Happy New Year everyone! Hope it was enjoyable and everyone got a little down time. Now that we are into 2016, Indicate Media is picking up exactly where we left off. Below you will find the latest post in our One-On-One expert series with Nick Klenske, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Q&A Newsroom Communications. Nick is an extremely interesting guy, lives in Italy and touches upon many important themes to pay attention to in 2016. Enjoy.
Your slogan is, ‘We are your newsroom.’ What does that mean, and why is a newsroom element important for your clients?
In the past, companies relied on journalists and the media to cover stories about them, with little control over how the story was framed. Today, companies have the ability to create their own news. For example, GE writes about innovation on their news site, creating an image for themselves as an open, inventive company, and SABMiller created an entire website dedicated to their ‘build a better world’ slogan to promote their work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other issues. Companies can now frame how they’re perceived with their own news sites or blogs, chiming in on newsworthy topics or creating those topics themselves. Having a blog with regular updates is also great for SEO, which is something companies can’t ignore these days.
You work with sponsored content regularly. Why do you think that is important?
In the same way that companies need their own news site, brand journalism or sponsored content promotes the brand’s success stories and tells the story they want their audience to hear. Forbes, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and many other outlets run sponsored content that essentially looks like a news article about the company. It’s important for our clients to place stories in these larger outlets to really get their message across, and we help them do it in a clear and compelling way.
Are there any tried and true communication rules you’ve learned through your career?
First, I would say create your own news. Be ahead of the news cycle. Second, strong copywriting is key. Of course, marketing tactics change rapidly and things like social media, images, video, etc. become more and more important, but at the end of the day, words matter. After seeing an ad or watching a commercial or liking an Instagram post, clients will ultimately end up on your website, where the copy will tell them about you as a company, and convince them to purchase or work with you, or not. Making things easy for clients is also important. That means a working website across all devices, with simple navigation.
Do you find that your clients in the United States and the types of stories they want to tell are different than your clients and their stories outside the US?
I do find this to a point. I think our clients in the US are much more on trend, meaning they’re more likely to adapt to social media and new storytelling methods. In other countries, they’re still more focused on web content and press releases, and more traditional marketing methods. Most of our US clients are also more US-focused, while our clients outside of the US have a more international client base, and therefore their marketing strategies have to appeal to a larger audience. For many of them, English is a second language, which is where we, being native English speakers, come in to make sure everything is translated properly and comes across in the right context.
Where do you think marketing is heading as technology changes? How is Newsroom Communications adapting?
Social media has been becoming more and more important for the past decade. Now, with real-time video apps like Snapchat and Periscope, it’s more important than ever, and audiences expect instantaneous results and connection. It’s also much easier for companies to reach global audiences, meaning their messages have to appeal on a wider scale. At Newsroom Communications, we have a dedicated social media team that helps clients craft specific messages for various social platforms. We also have offices in Europe and the United States, giving us global reach and understanding when creating international campaigns.
In your mind, what are the three most important characteristics of a successful marketing/communications campaign?
Compelling copy, visibility, and knowing your audience.
What do you think will happen with branding and marketing in 2016? Any predictions?
Data will be hugely important in 2016. There are already so many ways to track what customers are saying, and it will be imperative to collect that information to find out what exactly clients want, and why. Brand ambassadors have also become a lot more common, and it makes sense. I’m more likely to buy something if a friend recommends it too. So I think brands will have to think about this, and find ways to build trust and transparency into their marketing campaigns.