Last week, PR and communications professionals listened closely as Medium CEO Ev Williams announced the publishing platform’s new focus and the downsizing of its New York and Washington D.C. teams.
In the piece, Williams validated Medium’s mission to “promote intelligent viewpoints and new ideas no matter who they’re from” while, at the same time, recognizing that today’s media landscape is often one of misinformation; companies are under pressure to create more content quickly and cheaply, often at the price of originality and journalistic integrity.
Rebekah Iliff, our CSO, describes this as the dilemma between being a “thought leader” (for thought leadership’s sake) and being a truly “thoughtful” leader, someone who genuinely has interesting ideas to share about the current state and/or future of their industries.
This is why it’s increasingly important to see the signals through the noise, and gain a deeper understanding of which press mentions and content actually contribute to business goals while keeping the bar high for brand-created content. More is not more.
Currently, anyone can publish anything. There are thousands of opportunities for contributed content, and it seems like almost every company’s C-suite is represented in the byline-writing department. (But are they all breaking new ground? Is it okay if not, as long as you’re producing on a steady cadence your customers come to expect and appreciate for the most part? That’s part of the beauty of the democratization of publishing, right?)
At the same time, free content means that the money’s gotta come from somewhere. Williams ponders whether or not ad-driven media is what’s broken, proposing a new world where those who produce quality content are rewarded.
“So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people,” writes Williams. “And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.”
As we do our part in empowering PR and communications pros with data so they can make better decisions, we’re rooting for a media landscape that is more rightly defined by quality instead of quantity. We’re right there with you, Ev.
What’s that saying? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush… In other words, if you publish it (or pitch it), make sure it matters.
Because no amount of noise is worth making unless you’ve actually got something to say.
Flashback: Read what I had to say about Medium in 2014.