Category: Media news

Tidbit of the Day: A new job awaits – The Chicago Tribune!

Chicago Tribune logo

Hello, all.

I recently took a gig as a social media strategist (my title is still in the works) for the Chicago Tribune. In the role, I’ll help manage and oversee new social media initiatives for the Trib. I start next Monday.

While I’m there, I’ll be working with Bill Adee, the paper’s innovation editor, and others to help make a hub for local, national and international journalism and a great resource to anyone who checks out the page.

Good things are already in the works, but even better things are to come, and I look forward to the challenges I’ll undoubtedly face!

Media News: Sun-Times staffers get fired via voicemail

Think back to the last time you got fired. (Hopefully you haven’t gotten fired more than once. Or better yet, never.) Remember how bad it felt?

Well, it probably doesn’t compare to the nice folks at the Chicago Sun-Times, who are being laid off over the phone.

Phil Rosenthal over at the Chicago Tribune reported last night that Sun-Times Media Group Inc., which owns the ST and dozens of other local newspapers, is making cuts at all of its publications. The STNG, according to the article, is looking to cut $3 million in payroll by eliminating 32 positions.

So far, the latest report is that the Sun-Times has cut 17 reporters/editors and another dozen newsroom jobs. Just three more to go.

Now, let’s see if Jay Mariotti jumps ship to ESPN. I mean, he’s on it enough…

Anyway, I digress. Who’s for a GapersBlock Magazine? How about a Chicagoist Weekly?

Tidbit of the Day: The outdoor marketer’s oversight

What’s wrong with this picture:

When’s the last time you paid attention to and were prompted to visit a Web site by an ad you saw on public transportation?

I was on the bus last night coming back from the Chicago IxDA when I had a revelation. Many of these ads, like this one here, are chock-full of information. After this information, usually, is a Web site you can check out for more information.

It’s not that I don’t like these ads, don’t get me wrong. My main beef with them is I just don’t think they’re actionable. It’s like, great, you actually have a Web site. It’s not 1998; you should have one already.

So I can go to a great vacation spot, or I can go to a cool new Web site if I:

a) See the ad enough to remember it in the future.
b) Actually write down the URL.
c) Care enough to follow through and go to the page.

Maybe these ads aren’t about getting someone to do something. Maybe it’s just about bombarding folks with repeated messages so that they maybe recall your brand in the future. My suggestion: Show potential customers why they should listen to you. You’ll probably benefit from giving them something immediate.

Radiohead continues to break new ground with Current TV concert

(Disclaimer: I’m a huge Radiohead fan. Sue me.)

I was watching a bit of television on New Year’s Eve shortly before the fireworks display here in Chicago when I stumbled across Radiohead’s Scotch Mist concert on Current TV. (It’s a great show, by the way. Check it out.) It was clear to me then that Radiohead, already secure of its place in rock history, is continuing to blaze new trails for music artists while rewarding its fans…and the television channel’s socially conscious viewers.

A few months ago, the band released a pay-what-you-want, downloadble version of its new album, In Rainbows, on its Web site. Sales numbers for the album actually were pretty good, despite the fact 62% of downloaders didn’t pay. According to ComScore, Radiohead made an average of $2.26 per album, but a whopping $6 from people who paid for the album. (I wrote a news brief about this in the 12/15 issue of Marketing News.)

By doing this, Radiohead proved that good, established bands don’t need major labels to make money. In a Wired interview with Talking Head David Byrne, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke said that labels inhibit not only the artistic process, but only really allow bands to make money from touring.

And through its concert on Current, Radiohead proved once again it doesn’t need backing to create tremendous buzz; just a love for music and respect for listeners.