Brand Newsroom Podcast

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Brand Newsroom 141: Sandra Brewer on how to manage messaging for multiple brands

Our guest this week is the director of Perceptive Marketing, Sandra Brewer, who joins the BNR team to talk about how to manage marketing for a portfolio of brands.

This to answer to a question from a listener, Adrian Jones, who noted that companies with multiple brands must have to treat marketing for their consumer-facing brands very differently to their corporate brand — as they have completely different audiences. It led to a really interesting conversation.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • Whether you have one brand or a portfolio of brands is a decision based on two factors:
    • Audience. If you have separate audiences with distinct needs, then it’s worth having separate brands.
    • Efficiency. If there’s a commonality between the audiences, then it’s far more cost-effective to have one brand.
  • Sandra worked for Mars for many years. When we hear Mars we think of chocolates, like Snickers and M&M’s, but the company also sells pet food and pasta sauces — obviously these needed to be separate brands. But separate brands within the chocolate portfolio allow Mars to target separate audiences, too.
  • Sandra says: “Strive for one brand, if you can: The strength is there in one brand. If you’re standing for something that’s above the category, which is an idea — which is what we aspire for all brands — then you can have breadth.” She gives the examples of Apple and Virgin. “If you can build your brand on an idea, then you can meet your needs across a number of categories”.
  • For dealing with the media, particularly in moments of crisis communications, having separate brands can be a good strategy to help isolate separate products from the fallout of negative publicity.
  • Treat your consumer and corporate brands with absolute consistency.


On My Desk

  • Sandra recommended the Positioning Roulette
  • Sarah recommended this video about choosing the right font.
  • Nic mentioned a survey of Australia media he’s recently carried out. One of the findings was that 84 per cent of reporters, producers and editors prefer to be contacted by a short “snippet” email, with a follow-up phone call a couple of hours later. More results to come soon.


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic looked at the take-outs from Nic’s Meet the Media series of events. If you deal with the media at all, it’s worth a listen.


And the team also got a bit passionate recently when asking the question “are marketing awards really worth the effort?”


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


By | May 24th, 2017|Categories: Brand Newsroom, Branding, Marketing|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Brand Newsroom 140: Meet the Media Follow-up

Every year Brand Newsroom host Nic Hayes runs a series of events, called Meet the Media, around Australia’s capital cities. It’s a fantastic concept that allows brands to meet journalists and editors from major media outlets and find out how they can work with them more effectively. Needless to say, it’s hugely popular. Today, Nic, James and Sarah discuss the take-outs from this year’s series.


Here are some key points about how brands should deal with the media if they want to be successful in getting coverage in mainstream media outlets:

  • Don’t pitch the product or the service; pitch the story.
  • You aren’t courting the media; it’s a transaction that’s taking place.
  • Each journalist, producer, editor or presenter has a preferred channel of contact and content delivery.
  • Do your research on your target media. Make sure you address the correct person and get their name and title right.
  • Get straight to the point.


On My Desk


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at marketing awards, and whether they’re worth entering.


And here’s a fascinating and really informative discussion about media intelligence (what we used to call “media monitoring”) and how it’s changing.


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


By | May 17th, 2017|Categories: Brand Newsroom, Marketing, Media, PR|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Brand Newsroom 140: Meet the Media Follow-up

Content Marketing: How to run an editorial calendar

When I was a cadet reporter things were still distinctly analogue, so my editorial calendar was kept on a notepad, a week to a page.

It was crude, but efficient. I had planned out in front of me, for as many weeks ahead as practical, precisely what I needed to write for each week’s newspaper. I knew who was being interviewed, what photos were needed, what my deadlines were — everything.

These were the days when the entire newsroom had one email address between us and we fired up a special computer, once a week, to check them. I mean, receiving a fax was about as cutting edge as we needed to be in order to speak truth to power and hold the local council to account.

Nowadays our editorial calendars are most definitely digital — and they’re filled with concepts we’d never even heard of back when I was scribbling into my notepad: Tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn. But the principle is very much the same. If you want to keep track of your content, then it is vital to run an editorial calendar.

Your calendar doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. I use a spreadsheet, rather than a fancy computer program, because at heart I’m still that very analogue 19-year-old cadet. But whether it’s a razzle-dazzle whiz-bang management system with automated social media posting and integrated doodads, a spreadsheet, or a pad and a pen, here’s what an editorial calendar should look like.

It should look like an actual calendar

Just like you use your diary to keep track of your appointments, an editorial calendar should be broken down methodically into days, weeks, months and years, so you can see precisely:

  • What was published on what day in the past
  • What you plan to publish on what day in the future
  • Where there are gaps that need to be filled with content
  • Whether you’re getting the mix of content right.

It should tell you where every piece of content is at right now

But it’s not enough that a calendar should be a list of publication dates. Your calendar should also keep track of what content is under consideration; has been commissioned; is in production, being edited, proofed, or approved; and has been scheduled for publication.

What’s more, if you’re working in a team, it’s important to keep track of who is in charge of each piece of content at every single stage of your editorial process. If you don’t know whether the article due for publication on Monday is still being written, is with your proofreader, or is being held up during the client approval stage, then you could waste ages trying to track it down.

Everyone who needs it should have access to it

Your editorial calendar should be your central point of communication for your newsroom. Everyone involved in the production of content who might need to refer to the calendar should have access to it — you, your writers, the client, the marketing manager, and so on. Not everyone should be able to edit it, of course, but anyone who might need to see it should be able to. You’ll be amazed how much emailing backwards and forwards a well-run editorial calendar can save.

The other really important thing is that one person should be in charge of the calendar — whether that’s an account manager, the editorial lead, or someone else. An editorial calendar is a bit like a cruise ship — it will sail along nicely without the captain for a while, but eventually it’s going to run aground without someone there to steer it.

It should link out to the published content

Your editorial calendar gives you a picture of the future, the present and the past, all at a glance. It becomes a wonderful resource to help you answer questions like “didn’t we write a blog about…?” and “when did we run that article on…?” So include URLs so you can quickly find your way back to the content, even if it’s years after it has been published. You should also have a way to link back to the original content within your company filing system, too. Life is much easier when you can find the original word document or video.

If you’re running your newsroom for a client, your editorial calendar also becomes a handy one-stop shop for invoicing. Don’t underestimate the value of that.

Each editorial calendar will look a little different

In my role as managing editor at Lush Digital Media, I regularly deal with more than a dozen editorial calendars. Each one looks slightly different to the others — and that’s OK, because our clients have different needs, wants and priorities. The important thing is that the calendar provides us with whatever information that I, my team, and our clients, might need at any given moment.


If you want to work with a content agency and video production house that understands the importance of running a strong editorial calendar in achieving your content marketing goals, get in touch with Lush Digital Media.


Like what you’ve read? Sign up to the Lush newsletter for fortnightly advice to help you market your business better, tips from our video production gurus, and a podcast or two from our favourite podcasting team, Brand Newsroom. In the meantime, you might enjoy these:

Why being reactive should be part of your strategy

The secret to effective writing for business

A brand journalism approach to growing your audience

Brand Newsroom: How to generate editorial ideas like a journalist


By | May 11th, 2017|Categories: Brand Journalism, Writing|Comments Off on Content Marketing: How to run an editorial calendar

Brand Newsroom 138: Media Intelligence: Here’s what you need to know

We’ve come a long way from the days when “media monitoring” involved a ream of paper clippings and transcripts turning up on the boss’s desk each morning. Technology has changed everything.

Media monitoring has evolved into “media intelligence”. To help us understand what that can do for our brands, the BNR team is joined by MyMedia Intelligence co-founder, Paul Chapman.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • According to Paul, “media intelligence is the identification, selection and delivery of smart, relevant news content”.
  • Aggregation software is used to find news, voice-to-text software follows broadcast media, and real people then sift through it all to give the most important items to their client. It means media monitoring services can get to clients much sooner than it used to be.
  • Some clients monitor themselves; some monitor their competition, too. Others also monitor the issues they’re interested in.
  • Monitoring social is more important than ever but many clients still don’t do it because of their own cultural reasons (they’ve only ever monitored newspapers, for example) or because they don’t have social media accounts so don’t think they need it.
  • It’s now important to monitor influencers, too. And media intelligence can help brands be on the front foot with this — by identifying influencers brands should be working with.
  • Media intelligence isn’t just looking at the coverage that has been received, it’s forward-looking, too. The analytics now available can be used to help brands make decisions going forward.
  • Traditional media mentions help legitimise a brand. Once you’ve been mentioned, you need to amplify it.
  • Knowing they’re about to be mentioned in the media, using media intelligence, brands can respond in real time, rather than being behind the eight ball.


On My Desk

  • Paul took a look at the latest West Australian radio ratings and noted that talkback radio ratings were down during the recent State Election — so where were people consuming their news on that event? There’s a take-out for that for every brand: know where you audience is consuming its news.
  • Nic mentioned the success he’d had selling tickets to his Meet the Media event by advertising it on Facebook, even though he didn’t put a call to action in the ad. Awareness, he said, was enough to encourage people to buy because the event is a good value proposition.
  • Sarah’s recommendation was a service called Mention, which is useful for smaller brands that might be interested in media monitoring but don’t have a big budget.
  • James recommended NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast.


Here are the links you might need


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James and Sarah took a close look at the questions brands should ask before they engage an agency.


And here’s a discussion about how virtual reality is opening up new ways for brands to connect with their audience.


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on SoundCloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


By | May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Brand Journalism, Brand Newsroom, Media|Comments Off on Brand Newsroom 138: Media Intelligence: Here’s what you need to know

Brand Newsroom 137: Questions to ask before choosing a marketing agency

Today, James and Sarah discuss how to get one of your most important business service provider decisions right — choosing a marketing agency.

Whether it’s a PR firm, an advertising company, a content marketing agency or any other communications supplier, what questions should you ask before you sign on the bottom line?

Here are some key take-outs:

• Not all agencies do everything. The first thing you have to figure out is whether you’re actually working with the right agency. Your historical supplier might not be your best possible partner.

• If you need a specialist service, make sure your agency actually specialises in those areas — rather than having an “add-on” service they don’t actually have all that much experience in.

• If you want to keep your existing agency, find someone to collaborate with to provide those specialist skills your current supplier doesn’t have.

• Ask whom you’ll be working with on a daily basis. Who is the team? You can even ask how long employees tend to stay in their agency? If they move on quite quickly, you might spend a lot of time repeating yourself or getting inconsistent work. And do they outsource?

• Ask to see examples of the work the agency has done for people in your industry.

• Have success and failure metrics for your project from the outset. That’s why you should always start with a strategy. Be sure to tell your agency what your actual goal is and make sure the KPIs reflect those goals, not vanity metrics like page views or likes.

• Make sure you can get on with them. Meet with them regularly.

• Don’t let your decision only come down to price. Understand the pricing structure, sure, but think closely about the relationship, their experience, and what their referees told you about them.

• And, finally, are they doing it for themselves? Ask to see what they’re doing in their own space. If they’re selling you blogs and they’re not writing blogs on their own site, that should ring alarm bells.

On My Desk

• Sarah’s recommendation is the Get Coleman website.

• James’s recommendation is a password or passcode manager called Private Password Manager Vault.

Have you heard the one about…

Recently the team looked at how virtual reality was changing marketing.

And here’s a discussion about low-cost options for marketing start-ups.

Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.

By | April 26th, 2017|Categories: Brand Newsroom, Business, Content Marketing, Marketing|Comments Off on Brand Newsroom 137: Questions to ask before choosing a marketing agency

Brand Newsroom 136: How Virtual Reality will revolutionise our marketing reality

It first came to prominence in the gaming world in the 1990s, but virtual reality is a product whose time finally seems to have come.

Marketers the world over are embracing the technology in the hope of redefining customer experience. So, how can we use it?


First some terminology:

  • Virtual reality is when the user puts on a headset and their experience, everything they can see, is 100 per cent digital.
  • 360 technology is when you’re locked to a spot and can look around, but with VR you can move around in the space.
  • Augmented reality is like a mixture of VR and 360. The big internet brands are investing heavily in this now. It’s a display, a bit like a pair of glasses, that you can interact with in reality.


And here are the take-outs:

  • There are hundreds of applications for this technology. Companies could use it for training programmes, a little like how flight simulation works. For companies in real estate and tourism there are incredible opportunities to show potential customers the kinds of things they will experience if they buy those services.
  • This technology isn’t futuristic, it’s here. Agencies and brands now need to keep up with it and work out how to exploit it.
  • This doesn’t have to be expensive for brands to use. It’s worth exploring your opportunities.


On My Desk

  • Gav recommended HoloLens. You can see a video of it here.
  • Nic’s recommendation was to buy a LinkedIn Premium account. He said it was a bit of an investment but offered a lot more functionality, which was great for business.
  • Sarah said it was worthwhile checking out the Edelman Trust Barometer.
  • James recommended taking a look at this article about artificial intelligence.


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at the communications tactics used by US President Donald Trump — and whether brands can use them, too.


And here’s a conversation about the dos and don’ts of corporate video.


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on SoundCloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


By | April 19th, 2017|Categories: Brand Newsroom, Marketing, Video, Video Production|Comments Off on Brand Newsroom 136: How Virtual Reality will revolutionise our marketing reality