People place much greater value in a product or message that is personal to them, than they do in one that is aimed at everyone. Whether you are selling broadsheets or boots, magazines or microprocessors, targeting your product, content and message at the specific members of your audience makes that message more appealing to them.
This week Manchester has played host to the, with around 10,000 people taking part in an event that was the culmination of the UN Year of Co-operatives. Manchester Digital Development Agency hosted a session on co-operative structures in media and digital businesses, at which an old friend of mine, Dave Boyle, gave a talk.
Dave recently wrote a pamphlet for Co-operatives UK called ‘Good News’, about the opportunity for the news media to stem its decline by looking at co-operative models. The news media has largely failed to capitalise on the shift to digital, and print publications are dying out as they lose both readership and ad revenue. Dave’s proposal is that co-operative models present a solution to this problem because they reconnect the readership to the publication. By bringing the readers in as both investors and contributors, you engender trust, overcome some financial challenges, and bind the readership to the title.
It’s a compelling argument, but what most caught my attention in a CANDDi context were the case studies Dave presented as part of the pamphlet. Because beyond trust and financial stability, all of the successful mutualised media titles shared one key characteristic: relevance. They gave their readers what they wanted by investing in quality, relevant content.
Here’s a quote from the Wisconsin-based ‘Inter-County Leader’: “…technology keeps changing but the mission remains the same; providing a public forum and endeavouring to tell stories and events that reflect, create and sustain the communities we serve.” Whether or not you are interested in the news media or co-operatives, there’s a lesson to be learned here. People place much greater value in a product or message that is personal to them, than they do in one that is aimed at everyone.
Whether you are selling broadsheets or boots, magazines or microprocessors, targeting your product, content and message at the specific members of your audience makes that message much more appealing to them.