But what if you didn't know you should be interested in the geospatial industry? What if you are a banker? Or a social studies teacher? Or a fireman? How would you learn that this industry might offer solutions to problems you face in your work? That's the question communications staffers at geospatial firms are asking as they try to expand their current user bases. Where are they sharing their content beyond "geo"publications?
A Recap: Earned, Owned and Paid Media
If you are in the media or communications, you've probably heard about earned, owned and paid media. If not, it may be a trio of new terms.
|Earned, Owned and Paid Media|
Earned media is content created via influence. It's when a company like Esri convinces Forbes to do an interview with Jack Dangermond. Earned media is believed to be the most trusted form of media. Tough to do? You bet. Worth it? You bet.
Owned media is content an organization creates and publishes on its own print or online properties or those of others. Hexagon Geospatial has its own blog where it publishes stories several times a week. The company also creates press releases which are carried on a variety of sites, including Sensors and Systems. Tough to do? Not really. Tough to do well? You bet.
|Hexagon Geospatial's owned media blog is titled Sensing Change.|
What are Geospatial Companies Doing?
Geospatial companies are involved in all three types of these media. But there's another type of website where I'm seeing geospatial articles appear: specific sites or areas of sites set aside for contributed content. They include Wired Insights, LinkedIn, the Huffington Post's opinion pages, Buzzfeed and Medium. These are interesting places to post content because the contributor controls the message, but gets the publication's name associated with its brand.
Wired Insights is Wired Magazine's blogging platform. Update: Wired Insights which was active in 2012, has since shut down. The last content seems to be from 2015.
|A Tweet from Pitney Bowes|
LinkedIn opened its publishing platform to all members last year. Update: It was deprecated in 2015 and integrated into LinkedIn.
The Huffington Post invites thought leaders to blog on its site. Update:
The Buzzfeed Community is where brands and organizations can contributed content on that well-visited site. Esri's brand site appeared there beginning in November 2013 with a story map of JFK's life. Update: Esri's last post there is from 2015 There are many other story maps but also some really "buzzfeedy" offerings like 17 Things You Can Only Do At Esri UC. Also interesting and perhaps instructive, is how Esri describes itself on Buzzfeed:
We study the way the world works. We show people how to use geography and technology—think uber maps—to make the world work better. Visit esri.com.That's different than the company's other descriptions including this one:
Esri's GIS (geographic information systems) mapping software helps you understand and visualize data to make decisions based on the best information and analysis.
|One of the 17 things you can only do at Esri UC and only find|
Where Should Your Organization be Publishing?
That's not an easy question to answer and to quote communicator Neville Hobson, "it depends." The good news about these community sites is they are:
- free to use
- measure your hits and visualize your connections
- encourage commenting and sharing
- are outside the geospatial media space
- great content is still required