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One of the things I loved most about journalism was talking to people about their greatest passion in life — whether it was cars or nuclear physics or the lifecycle of lacewing butterflies. Even when the topic seems boring, a person’s passion rubs off on you. I once spent 40 minutes talking to a guy who had spent 25 years writing for Britain’s top quarrying magazine.
Have you ever had the opportunity to geek out with your heroes? I have. Last month I was in Cleveland, Ohio, hanging out with content marketing “legends” (as we say in Australia), including Andy Crestodina, Ann Handley and Carla Johnson. I adore them all and hang off their every word. They’re real thinkers in our profession.
It should have been a huge life decision, but in the end it was quite easy. About 18 months ago I packed in a job I absolutely adored, as Marketing & Media editor at the West Australian newspaper, for a job outside traditional media, in a content marketing agency. As journalists say, I “joined the dark side”.
We are all the media now. You, me, the brands we work with: We can all create and distribute our own content and build our own audiences. We’ve never been so powerful. Australian marketers use an average of eight different kinds of content to engage their audiences. Whether it’s social media content (82 per cent), email newsletters (78 per cent), blogs (67 per cent), video (64 ...
Trying on a pair of jeans in a store’s changing room the other day, I overheard another shopper ask the assistant, “does it look OK?” I’ve no idea what the person was buying but I know the question was directed at a sales assistant because the answer she got was: “Yeah, great; you should get it in the black, too”.
iSentia has finally dropped the axe on its failing content marketing agency, King Content. It’s easy to imagine content marketing agencies across Australia, and the global markets where King Content operated, dancing on the company’s grave. But we shouldn’t be. King Content’s has been a drawn-out execution.
How do you sell something if it doesn’t exist yet? It’s not a trick question. It’s a real-life business dilemma. How do you show a prospective buyer how fantastic it would be to live in an off-the-plan apartment, for example? And how do you show your audience something that’s impossible to film — like blood cells travelling through your veins, or the inside of an engine.
I recently spent a night in Paris in 1899. Don’t worry; you read that correctly. It was for an event called “Secret Cinema”, which takes place in London every year and celebrates a cult film by bringing its setting and characters to life, using actors, before a screening of the film. The film this year was Moulin Rouge, so I was dressed in a top hat and period clothes, surroun ...
Effective communication isn’t just about what you say; it’s also about how you say it. That’s called “tone of voice” — and getting it right can be the difference between success and failure. Whether you sound formal or casual, humorous or serious, respectful, enthusiastic or irreverent — the words you choose, the order you put them in, the way you structure your sentences — al ...
Not all headlines are created equal. Newspaper editors have known this for years. Now, with the internet and social media, the art of headline writing is no longer the province of a few clever sub-editors, it’s a skill individuals, brands, writers, freelancers, bloggers — practically everyone — is learning. It’s also no longer just an art. Writing headlines that win is now a science, too.
It’s easy to suck. Getting that first sentence right — finding the perfect words to capture the reader’s attention and hold it — can be tricky. For some of us, it’s a delicious challenge. Do I paint a picture or hit them with the facts? Do I metaphorically punch the reader in the gut? Or do I woo them into the story gently? For others, finding the right words to start an art ...
When I was a cadet reporter things were still distinctly analogue, so my editorial calendar was kept on a notepad, a week to a page. It was crude, but efficient. I had planned out in front of me, for as many weeks ahead as practical, precisely what I needed to write for each week’s newspaper. I knew who was being interviewed, what photos were needed, what my deadlines were — everything.
It breaks my heart, every single time. The public perception of journalism is often a poor one. People tend to think of pushy foot-in-the-door TV reporters berating dole bludgers and dodgy builders or tacky magazines making up stories about royal babies or fat-shaming celebrities. People don’t tend to think about Woodward and Bernstein exposing Watergate, or Boston Globe repor ...
Today, James and Sarah discuss how to get one of your most important business service provider decisions right — choosing a marketing agency. Whether it’s a PR firm, an advertising company, a content marketing agency or any other communications supplier, what questions should you ask before you sign on the bottom line? Here are some key take-outs: • Not all agencies do everything.
TrackMaven has released its latest Marketing Leadership Survey and, worryingly, it suggests brands and their marketers are still hung up on vanity metrics, rather than metrics linked to a return on investment. More than 70 per cent of marketers said attributing social and content activity to revenue was one of the top marketing challenges they faced.
So I tried Snapchat. It was a bit like that time I tried snails in a fancy French restaurant – a fiddly, awkward and wholly unpleasant experience that left me wondering how on earth so many people could be raving about it. Now, I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a social media addict. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Some people court controversy. It’s how they make their living. They like upsetting people, stirring up trouble and making headlines. And good luck to them; at least if it all goes wrong they generally experience the consequences directly and personally. But when you’re a brand — whether you’re a corporate entity or a charity — finding yourself embroiled in controversy can cos ...
It’s a simple truth: Blogging, and blogging regularly, still works for business. It’s easy to get distracted by social media channels, apps, and whatever concept is the centre of the latest marketing buzz — virtual reality, perhaps. But when it comes to engagement, sometimes keeping it simple provides the best results.
Writing is one of those tasks a lot of people hate to do. They sit there staring at the blank page, unable to start, knowing what they want to say but unable to put it in words, finding ways to distract themselves, and getting themselves into a muddle. If that’s you, I have a neat trick to help you get started more confidently.
Where you advertise says a lot about your brand. It speaks to your geographic location and your target market, for example. But it also tells the public about your brand values. So, what does it say when your advertisement turns up on a fake news site? Or on a hyperpartisan site that espouses extremist views? The damage is potentially enormous.