Today’s business world relies heavily on customer interactions. Establishing a brand online isn’t just a fancy way to make your company stand out anymore — it’s an absolute requirement to stay relevant in the digital market. The massive evolution of the internet and the digital capabilities of our age have created the need for enterprises to provide consistent, meaningful content to their consumer bases.
In this mad rush to provide content, recent years have shown us several examples of what not to do in the race for relevancy. When it comes to publishing quality material, several factors must be carefully weighed before sending anything out into the world:
- What’s the point? Anything a brand provides to its consumer base needs to reflect the needs of those individuals as well as the company’s values and mission.
- If content is king, quality is queen. Consumers must extract something meaningful from the content they digest; otherwise, they feel like they’re wasting their time.
- Don’t ignore social responsibility. We live in volatile times. It’s absolutely crucial to weigh the implications a piece of content may have in light of recent events or for a particular audience.
- Get the timing right. When you publish a piece is just as important as what you’re delivering.
- Speed should never take precedence over completeness and precision. It’s better to spend the time ensuring a piece of content is factually sound rather than needing to retract and revise it later.
What Not to Do if You Want Quality Content
Recently, the world has seen a slew of multimedia faux pas that have ranged from cringe-worthy to downright tasteless. In an effort to keep with the times and build meaningful relationships with a younger generation, many marketers have made insensitive or poorly timed “jokes” that have resulted in heavy, heated backlash. In some cases, the article or content piece was seemingly pushed out the door as soon as it was written, and the audience wondered whether or not any of the authors’ supervisors bothered to check what they were publishing.
For example, a recent SB Nation piece about convicted rapist Daniel Holtzclaw was deemed “a complete failure” and was pulled less than 24 hours after publication. The piece seemed to sympathize with Holtzclaw, and the controversy that the article sparked was nothing if not deserved. Any content that covers sensitive subject matter must be vetted carefully before publication.
Perhaps even more scandalous was the now-discredited Rolling Stone article about a reported gang rape at the University of Virginia. The author of the original article published her story without any fact-checking, and once the article made national news, other media figures probed the case and eventually exposed that the story was entirely fabricated. Rolling Stone still employs the writer of the article, but one of the editors of the piece resigned. The magazine is facing several lawsuits as a result of the article.
Whether these stories were published with good intentions or simply for shock value doesn’t really matter. In the internet age, the truth eventually comes out about everything published in the media — and these stories did real damage to both companies’ reputations. Such debacles should be considered cautionary tales about how important accuracy and sensitivity are in content publication.
Create a Culture That Encourages Truth and Precision
The concept of creating a strong company culture has grown dramatically in recent years. Many businesses simply publish a mission statement and their core values and call it a day, but in 2016, consumers want to know what companies do for society outside of their provided goods and services. Company culture is also one of the vital features of an organization that attracts new talent from the younger workforce.
Content is how businesses connect with their consumers, but poorly managed content publishing practices can be a death sentence for any customer-oriented business. A misworded or ill-advised tweet can result in immense media attention, but not the kind you want. A poorly timed or improperly vetted article can drastically diminish your brand’s credibility and may make it considerably more difficult to spread your material to potential leads.
Creating a strong company culture is the goal of many future-thinking businesses. When it comes to doing so, there are a few practices that will help your workforce feel more included and valued, which is vital for creating an inclusive and cohesive community. There are also some things you can do that will make your operations leaner and more efficient. Regardless — never neglect the things you can do to foster a sense of duty in your workforce and guarantee a commitment to high-quality content.
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