One of the paradoxes of the Internet is that, although it rewards celebrity stories and videos of kittens playing with yarn, it also rewards sites that go narrow and deep.
The reason is technological. While there aren’t as many people interested in the details of N.S.A. surveillance or prison conditions as there are people interested in sports or pop singers, the Internet allows them all to gather in one place.
And, when they do, the readership can be a substantial and influential one.
What does it mean to be a photographer when three billion people are walking around with phones in their pocket with cameras on them? What does it mean to be a professional writer when every 14 year old has a blog?
The best way to generate publicity is by being first. In other words, by being the first brand in a new category. The news media wants to talk about what’s new, what’s first, and what’s hot, not what’s better. And the best way to make news is to announce a new category, not a new product.
Most companies develop their branding strategies as if advertising were their primary communications vehicle. They’re wrong. Strategy should be developed first from a publicity point of view. Publicity is the deliberate attempt to manage the public’s perception of a subject.
Our brand name Igor eliminates the need for advertising, PR, and sales calls. We get a ridiculous amount of press, because when journalists search our field they see lots of bland names and then spot Igor and think ‘this looks interesting.’ Also, we know that our clients are risk-tolerant if they have the nerve to recruit a company called Igor.
We see the appearance of something before we see the content. Typically, we might pick up a magazine and feel disgust – or delight – at the typeface that has been used. This way of seeing is different from the way non-designers see, and is the cause of much disconnectedness between designers and their clients.
In most cases journalists have to create the story from scratch, usually by following leads. They will have to research the facts to get to the heart of the matter, discover the different viewpoints and opinions, and bring this material together accurately and coherently. The message has to be factually correct, balanced, and fair, but the writer is allowed to take a stance, which could reflect that of the newspaper or, in the case of a column, the writer’s own opinion.