Brilliant Reads: journalistic branded content, online echo chambers & data stories

The echo-chamber of social media

There has been a huge amount written recently about the way we now experience the Internet – as a closed web of links shared and sometimes written by people we have connections with. When our Facebook and Twitter feeds become the primary place we look for news and information, we often see our own opinions and experience reflected back at us.

This piece acknowledges this very real concern but concludes that the opening up of the conversation on all sides (‘at the dinner table of civic debate, everyone now gets to invite their crazy cousin’) has been a force for positive change and is something that will continue to evolve. Other voices in the debate include Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who wrote about the stark change in the exchange of information since his imprisonment in 2008, and Paul Graham, whose piece describes the ‘refragmentation’ of politics and culture as a return to the human default.

Is Facebook the enemy of truth and civic unity?
The Guardian 7 mins

Telling the story of data

When planning your content calendar are you looking to your organisation’s data for ideas? This piece highlights some effective ways we can use numbers to identify and tell engaging stories. Your business might have data that reveals something surprising about your audience or the world around them. Not all brands have the depth of data that Jawbone or Facebook have on their customers, but chances are there are compelling stories to be told.

How content marketers can tell better stories with data
Harvard Business Review 6 mins

The traditional media power houses turning to branded content

The New York Times’ T Brand Studio is home to the newspaper’s team of branded content experts. These journalists aren’t working on breaking news stories or unbiased journalism. Instead, they are collaborating with companies to tell compelling stories that inform and entertain while raising awareness and consideration for the brand. In a similar vein to BuzzFeed’s advertising offering, T Brand Studio now accounts for 15-20% of the NYT’s digital revenue.

Branded content teams within journalistic institutions must maintain the delicate balance between leveraging the value of their audience and ensuring that the audience remains confident in the publication’s integrity. As long as they navigate that effectively, they could remain an inspiring presence in the world of content.

Industrial scale branded content
Monday Note 9 mins

Begin 2016 with a focus on innovation

Start the new year as you mean to go on, with this blog post from our Culture Director – Belinda Gannaway. A culture of innovation is not something that can be bought or easily mandated. These quick, actionable tips include sharing ideas with the wider team, creating a bias for action by removing red tape, and embracing and learning from failure.

9 ways to kick start your innovation culture
Brilliant Noise 3 mins

Getting the most from each day

Endorsed by Tom Peters and David Allen and set to become an instant management classic, How to Have a Good Day, by Caroline Webb, comes out this week. Combining insights from neuroscience and psychology with Caroline’s extensive experience as a management consultant and coach, this book is jam-packed with tried and tested techniques to ensure you get the most out of every working day.

Each chapter features real-life case studies and lots of clear, actionable advice. Brilliant Noise CEO Antony Mayfield is mentioned in the book, having helped with examples of ways to improve productivity.

How content operations can become your marketing super power

Our next event, coming up in February, will focus on the impact a well-tuned operational engine has on your content. The session will be invitation only, so please get in touch if you would like to join us.

If you missed our 2016 briefing events you can catch up on the notes and slides from Make your content connect more and Make your organisation connect more.