New Technologies Are Exciting — But Don’t Neglect the Idea

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Clearly, the proliferation of new media technologies is changing the way communications is — and will be — done. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a big fan of blogging, podcasting and other new means of distribution.

I’m also a big fan of using multiple distribution mechanisms to get maximum exposure. I’ve posted on this point.

Lets say you’ve got a great idea for an op-ed or contributed piece. OK. Research possible placement venues, write it up and submit it. Voila, it’s published. Now, we start reusing the material (I sometimes call this “repurposing”).

Once you’ve got a published piece, the first step is a no-brainer. Buy reprints and/or online reprint rights. Then, put it on your Web site, e-mail it around to the right clients or customers, put it in your marketing materials and add it to your press kit. There, already we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of your original piece.

But I wouldn’t stop there. How about pitching other reporters by sending them the piece and suggesting they do an interview on the idea? This can be particularly successful with broadcasters, who routinely pick up print pieces that are strong, as well as others with some lead time who might be interested in seeing if they can come up with a fresh angle on your original story.

Don’t go away yet. How about giving a speech or two based on the idea your wrote about? It might make a nice presentation at an industry conference.

Let your creativity guide you. If you are interested in online marketing, Webinars and Podcasts can also be spun out of your original story. It can even be fodder for — gasp! — blog entries.

So, what’s the issue? Reading various stories about the power of distribution over content, I’m a bit worried that communicators will embrace these new technologies and neglect the one thing that drives all effective communications…

Ideas.

Yes. It’s possible to get so caught up in how to present and distribute information that the information itself becomes lost in the swirl. This will result in utter failure, I guarantee it.

The reason is simple. It is good ideas that drive successful communications. For example, if you write an op-ed devoid of new or interesting thinking, all the best writing craft in the world won’t get your piece published — or read.

It will also be too weak to be leveraged across mediums. A poor written piece will make a poor speech, a poor blog post, a poor podcast, etc. A strong medium won’t save a weak idea.

The solution is simple: Begin with a strong idea. It only takes one! Then, start your distribution.

Use the traditional media. Use the new media. Use technology to its fullest! And enjoy yourself as success in one medium leads to success in another.

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