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Why All Business Owners Should Function as Newpaper Editors

May 5, 2011

In a world where journalism ruled all forms of communication, where the newspaper was the only form of contact between the East and West, when an editor had the power to influence a city, state, even a nation with the power of the pen, ‘we the people’ staked entire lives on what was said in black and white. Back then, the newspaper was the only form of brand communication, and the editor-and-chief had more power than many city mayors.


Today, the power lies within every single business owner, small or large. Influence is no longer a result of media presence; today it’s a direct result of brand presence, and brand presence is created with content.


Become a Media Guru on Social Networks

As social media took over the world, many media outlets recognized the potential to marketing their brand on Facebook and Twitter. When the news broke of Osama Bin Laden’s death, though many turned to their TV’s and radio within a few short seconds, 51% of recent poll respondents said they initially heard the news on Twitter or Facebook. According to the poll, this group of social media users saw a feed from either a news source they were following on Twitter or Facebook, or a link posted from a news source.


Many Phoenix public relations firms will focus a lot of branding in media-like forms. For example, a press release is not just for breaking news anymore. Press releases have become digitally optimized, Facebook and Twitter friendly, and are commonly used for everything but releasing to the press. Today, these press releases are most often published on blogs, on Facebook and on Twitter. In fact, many press releases take the form of 140 characters or less.


Social media status updates, which were once extremely strict and usually dealt with nothing more than breaking news, have become ways to engage an audience on all levels. Questions are asked, conversation is preempted, even randomness takes over at times. Take the Huffington Post, for example, who publishes contests for the cutest animal babies and strangest animal species. Does this do absolutely anything for their credibility as a news source? Probably not. However, these little tactics artfully engage their audience and usually get hundreds of “Likes” and “Comments.”


Understand Media Gatekeeping

Every media outlet has a Gatekeeper. In most cases, it’s the team of editors who decide which stories will run, how they will run, which angle will be taken, and which stories will be tossed on the cutting room floor. As a business owner, you have to become the Gatekeeper of your brand and all content associated with your brand. Consult your public relations team on this one, but as the gatekeeper you are responsible for telling employees, bloggers, even family members, what’s acceptable to publish regarding your business and what’s not. Protecting your brand reputation, while simultaneously keeping your audience engaged, can be a fine line.


A public relations team should control your online presence, your brand content, your overall brand message, as a newspaper or magazine editor does. If this is done properly, you will increase your brand influence both online and off.