Getting the News into “Brand Newsrooms”

Celebrating Oreo’s now-famous twi-jacking (Or is it “twit-jacking?”) of the Super Bowl for the brand’s own milk-and-cookies purposes, the ad business erupted early this year with ecstatic chatter about so-called “brand newsrooms.” While the chatter focused in minute detail on brands and to a lesser extent on rooms, there was virtually nothing about what constitutes news.

Apparently, the ad people peddling brand newsrooms know nothing about news. So the brand newsroom conversation has been ill informed at best and nonsensical the rest of the time.

The focus on news from brands is appropriate and necessary. Brands live in the same digital world as the rest of us. Our world is increasingly dominated by social sharing, driven by content. If a brand wants its stories shared on social platforms – and it does – those stories need to be newsworthy in the most straightforward sense of the term: new and worthy of an audience’s attention. So brands need to master a concept that’s as central to journalism as it is to swapping stories with your neighbor: news value.


A Newspaper Twitter Feed Run by Actual Human Beings

The New York Times boasts the highest number of Twitter followers among US newspapers (more than 2.5 million — which is more than five times the number for the WSJ), but the paper is constantly refining its social media strategy. Recently, the Gray Lady has been shaking things up by replacing the @nytimes auto feed of headlines and links with real, live humans. Yes, actual human beings. And to everyone's surprise, these humans are posing questions, retweeting content, and curating more active online conversations. You know, social media stuff.

All Together Now: How Crowds Record History

This post originally appeared in our May issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

Perhaps the greatest part of the internet is how it allows complete strangers to come together around a singular event and create things both profound and absurd. The death of Osama bin Laden was just such a momentous occasion. While some took to the streets to celebrate, most went straight to their computers and mobile devices to let the world know how they felt. If Twitter's record breaking 3,440 tweets per second (TPS) is any indication: people had a tremendous amount to say.


Google: News Industry Savior, or Stubborn Ad-o-holic?

The Atlantic's June cover story lavishes praise on Google, pointing to the search giant as the woeful news industry’s surefire ticket back to profitability. This is a nice idea—one that helps us all sleep a little better at night—but in reality, Google doesn't have any concrete solutions yet. Rather, author's optimism springs from a general feeling he got from interviewing Google execs. They seems to really care about the news. According to a piece by our very own Kirk Cheyfitz (CEO here at Story) published over at Huffington Post, Google has actually done little to help foster the meaningful, dynamic, and entertaining ad content that can support quality journalism. With a monopoly on search, they're engorged by stale, old-world web advertising. Is Google here to help?