Be the Reporter, Editor and Newspaper Boy For Your Own Stories
In one classic episode of "Seinfeld", Kramer stated to his co-stars, "You meet a proctologist at a party, don't walk away. Plant yourself there because you will hear the funniest stories you've ever heard."
The same can be said of journalists and former journalists and their ability to retain and regurgitate facts and figures. Like this one from Corrine Kovalsky, former broadcast journalist and now director of Digital and Social Media, Corporate Affairs and Communications, at Raytheon Company.
"In 2012, 41 percent of Congressional staffers use Twitter," she said. "That number is up from 14 percent in 2009."
Or this one.
"By 2020, millenials will be the No. 1 group of workers in any company," she explained.
Kovalsky wasn't spewing this data for her own good, she was a presenter at the Content Marketing and Communications Leadership Forum hosted by PR Newswire and the Business Development Institute, held recently in Boston.
Kovalsky was one of six communications practitioners that led a discussion on marketing an organization's content to the masses. Kovalsky sits in an enviable position as her company, Raytheon, is taking an aggressive approach toward content creation and marketing.
Kovalsky runs her department like a newsroom, a strategy she willingly encourages other companies to embark upon, as it allows an organization to work independently from news outlets that may or may not cover organizations' news, when and if they feel like it or get around to it.
Kovalsky wasn't alone in her thinking around this topic, as other guest speakers maintained their companies are also going this route. Kovalsky is the most fortunate of the group represented however, as hers is a global company with the budget to support this type of endeavour.
In summing up Hubspot's thinking around its content strategy, Rick Burnes, director of Product Marketing at Hubspot, said it's about an organization "creating its own assets." He went on to explain that a good strategy to employ in lockstep with content creation is to "layer in search and social media."
As traditional journalism continues to get squeezed by the economy, social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook become more relevant. And even though Kovalsky recommends using Twitter much like a news headline service crawling across the bottom of a television screen, she said that organizations have to "know their audience."
"I'm not selling a radar system on Twitter," she explained, a comment that drew laughter from the close to 140 in attendance. "I'm going to use LinkedIn to engage that audience."
The other aspect of social media is that it provides organizations and companies opportunities that did not exist a decade ago. Because of the widespread adoption by consumers and corporations alike on social media platforms, there are far more opportunities to tell a story and have it reach an audience larger than might be expected from securing a piece of coverage in a newspaper or magazine, especially when a company has integrated PR and social media.
Because of this, organizations are empowered to create their own stories, publish them through their websites and then market that content to their audience through social and digital media channels, it's strategic communications done the easy way.
Massachusetts General Hospital was recently named the top hospital in the nation by U.S News and World Report, an accolade that was promoted, widely, across Twitter and Facebook, the hospital's blog and any other social media channel that Michael Morrison, Senior Public Affairs Officer/Social Media Specialist, and his staff at MGH could use to spread the news.
But MGH doesn't stop there. Morrison discussed the use of video, produced in-house, that told the story of two patients meeting after one donated his liver to the other. Morrison, noted that the video wasn't of professional quality, but had the same impact as if it had been produced and aired on network news. He stated that it's these capabilities that allows MGH to tell its own story when and how they want.
Guest speakers filled the almost four-hour session with tips, tricks and success stories on how they've taken the publishing of their news out of the hands of traditional journalists and placed it squarely within their own newsrooms, which gives them the advantage of telling their own story, while controlling their own messaging, a task many organizations strive to do.
Burns was one of those speakers who sees the widespread benefit of relaying the exact message Hubspot wants to convey, and he equates the bump you receive from combining social media and Google with playing the lottery.
"Your blog functions like a lottery ticket," he said. "With a blog, each time you post you purchase another ticket to the Google lottery and increasing your search ranking within that site."