The Rocket Blog

Why Every Company (Yes, Even Yours) Should Be a Media Company
By Tonya Thompson on Aug 7, 2015
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In May of 2004, a journalist with London’s Financial Times did the unthinkable in the realms of journalism.  Despite being on staff at one of the most prestigious papers in the world, he turned in his resignation to pursue what his gut instinct told him was the future of his field – digital publishing.  

Fast-forward to July 2015 when the paper’s owner, Pearson, sold Financial Times, a global standard in financial reporting and 127-year-old paragon of print, to a Japanese digital media company. Pearson’s CEO, John Fallon, issued the following statement concerning the sell-off. "In this new environment, the best way to ensure [Financial Times’] journalistic and commercial success is for it to be part of a global, digital news company." 

Instinct and timing are everything

So remember the journalist who left on gut instinct before the sell-off? His name is Tom Foremski and he now works as both Editor-in-Chief and publisher of SiliconValleyWatcher.com and Editorial Communications Manager at Delphix in Silicon Valley. His blog has been named one of the most influential blogs by Bacon's Information, a provider of media research, distribution, monitoring, and evaluation services for PR professionals. He’s also a founding fellow of the Society for New Communications Research (SCNR), a think tank and research organization that focuses on the use of emerging technologies of communications in media and PR applications. Put simply, he started his career with a gut instinct for media trends and those same instincts continue to make him a trusted source for all things media. 

EC=MC (The transformative equation for business)

Foremski stresses this one concept across all of his publications and consultancies, and the long form of it is “every company is a media company.” When you consider companies like Redbull and GoPro, and the impressive portfolio of media both companies have released to grow their brand identity, you’ll begin to get a clearer picture of why Foremski calls this EC=MC formula “the transformative equation for business.” 

Here's how one company did it

GoPro - a San Mateo, California-based company that develops, manufactures and markets high-definition action cameras - has built its brand identity on a mix of professional and user-made content.  On the GoPro Channel section of its website, audiences can find a stream of content created using GoPro cameras that is one of the best examples out there of a company connecting on a personal level with its current customers and potential customers. These videos and the professionally-made content that makes up GoPro's typical marketing campaigns engage a wide audience through shared story and experience. It’s visual, it’s human, and it’s real.  (You can read more about GoPro’s success with this EC=MC formula here.) 

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Think like the (digital) media

GoPro, although at its core a tech company, is putting a lot of media out there. They are engaging a wide audience and doing it at a low cost (mostly user-generated) to produce high-quality, informative, entertaining, sharable, digital content. And it's a strategy that's working for them. In the process, their brand identity has grown expontially, and they've done it by thinking of themselves as a media company.

So the question remains: How could your company benefit from the same strategy? 

And while you're thinking on that, consider this - it's almsot easier for smaller and mid-sized businesses to take the EC = MC approach, since the traditional marketing strategies and established brand identity of larger corporations are often obstacles to it. 

Foremski's final take

Here's an excerpt from Foremski's blog that really wraps up the idea nicely: 

"In addition to the traditional means of publishing, such as white papers, news releases, etc, companies must now also master the 'social media' technologies that allow anyone, their customers, their competitors, to publish also. It is no longer a one-way broadcast medium, everyone now has access to an online printing press that can potentially reach tens of millions of people....

The reality is we now live in a multi-platform, multi-channel, micro- media world, and the trend is moving towards ever greater media fragmentation - vidcasts, podcasts, blogs, micro-blogging, Twitter, etc. It is no longer possible to operate a business the old way - such as sending out a news release on Businesswire and briefing a handful of journalists, and sitting back.

Today you need to do that ... and more, much more. Every company needs to master these media technologies, and the best media practices, of a rapidly fragmenting media world.

The companies that successfully manage this task will be far ahead of those that sit back and wait."

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