Quick: think back to the last time you made a major decision. Who did you seek out for advice? Not just anyone, right, but only those you trusted?
It’s natural to seek outside expertise when making a decision, big or small. Trusted counsel is the basis of marriages and friendships, and a crucial component of the fabric of human interactions. It’s why we ask friends and family whether they like who we’re dating, what schools to send our children to, or where to eat—the opinions of those close to us (who have opinions worth heeding) will make our decision-making better.
Knowing your audience intimately is essential to any successful marketing campaign. In fact, it’s the first and most essential ingredient when you’re leveraging the power and allure of tabloid #journalism to reach as many customers as possible. As I covered in an earlier blog, tabloid journalism works because it gives us what we want and taps into our impulsive desires for scandal, fun, and entertainment. When done well, we find it irresistible. But to enrapture and tempt your audience, you have to first know what they want. There’s a reason movie trailers show us explosions and hinted-at nudity—they’re making us anticipate what happens next. Read more
When most people hear the term investigative #journalism, they think of Woodward and Bernstein, and the fall of the Nixon presidency. While the Watergate scandal of the 1970’s may be the most notable example of the form, our current era, in many ways, could be considered the heyday of investigative journalism. Print publications like the Times and The New Yorker have continued their tradition of muckraking, but the Internet has provided a platform for more people than ever to delve into the art. Notable examples that come to mind include Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, dedicated investigative sites like Pro Publica, or even gossip blogs like Gawker. Or take a look at the non-fiction best-seller list, which is dominated by incredible first-person accounts by writers like Katherine Boo and David Grann. It’s reasonable to argue that there’s more high-impact investigative journalism being done now than ever before.