Archive for January 21st, 2011

E-mail info request for ‘better journalism’

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Update: Scott Hepburn, a Charlotte-based PR consultant, social media strategist, trainer and public speaker, explains in his Media Emerging blog why the Charlotte Observer’s grab of private citizens’ e-mail addresses is wrong.

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Charlotte Observer Editor Rick Thames is defending the newspaper’s collection of what WFAE FM says is more than 20,000 e-mail addresses from Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.

“I’m using them to build better journalism,”  Thames told the radio station. “I think it’s good for the community, but I don’t see it as (benefiting the paper) anymore than it is for people in real estate to have records of home sales. Do you?”

People registered with the city/county website got an e-mail this week explaining that the newspaper had requested the e-mail list and that, because of the state’s open records law, the local government had to provide the names. The request came from the newspaper’s director of strategic products and audience development.

Thames says they want to ask people “if they would like to occasionally advise us on how we’re reporting and what they would like to know more from their government and more about their community.”

Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett calls the request “a blatant misuse of the ‘right-to-know’ laws by a for-profit company that is looking to expand its readership.”

(We were clued in to WFAE’s work on this by @McClatchyWatch.)

Social media a boon to branded content

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Social media is providing a boost to fashion magazines’ use of advertorial copy — also called “edvertorial” and “branded content” — to the point that “editorial is the new advertising,” according to  Women’s Wear Daily.

“After seeing the power of marketing effective viral content, brands are scurrying to invest in this type of material — and in many cases, are cutting back on their traditional advertising spending as a result,” the report says.

“It’s taking an editorial approach to telling your brand story, and the social-media space just lends itself so beautifully to that combination,” said Miki Berardelli, chief marketing officer at Tory Burch.

But, as online technology continues to find its footing, advertisers say they still get a better quality of reader with print magazines. So, regardless of  the quantity or readers available online and the fact that its results can be immediately tracked, print ads won’t be going away entirely anytime soon.

The old editorial/advertising divide argument is moot in the fashion world, WWD reminds us. “[F]ashion magazines blurred that line long ago — just check the credits in fashion shoots against what labels advertise.”

A bright spot in the trend, sort of, is that “as magazines cut staff or shutter altogether, the new editorial focus of fashion brands is providing a soft — and sometimes lucrative — landing spot for journalists and editors.”