Monday, October 6, 2008

Media owners need to let go...but not at any cost

Too many brands are frightened of "letting go" but I thought this was an interesting example of a media owner allowing readers to interact with and shape its content (good) but in a way that undermined its own credibility (bad).

O Estado De S. Paulo
, a major Sao Paulo daily asked readers what news and pictures they'd like to see gracing the front page of their Sunday paper. Sunday subscribers received a blank front page one week with a kind of "fill in the boxes" challenge which readers could complete online. The following Sunday, those that submitted their own front pages were sent personalised editions of the paper (around 1,000 people). It was sponsored by Nissan as part of its 'escape the pattern' campaign. Interesting media tactic, but at what cost to the masthead?

In recent years, there's been a trend for publications to invite readers to take
on editorial roles (Girlfriend's reader produced issue being a notable example).
Only this isn't about entertainment consumption, it's about news. Who would
you trust to bring you the most relevant news of the day? A credible (?) daily
newspaper or you at your most imaginative from a week prior? Has anyone
seen a good example of where an initiative like this has added real value for
both a publication and its readers?

No comments: