Businesses destined to add e-books to their content marketing efforts

Companies as PublishersPublishing books isn’t exactly new to businesses. In 2009, Forrester Research executives Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li made a splash with Groundswell, published by Wiley. It may be one of the more visible examples of a business—Forrester—publishing a book (the company got the royalties instead of the authors, the status quo for employees who write business books while employed), but because of the economics of book publishing, that’s about to undergo a massive shift.

Who publishes books is already in the throes of change. Amazon’s Kindle library is crammed full of titles produced by individuals who avoided working with a publisher at… Read More »

The new public relations gut check

Since the advent of public relations, there has been an easy way to explain the profession and differentiate it from marketing and advertising. In fact, I used this method many years ago when I first described what PR to my daughter. My explanation went something like this:

“Advertisers and marketers pay to get their messages to their audiences. In PR, we don’t pay. We earn coverage of our stories.”

The line between paid and earned media was, for a long time, inviolate. There was never any doubt when you crossed the line: If you paid for coverage, you had breached the boundaries of ethical behavior.

Today, a lot of practitioners… Read More »

Content curation: A required skill for digital-era communicators

Over the years, I have chatted with people who work for museums. There’s Michael Edson, for example, whom I’ve interviewed twice for my podcast based on his work with the Smithsonian Institution. I’ve also met several museum communicators.

These interactions have given me some introductory insight into the job of a curator. There is more to it than simply collecting pieces and displaying them. In small museums (or other organizations with collections), according to Wikipedia, documentation of items in the collection is part of the job, as is conducting research on the items. In larger organizations, curators are also subject-matter… Read More »

Are you ready to incorporate QR codes into your communications?

The surge in smartphone ownership seems to be supporting a parallel rise in the use of QR tags. Marketers, advertisers and communicators should start incorporating tags into their planning now. The cost is minimal and the benefits could be huge.

A week or so ago I was shopping for a TV stand, that piece of furniture that supports a flat-panel television and the various devices (cable box, DVR, gaming console, DVD player, etc.) that stream content to the TV. At Best Buy, the small cards that displayed the price also featured QR codes. Using a free app called BeeTagg on my Android phone, I was able to scan the codess and get more… Read More »

Death Watch: Marketing and advertising have an important place in the complex media ecosystem

We have a tendency to assume that a law of physics applies equally to the media world. In physics, according to Newton’s third law of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

This odd assumption crossed my mind to me as I was reading last night. In the he book I was reading, the author argued that, thanks to the Internet, geography doesn’t matter any more. Under Newton’s law, this makes sense:

Action: The Internet has given us access to everybody everywhere all the time.
Reaction: Geography is no longer a factor in our interactions.

In truth, though, our complex and messy world does not abide by such clear-cut rules.… Read More »

What are you willing to barter in exchange for content?

Back in 1984, Stewart Brand uttered the words that have become the slogan of the free content movement: “Information wants to be free.”

Those who advocate free content, however, are taking Brand’s statement out of context. At the first Hacker’s conference where he made the statement, he was talking about the tension between the value of content and the vanishing cost associated with distributing it. Here’s what he actually said:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost…

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