Friday, June 28, 2013

The Internal Content Machines Continue

As Big 10 schools add "assistant/associate athletic directors for external engagement" focused on fan experience and social interaction, add Oklahoma State to the in-house production unit bandwagon.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Wandering Mind

Interesting, and completely unrelated items seen today.

A column about the value of order AND serendipity in academic research.  The author talks about a strategy of wandering the stacks for data.  Can't say that wasn't a small part of my past -- any road game to a university with a large research library or collection that might relate to my dissertation was a must visit.  That yielded only a handful of anecdotes, but in my travels, that is exactly how I have discovered some of the best books I've read.  (Here's an old post to some of those classic independent book stores.)

Reminds me of some knowledge I'd lay on staff in the past -- scan the magazine rack if you want to know where the next layout trend for college athletics publications is coming from (thus "borrow" not from your colleagues and look like a copy-cat, but innovate by bringing something outside the field into it).  Meld it with today's maxim that you have to live socially to succeed in messaging to a networked world.

The other is one-off advice for the mal-Tweeter.  Claim you were doing academic research.  Make sure you back it up with jargon -- "well, after researching the federal guidelines I was confident this method did not require IRB approval . . . ."

Tip of the digital hat to The Chronicle for both notes in my inbox.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Once Again, Content and Voice Win

The separator between pedestrian and engaging social media -- the content.

Add in a distinct point of view -- or in the case of the Los Angeles Dodgers and legendary play-by-play man Vin Scully, a voice -- you have magic.

As in repeated and praised magic.  Earned media that can trump any other placements. shows a perfect example of the semi-traditional earned media, a story that covered what happened, but don't overlook the social earned media of retweets and comments.

When people asked me what an interactive blog was all about at sports events, I said it was like calling the game for radio with a keyboard combined with sitting in the middle of a virtual section of the stadium.

Scully is a natural -- both in voice and in text.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Are Page Views Dead?

Digiday comes down squarely on the side that this metric is done.  As a marketer, I hear the siren's song of views because they are an easy -- and inflated -- number that those outside the online bubble can understand.

Sorta like Nielsen ratings.

Today, we don't put a lot of stock in those.  Why not join in with Digiday and say the same for page views?

There isn't a week that doesn't pass when I'm pitched by a media seller how many page views they can generate for me.  Swell.

What I need are individuals who will become engaged with our institution.

I'm all about views -- if they are the right sets of eyes.  Generating views for view sake (check the story within the story about doing slideshows to pump up numbers) isn't achieving my marketing goals.

Food for thought.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Is CoSIDA Listening?

For the first time since 1989, I'm not at convention.  But that doesn't mean I don't have a message about the future.

Here it is:  Mercer's Director of Athletic New Media Relations position.

So what, grumbles the old guard.

Run the numbers, people.  Mercer is not exactly the University of Arkansas in staff size or budget.  For all those who like to kvetch over "ooh, you've got such a big staff" when I would preach the need to become more integrated into both the marketing message flow and the social media/content generation . . .

That's small budget, private school (thus all moneys generated internally) Mercer choosing to create a full-time position to do nothing but content generation.  And on the side, two sports.  Did you catch the reporting line?  Go back and re-read.

That's not a new assistant SID in the traditional sense.  That's not another director of football communications.

That, ladies and gentleman of CoSIDA, is the future calling.

AP Updates Social Media Policy

In the evolving world of social media guidelines, Associated Press recently refreshed it's official policy for journalists that work directly for the AP.  As we all know, as the AP goes, so go many media outlet's policy.  AdWeek provides an overview here.

Among the interesting shifts are the realization -- to quote an AP staffer: "We see a tweet as publishing."

Thus a lot of focus on how the brand of AP gives credence to information.  The AdWeek story focuses on the Boston bombing and a blog post by the AP's social media editor.

Read the whole updated policy here. Another interest point -- it is growing.  Now seven pages long on the PDF, quite a change from the old days -- 2009, ah the pre-teen years -- when AP's Social Media Guidelines were a single page of Q&A.

Consider -- in four years the instant mode of networked communication grew from cutesie oddity (there is literally a reference to "geek chic" in the 2009 document) to mainstay journalist's tool.  In it, the opening paragraph said "it was OK" for AP journalists to have accounts.

Look no further than the preamble of the 2013 policy:

All AP journalists are encouraged to have accounts on social networks. They
have become an essential tool for AP reporters to gather news and share
links to our published work. We recommend having one account per network
that you use both personally and professionally.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

And Here is Your Distribution Network

It is one thing for NeuLion to propose a set-top box that will take the athletic department's "channel" and make it simple for end users (read: boosters who aren't tech savvy) to hook up to TVs.

Quite another for Intel to break that last barrier and push for set-top boxes to bring streaming content -- along side other cable channels -- to the public.  The New York Times gives us the blow by blow.

Much broader than the five-year ago (and spot on, I might add) NeuLion concept, this Intel box is not another Apple TV or Roku for stored content.  It is more like Aereo, the controversial cable-over-the-air system that was recently ruled legal.

Welcome the Fill-In-Your-Mascot channel to your fans.

Well, if you have any content rights left that haven't been vacuumed up by your conference.

Notre Dame may still prove the genius, and also Texas, for not allowing their ancillary "Long Tail" niche content to be aggregated into the 24/7 filler for conference networks.

Which guess where those conferences can get quick adoption?  Same said Intel box.

What stops this from happening?  Money.  Pure and simple.  Without the funding via cable systems that support the major sports networks and traditional broadcast networks rights fees, conferences can't have the payouts that help support the majority of BCS athletic programs.

I can make an argument for either side of this situation.  The real important factors to consider:

This could be the iTunes moment that breaks up the existing cable system like the 99-cent download crushed the music industry.

Freedom has a price, and that could be a drastic impact on university bottom lines.  If indeed the future is free, complex advertising arrangements to funnel viewers into these "free" broadcasts are necessary.  Just because CBS has the NCAA tournament streaming doesn't mean they aren't monetizing those streams and protecting them against "restreaming".  Right now, the resource poor universities need only cash checks.  Whole different world when you have to hustle the sponsors.

Quality content is not free, and the online world is cycling back to that understanding when it comes to journalism.

Fans who will see this as a great solution to all those expensive cable packages or pay-per-view events will see the ecosystem collapse.  In regions, you may see more alliance moves like this one between Learfield and the lead institutions of Montana.

Some will win.  Some will lose.   And the bottom line -- both in dollars and figuratively -- is change is not on the horizon any more.  It is here.

And a tip of the link hat to D1.ticker for two of today's important stories.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Golden Oldie on Bad News

Cycling through old email, I come across this even older link.  The date is 2011, but the information in it is timeless.  From PRSA's Strategist, What to do, PR director, when bad news is on the horizon?

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Fill-In-The-Mascot-Name Network

Interesting new take on the long-held position here that university athletic departments were -- whether they want to acknowledge it or not -- major content providers.  Oklahoma turns the old "SoonerVision" vehicle into the broader title and wider distributed "Sooner Sports TV".  Makes the most sense to start with the top level name -- even if that means invoking the now somewhat dreaded "Network" moniker (you'll see in the story) -- than having to recast what you do.  So much of the achievement in this space is reserved for those who envision the widest possible repurposing of what you are already doing.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Facebook Shifts Again

In the always evolving world of Facebook marketing, Ad Age brings us this detail on the dropping of sponsored stories.  Don't get excited or depressed -- it looks more like a shift in style than the idea.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Gladwell at Nielson

I find these nuggets from Malcolm Gladwell's talk to Nielson's Consumer360 revealing:

Innovators are creative, conscientious and most of all disagreeable

Smart and visionary works best when there's a sense of urgency

Most people who are in a weak position would rather do the easy thing and lose than do the hard thing and win

Thanks to the DI Ticker for that reportage.