Has New York City mayor taken a page out of the Silicon Valley playbook? Complaining that the media doesn’t cover him accurately and that he no longer knows who is writing opinion and who is reporting facts, Eric Adams said last week he will launch a newsletter to “speak directly to New Yorkers.”
Local news has covered Adams extensively during his first term in office. Not all that coverage has been rosy; it’s included Adams’ issues with his Brooklyn residency, his handling of asylum seekers and his policy priorities.
According to Adams, this has resulted in a “distorted” version of what he does and says. That’s a common refrain among a certain set, one that has led to a series of attempts over the past couple of years to launch their own version of a media that is more aligned with their interests, under the guise of being “fairer.” (Remember Coinbase’s FactCheck?) While a splashy outcry, it’s not the main reason most non-media companies (or people) launch editorial products. The reasons are typically more prosaic, as Toolkits has covered in the past, and usually related to goals such as raising awareness and focusing on drier topics that are less likely to be covered by traditional media.
The Eric Adams newsletter will launch this week with up to $75,000 in funding.
The move from content marketing to brand publishing
WordPress’s annual Content Matters report found that a growing number of brands are adopting a data-driven editorial strategy – what we’ve reported on as the move from content marketing to brand publishing – with an eye to driving sales, conversions and brand recognition through journalistic-style content.
The report, which surveyed 1,500 marketers, journalists and executives in both B2B and B2C industries, found that for most people, all marketing is now content marketing – what the company called an unprecedented “surge” in demand for more content, at a faster pace.
Other highlights from the report:
- Despite a global contraction, more than half (58.4%) of respondents expect content budgets to rise in 2023.
- Generating revenue and sales went from No. 5 to the No. 2 goal of content creation for respondents – largely because, as we’ve reported, leadership is likelier to understand the value of publishing if hard numbers are behind it.
- Owned media – websites and blogs – are the most popular distribution channels, followed by organic social media and then emailed newsletters.
- Metrics remain a challenge: Pageviews and email engagement are the most popular content metrics that are tracked.
Brand publishing teams attempt to make money
The revenue question, as the WordPress report found, remains one of growing importance and concern for brand publishers.
One of the fundamental challenges for brand publishing operations is demonstrating how their contributions benefit the companies they work for and – ultimately – justifying their own existence. Progress is often gauged using metrics oriented around traffic, net promoter scores and leads.
But a growing number of companies are beginning to wonder if their brand publishing efforts could be judged with another, more tangible measure of success: Money.
Companies across a variety of sectors and industries are now evaluating whether their brand publishing efforts could generate revenue directly, effectively turning them from cost-centers into revenue-generating divisions.
The rise of the ‘registered web’
Even if brand publishers don’t rush to monetize their content, registered user bases are increasingly going to become a priority for them.
As Jack Marshall reported on Toolkits this week, traditional media publishers are stepping up efforts to turn audiences into registered user bases, mostly in an effort to maximize revenue.
But for brands, known users are also just as valuable – even if not for the same reasons. We’ve historically seen few brands put up email-gates to content, mostly because they’re concerned with maximizing reach. But reg walls can help audiences connect more closely with content, help brands learn more about their audiences, and provide a pathway to other goals, like more targeted marketing.
Also worth noting:
- CNet found errors in 41 of the 77 stories it published that were written using an AI tool.
- A University of Illinois journalism freshman neatly encapsulates what’s wrong with media today: Pleasing an audience clashes with telling the facts.
- What the tech and media layoffs say about the “advertising recession” we’re currently in.