The Washington Post Tag

Trust in news organisations has eroded over recent decades but better, bolder and more transparent journalism can reverse this trend. INNOVATION Media proposes seven actions and seven areas of expertise needed to build trust in your content and your brand.

Questions over the trustworthiness of news and media companies are not new: they date back to when news reporting began.

But there is no question that factors including the ubiquity of information online and the power of social media, the polarisation of politics and political views in many countries, and tighter newsroom budgets due to the collapse of the industry’s traditional commercial model, have together had an impact on the public’s perception of news organisations and their content.

According to the 2018 Digital News Report from Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which tracked consumer behaviours in nearly 40 countries, users in most countries display a low level of trust in news providers, with about half of them worrying about ‘fake news.’ Levels of trust in social media are far lower, but this doesn’t seem to stop people from using these platforms.

media companies as agencies: Almost everything a brand needs to create campaigns exists in media companies in spades

What makes a successful agency?

• Knowledge of the desired audience
• Knowledge of the brand’s customers
• Access to, and a relationship with, the desired audience
• An audience database second to none
• Exquisite storytellers.
• Expert videographers
• Media tech expertise
• Proven, sophisticated design capabilities
• Multimedia, multi-platform, multi-channel expertise
• Proven marketing expertise
• A nuanced understanding of how to build sophisticated multi-platform campaigns

Does that list sound like a media company to you?
Sure sounds like a media company to me.

The expertise inside media companies is looking like an agency to more and more brands around the world. Many have given up trying to create branded content and media campaigns on their own, or even with traditional legacy agencies.

As a result, many media companies that have created in-house agencies are seeing results that have come to represent from five to 60% of total revenue! Consider this example:

Bespoke software systems built BY media companies FOR media companies have proven successful and profitable for a select few.

If you’ve worked at a media company, you have had the “pleasure” of using a content management system or ad management tool, and you know it is, in fact, rarely a pleasure.

In the last five years, a few media companies decided to do what everyone else was thinking: WE could do a better job at this!

And why not? Who knows the needs of the editorial and advertising departments better than those departments themselves?

The frustration boiled over first at the Washington Post back in 2014. Over the following few years, Vox Media, New York Magazine, and Hearst all got into the Software as a Service (SaaS) business.

The Washington Post’s Arc system

Even before Amazon chief Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, the company was moving in the direction of solving its tech problems by itself.

While the company was scrambling to keep up with the lightning speed of digital change, they, like most other media companies, discovered that their CMS and ad management systems were holding them back.

“As a business, we asked more of our newsroom,” Jeremy Gilbert, the company’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, told Fast Company. “What we noticed was: 1) We didn’t have the tools to be more productive and, 2) The CMS was a fairly monolithic platform. Adding any features to it, making any changes to it, or getting support from vendors was just very difficult.”