Lessons from ISU’s Greenlee Summit

As the journalism landscape continues to evolve and the lines between earned, owned and social become blurred, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends to best serve our clients.

A few weeks ago, a team of Weber Shandwick Minneapolis employees attended the first-ever Greenlee Summit hosted by Iowa State University. While there, the team had an opportunity to explore the latest industry trends in storytelling, media credibility and digital integration.

Speakers represented a spectrum of modern media platforms, including broadcast, digital and print, as well as reporters from the New York Times, Bloomberg and Des Moines Register. The keynote theme – designing for change – resonated across the day as speakers discussed how the media is adapting and embracing their changing world.

The highlights our team took away from the summit include:

  • Reporters know people’s attention spans are short – content that hooks the reader or viewer within the first five seconds is best. Beyond earned media, this can also apply to owned and social content.
  • In the “fake news” era it’s more important than ever for journalists and brands to prioritize being right over being the first to report something. Never sacrifice being right for being first.
  • Despite the recent data privacy concerns, Facebook is still the dominant player in driving digital consumption of news. To develop successful content for this platform, brands should prioritize creating highly engaging, shareable content that is authentic and true. Videos, especially Facebook Live, are a great example of real-time, authentic and experiential content. It’s also important to consistently analyze what content is working best and use those insights to optimize efforts across channels.
  • Advertisers need to get creative now more than ever. Changes in media consumption (like moving to television platforms without commercials) are driving more brands to explore digital advertising technologies.
  • Even as brands lean on digital, advertising, social media and other platforms to tell their stories, earned media is still a key player. It bolsters the authority of a message by giving it third-party credibility, and allows brands to access the networks of a media outlet and reporter to reach a broader audience.

How does Weber Shandwick create ideas that engage across channels like earned, digital, owned and paid? Check out our approach: The Whole Idea.