Friday, February 25, 2011

Build it!

One of the things that brands are encouraged to do these days is to build useful tools - brand utility and that sort of thing.  Don't just send messages to people, give them something that they can use to make their lives easier or more interesting.  Nike Plus, Nike's collaboration with Apple is always held up ad a great example.

A perfect non-brand example is is a site that lets you input the text of a press release, and it then finds where this has appeared in the British press (& BBC websites), and the extent to which the journalist just cut and paste from the press release.

(The phrase churnalism was coined by Nick Davies in his book Flat Earth News, to describe things that appeared in newspapers but were just regurgitated press releases)

Two great examples from the site:

A pretty spurious research study by a polling company, over 90% repeated word for word in the Daily Mail.  (See them side by side here)

A press release from the NHS, churned to a greater or lesser extent by 14 different news organisations.

Churnalism was created by the British charity the Media Standards Trust, and really brings their work and aims to life.

Far better to promote themselves and explain their values by building something like this, than produce an advertising campaign.

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