourselves, before we consult clients. That was the point Adam made that I wanted to drive home.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@PattiRoseKnight Now if I could just get everyone to listen!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis I think, by the time it’s all said and done, you’ll spend a couple hundred bucks: Your domain name, a theme, some plugins that cost a few bucks (SEO Scribe, clickzy, etc.).

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@bdorman264 I think if any of us realized how it was going to go, we would have done things differently. I spent two days with really smart bloggers and was kicking myself for things they’re doing that I’m not. It’s all in how we handle change and how flexible we are in making those changes.

You know what I think you should do…

wabbitoid
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich I think it is time to run that experiment – have enough baseline data. I also think I know what I want to do with it, too. Give me a few weeks, and then after I have it up a few weeks I’ll have before and after data, so about the end of July. This should be fun!

Soulati
Soulati
4 years 10 months ago

Wait, wait don’t tell me…was it the reader who misread or the blogger who miswrote? Kidding. Got it. Yet, it gave me pause…”content tips, NOT blogging tips.” Seems to go hand in hand to me… @ginidietrich

RicardoBueno
4 years 10 months ago

I’m in the real estate niche. The challenge most (if not all) realtors face is that of how to stand out in a crowded market-place. And yet, I think too many real estate agents undermine the importance of having a good quality site design.

If your design is outdated and doesn’t look professional and fresh, you can forget about making any headway past the competition. Same goes for your content. Frankly, the success of any real estate (or other business) blog is dependent on your ability to develop fresh new content, consistently.

</rant>

RicardoBueno
4 years 10 months ago

End rant.

bdorman264
bdorman264
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Trust me, it’s not falling on deaf ears; I just need to kick it in gear…..

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg
4 years 10 months ago

@Soulati Another reason is that nobody wants to be friends with someone who calls themselves SuperAwesomeGuy. No, that guy is most likely to get pulled out of his classic triumph TR-3, and beaten about the head and shoulders with is pipe, and have the elbow patches torn off his tweed blazer…and stuffed down his throat. Nobody wants to be THAT guy.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Soulati Maybe I did miswrite. :) It was super early this morning. And it was storming so my body felt like it was midnight.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@wabbitoid YES!!

TheJackB
4 years 10 months ago

@bdorman264 So what you are waiting for, a boot to the head, poke in the eye, kick in the ass, fame, fortune, Halley’s Comet…@ginidietrich

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