Creating News Might Be More Similar to Marketing Than You Think

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Creating News Might Be More Similar to Marketing Than You Think

We live during a time of the 24-hour news cycle, and for members of the media, controlling the news funnel can often be a priority. The reasons for that span from ratings concerns to the need to keep the audience inside your domain to agenda setting. This largely mirrors the marketing funnel which similarly has an end result of loyalty and advocacy. The most important messages are carefully hand-selected for potential buyer’s experiences. In the case of media, this includes readers, viewers, and listeners.

Along the buyer’s journey, marketers try to draw their audience to curated content with specialized messaging and CTAs (calls to action). During the story drafting process, members of the press undergo a similar process, which includes identifying key messages they deem both newsworthy and appealing enough to become popular and shared amongst their audience.

June 1, 1980 is the day Ted Turner launched CNN, forever changing the way news delivery was perceived. Prior to this, those consuming news received concentrated doses of information in the form of: evening and morning news, daily newspapers and of course, radio. Over a quarter-century later, we witnessed a rise in mobile content and internet-based solutions, more personalized methods of content delivery, the collection of metadata to target specific demographics and the development of a newer, shorter form of content creation.

This evolution caused both marketers and newscasters alike to adapt their method of delivery into something more suitable for their information-hungry audiences. This a la carte-style content creation (in shortened form) has taken that previously long-form content and tailored it to fit the needs of the new eight second attention span. And since marketers and members of the media also face challenges like producing great content that is widely-shared across a plethora of platforms, there has been a massive paradigm shift.

Don’t Assume, Psychoanalyze Your Audience

In a previous life, I held the positions of an editor at a major Israeli financial publication and a creative director of an advertising agency. I struggled with the same thing during my tenure: creating one off content that would be popular, shareable and go viral—all the while delivering the right message. But accommodating your audience is not an easy undertaking.

For example, as an editor, I tried to keep headlines on the more informative and reserved side, fitting our more mature, “straight-to-the-point” audience. One day, I created a headline I assumed many of our readers might deem “scandalous”—yet the article broke the records of our comments and shares to date. Conversely, talking to millennials, under the advertiser hat, was equally as confusing. It’s easy to fall into the trap of copywriting in the style that is “proven to be an effective style of communication for millennials.” I guess I’m not the only one surprised to learn how millennials consume news.

Take Your Pyramid, and Invert It

It was marketers and “mad men” who crafted the method of delivering a full story in one sentence, but it was newswriters in the 365/24/7 news era who perfected the model, squeezing the essential information into a concise headline. This is all done with the idea that most readers only skim headlines. Though inversion is not a new concept—in both news and advertising—professionals today need to better adjust their messaging into a perfect teaser (or headline) followed by enticing content to capture their audience and retain readership/convert sales.

Web Censorship And “Marketed” News

Many people also believe that as the internet is growing stronger, censorship is getting weaker. Authoritarian governments have fallen thanks to the power of the web. But when newswriters, editors, anchors and broadcasters adopt marketing techniques and make decisions that directly impact the information their intended audiences see, isn’t this too a form of censorship?

Overall, it is our responsibility as consumers of news and products to research and get to the bottom of any unanswered questions in order to make the most well-informed decision possible—whether you’re purchasing a car or consuming your daily dose of news.

Uri Ravin is CEO & CO-Founder of Croosing, the developer of the proprietary Superlink technology that leads users on a 100 percent automated journey of curated content designed to streamline their web experience.