Recently, I read a 2012 editorial by Digiday’s Brian Morrissey, a talented editor who discussed challenges often associated with contributed editorial. He astutely identified the downside:
“Many submissions are simply marketing pitches.”
“A deeply held point of view is missing.”
“No point of view calls for an argument.”
Fast forward to 2014; Morrissey remains correct. I routinely hear similar comments from Pepper Jeter, the editor-in-chief of Medical News, when discussing the pitfalls. The upside has tremendous benefits. Well-written contributed editorial absolutely provides value to niche audience marketing.
Local audiences value local authors.
It provides feedback and discussion, or what Morrissey calls a “point of view calling for an argument.” He added: “The best digital media practitioners who write regularly – Fred Wilson and Mark Cuban spring to mind -- combine deep expertise with passion and a willingness to write what they really think. You cannot outsource expertise, passion and honesty to a PR firm trying to earn its retainer.”
Today’s digital environment provides a far-reaching proliferation of the author’s point of view by leveraging multiple mediums: print, digital, social media; Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube, Twitter.
It positions the author as an expert sharing resources. This is a critical position for niche audience marketing.
Here’s my take. Advertising campaigns leverage well-designed print and digital ads, combined with passionate contributed editorial from an industry leader. Together, this combination historically performs better than ads alone. Successful business professionals are continually striving to improve their business models. Contributed editorial provides an opportunity that can be analytically measured, which is extremely valuable in today’s whirlwind environment.
In 2006, John Kelly developed Orlando Medical News, followed by Tampa Bay Medical News and Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte Medical News. As Florida market publisher for Medical News Inc., John engages community leaders on his sales teams. His philosophy speaks to working “outside the box,” which involves innovative and often unprecedented ways to collaborate with industry partners. John may be reached at JohnKelly@OrlandoMedicalNews.com.