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Beyond the Horizon

NOVEMBER 20221

 

With the pandemic loosening its’ grip (tell me that’s true for you!) and the holidays approaching let’s adopt a “glass half full” outlook with p-r-o-m-i-s-i-n-g notions, observations or ideas…

To begin, let me share a simply terrific Mission Statement from the Observer Media Group in Sarasota, FL.

“To inspire our communities with extraordinary local content and to help partners prosper.”

Mission Statements are sometimes just words on paper or little more than an ivory tower accessory, yet I get the distinct impression President Emily Walsh and colleagues work very hard to bring these words to life.  I’ll wager there only need be occasional inspiration, and extraordinary content episodically and as partners prosper once in a while, both Observer Media and their communities are much better off!

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IMPORTANT:  Two pieces of vital media related legislation wending their way through Congress are generating genuine bi-partisan support.  With many readers not directly connected to this world, I wanted to be sure everyone was aware of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (LJSA) and the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).  

  1. LJSA provides tax credits to consumers for subscribing.  Every bit as important are credits to businesses for placing advertising and organizations for hiring journalists.

 

  1. JCPA enables newspapers to temporarily (a four-year window, as I understand it) negotiate with the likes of Facebook and Google as an industry without running afoul of Justice Department regulations.

[Everything looks favorable as I hit “send” on this enewsletter, but with politics today…]

These are (very) BIG deals!  If what’s happening in other countries is any indication, these could be game-changers for the industry and DEMOCRACY.  Remember that?

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A key recommendation from a recent research engagement:  Where ALL media can improve is in the consultative realm – that is, recommending new ideas, really understanding client challenges and sharing both market intelligence and solutions.

Methinks this is true for just about anyone as we inevitably tend to focus on the urgent rather than the important!  Even in my lonesome single shingle world, it’s certain I can do better, so I can only imagine what it might be like in a product-focused, time-crunched media company right now.

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Over the ages, the “quality” of communication has declined, hasn’t it? Just a few examples:

  • From the original printing presses (imagine how cool it would have been to see a printed page in the 1,440’s when Guttenberg first worked his magic?).
  • Which eventually led to the thousands of multiple fonted, often uninvited emails we receive daily.
  • Television went from an amazing box in the living room that brought us together to paper-thin screens mounted on walls and streamed to every device imaginable.  All of which now tend to separate us!
  • Of course, Zoom after Meet after Go-To-Meeting then to Teams relentlessly.
  • Don’t forget the transition from vinyl to 8-track to cassette to mp3 and now Pandora.
  • All with the goal of MORE (thinking that preferable??) rather than BETTER.

I vote for BETTER.  Better wins in the long run.  Better is not what “we’ve always done”.  Better is Better!

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Or, said in a completely different way, “…Honor interactions over transactions!”  (Apologies to whomever – this was from a TED Talk or in an article recently consumed and my search provided little clarity)

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  • Did you read about the very remote possibility that concrete could be manufactured to act as a battery that stores energy generated via solar and wind?  Think about that for a second!  From the October edition of Scientific American

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I’ll wrap up, not with another Mission Statement, but with what I hope is ALL media companies’ ambition (or should be!):

Our goal is to help 500,000 small businesses (fill in the right number for your market or reach) do great work so they can each add two people to their payroll, therefore creating 1,000,000 new jobs in the process!

If that’s the outcome of your local partnerships, then you’ll wrap up a super 2021 and cannot wait for 2022.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S.  Ok, couldn’t resist – Carol Tomé, the CEO at UPS, has a three-pronged personal purpose statement you just gotta love: “Lead to inspire, serve to create and give to remain.”

 
 
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