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Content Marketing: From the Newsroom to the Boardroom

pnr logoPNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this episode, Robert and I go into detail about the leaked New York Times report that uncovers the Grey Lady’s struggles to stay relevant in digital news — it’s a must-read for all businesses. In addition, we discuss the integration of brand newsrooms, new content marketing research in Australia, and the Tea Party’s new online publication. After a rant on the FCC’s non-ruling on internet bandwidth “fast laning” and a reader question on content marketing effectiveness, we tackle this week’s #ThisOldMarketing example: “Our Food: Your Questions” from McDonalds Canada. 

This week’s show

(Recorded live on May 19, 2014; Length: 59:52)

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Show overview

1. Content Marketing in the News

  • The New York Times Leaks a Seminal Piece of the Media Age (2:40): Several days after The New York Times fired executive editor Jill Abramson, someone within the organization leaked a report that analyzes how the news organization needs to innovate to remain competitive in the digital age. Blogger Scott Monty has written a thoughtful analysis of what brands can learn from it, and Robert feels its recommendations practically read like a business plan for creating a digital marketing organization. Because content marketers can learn so much from this report, we both agree it’s a must-read. The full report is available here.
  • Journalists vs. Marketers: Defusing the Battles in the Brand Newsroom (14:30): As brands hire more journalists to develop content, tensions may develop between them and their marketer colleagues, as the two think in radically different ways, according to Contently. Robert and I discuss a simple strategy that marketers and brand journalists can use to get on the same page.
  • Why Content Marketing Fails (20:35): Rand Fishkin from Moz has published a SlideShare that explains why content marketing isn’t as effective as it should be. He does an excellent job of busting some commonly held myths about content marketing. Robert and I agree that this presentation contains many great reminders for content marketers.
  • Survey Says In Australia and NZ C-Suites Are Backing Content Marketing (26:36): A new survey from Australian agency Castleford shows that marketing decision-makers in Australia and New Zealand are ready to throw their support behind content marketing. While we agree that content marketing doesn’t need corner office buy-in anymore, most companies still struggle with several key strategic issues, including where content marketing fits within the organization.
  • The Tea Party Plunges Into the News Business (35:26): BloombergBusinessWeek reports that on June 3, the conservative Heritage Foundation will begin publishing the Daily Signal, a digital news site focused on straight reporting. My reaction: What took them so long? If they do it well, it should help the mission of their organization. Robert concurs, but adds the biggest challenges will be maintaining transparency and impartiality.

2. Sponsor (41:24)

  • This Old Marketing is once again sponsored by Emma – email marketing for the modern brand, featuring mobile-responsive templates, social integration tools and concierge services. Emma is promoting an informative infographic it has created entitled 18 Email Stats Every Marketer Needs to Know. You can check it out at

email stats-sponsor-emma

3. Rants and Raves (44:00)

  • Robert’s Rant: The FCC is moving ahead with its plan to replace its discarded open internet rules with new ones that will allow internet companies to pay for fast lanes. Under the FCC’s new rules, companies that deliver content over the internet — such as Netflix, Amazon Instant, and YouTube — will now be able to pay ISPs for preferred high-speed delivery of their content. Robert discusses how this landmark decision may eventually affect our ability to efficiently deliver rich content to our customers.

4. Listener Question (51:20):

  • Bruce McDuffee, a friend of the show, asks:

I’ve been discussing content marketing with some industrial companies that primarily sell through distributors. What is your take on content marketing effectiveness for a company that does not connect with or own the relationship with the end user of its product? Is there any anecdotal evidence of effectiveness — or lack of effectiveness?

I believe if you create quality content, your distributors will be happy to work with you to get it in the end-users’ hands. I share some great examples of brands that are doing this today, and some recommendations on how to figure out where the distributors need help in communicating with their customers. Robert points out that the challenges are similar whether you’re doing business in B2B or B2C markets. Often, retailers need help creating and distributing content to their customers.

5. This Old Marketing Example of the Week (55:14)

  • McDonalds: Our Food, Your Questions: Several years ago, McDonalds Canada created a website called Our Food, Your Questions, where the company could solicit questions from consumers and answer them in a very public and transparent way. Our good friend Jay Baer is a big fan of this content initiative; in this blog post, he outlines five elements of it that are especially noteworthy. I outline my admiration for the way this program has been planned and executed, and discuss a few of the features I find most intriguing.

marketing example-man's face with question bubbles

For a full list of the PNR archives, go to the main This Old Marketing page. 

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