Think Like a Publisher And Use The Content Expertise Your Company Is Lending Out

Voters' concerns about the economy--including the financial markets--are believed to be what struck the difference in the presidential race, ultimately driving Barack Obama to win. Over the next hours and days, all forms of broadcast, online and offline media will be interviewing investment strategists, economists, portfolio managers for their views on what happens next.

Is your company lending its expertise/content to a media company by making your spokesmen available? Of course, why wouldn't you? But we encourage you to think of your own Web site and your own marketing as a publishing operation, as well. You need to be delivering the content that you're lending out and on the same turnaround as the traditional media companies are insisting on.

We have a dream: In a perfect world, you would have gone home last night with two videos in the can--one with your investment guru commenting on an Obama administration and one with comments on a McCain administration. Late last night, you would have published the Obama video and distributed 1)a press release and 2)an email to advisors and subscribed shareholders announcing the availability of your company's viewpoint--in video, in audio and as a transcript. Doing this would have assured that your company was taking part in today's conversations. (When your spokesmen make themselves available to others, they and their message are at the mercy of the producers' agendas, scheduling issues and they never have control over exactly what's delivered. You can control it all when publishing from your domain.)

Never have American voters been so engaged in a presidential election and its outcome--and at the center of their concerns are the markets that drive your business. I woke up this morning eager to read and listen to the coverage from the outlets I've come to rely on. Is it too idealistic to expect that someday Investment Manager XYZ will be one of the "publishers" I count on hearing from first? That an investor could become so engaged in the thinking that's driving the management of their investments? This can happen only if the speed to communicating about market events is compressed to near real-time.

Investment product marketing needs to adopt a newsroom mentality. That's what SwanDog Strategic Marketing called for in the whitepaper The World Has Changed, Part 1, released last month. It's in line with a broader conviction that marketing online is about content and that online marketers need to think of themselves as publishers. It's only in the delivering of relevant content when it's being sought that we can become relevant--promotional messages dictated by a provider's schedule are not going to cut it nor will election commentaries produced and distributed next week.

For more on this, we recommend David Merriman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing and PR. At the minimum, listen to a The New Newsroom: What's in Your Company? a 9-minute podcast with Scott and Provident Partners' Albert Maruggi. Meanwhile, we're trolling investment management Web sites looking for election commentary. If you're operating like a publisher, we'd love to see your work--please drop us a line.