Digital Digest #25: The hermetic and arrogant New York Times

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy.

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1. The hermetic and arrogant New York Times

Reuters media blogger Felix Salmon launches an attack on “dinosaur” Arthur Brisbane, the Ombudsman for the New York Times, whose official account of how the NYT broke the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death ignores earlier updates on Twitter. Brisbane’s version, wherein the NYT breaks the story at 10:40pm on its website, ignores contributions from other NYT journalists to the real-time timeline, argues Salmon: ”As far as Twitter is concerned, the news was broken by Keith Urbahn at 10:24pm. But it really got momentum from being retweeted at 10:25pm by NYT media reporter Brian Stelter, who added the crucial information that Urbahn is Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff.”

The New York Times won’t link to any of the original tweets, either.

2. Coca-Cola Marketing Shifts from Impressions to Expressions

Coca-Cola CMO Joe Tripodi blogs on HBR’s The Conversation that “impressions” is becoming an increasingly irrelevant metric, as consumers have become empowered to create their own content and share it across social channels. In order to embrace and navigate this new complexity, brands must learn to measure and value “expressions,” which means: accept that consumers can generate more messages than you ever could; develop content that is “Liquid and Linked”; accept that you don’t own your brands, your consumers do; build a process that shares successes and failures quickly throughout your company; be a facilitator who manages communities, not a director who tries to control them; speak up to set the record straight, but give your fans a chance to do so first.

Not impressed with impressions, eh Joe?

3. Social Media Contingency Planning

Social Media Explorer reports on a new survey from German consultancy Gartner Communications which found that nearly 80% of companies worldwide feel they are unprepared for a social media crisis. As Edelman Canada’s own Dave Fleet has argued, social media communications can help manage emerging issues. But if a disaster strikes your operations themselves, it can affect your firm’s ability to execute a crisis communications plan. SME outlines the following tips for social media crisis communications continuity planing: give multiple people access to your social accounts; plan for lack of communication on your team; write a social-friendly version of your traditional crisis plan; and plan for ongoing updates, even when the crisis has passed.

“Crisis communications contingency” is a bit of a mouthful, really.

4. Insurers, Car Makers, Shopping Malls Seek to Track Customers

The Wall Street Journal reports that as legislators in Canada and the U.S. consider regulations for the location data at the heart of services like Foursquare and Facebook Places, location data is emerging as one of the hottest commodities in marketing. “Some companies are using the data to build better maps or analyze traffic patterns. Others send users advertisements for services near where they are located. Some insurers hope to use the data to provide discounts to better drivers.”

It’s 10am, do you know where your customer is?

5. How Andreesen Horowitz Bought and Sold Skype

Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, blogs about how his new venture capital firm bought majority ownership of Skype with two partners in for more than $2 billion, and then sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion on Wednesday. Analysts were universally surprised by how far into its deep pockets Microsoft (an Edelman client) was willing to dig, but Horowitz argues it was a strategic purchase: “By acquiring Skype, Microsoft becomes a much stronger player in mobile and the clear market leader in Internet voice and video communications. More importantly, Microsoft gets a team, ably lead by the exceptional Tony Bates, that can compete with anyone.”

Flipping a different kind of property.

6. Will Smartphones Replace Your Wallet?

Thanks to new smartphone apps like Square, we in North America may soon be billing our purchases to our credit cards though our smartphones, as is fairly common in other parts of the world. This infographic from financial management firm Credit Sesame summarizes the latest mobile payment technology, and delves into the near future of our wallets.

You remember wallets, don’t you?

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