Beth Monaghan Archive
I’m a Medium fan girl (InkHouse clients, I know a few of you are rolling your eyes in recognition). For those thinking, “What’s Medium?” it is the writing platform headed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. And it’s becoming a big deal. I was thrilled when Obama and Malala Yousafzai posted there recently and ratified my obsession. Medium has arrived.
I’ve been testing different types of Medium posts. Some I’ve cross-posted from our InkHouse blog, others I’ve posted directly to Medium and then syndicated elsewhere (LinkedIn Publishing, media outlets, etc.), and some I’ve posted only to Medium. The analytics on my personal tests show that content posted just on Medium has performed best within Medium itself. But this is far from scientific, so I sought hard facts and found them on Medium’s Data Lab.
This morning we were proud to attend the Boston Chamber of Commerce Breakfast where InkHouse was named one of the top 10 small businesses in Massachusetts.
It’s a rare honor to be recognized alongside a true sampling of the Boston economy with the likes of b.good (the winners – their speech started with a hilarious story about how their food was terrible 10 years ago when they got started, but I think it’s pretty awesome now), Island Creek Oysters, Boston Organics, Nic+Zoe, Feldman Land Surveyors, Cambridge Sound Management, Golden Cannoli Shells Company (we can’t compete with sugar!), PaintNite3 and one of our long-time clients, Localytics (congratulations Raj!).
We made a bold move at InkHouse. We’re cutting back on email. Yes, that’s right. We’re encouraging our employees not to respond to email messages outside the hours of 7 am and 7 pm (thanks to the smart folks at Edelman for the idea!). We think it will increase our productivity, our creativity and our overall happiness. (Don’t worry clients and press. There are exceptions, and you can still call or text us after hours in case of emergencies!)
I blame email for a lot. Kelly McFalls, one of my colleagues at InkHouse, calls it the “nasty nibbler,” eating away at our days piece by small piece. I, for one, have never had a good idea while staring at my email. I’ve also never felt good about an interaction with a person who’s checking email as he or she sits across from me at dinner (although 38% of us do it), or across my desk at work for that matter.
Survey says: Yes! Earlier this year InkHouse teamed up with GMI Lightspeed to survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18+. We discovered that only 10% of Americans pay for an online subscription.
In fact, Americans still value print subscriptions. Just over half (56%) pay for one. Of those, local newspapers are most popular (68%), with special interest magazines (e.g. cooking, pets, etc.) coming in second (41%), and an almost three-way tie for third between national newspapers, news magazines and women’s/men’s magazines).
We are not willing to transfer that affinity for news to online and mobile just yet. Eighty-six percent of respondents believe that mobile and online news should be free, and only 10% pay for an online subscription. Men are more willing to pay than women: 15% versus 5%. Directionally, this trend seems to have staying power. Of the younger demographics, 90% of those 18 to 24 and 94% of those 25 to 34, expect news to be free.
A Checklist for Your Contributed Content
GigaOm decided to limit guest posts and I understand why. Late last month, Tom Krazit explained why in his piece, We’re updating our policies toward guest posts on GigaOm. Here’s why. The main reason: bad content.
There is only one thing to say about this from a PR standpoint – garbage in, garbage out. Yes, PR people are likely going to help shape the content. This is not new, or news. While some have decried this ghost-writing trend, the practice has been around as long as thoughtful people have been writing and speaking in public. In fact, we revere the speechwriters who crafted the memorable words we quote from presidents like JFK. We accept that not all influencers are great writers (even Sheryl Sandberg had a co-writer for Lean In – her name is Nell Scovell).
As PR Newswire is celebrates its 60th Anniversary (see their 60 Years of Stories here), they’ve asked us to weigh in on how the PR profession has evolved. InkHouse was born in 2007 out of the need for a different approach to PR. Part of this change is due to the fast-changing media business, to which we are inextricably intertwined. Print is struggling, online is trying to invent a successful business model, and reporters are changing beats and titles every single day. The other influence on the changes in PR comes from our digital world and the ways people share information.
All of this change is good for PR. In fact, the PR industry showed tremendous growth in 2013. While the tactics may be less familiar, the opportunities for PR have never been greater. Here are the five trends we see shaping the PR industry today:
Most Americans don’t know, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18+ that InkHouse conducted earlier this year in partnership with GMI Lightspeed. If you’ve taken a quiz about which city you should live in, or which career you should have, you’ve probably been on BuzzFeed though (see Who Am I Really? BuzzFeed Knows).
BuzzFeed has a massive audience. Just the other week, Mary Meeker issued her 2014 Internet Trends report, which put BuzzFeed at 130 million unique visitors and a 3x year over year growth. To put that in perspective, The New York Times has 31 million monthly uniques. Meeker’s deck also showed BuzzFeed as the top Facebook news publisher. I’m not surprised.
Mary Meeker at Kleiner Perkins issued this year’s “Internet Trends 2014” report at Re/Code’s Code conference yesterday. It’s 164 slides of fascinating information, but which things matter most to PR people? Here you go!
- The rumored tech bubble is not as big as some think. 2013 tech IPOs are still 73% below their 1999 peak. Venture financings, too, are 77% below their 2000 peak.
- Facebook leads social traffic referrals with 21%. Pinterest has 7% and Twitter has 1%.
- Buzzfeed is the top Facebook news publisher. Huffington Post, ABC News, Fox News and NBC follow.
- The BBC is the top Twitter news publisher. It is followed by The New York Times, Mashable, ABC News, CNN and Time.
- Buzzfeed’s formula works. It has 130MM+ unique visitors with 3x year over year growth. WOW!