Lines blur between ads and news

“Native ads” – the paid online ads that look like articles and are sometimes hard to distinguish from a publication’s editorial copy – have been popping up with increasing frequency on news outlets across the web, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. But the Federal Trade Commission is now cracking down on advertisers whose native ads don’t feature the proper disclosures, David Lazarus writes in the Los Angeles Times.

“Consumers have the right to know when they’re looking at paid advertising,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They do. And with print publications, that was seldom an issue. On the Internet, it’s a whole new ball game.

Read more in Click here for actual journalism. (The Los Angeles Times)

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Observations from SXSW 2016

The South by Southwest festival, which drew 72,000 industry influencers to Austin, Texas this year for a week focused on music, film and emerging technologies, featured appearances by President Barack Obama and the first lady along with a slew of new product launches. But Farhad Manjoo at The New York Times noticed one thing missing from this year’s event: tech.

“This year SXSW, as the festival is known, feels like a story of how the tech ethos has escaped the bounds of hardware and software. Tech is turning into a culture and a style, one that has spread into new foods and clothing, and all other kinds of nonelectronic goods. Tech has become a lifestyle brand.”

Read more in “At SXSW, a Shift From Apps to a Tech Lifestyle.”

 

SXSW

March 18th, 2016|Categories: Commentary|Tags: , , , , , |

Facebook's intentions with Instant Articles under fire

WSJ_logoFacebook’s true intentions with a pending initiative called Instant Articles are being questioned by publishers concerned that content will be posted directly rather than linking back to their sites, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The idea is to feature high-quality content that will stand out within the newsfeed and load quickly on phones, but what is Facebook really planning? News sites rely on Facebook as the leading driver of referral traffic to their articles. Arrangements between Google and news organizations evolved over time, so there is precedent for concern.

“We saw the terms ultimately change (with Google),” said Mike Dyer, chief strategy officer at the Daily Beast. “Who is to say that couldn’t happen again?”

The Wall Street Journal has not yet agreed to join the Facebook program.

Read the full article:

Publishers Warily Embed With Facebook

May 12th, 2015|Categories: Commentary|

Why are eNewsletters important?

Tracy Williams

Tracy Williams, CEO and President of Olmstead Williams Communications

By Tracy Williams

Most eNewsletter tips articles focus on the content: make sure the information addresses the audience you’re targeting; keep it short and to the point; and always, have something newsworthy to say or don’t bother.

Those are all great tips, but they have nothing to do with WHY an eNewsletter is important.

Here is a top five list:

  • eNewsletters give you a communications hub for all outreach to your customers and prospects. If it’s critical for your audience to hear, put it in your eNewsletter. Include news coverage about your company that highlights how you help solve problems for customers. Reuse valuable charts, tips and content developed for other projects.
  • Go where your customers are. Social media is becoming more and more important all the time, but email still rules. More than 90 percent of all businesses are on email, while according to some estimates as few as 60 percent have made the leap to social. That’s not to say that eNewsletters and social media can’t work in tandem. Use your best content from social in your eNewsletter and vice versa.
  • When executed properly, an ongoing eNewsletter campaign is the perfect soft push for staying in touch with hundreds or even thousands of key contacts depending on the size of your business. Remind them what you do and why they should care with a shiny new eNewsletter every six weeks to two months. As long as you make it easy to unsubscribe, you have nothing to lose.
  • Email is continuing to grow. As of 2013, there were nearly 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide, according to The Radicati Group. That number is expected to increase to 4.9 billion by the end of 2017.
  • eNewsletters move the conversation to commerce. Two-thirds of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of email marketing, according to the Direct Marketing Association. In the business-to-business world, law and professional services firms report consistent success attracting new clients through eNewsletters, so we know they work. Have you ever gotten business this way? Reply to this email with “yes” or “no,” and we’ll report the results.

So stop waiting for the next big thing, and take advantage of the current big thing with an eNewsletter that tells your story, shares your news and keeps you top of mind with your customers and prospects.

Williams is president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.

July 30th, 2014|Categories: Commentary, OWC News|Tags: , , , |