Good stories don’t just happen. Journalists don’t typically take it upon themselves to contact a company and say, “Hey, got anything good going on?” Effective story placement and publicity only comes after much behind-the-scenes hard work and relationship building. Without team members like Gabby Corral, media specialist at Emerging Insider Communications, our clients’ stories wouldn’t get the great placement and attention they deserve. With a strong background in public relations, Gabby is responsible for researching and placing stories with publications that will garner the best exposure for clients. That’s easier said than done, as Gabby eloquently points out…
Why is it important to build a rapport with members of the press?
Building strong relationships with the media is essential, especially in B2B markets. Journalists receive a high volume of pitches a day. So whether or not your story is newsworthy, you still risk the chance of being overlooked. Having a secure relationship gives your pitch or news a huge advantage over the large number of emails hitting a journalist’s inbox. Once you have built that foundation, sustaining that relationship is key. Knowing when to hold off on a pitch that is irrelevant or tailoring a story to a journalists needs shows that you did your research and aren’t just shooting off thoughtless, generic pitches. Ultimately, creating genuine relationships will benefit both parties in the long run.
How do you provide client support on PR campaigns?
First and most importantly, I gather a client’s brand elements and collateral needed for any given campaign and organize it in a way that makes sense. This can include anything from specific graphics and logos, to more intensive videos and articles. It‘s these aspects that make each client unique and help to tell their stories to the media. Once we have all the assets needed to tell a compelling story, I work to discover and strategize media locales that will garner the best results for the given campaign. To make an incredibly long story short, I proceed to develop and facilitate relationships between a client and the media sources that will make a lasting impression, and hopefully lead to some great articles.
Are there certain media strategies that speak better to clients in the emerging media and technology field?
Clients in the emerging tech and media field require a lot more work than most typical B2C clients. It’s also a rapidly changing industry, which requires a lot of evolution on our end. A far greater foundation needs to be set up for these clients and there is usually a lot more going on behind the scenes. In order to properly convey an amazing development made by a tech innovator, sometimes we need to educate the media on not just that client, but their industry, related technology and their overall place in the industry. We also need to be able to speak very clearly on industry shifts and how a specific piece of technology plays into this shift. In short, they require a far more comprehensive educational process. They also require a more detailed strategy to reach their targets directly. With specialization comes an enhanced need to drill down key ideas, enhance methods of targeting, and put an emphasis on finding media that is delivered to incredibly specific audiences.
Is there a difference in pitching B2B companies as opposed to B2C companies?
Definitely. B2B brings some challenges because it’s typically a small and targeted market. I would say B2B is more content-driven. And seeing as B2B audiences are other businesses, these businesses are looking for experts in the field who are educated. That’s why creating extremely detailed content is a must. Since the target audience isn’t the general public, being able to relate to consumers isn’t necessary. B2B is more relationship-driven. The audience—other businesses—wants to build relationships with these brands and know what sets them apart from their competitors.
What do you find to be the most effective strategy for supporting clients?
Understanding a client’s goals and the message they want to convey to their audience. Brand awareness is a must and will help create a message that really resonates. Also, this may seem obvious, but knowing your audience. Making sure content is going where it matters in order to create meaningful press. Clients may only want to be well known in a niche market, which means a larger scale campaign may not be of interest. Every client is different and has a different story to tell. Being able to tell it in a way that grabs the audience’s attention is the most effective strategy.
Valorizing the hype in B2B PR is a problem. But no need to worry, Beth Principi, Staff Writer at Emerging Insider Communications, is here to rescue you from B2B PR blunders. Within her article, Beth discusses three equally important facets of B2B PR. First, she encourages companies to remember who they are and who their clients are. Once it’s clear that they are, in fact, a B2B company, it’s further recommended that they target niche oriented publications, even though the route is usually devoid of glamor. Secondly, Beth urges companies to remember who the media is. Targeted magazines are essential for B2B PR, mainly because B2B’s mission is to communicate the effectiveness and overall competency of the team who will be running the behind-the-scenes action. Finally, the last recommendation is for B2B’s to understand that media placement goes beyond simple “media placement,” meaning that, businesses must first develop an identifiable story in order to gain traction within the business world. Media placements require hard work and are not simply a product of happenstance. Beth’s article is important because it sends the message that results, not hype, are what truly matter in PR.
To check out the full article visit http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/tag/emerging-insider-communications at PRNewser.
By:Beth Principi, Staff Writer.
A thought leader. Just the sound is prestigious. But the term is even more effective when used correctly by a company looking to better position themselves in an industry. It’s increasingly beneficial for startups in emerging industries who want to showcase their expertise to potential clients and major players in the ecosystem. But just why are thought leadership articles such an important public relations tool? Well, I’d be glad to show you. This is my thought leadership piece on why thought leaderships are one of the strongest PR tools available (see what I did there?).
First things first. Not just anyone can write a thought leadership piece. In order to do so you have to be an expert in the field. If you’re not, the holes in whatever argument you are trying to make will be big and bright and in plain sight (I’m not sorry for that rhyme) for other players in the industry to see. But if you are an expert, there is absolutely no better way to showcase your expertise than through a carefully crafted and controlled message. By putting yourself out there as an expert and aligning your message with your company’s platform and goals, you can sway readers with a 100% managed message that isn’t altered by the media in any way. You are effectively telling an honest story that indirectly promotes you and your company while sharing your knowledge on a topic.
Thought Leadership pieces are also much more appealing—if done correctly—than a news story. News stories promote news. Thought Leadership pieces provide education. They dig deeper into the industry to drudge out the underlying issues, constant challenges and disrupting innovations. Readers are getting an experts opinion in a way that is as gripping as it is eye-opening. With news stories, you may get an expert quote here or there, but that is just one plot point in an entire chapter of thoughts. Thought leaderships bring you the entire chapter in first person.
In the same vein, thought leadership pieces are a strong lead-in to other media opportunities. A press or news story doesn’t properly demonstrate expertise in a way that leads to you becoming a resource of knowledge in the marketplace. Thought leadership does. It instantly qualifies you as an expert source, where people can turn to for further thoughts and inquiries on a particular subject. The more thought leaderships you write the more exposure you will receive, and in turn the more exposure your company will receive. By positioning yourself as a thought leader in the space you’re also positioning your company as one others would like to work and partner with, instead of bogging them down with the typical press releases, pitches and news stories.
Thought leaderships are your chance to be creative and tell the story you want to tell, while also creating immeasurable exposure. If you’re knowledgeable, show that knowledge. There are plenty of people out there willing and ready to listen.
The secret to great writing is great listening. And this has never held truer than in public relations. In order to convey a client’s product, solution or thought in the most compelling way possible, you must really listen and absorb what they are saying. At Emerging Insider, we believe delivering our client’s message is a key part to exposing their brand, which is why we have a media specialist/staff writer on our team specifically to help clients craft the most gripping content imaginable. Here, Beth Principi shares her thoughts on technology and emerging media PR from her view as a writer…
Tell us a bit about your day-to-day as a technology and emerging media writer?
Every day is different. One day I could be writing a press release or thought leadership piece for a client, and the next I am crafting internal tweets or content for the Emerging Insider blog. I think the best part about being a technology and emerging media writer is that there is never a dull moment. Our clients deliver cutting-edge technology and have partnerships with some of the biggest names in the media industry, so there is always something exciting to cover.
What separates writing business-focused articles from those that are consumer oriented?
Business-focused articles need to touch all the right points in all the right ways. Businesses are very specific about what they want to hear, just as our clients are very specific about what they want to convey. When you’re writing consumer-facing articles your audience is basically anyone and everyone. When you’re business-focused your audience is drastically reduced, making it essential that you know your client and their audience in an unprecedented way.
Where do you find the inspiration to tell diverse stories about diverse clientele?
It’s not difficult to get inspired when covering interesting, ground-breaking technology. Each of our clients are very different, which is refreshing when you’re constantly writing day after day. I’ve also always possessed this need for knowledge. I’m sure some of it stems for my journalism concentration in college, but a part of me has always had this passion to know everything about a particular topic. I’m driven by that feeling I get when something final “clicks” in my mind and a makes sense for the first time. It’s that “aha moment” that always seems to stand out, and when I can give that to my audience, that’s the ultimate accomplishment.
What makes today’s technology marketplace as exciting as it is?
Past technology was notoriously difficult for the everyday person to understand and use. I think there was a major shift—in large part thanks to Apple—toward a user-friendly experience in advanced technology. This shift has provided limitless possibilities to improve the slightest tasks in a person’s life. The ability for people to deposit a check by simply taking a photo with their smartphone is second nature now, but ten years ago it was unimaginable to the average person. Technology is changing people’s everyday life and doing so in a way that is both shockingly sudden, yet shockingly simple. You almost can’t imagine life without these advanced technological offerings, yet ten years ago you probably couldn’t imagine life with them. It’s interesting to try to foresee life ten years from now and what technology will seem so second-nature that hasn’t even been invented yet.
What are the unforeseen challenges in creating content for Public Relations?
There are always challenges in creating PR content, but in the technology and media realm I find I’m constantly focused on delivering our client’s story in a way that is as equally compelling as it is understandable. My approach as a writer is to break down the technology into terms I fully understand, before I build the content back up into a compelling story. The challenge with this process is to not “dumb down” the company’s brilliant technology. You want to make sure your audience understands how the advanced technology works without compromising your client’s hard work and genuine wisdom. Finding that balance can be challenging, but it is absolutely necessary.
Much of your work deals in the entertainment industry, do they as an audience have a higher standard for reading entertaining content
Oh, absolutely! The entertainment industry is the master of enthralling storytelling. The usual tricks and shortcuts don’t work on them, which is why everything has to not only make sense, but has to be able to obtain and maintain their attention. Basically, it can’t be boring and it has to be accurate. With B2B entertainment audiences, you can have the most compelling story in the world, but if your client’s product doesn’t live up to the hype nothing else matters. Accuracy and compelling storytelling reign supreme when dealing with the entertainment industry.
Do you have any tips for B2B organizations to create compelling and novel content?
Let your product’s success do the talking for you. I’m a firm believer that numbers and statistics can say more about a company’s solution than any fancy wording or anecdote. Case studies are a great way to showcase a company’s ability to flourish in the marketplace.
Also, being able to position your company and its executives as thought leaders in the space is hugely beneficial. Crafting thought leadership pieces helps demonstrate your knowledge in the industry, while also positioning you and your company as experts. Promoting yourself as leaders is just as important as promoting your product.
We live in a visual world, where the look and design are just as important as the message. That’s why as a public relations firm it’s imperative that we have an in-house designer to help make our client’s message as aesthetically pleasing as it is interesting. Enter Charles Grieser, CCO at Emerging Insider Communications. A full-spectrum creative, Charles believes the first step in the design process is to always listen to the client and market. Despite his artistic aspirations, his goal is to never just making something “pretty,” but to create solutions that are clear, relevant and lasting. Here, Charles fills us in on his thoughts on some of today’s hot topics in the design industry…
Why in today’s world is design and branding more important than ever?
There is a popular phrase that pervades current culture: “Design will save the world.” As a designer, I will be the last person to jump on that bandwagon. The world was fine long before the first craftsman or designer staked their claim in human history. What is unquestionable is that design—and more specifically, the design process—makes the world a far better place to live in. This process is simply an open and aggressive approach to problem solving that is a topic of a whole other discussion.
More specifically to the world of technology, public relations and marketing, design is no longer a nice-to-have add on. Thanks to the likes of Apple, Pinterest, IDEO and others, the market now expects well-designed products and succinct messaging. The expectations go even further in that people now expect custom-tailored solutions in order to hold their attention. This is a good thing. The bar is set high for products and services to really shine and address real needs and important issues.
What’s lacking in the way most brands and companies execute their creative?
The biggest hurdle for any company wanting to harness the power of good design is a failure to truly embrace the importance of design in the marketplace. There are many companies who pay lip service to this “fad” of design. Design thinking and priorities need to start at the top. Implementing design as an afterthought to simply “make things pretty” is not an effective approach to creating something great. Design must be in the blood of any company that wants to profit from its power. It must start in the mission and run through every product, every piece of copy and every touch point so that in the end the brand lives in the consumers mind.
In the age of content overload, what makes anything stand out?
Simplicity and relevance are my mantras in an overcrowded marketplace. As the lead in Mad Men, Donald Draper, is famous for saying, “Make it simple, but significant.” Simple beauty and well-chosen words are always a stand out. They have the air of honesty and the brevity to maintain a place in memory. The other compliment to simplicity and relevance is relationship. A company doesn’t need to go the extra mile, but just a few extra steps to show that they care about the customer and their satisfaction. If you do that you may just have a customer for life.
Has modern technology decreased the need for outstanding creative or increased it?
Modern technology is a result of outstanding creative thinking, so I would say it has opened the door to an increased emphasis. Technology has also produced more tools and outlets for being creative. For example, instead of advertisements consisting of television, radio and print, we also have an explosion of digital outlets and renegade-style marketing.
Are there any incredibly controversial topics in the design space today?
In my opinion design, just as any other mode of human motivation and industry, has the power to be used in both positive and negative ways. Design can be used to create drones built to spy and kill or can create images of people so perfect that no one can measure up. If removed from the human condition and abstracted to pure aesthetic, design can tip the scales from creative to destructive. As anything else, design takes on the image and intention of its creator. It think it’s important that we recognize design’s integral place in society, but keep it in check with the people it serves.
Many companies are working to change the viewer experience by marrying sports and technology, but none are doing it quite like OneTwoSee. An award-winning fan engagement technology company based out of Philadelphia, OneTwoSee provides white-labeled products to help some of the biggest names in sports—including Comcast, NBC, Yes Sports and Fox Sports—monetize their engagement. Their multi-platform software allows fans to interact with games live using the smart device of their choice. Leading this innovative Participation TV-meets-sports charge is Chris Reynolds, OneTwoSee’s CEO and co-founder. Chris, a veteran in the television industry, took time out of his busy schedule to provide some insight into the emerging Smart TV ecosystem and explain why OneTwoSee is at the forefront of the industry…
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Chris Reynolds: I’ve been hyper-focused on television, whether that’s self-delivering interactive television products to the market, selling television networks or building web-based solutions to support a multiscreen experience.
Why did you decide to start OneTwoSee?
CR: The idea was conceptualized with my partner and co-founder while we were both working for Nokia. We started contemplating new, unique ways to deliver an interactive television experience through connected devices instead of the set-top box. Traditionally, interactive television had been delivered specially through set-top boxes, but it was a really clunky and lousy environment to work in at the time. That’s changed significantly over the last couple of years and we are starting to understand the possibilities of delivering smart services via a set-top box. But going back almost five years, that industry was bogged down and there wasn’t a common platform to build against. We started thinking about how we could deliver these same types of experiences through your mobile phone (at the time tablets weren’t really available on the market) or through your PC. That’s how we started conceptualizing the idea.
And you’ve had lots of success ever since!
CR: We are extremely busy; we tripled the amount of partners we are supporting over the last year and we’re going to double the headcount this year. We are just looking forward to being able to support the market and deliver really interesting applications and services to our partners.
Why did you choose sports as OneTwoSee’s vertical?
CR: The use case has already been established. It wasn’t uncommon for sports fans to text or call each other during games, or even communicate via Facebook. We figured if you could incorporate all those attributes into one single platform and deliver them elegantly through an application it would be an interesting offering to the end user.
What are the benefits of providing a white-labeled product?
CR: By not trying to create our own consumer-facing brand, we enable our partners to deliver our products to market under their shingle and do what they are very good at—marketing and advertising. That allows us to take care of the technology and the experience. We don’t create a channel conflict in that scenario, the same way we would if we had our own consumer brand and then tried to partner with a Media Rights Holder who isn’t necessary interested in competing their audience to our brand.
How does OneTwoSee’s multi-platform approach benefit audiences?
CR: We believe that audiences who want to engage around professional sports are doing it through all screens. We look to replicate those experiences across all screens and either deliver products through responsive design or purpose-build them for each individual platform.
Do you see OneTwoSee extending its reach outside of sports?
CR: We will grow within the vertical. We are hyper-filtered on professional sports, whether it’s real-time statistical content, advanced statistical content, the social side of the experience or the interactive side of the experience. In 2014 we will have a very strong emphasis on mobile and mobile engagement.
What excites you about the future of the Smart TV industry?
CR: The potential. For years the promise has been floating out there that eventually you’d be able to have this optimal use case, which is incorporating your second screen activity into your primal viewing experience—your television. Now, because the technology is embedded within these sets, it allows that use case to come to fruition. We are very optimistic about the space, specifically on the TV side of our business. These aren’t necessary new equations that are being solved, it’s just technology and how it’s enabling these types of services to be delivered in a way that wasn’t available three or four years ago.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest disruptor in the Smart TV industry to date?
CR: I think ACR is going to disrupt the smart TV industry in a very positive way. I think it’s already started to and it’s going to become more and more ubiquitous, not only for the smart TV side, but also for the smart set-top box side. I think MSOs are going to start utilizing that technology, as they really haven’t yet.
Growth is upon us here at Emerging Insider Communications, which means we are acquiring the best and brightest in the industry to join our talented team. One of the most promising additions to the Emerging Insider family is Adam Dawson, a passionate video game expert who has been instrumental in navigating this evolving industry through his analysis on emerging trends and in-depth knowledge. By examining the past and future of the gaming industry, Adam is determining the best ways to help position new clients into the evolving ecosystem. Here, Adam shares his knowledge and insights on the current gaming landscape and where he sees the industry heading in the future:
Where does your passion for the gaming industry stem from?
Adam Dawson: I’ve been passionate about games for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of me climbing out of my crib to play my brother’s SEGA Genesis. Ever since, my passion for games has grown exponentially. It’s truly fascinating how video games allow us to assume the role of a character, escape into fantastical digital environments and experience adventures we could never dream of experiencing in real life.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest disruptor in the gaming industry to date?
AD: Cloud gaming hasn’t completely emerged yet, but once it takes off, it will be the biggest disruptor the video game industry has ever seen. Cloud gaming allows video games to be streamed through a thin client, similar to how Netflix steams video. They will be stored on servers and streamed directly to the device. Since the servers handle most of the performance intensive operations, the power of the device becomes less important, allowing newer games to be run on dated hardware. Once completely established, cloud gaming will disrupt the retail game market because consumers will stream games rather than purchase a physical copy. It will also disrupt the used game market, as less physical copies of games will be purchased and will result in fewer trade ins. Developers will be on board because it will eliminate packaging and distribution expenses, and also help prevent them from losing money on the used game market. It will also disrupt the PC hardware market because state-of-the-art gaming hardware won’t be required to run new games.
What about a major disruptor in the last few years?
AD: The ability to purchase games digitally has disrupted the retail market by offering new games for less than their original prices. Digital marketplaces like Steam and Origin have sales that allow gamers to purchase and digitally download new games at huge discounts. Console marketplaces such as the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network offer new, free-to-play games each month as well as sales.
Since a lot of gamers are buying digitally, it disrupts the used game market. The development of buying digitally allows consumers to buy new games for much cheaper than a used game, without worrying about the condition of the disc. Taking away the reselling of used games, which is a billions dollar business, will dramatically affect companies like GameStop. On the other end, development studios are on board with the digital purchasing of games because it saves them money on manufacturing, packaging and distribution. Also, when a used game is bought, the store selling the product receives all of the money towards the purchase, cutting the creators out. If games went completely digital, studios would share a percentage of the sale with the marketplace their game was purchased from, but still make money off of their titles several years after their release.
Where do you see the space heading in the future?
AD: Once high speed, broadband internet connections become more common in households, the space will go completely digital. With the advancement of digital marketplaces and the development of cloud gaming, physical copies of games will become irrelevant. Gamers will only download or stream games from their homes because it is convenient and inexpensive. It is also cheaper and easier for studios because they don’t have to worry about the headache and expenses of finding a publisher to publish and distribute their game—the marketplaces themselves act as the publishers.
What do think are some of the more exciting gaming tech developments?
AD: The return of head-mounted VR consoles with the development of the Oculus Rift is extremely exciting because it aims to offer a truly immersive gaming experience. Other exciting developments are modular computers, open source gaming, multiscreen gaming, advancements in graphics and physics engines, advancements in motion capture and animation, and advancements in motion controlled gaming.
Is there anything missing in the gaming world?
AD: Originality. As the years pass by, less and less intellectual properties (IP) are created. It seems that companies keep pumping out titles to already successful series instead of making something new and exciting. During this new generation of gaming, I hope that studios will take advantage of new technologies and create some interesting and innovative IPs. Also, open source gaming will hopefully add more originality to the industry by allowing independent developers to produce and share games without the need for and expensive software development kit.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about gaming?
AD: Video games being a cause of violent behavior is probably the biggest. There have been numerous studies proving that excessive video game playing does not cause violent behavior, but many people still use video games as a scapegoat in displays of violent behavior by the youth. Another misconception is that gaming is a waste of time. Gaming offers a chance to develop skills such as team building through cooperative play, hand-eye coordination and sharpened reflexes. Also, since the video game industry is one of the most profitable spaces in the business world, there are many opportunities for corporate careers.
Are there any companies or technologies on your “must watch” list?
AD: There are many technologies to watch out for in the near future, and most companies are always worth keeping tabs on. Specific technologies that are a must watch are the Oculus VR, cloud gaming, modular computers, multiscreen gaming and open source gaming. All of these technologies and trends will change the gaming world over the next few years. As for companies, Valve is always doing something new and exciting. Razer and Origin are making moves in the PC landscape, developing the first modular concepts. In general, it’s always good to watch development studios, my favorites being Naughty Dog, Rockstar Games and Sony Santa Monica.
What do you see in the future for gaming media development?
AD: I see a more immersive and interactive experience. I also see a more social experience as online multiplayer games become even more popular and interactive. Development studios will take advantage of new technologies and create more lifelike visuals, as well as improve upon game mechanics. Narrative in games will become more important, resulting in video games with narratives that are deeper and more captivating than most movies and television programs. Games will go completely digital, resulting in the collapse of the retail and used game markets. Open source gaming will allow a plethora of new game content into the market by enabling independent developers to create and publish games for cheap. The video game industry is growing and changing more rapidly than ever, so there are a lot of expectations and speculations.
New Services, Clients And Staff Members…Oh My!
As the ever-changing, evolving and exciting field of emerging media and technologies continues to expand, it’s only fitting that we do the same. Growth can be measured in an assortment of ways, which is why Emerging Insider Communications is thrilled to announce a variety of promising developments in the form of new service offerings, clientele and staff members.
First, we are incredibly excited to announce that we have expanded the Emerging Insider family to include a web development team. This team is in place for any web ventures our clients crave, whether it be small design projects, web development or applications. The vision is for these highly intuitive, creative experts to assist on a full suite of design services to meet our client’s high standards. Oh yeah, we should mention they’re pretty stellar to work with, too.
In addition to the proficiency and knowhow of the web development team, Emerging Insider also brought onboard a dedicated staff writer. A Boston native, Beth Principi began her career working at Horizon House Publications covering the Telecom and Machine-to-Machine Technology industries, before venturing to the even colder Chicago climate and onto our team. Her passion for knowledge, especially within the emerging technologies sector, makes her a valuable asset to both us and our clients. “We are incredibly excited to bring Beth onto our team,” says Zach Weiner, CEO of Emerging Insider Communications. “Given her wide range of expertise and experience in bringing exceptional stories to life, we are confident she can help take our clients to the next level.”
In the same vein of internal development is our external growth, where we have recently welcomed a range of clients within the Digital marketplace, Advertising innovators and TV Technology space, further extending our reach into the cutting edge areas of digital media and technology. We don’t want to give too much away right now, but will leave you with this thrilling tidbit to chew on and savor until next time.
The past few years have seen rapid developments in TV land. Start-ups have failed, flourished and consolidated; new technologies have led to new behaviors and novel buzzwords are thrown around quicker than we skip through commercials. With all of the new gadgetry and capability however, there remains a plethora of pain points rippling through traditional entertainment/broadcast organizations.
These issues, however, are also the largest conduits to what will be immense growth led by a new breed of start-ups. Social TV, connected TV and multiscreen platforms and services have seen some viable adoption, but nothing compared to what we will see as the massive industry continues to evolve with limited deliverable solutions to the pain points yet seen. If we look into three of these most problematic issues we can gain a better perspective as to where innovation will occur, and where investment should be explored.
Choice: No matter how interesting or engaging specific TV/video programming and content may be, viewers have a huge number of options that never before existed. Outside of increasing amounts of traditional channels exist a wealth of on-demand content, over the top content and more digital video than one could imagine. With thousands of calls to action for what to watch or for how long, broadcasters, publishers and advertisers deal with far less retention, engagement and attraction based on this fragmentation.
Startup/Innovator Potential? Discovery and personalization. Discovery of programming and content is a need for audiences that also solves the industry marketing crises. While choice is good, overabundance of content without a navigation route must change for audiences. With innovations in personalization we will see highly engaged consumers, who yield the industry with highly engaging data and are more receptive to stay engaged with specific content.
First Responder: IRIS.TV is a novel startup that helps make digital video more accessible and profitable to both consumers and publishers. Through dynamic recommendations based on individual personal consumption habits, IRIS.TV brings together a linear viewing experience and video personalization, which is exactly what the industry needs to help consumers navigate a veritable jungle of content, choice and attention.
Attention shifting: While watching TV programming, viewers have a slew of elements they could be engaged with in their digital galaxies outside of whatever screen they are viewing within. Are viewers 100 percent focused on a certain program, or is 50 percent attention share going to other digital endeavors? Are they only 20 percent focused on programming while their attention is going to online shopping? Facebook? Words with Friends? In most cases without proper usage, the multiscreen landscape for all of its potential drives user focus away from television content.
Startup Potential? Engagement innovations that focus on how to take viewers down a path that is exciting and novel. These experiences will drive audiences to engage across devices endemically. How does the industry engineer new experiences that are the modern equivalent of the transition from black and white to color? Multiscreen engagements, transmedia and digital gamification will all be utilized to capture attention and divert it back.
First Responder? iPowow. This startup originally out of Australia, has been showcasing amazing ways to create interactivity, gamification and intensive participation across TV and digital with audiences worldwide working with organizations like ESPN, Fox Sports, Red Bull, A&E and USA Network. They are showing the industry how to draw attention back to the story and recapture shifting attention spans.
Time-shifting: This is not new, but as increased choice, enhanced skipping technologies and OTT content increases, audiences have the freedom to watch any time they would like. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for content, but it does negatively impact the advertising aspect. Without a call to action on specific timing, advertising content is less valuable, targeted and time sensitive. Ad content that strikes less attention and is avoidable also offers less real time chatter via social sharing and far less data yielded about audiences than live TV. This factored in with less engagement, as seen in the above section, deals a crippling blow to the ad industry.
Startup Potential? Advertising innovations- What these may look like is up for grabs on a few fronts, but it’s clear that the traditional 30-second spot is and has been in severe danger. Innovators are needed who can set forth to create novel formats for brand conversations that captivate, are highly personalized, laser targeted and multiscreen.
First Responder: Ad Tonik. Ad Tonik is helping to facilitate an interchange between smart devices and Television. By targeting ad spots to mobile users based on the shows they watch endemically, this startup has the potential to aid brands and agencies in better optimizing ad spends and making brand messages relevant in a multiscreen world.
Where else will the chips fall? Let us know.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/biz/business/op-ed-emerging-tv-innovation-in-a-multiscreen-world-has-just-begun/article/364660#ixzz2odzWeUaW
Facebook versus Twitter: The news of the Social TV battle has been abuzz with debate, conjecture and analysis across the board. On a recent interview, I was asked “Who do you think is going to be the long term winner between the two?” “Who will lead in gaining TV Ad spend share?”
The question represents a rather myopic view of emerging TV. There is no one winner between the two big platforms- and neither offers one specific holy grail for Social TV. The truth is that both will see their fair share of TV advertising spend if initiatives are developed with deference to audience behaviors. Facebook and Twitter are differing platforms with differing advantages and disadvantages when it comes to socialization and interactivity in correlation to entertainment viewing. Their potential and utilization by audiences will always be different as should be their development goals for the TV space.
The past few months have seen many articles in circulation that pose the debate over who has more TV chatter or propose diverse claims regarding one platform’s merits versus the other. Similarly, the two organizations themselves have evangelized based on developments and metrics that seem to mirror one another. It is an example of very in-the-box thinking that is occurring. Twitter is not Facebook. Facebook is not Twitter. Comparing the two is like trying to compare apples versus oranges. They should be viewed as separate means to sometimes similar and sometimes differing ends.
The how/where/when/why of audiences in regards to social media is a study in human nature and sociology that is highly subjective. The core of any research however, shows that in today’s digital world each and every individual utilizes differing formats/venues of communication for differing purposes. This is the reason why many Facebook users are also on twitter and vice versa. Both are used as social tools and both are used in differing ways. Usage is not standard nor uniform across any platform and so treating multiscreen endeavors as something that can be equally measured, analyzed, developed or contrasted is off-base and dangerous.
Less dangerous, but equally unexciting is the fact that the platforms are both trying to provide the same values to the television industry as the “conversational peripheral” for TV chatter. On this topic, Facebook needs to step outside their current scope and rethink. The goal should be less focused on developing easier routes to conversation such as adding hashtag functionality and more focused on developing novel functionalities based on the strengths of the platform. Currently, striving to act in a similar manner as Twitter solely scratches the surface of how to better drive attraction, engagement, and retention of viewers with zero distinction.
Facebook has tremendous potential to be used for deep television/multiscreen related content and advertising experiences. The ability to explore transmedia and branded entertainment initiatives, new ways to drive and steer mechanisms of TV interactivity and the ability to integrate real time user generated content in novel ways have limitless potential. These three functionalities can become intensive engagement experiences and take advantage of Facebook’s unique aspects.
For chatter- Facebook is weak. It doesn’t allow the rapid-fire back and forth endemic conversations like Twitter does. It also does not allow expansion to external audiences outside of ones own network. This is countered however with the fact that Twitter doesn’t have nearly the same capability to present rich (and shareable) portals that beg for interaction. Facebook needs to develop their unique differentiators across differing metrics and they need to develop and evangelize some of their amazing potential for TV in a novel way. This should be driven by a better understanding of their value proposition to both audiences and the industry.
It’s time to start looking outside of the box when it comes to Social TV- There are amazing integrations to be found across platforms, but we have to acknowledge that differing conversational venues will be utilized differently and thusly need to foster potential based on their differing strengths.