Discover more from Steady Beats | Matt Tillotson
The Mix Tape, Vol. 57
Welcome to this week’s Mix:
📺Insider strategies for getting local publicity
🚫Ageism in the advertising industry
🐇BoingBoing springs up
📣The coming age of employee brand ambassadors
🎸Classic rockers remind us to play the long game
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Experts: Five ways to get local news coverage
Recently, I spoke with communications pros about how to garner local media coverage for businesses. Local media remains powerful and influencial, and a positive story provides instant reach and credibility.
WTSP reporter, weekend anchor, and fellow Michigan State Spartan Josh Sidorowicz wrote to me about how he sifts through hundreds of PR pitches every day:
“If we’re going to do a story, 9 times of 10 there needs to be something that ties it in with the news of the day. If a local business has a story to tell, what would make a wide swath of viewers care about it? How does it relate to what’s happening in the community or the world right now? Also, is there an emotional aspect?”
Local journalists are deluged with pitches, but there are simple ways for businesses to stand out.
Ageism in the advertising industry
Avi Dan, writing in Forbes about cost-cutting in the ad agency business at the expense of older workers:
Asked by an analyst if he feels that his company talent is disproportionately skewed toward the creators of expensive 30-second commercials, Mark Read, the CEO of WPP responded, "Look at our people – the average age of someone who works at WPP is less than 30 – they don’t hark back to the 1980s, luckily.” The fire storm that ensued as social media exploded with anger at this blatant display of discriminatory practices and ageism.
Agencies increasingly find themselves offering commoditized services at razor-thin margins. As a result, older, more expensive professionals are jettisoned, leaving the work to more junior (and cheaper) staffers.
The results are not always great:
Primarily focusing on reducing cost by getting rid of your best performers will eventually kill agencies. You can cut back on dough and make a pizza so cheap nobody will eat it. You can make an agency so young that nobody will hire it.
In-house corporate marketing teams are not immune to this behavior, either.
BoingBoing springs up
BoingBoing, which launched its site in 1995, is a king of the OG blogs.
Which is why it was so wild to see my article on James Altucher vs. Jerry Seinfeld appear there this week:
"There's an old saying about arguments: when you resort to ad hominem attacks, you've already lost." That's what Matt Tillotson wrote in his essay analyzing entrepreneur/gadfly James Altucher's blog post about the end of New York City and Jerry Seinfeld's weak, hypocritical rebuttal in the NY Times.
Co-founder Mark Frauenfelder distilled my argument down nicely: if someone resorts to personal attacks in response to your argument, congratulations. You won.
The next social media trend: celebrity employees?
Austin Rief, co-founder of the wildly successful Morning Brew newsletter, highlights a prediction from Amada Goetz on the next big thing in corporate social media:
This strategy works for Morning Brew.
Austin and the team use Twitter to interact, often with pretty hilarious results. People gravitate towards them. We want to connect with people, not brands. And we love to look behind the scene.
As a bonus: this strategy acts as a natural talent recruiting vehicle.
But … the hot trend in 2021?
I’m not so sure.
Not because employee ambassadors won’t be effective. But conservative management teams—the kind who think you can’t work effectively from home—will have to further cede control of corporate brands and messaging.
The strategy will be a tough sell in many boardrooms.
And there’s risk for employees, too. Twitter can turn on you quickly. Will companies stand behind employees if a situation goes sideways?
Companies must set clear communication expectations for employees, and employees need to own the responsibility that comes with representing their employer online.
Reminder: play the long game
Thank you for reading and sharing.
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