[Any Given Sunday, 4:30]
People want to be engaged with the information they receive. That's why Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other online meeting spots are so popular. People vote with their likes and ratings, comments, retweets, links, and discussions.
Blogs and portals are not becoming like old media, in fact, media online is doing a fine job of evolving around one simple idea - a concept Arianna Huffington talked about recently. "We don't just write about a story. If it matters, we stay with the story until there is impact," she said recently at the PRSA International conference.
Whether you love or hate her, Arianna Huffington obviously "gets" the medium:
- be first
- take a position
- your name is your best brand
- let your readers be your evangelists through social media
- images tell a story
This is something today's marketers and communicators need to understand - you need to work your content, but forget it's about you. Work it inch by inch, as Coach Pacino says in Any Given Sunday, and make progress. Inch by inch is how you'll start measuring the impact of your participation.
And, by the way, think of clawing your way to success in terms of conquering your own limitations, as a team, or you'll languish individually. Check out all of the successes and find team mates around, behind, or with the players. There are no lone rangers, only selfish people. Just like in life.
Are you with me so far?
So why on earth...
- send a news release out after, no doubt, a month-long of approvals, to then walk away from it?
- put a piece of content up on your site and never work it to build conversation?
- wait until all words are neigh perfectly nonsensical to post them in the first place?
- write in a nice monotone, monochromatic style to appeal to everyone when you know who you want to attract?
- give all the neat bullets when you know that people respond to story?
- allow only window shopping with your content, when people could be buying by following calls to action?
- talk inside speak outside, if you want traction?
- not give people a reason to care about your content?
- attempt the intellectual route for emotional issues?
- fail to respond to the needs of your audience for depth, or lateral information?
- out all your voices in one piece and not spread them each with their own channel?
- go for average, when you can be different?
Pacino understands the value and power of branding. He's not telling the team to go out of their way to benchmark what all the other players are doing. He doesn't work on maximizing someone else's model. He doesn't ask how he could be a better "me too" team.
In his talk, he makes it clear that the players need to go out and work the story until they find impact. The interaction is where your content finds legs. You build that interaction inch by inch, allowing the story to spread, gather reactions, find an audience who will share it and even refashion it.
Stop being attached to the darn message and start paying attention to what people experience of your content. Watch how they engage with it. That's branding by story.
© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.