We’re all publishers now
The most famous formula in the world is undoubtedly Albert Einstein’s E=MC2
It’s been adapted and modified for everything from posters to T-shirts, and was even used as an album title by Mariah Carey, who breathlessly explained it stood for Emancipation = Mariah Carey twice.
But one of the most useful modifications of Einstein’s formula is EC = MC, which was coined by American Tom Foremski to emphasise that Every Company is a Media Company. It was a neat way of capturing an important reality for organisations’ everywhere . . . We’re all publishers now.
Every company “publishes” to its customers, its staff, its suppliers, its potential employees, its community and many other stakeholders. However, while the technologies of the Internet and social media give organizations the capacity to be publishers, that doesn’t necessarily make them good publishers. In exactly the same way, having a pen and being able to write doesn’t make someone a good writer. And knowing how to use a desktop publishing tool doesn’t automatically produce great newsletters.
So, while every company is a media company (EC=MC), its corporate communications will be successful only if it has a plan for what it publishes, if it employs people who are able to write well, and if what gets written is totally aligned with the organizational strategy. That might seem simple, but it needs planning, media skills training and resources.
The CEO of an organization we know insists on sending all her employees a regular email “update” which is typically over 1,000 words of turgid prose with no layout, no sub-headings, no structure and no apparent purpose. And, critically, no-one in the organization in a position of influence who is willing to politely tell her it’s awful.
Publishing badly prepared messages is not just a waste of time. It undermines and devalues the communication channel, and also damages the reputation of the communicator. Moreover, it is a terrible mistake to think that what the company publishes is “just an email” or “just a Facebook post”.
More advanced companies are beginning to realise that everything they “publish” can directly impact reputation, and this has led to big organizations increasingly hiring experienced ex-journalists, not as “PR advisors” but as writers. It has also led to the emergence of brand journalism, far beyond traditional press releases, which will build your reputation and get your content shared on hundreds of websites.
It’s true that every company is now a media company, but being a media company means you must have a firm corporate communication strategy and real media training.
Do you find that your emails and messages to team members are not making the impact you had hoped for? Keen to find out more about how a clear stakeholder communications strategy can benefit your organisation? Contact Media Manoeuvres today!