HBO’s Silicon Valley is a hilarious and true-to-life version of many of the issues young companies face when trying to take a product to market that uses advanced technology. While anyone who has seen the show recognizes that many of the situations are exaggerated for comic effect, much of the journey that the show’s main character, Richard Hendricks, and his company, Pied Piper, go through, are accurate depictions of the lifecycle of startups.
There’s an iconic scene in Mike Judge’s deservedly renowned film Office Space, where an employee of a company is asked, “What would you say…you do here?” The question results in the employee stammering through a justification of his position, but his answer reveals he’s as confused about his role as his superiors.
As veterans in the b2b technology space, we understand the unique challenges of #partner marketing. When technology partners go to market, they want to tell a unified story, but also each maintain their unique brand and identity. We help our clients deal with those challenges; bringing partners together to tell a unique story that rings true to both partners’ voices. Theresa Caragol of thewhir.com sets out a few best practices to meet the challenges of partner marketing.
Technology marketers often struggle to understand how, when, and where #PR factors into their company’s marketing program. That’s why we’ve been running a series of blogs that examines everything and anything #tech PR. So far we’ve looked at different types of PR firms, and how to choose the firm that’s right for your company. In this blog we’ll focus on how best to use a firm once you’ve hired them.
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.
Even if you have a Ph.D in astrophysics or biochemistry, or your artistic interests include Bach and John Cage, or your regular reading includes Thomas Pynchon and James Joyce, if you see a headline reading “17 Photos of Plastic Surgery Gone Disastrously Wrong,” you’re probably going to click on the link. Call it what you will—base, trashy—but there’s a part of us all that simply cannot resist the lure of tabloid #journalism. It’s why we eye the headlines on Star when we’re paying for our groceries and why sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and Dose have all become so popular. No matter how refined we are, the sensational is scintillating.
The Evolution of #journalism
Journalism can help tech-focused B2B content marketers educate and reach their audience. Let’s start with some recent history.
While content marketers have long recognized that the marriage of commerce and content is essential, it’s taken the past 20 years for institutional publishers to grasp the concept. These decades have completely eroded the position of institutional publishers as the gatekeepers of what is and is not news. Local newspapers have died off, while stalwarts like The New York Times and The Washington Post have had to incorporate new voices they once viewed as threats (such as prominent bloggers) to stay relevant. This has led to far less objective journalism in favor of more pieces that have a decided slant. In many ways, the acknowledgement of bias and commercial relevance is more honest— something content marketers have long known.