✅ Monday briefing: Media startups, no normal, writing about ethnicity, AI industrialising, comment control, Linkedin newsletters, robot writers, and more…
Media, industry, best practice, research and insight, social media and platforms, tools and events
This newsletter is crowdsourced each week from my blog and community of practice for people studying and working in marketing, media and PR. It’s a hive mind, newsroom and source of information, help and support. You’d be welcome to join.
We’ve confirmed the speakers for the second WaddsCon event at 1-2pm on Friday, 26 March. Four presenters will each cover an industry topic for five minutes followed by a 10 minutes Q&A. Please follow this link for details and to grab a ticket.
🏓 MONETISING HYPERLOCAL MEDIA: Ping! aims to help hyperlocal journalists monetise their original content. Regional journalists will work with MyLondon and Yorkshire Live on a month-long trial of the scheme. Spotted Alan Morrison.
🎥 MEDIA STARTUPS: Despite newsrooms slashing costs in the past year there has been an influx of a new wave of digital media startups trying to do journalism differently. Sifted has published a list of newcomers bucking the trend with a range of new business models. Spotted Ramona Slusarczyk.
🔫 BUZZFEED CUTS: BuzzFeed has laid off 47 HuffPost workers in the US and closed down the Canadian operation less than a month after purchasing the rival. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti warned of further cuts in Australia and the UK may be needed to halt losses. Spotted Arianne Smart.
👔 NEW TODAY ANCHOR: The BBC has appointed media editor Amol Rajan as a new presenter on the Radio 4 Today programme. Rajan will become the news show’s fifth presenter, alongside Justin Webb, Mishal Husain, Martha Kearney and Nick Robinson. Spotted Becky Green.
🎩 MAGIC MARKETING: Psychology applied by magicians could be used to help protect people from manipulation according to a study by Goldsmiths, University of London. The research examines how magicians manipulate their audiences' decisions and how techniques could be used to influence consumer choice. Spotted Hayley James.
🛀 NO NORMAL: Unilever is set to drop the word ‘normal’ from its beauty products and ban excessive editing of models' photos in a push for inclusivity. Mintel’s Roshida Khanom said normal is a loaded term because it indicates that there must also be an ‘abnormal'. Spotted Alan Morrison.
🛒 FEEDING THE NATION: Here's a rare thing in corporate UK. Morrisons supermarket has sacrificed profit and a place in the FTSE100 for investment in people and society during the COVID-19 pandemic. Profits fell by half due to additional staff costs and returning £230m of business rates relief. Spotted Karan Chadda.
🏁 WRITING ABOUT ETHNICITY: The Government Communication Service has published a best practice guide to writing about ethnicity, including words and phrases to use and avoid, and how to describe ethnic minorities and different ethnic groups. Spotted Becky Green.
Research and insight
🤖 AI INDUSTRIALISING: Trends highlighted in the The AI Index report by Stanford University include: China overtaking the US in research, content generation, diversity issues and the rise of low cost surveillance technology. It also calls out ethical issues and lack of benchmarks. Spotted Andrew Bruce Smith.
👥 DIGITAL AD DIVERSITY: A study for Facebook of gender-based issues in digital ads found women are 14.1x more likely than men to be shown in revealing clothing and 6.9x times more likely to be objectified. The Geena Davis Institute found that people want online advertising to reflect themselves and their communities. Spotted Phil Szomszor.
Social media and platforms
🖼️ TWEETING IMAGES: Twitter is testing displaying full images rather than cropped versions in the newsfeed for Android and iOS. It is also testing ways to upload and view 4K images. Spotted Arianne Smart.
🗣️ COMMENT CONTROL: New tools have been added to TikTok to promote a supportive and positive environment. Creators can decide which comments will appear on their videos with a new comments feature. Spotted Alan Morrison.
📰 LINKEDIN NEWSLETTERS: LinkedIn has added a newsletter tool. We’re going to publish this week’s Wadds Inc. newsletter on both LinkedIn and Substack. We’ll report back on the results next week. Spotted Andrew Bruce Smith.
📝 ROBOT WRITERS: Copy.ai, Copysmith.ai and Writesonic are among a wave of AI writing startups. Tools are focused on variations of digital ads, headlines and a few paragraphs of copy. Longer form writing is a way off. Source Philippe Borremans, Advita Patel and Stephen Waddington.
📅 WADDSCON MARCH LINE-UP: The second WaddsCon event features the use of conversational bots for qualitative research, search listening and insights, why SEO PR is booming, and the future for PR as we emerge from lockdown. Follow this link for more information and booking. Source Stephen Waddington.