Archive for September 2009
In the first part of his analysis of the news business, BusinessWeek chief economist Michael Mandel equates bad news about news with the number of journalists employed. But there is the nub of a much bigger trend: the fall news as an industry paralleling the end of the industrial economy. That’s not just about shedding the means of production and distribution now that they are cost burdens rather than barriers to entry. It’s about the decentralization of journalism as an industrial complex, about news no longer being based solely on employment.
Meet the man with a nearly uncontainable design challenge: making Coke even bigger (and staying ahead of Pepsi).
Companies as diverse as McDonald's, Ford, and American Express are revamping their marketing to win back that most valuable of corporate assets.
Over the past three years, we have tracked the rising adoption of Web 2.0 technologies, as well as the ways organizations are using them. This year, we sought to get a clear idea of whether companies are deriving measurable business benefits from their investments in the Web. Our findings indicate that they are.
For corporate communications specialists and reputation managers in the post financial crisis universe, the combined elements of distrust for authority and demand for transparency converge on the internet, specifically in the realm of social media. Hardly a day goes by without a breathless email announcing yet another conference, video, webinar or book providing the definitive answer to the mysteries of bending social media to one’s will. However, the relentless hype that has accompanied its growth may exaggerate or misconstrue its impact. Professionals would do well to take a deep breath and begin to think about how to build a detailed business strategy that includes but does not necessarily focus on social media so as to create sustainable value.
No one is talking about it, but what's happening to journalism may some day happen to higher education. It's not too early to look down the road. Tim Sullivan and I were chatting about the options the other day and I came away with this rough sketch of a radical scenario: the university continues as a center of knowledge production, but ceases to matter as a center of knowledge distribution.
Innovation: it's the ultimate source of advantage, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the economic ring. Innovation is what every organization should be ruthlessly pursuing, right? Wrong. I'd like to advance a hypothesis: awesomeness is the new innovation. Let's face it. "Innovation" feels like a relic of the industrial era. And it just might be the case that instead of chasing innovation, we should be innovating innovation — that innovation needs innovation. Why? When we examine the economics of innovation, three reasons emerge.
While the concept of personal branding has taken off corporate branding seems to go in and out of favor. Economic cycles may have a lot to do with that. With the growth of the Internet and social technology tools, personal branding activity and opportunities have exploded. On the other hand, in some ways, the arc of Web 1.0 to 2.0+ (not to mention this current economy) has seduced many marketers into being focused on tactics at the expense of strategy including branding. Hot media tactics often substitute for the "strategy." If you are skeptical that brands still matter in the age of 1-1, millennials and social media, or if you are trying to run a business and make numbers and don't have the patience for brand consultant-speak or theories, here is a quick, simple refresher on good old fashioned branding that works today, that can help you frame your marketing and other operational tactics...to drive business results.
The financial markets' collapse and a growing distrust of global leaders both public and private has increased the importance of thinking strategically about communications and its impact on reputation. Government officials, political candidates and all those operating in the public realm are increasingly asking how they can measure with greater certainty the dynamics that drive their communications performance. With upcoming battles in the US on climate change, healthcare, Supreme Court confirmations, financial reform and a new Middle East peace initiative, among others, there is ample opportunity to evaluate communicators’ ability to drive public opinion. The corporate sector has been measuring the impact of communications and reputation for some time, using the results of these analyses to determine how their allocation of resources and themes affect financial outcomes such as stock price, P/E ration, revenues and profits. The earliest iteration of measurement centered on clip counts and evaluations—the most basic tenets of media relations—but has since evolved to include more robust scientific metrics. This is spurred by the diminishing effectiveness of traditional advertising. One recent survey revealed that only 13% of respondents believe advertising claims.
Publishing “top 10″ lists is unfortunately a staple of modern journalism. But alas, writers must drive readers’ eyeballs, even when discussing serious topics like the government. And so we find a new list that mixes Web 2.0 with the government: “Top 10 agencies with the most Facebook fans.” For the record, this list is topped by the White House with 327,592 fans, followed by the Marine Corps, Army, CDC, State Department, NASA, NASA JPL, Library of Congress, Air Force, and Environmental Protection Agency. Congratulations to all these hard-working agencies. But what exactly are we celebrating here?