I heard an interesting quote recently: “Every organization is now a media company.”
Unfortunately, I can’t remember who made the statement (a little help, anyone?), but the implication is clear. Given the new tools we now have at our disposal, organizations now have the ability to publish their own content. Tell their story directly to their target audiences. Be the media, in essence (side note: Although organizations can now publish their own content, the news media still plays a huge role in the PR/communications process, and in society at large. More on that in a future post).
The first step, for most companies? Starting a blog.
We all know starting a blog isn’t all that hard–it’s maintaining it that’s tough. But, you’d be surprised how much content you can extract from your existing processes, tools and resources.
The key? Start thinking like a publisher. That’s what’s really behind the comment above. To be a media company you need to start thinking like a publishing company. Here are a few tips:
* Think USA Today not the New Yorker. My point? Your posts don’t have to be 5,00o-word manifestos. In fact, I think longer posts actually work against you. Your readers typically don’t have a ton of time. Shorter the better. Sometimes just a couple paragraphs is all it takes to grab your reader’s attention and make your point.
* Make sure multimedia is in the mix. Photos, video, even audio. It all adds to the depth of your blog. Plus, it “warms up” the blog and humanizes the authors. Ultimately, you’re trying to start conversations–sometimes you need to try some different media to do that.
* Take advantage of industry events and conferences. I never travel anywhere without my Flip. Why? Because when I’m at an industry conference or trade show, I capture interviews I use as blog content for the week ahead. It requires minimal prep (crafting questions) and is easy to execute. And, most people are flattered to be interviewed “on camera.”
* Phone it in. Most execs don’t have a lot of free time to blog, right? Try asking them to phone in their post to your voice mail. Or, if they travel, ask them to write a post or two on the plane. It’s downtime for these folks anyway. Take advantage of it. Get creative. It’s all about maximizing time.
What tips do you have to share? What’s worked for you–either with your personal blog or an organizational blog?