The Publisher Mindset

Mitch Joel is consistently one of my favorite bloggers, probably because there are equal days we disagree and also agree. I also particularly enjoy his thinking because he does a good job distilling complex concepts into more simple, bite-size pieces.

He summarizes a theme we’ve been digging into here over the last few years quite well about thinking like a media company by embracing the publisher mindset:

I often Blog about how the more successful Marketers in Social Media treat everything that much more like a publisher than a Marketer. That same thought is valuable here: if you’re Blogging or tweeting is sporadic and lacks relevance, frequency and consistency, it’s probably being accepted by the public more like Marketing fodder and less like credible content. Embracing a publishing mindset is a critical part of what equates to eventual success. Yes, it’s commitment. No, it’s not easy. Yes, there are moments when you’ll question the very reason to keep at it. No, there are no shortcuts.

Indeed, the publisher mindset is what it’s all about to build a community and reach a level of sophistication your efforts follow the strategic path of pull providing increasing returns (as opposed to the infinite treadmill of push where you keep paying new money to reach the same people).

The publisher mindset is about thinking iteratively and not overvaluing every bit of content. Most marketers still lack consistency and have yet to restructure their communications to be agile. To that end, they are getting out-executed by those with far less budgets, but way more passion. So as Mitch alludes to, they get frustrated and quit. Yet it isn’t that the strategy doesn’t work and isn’t potent: those without results are executing on it poorly.

Not all companies will be able to embrace a publisher mindset mostly because they have politics that won’t allow such a thing to exist, there is historic baggage with their communications or a legacy mindset permeates the organization. Or just laziness (no one said being a publisher was easy). Yet it speaks volumes that, in fact, some brands and individuals in every industry are able to execute this approach and dominate share of voice in their market.

Embracing the publisher mindset is a clear opportunity for your company to set itself out from the pack from a communications standpoint. The mindset itself is bigger than any one tactic or channel: it’s the basis of an effective digital marketing strategy.

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