Liveblog: Are all companies publishing companies now?

By Adam TinworthPosted October 19, 2011

Warning: liveblogging. Typos, errors and grammatical insanities likely. This post will change repeatedly over a period of time. Refresh for the latest updates. You are warned. :-)

Panel discussion of companies as publishers:

Panel debate on publishing at Like MindsDo customers seek an emotional relationship with brands? Or is that a desperately wishy-washy concept, as Glenn Le Santo suggested? Are we after memories around products? Or we do we want them just to work?

Content around brands can “dupe” you into buying them, but the relationship will be determined by the actual product.

Great content can’t cover up poor brands, says Le Santo. Banking has been producing written content for as long as they’ve existed. It’s not turned them into a media company, says Richard Lennon. Is the distinction where you make money? Clay Shirky suggested that all businesses are now dealing with managing information, suggests Jemima Gibbons from the floor. All brands are distributing or listening to content, says Andrew Davies – and they’re recruiting them from traditional model. Is it marketing? Possibly, but with a publishing model.

Stephen BatemanStephen Bateman cites the example of a bank that persuaded a lot more people to engage with their tool by creating content around it, seeding social media and the like.

Why do brands create content? To sell stuff. For reputation. (But is that to sell stuff?) To relate to a community of people who may work for them now or the future. An audience member HATES advertorial. At least in print products it was clearly marked. And publishers want to make money, too.

A quite vigorous debate has broken out between Le Santo and people in the audience over this definition that people have to be making their money from publishing to be publishers. This distinction had broken down, suggests someone from the floor. Publishers used to create content to attract audiences to advertising. People don’t need publishers to do that any more.

Richard LennonLennon suggests that it’s predictable that the democratisation of media will erode traditional media. If you have skills, though, you’ll add value to the publishing process whoever you’re doing it for. However, Bateman suggests that were all bored of being sold at all the times. The most interesting things are happening in places like Facebook; where people stop pushing traditional content through new channels and create brand new concepts of media for the new tools.

Davies thinks that the old concept of campaign has just broken down. But the problem is that content creation tends to get pushed down to the most junior person in the team – and there’s a huge opportunity being missed there to serve customer needs.

And…we’re out of time.