Why news is still the greatest content of all
For thousands of years, people have been seeking the most effective way to communicate their thoughts and ideas. The concept of the ‘newspaper’ – a regular publication that contains news and correspondence – was born when leaders decided they wanted to distribute their news to the masses. One of the earliest forms of newspapers appeared in Ancient Rome. The Emperor Julius Caesar made government announcements through the bulletin Acta Diurna. They were carved in metal or stone and posted as message boards in public places. After a couple of days, the boards were taken down and archived. They were replaced with new message boards discussing the latest noteworthy information. Due to the obvious time and size constraints involved in carving news on stone and metal tablets, bulletins needed to be concise. They needed to convey a lot of ideas in as few words as possible. They also needed to be informative, entertaining and attention-grabbing to maximise engagement. Fast-forward to the 21st century and times have changed. Information is now disseminated via an overwhelming number of news channels – we have printed and online newspapers, radio, TV and blogs. Social networking is now an intrinsic part of our lives with companies and private citizens updating the world via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumbler and more. However, while the distribution channels have changed some things remain very much the same. Going back to Ancient Rome and more particularly since the first newspapers rolled off the presses 400-odd years ago journalists have been taught to write copy that is short, sharp and sweet. They need to grab your attention straight way – today’s society is a busy one and people are time poor. Readers want to get information quickly and easily while they grab a coffee on the way to work, on the train or before they turn their attention to their inbox. The tricks of the journalistic trade – identifying an angle, crafting a headline, avoiding jargon and using tense to convey immediacy – have been refined over many generations to achieve the sole purpose of communicating quickly and effectively. It’s a style that has evolved over hundreds of years. So why re-invent the wheel when the solution to communicating with all your audiences already exists? Your media strategy, and particularly, the content that drives it, should be an integral part of your content strategy. Your media consultants need to be at the very centre of your content strategy. Their experience as journalists will help create press releases, blog posts, newsletters, magazine articles and brochures that are exciting, relevant and newsworthy.