Tag Archives: content creation

Welcome to the emojincey ward

1 Mar

emojincey ward

The digital sphere can be complicated for marketers and business operators, trying to keep up with all the new features social media is offering as well as apps and other whizz bang offerings.

I use the term whizz bang because when you really look at a lot of these innovations, they offer the excitement of the new. And we have been trained to upgrade from old to new even when the new features aren’t that special.

In the olden days marketing was relatively simple.

  • Create the message
  • Match it to your target market
  • Choose the best media option
  • Run the ad or the campaign.

Now targeting requires sorting through many variables to do with lifestyle and behaviours.

Ads or posts are run and testing is conducted using the analytics.

Often we are advised to run separate campaigns to ‘test’ the efficacy and effectiveness.

We are told to be strangely unique to cut through and to tell stories not to just sell.

TV channels have been replaced by internet influencers who command vast audiences.

It’s so un marketing in the traditional sense where a product or service was promoted to a market.

OK … that’s simplistic.

And there’s likes and follows. Shorthand ticks of approval from our ‘community.”

Other shorthands include the emoji.

now featuring an array of cute visages with stand out emotions. And gifs.

Like it or not, we are in the age of shorthand … short attentions span.

Ultra convenience services such as UBER Eats and Netflix stop people socialising.

But people are people and will no doubt get bored with social which is why they have to keep changing and updating and adding features.

Great advertising is still about the creative. Cut through only occurs when people stop and take notice.

So let’s open the emojincey ward where people are people and emotions aren’t a quick flick, insert and like.

emoji image:  

I love this

7 Mar

comminications mistake

I shouldn’t but I do love this.

Looks like they need a communications coordinator real bad!

I’ve changed the name of the recruiter to protect the guilty.

Attention to detail … and when in serious doubt use spellchecker.

Tom Mix and Old Blue

21 Sep

tom and old blue 1918

This is a rare photo of the original cowboy star Tom Mix and his horse Old Blue taken in 1918.

They were a legendary team. Tom famously did all his own stunts and trick riding back when kids and adults thronged to the flickers to catch every thrilling serial.

There’s two reasons for this post.

One is about teamwork and the other about online learning.

Teamwork we understand. Online learning is different.

It’s not difficult to see that online learning is like the early days of Hollywood pre sound. It’s still in its technological infancy.

Like when the talkies were introduced, where many big stars couldn’t make it in the new medium. A few big stars had squeeky voices and it was the end of their careers.

Others transcended the medium and understood how to use their voice to maximum effect.

Online learning works when we understand how lonely it can be for the learner and how they interact with content.

Interact is not just a bunch of documents.

What we save in traditional face to face resources should be used to develop interactivity.

and take time to personally interact with your learners.

Give them some love not just pdf’s and a slick site

Somerset Maugham, the tiger and Raffles Hotel

7 Sep

maugham

Creativity seems to be a buzz word these days as is happiness. For us white bread types both can seem like butterflies in a strong breeze – now you see them and now you don’t. Try to capture them and they’re gone.

Now take W Somerset Maugham for instance. He was creative undoubtedly. Still considered one of the great short story writers ever. If you haven’t done so, read some of his ‘south seas’ stories like ‘Rain’ for instance featuring the morally questionable Sadie Thomson and monsoons that drove people crazy. Often set in exotic places like Pago Pago and Apia when the copra trade and rubber plantations were booming – the islands full of boozy ex pats and over zealous missionaries with sin on their minds.

I was lucky enough to stay at Raffles Hotel in Singapore before they modernised it. There was a suite there named after Maugham and one called the Conrad suite. They both stayed there regularly. There was a snooker table in a colonial space where it was rumoured that the last tiger in Singapore was shot. “Jolly good show. Got him right between the eyes!” Definitely not correct these days.

So Maugham, Raffles, tigers … and creativity of course.

You can set up a room with toys and games tables for creative thought. Or you can’t. How do you capture creativity? 

More importantly … how do you monetize it?

Publishing is a business like the movies or games. You don’t get published if you don’t have a market.

There has always been creativity in business. They just didn’t use the term so much.

 

 

 

Raymond Chandler, his hat, and the mechanics of writing

11 May

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I admire Raymond Chandler and I love his hat. It’s straw unlike his writing.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Chandler was probably the godfather of the hard boiled private eye. That may sound like a Bedouin dish but it’s a description of a certain literary genre.  The pulp school of crime fiction. Chandler was an interesting character himself. Raised partly in the barren mid west of Nebraska and partly in an English public school, his metaphysical trajectory included stints as an accountant for an oil company and an alcoholic. The alcohol produced blackouts, he forgot to go to work and he lost his comfortable job which left him holding his hat. It was the tail end of the depression and Chandler lived at that time in Los Angeles. It was a lawless, corrupt place with bruising you couldn’t see.

Chandler had been dabbling in poetry since he was a schoolboy. He now had an opportunity. He decided to become a writer.

At that time, there was a magazine called The Black Mask. A pulp offering launched in 1850 by journalist H. L. Mencken and drama critic George Jean Nathan as a money maker to prop up a more literary offering, The Smart Set, “a magazine of cleverness”, was an American magazine of literature and culture.

Chandler was an intelligent man who approached his pulp writing with a scientific mien. Like Ernest Hemingway he laboured over unfussing his writing. It was all about the mechanics.

Chandler’s most famous invention was Philip Marlowe, the world weary gumshoe … sorry I had to say that. His novella’s – The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely are classics of the genre.

He wrote sentences like this

‘It was a good crowd for a Tuesday but nobody was dancing.”

Here’s to Raymond Chandler.

Do you think there’s some merit in cutting out the flap doodle.

On the internet no one reads anymore.

Remember Raymond when your writing.

Everybody loves Raymond.

 

Edvard Munch and social networking

28 Jan

the scream

I haven’t posted anything for a while because I’ve been busy living my real life.

That’s the life I have that’s actual not virtual.

My real life includes spending time with my family > my son is starting his 1st year of high school (that’s what we call it here in Australia,) and there were text books and stationery and uniforms to buy … oh and a digital tablet too! Cost a lot of money.

He’s full of anticipation and some nerves I guess. We’re happy and sad hoping to hang on to our little guy for a while longer before he thinks we’re total freaks.

Meanwhile, I’m checking emails and the emails that communicate new posts from Facebook, blogs I follow, tweets from Twitter.

Made me want to SCREAM

Too much now. Way too much.

As a marketer or a communicator both in the business and personal worlds … give us all a break.

Ask yourself:

Is this relevant?

Will it piss people off? (pardon me)

Does it add any value?

Like in sales, know when to shut up. Don’t oversell after you’ve heard those words, ‘I’ll take it.’

Just smile and start gift wrapping.

In the real world, we have real lives to live too.

Don’t we?

Anchorman 2. When is too much marketing too much?

15 Jan

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I love Will Ferrell and I think Steve Carell is a genius. This newish brand of just plain silly comedy out of the US is funny. And in my book, any excuse for a laugh. I was really looking forward to seeing Anchorman 2 with my family. The first Anchorman was great. And I know Will Ferrell is not to everyone’s taste.

But when I first heard about the 2nd Anchorman instalment I was kind of excited.

And then I heard about it, and I heard about it, and I heard about it again.

Transit ads on buses. The usual internet blitz. Cardboard moustaches. A hell of a roadshow. Youtube ads and trailers.

Saw the film and loved it.

But guess what?

The box office results have been disappointing.

What could have gone wrong? A stellar cast. Great script. Funny as …

No. Too much marketing!

To quote the Steven Zeitchik’s Los Angeles Times story (December 23, 2013)

‘That heaping plate of Ron Burgundy over the past few months (there was also that anchoring of news in North Dakota, the relentless Dodge Durango commercials, the Newseum exhibition, the underwear cross-promotion) made people feel like they had gotten their fill of the character.’

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being repeatedly bashed over the head.

Be strategic and subtle. Plan your marketing. Give ’em time to breathe.

But let them know you’re there.

Anyway … I loved the film!

In just 60 seconds

6 Jan

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According to an article published in the second half of 2013, this is what happens on the ‘net’ every 60 seconds.

To quote the article in the UK Daily Mail, published July 30:

‘In just a single minute on the web 216,000 photos are shared on Instagram, a total of £54,000 ($83,000) sales take place on Amazon, there are 1.8 million likes on Facebook and three days worth of video is uploaded to YouTube. 

Cashback site Qmee has created an infographic that shows this information as well as how many tweets are sent, photos are viewed, Skype calls are made, domains are registered and more in 60 seconds.

The graphic pulls information and figures from PC Mag, Business Insider and other sites to create a the snapshot.’ 

So what does this say to businesses who are trying to market themselves in 2014?

You better get some fresh content.

Google loves new and updated content.

Content that is relevant to your market.

PLAN DO ACT CHECK

Lessons learned from House of Cards

28 Dec

House of CardsHouse of Cards is an American remake of a BBC drama featuring the oh so Machiavellian Francis Urquhart or old FU (BBC) renamed for the US series as Francis Underwood and starring Kevin Spacey.

Both series are well made and gripping in a politico thriller kind of way. And Kevin Spacey is just amazing playing an amoral, unethical and complex Washington power broker.

One of the main characters is a young journalist with an eye for breaking news which she isn’t even getting close to on the big, traditional newspaper she works for.

Sick of covering C grade stories, she hungers for something more.

She is also aware that traditional print newspapers are losing ground to online forms of news.

Without giving the plot away, she finds herself being a conduit for real news. She talks the editor into running her stories. She gets some recognition. She leaves the paper to join an online blog.

Here’s the lesson I learnt from A House of Cards:

“Will it get me in 8 seconds?” The blog editor asks her regarding a proposed post

“That’s all we have.”

8 seconds to hook the reader.

Can you hook them in 8 seconds or less? I’m sure I lost you in the first paragraph.

Now I don’t think that short grabs work for everything. Long copy works for some products and some stories. People still like to read.

Think it through. What are your key objectives?

And, here’s to old FU!

Tech heads and other odd fish

13 Dec

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I’m the King of Content.

Well I self styled that one, but after working on advertising campaigns (above and below the line,) blogs, websites (static and interactive,) brochures, newsletters, flyers, trade stands and collateral, email marketing, social networking, training programs and lots in between … I think I am the King!

But I’m not a coder … yikes!

I’m a content planner and builder, creative director and project manager.

I’m also a talent scout.

I source artists & illustrators, graphics people, TV/Radio producers …

I also source web people. The people that code. They know HTML and CSS deeply, whereas I just know about it.

I need these people. And I need to get the work done.

Sometimes, but not always, these web people can be difficult. Why? could be a generational thing. Could be a time management thing. Could be a simple communications thing. Could be all of the above.

Here’s a scenario:

The project is lagging and lacking. The vision has not come together. I can’t get the person on the phone. I can’t get them via sms. I wonder should I go out on my balcony and call their name like Steve Martin did in The Lonely Guy.

Yes … they don’t always follow my timetable.

But when you get a good one it’s amazing.

Manage these people with tenderness and care.

Coach and mentor them.

Be understanding, bit not too understanding if you get my drift.

Got kids? You’ll know what I mean