As I briefly mentioned yesterday, I have somewhat of a new job these days. I’m leaving behind my producer/project manager position within TBS/TNT and stepping into a new role in digital marketing at TBS/TNT/TCM. A lot of the details haven’t been finalized yet, so I’m actually doing two discrete jobs at the moment, but I’m quite happy. I think the developments will give me more leeway, latitude and reason to blog about work in this space.
Based on last week’s Creative Loafing cover story (and ensuing blog post) and this week’s Atlanta Press Club event (which I didn’t attend, just listened via podcast) it’s clear that the media is changing.
While most of the Atlanta-area bloggers I read – and I’ve added more than a few new voices to my Bloglines – cover the intersection of old media/new media as it pertains to journalism, my focus and interest will be on serving the needs of our viewers in this new environment. So how does a cable television network (3 of them, actually) entertain folks who aren’t in front of the big, glowing box and are instead sitting at a different glowing box?
Besides simply making sure our audience knows they can watch full episodes of our original series via broadband, I’ll also be working to develop and promote other branded content.
But what does that mean, really? Develop and promote? Branded content?
Yeah, I realize there’s a fair amount of coded language that normally comes from folks on the traditional media side, but the same barrier to entry exists on the new media side, especially all the acronyms. Granted, the acronyms are usually more accurate and descriptive, but there are walls around both gardens.
My role is to see both things for what they are and bridge the gaps. Cultivate and understand blog(ger) feedback. Reach out to fans wherever they might be (MySpace, Twitter, Message Boards). Think of new and exciting features that people will use and enjoy.
I realize I have a little bit of goodwill with most of the folks I’ve already contacted and interacted with, but it’s not infinite and it is definitely a trust I must earn and not something I get by default simply because of my title, employer or the brand(s) I’m representing. (I’ll stop short of calling it a conversation, because each person/blog/contact is unique and some of them are wary of seeming influenced by the likes of me).
I guess I’m something of a brand ambassador or a brand evangelist. But I won’t just be pushing my agenda or link on you, I’m also an advocate for new media back within my organization. I’m (hopefully) keeping folks here abreast of developments like Twitter and other forms of entertaining, interactive stuff (like Flash games) that hopefully lead us to success.
But it isn’t just about more pageviews and uniques, at least not for me. It’s about that interaction – if you’re the type to have it with me – and how we can best entertain you in those hours and days when you’re not sitting down to watch one of our shows on your television.
And I’ll be honest here in saying that I don’t have a magic wand or some deep, meaningful answer to any question I pose here. I really am doing my best to operate in this new space, not as an interloper, but as a fellow traveler.
What do people want/need out of our sites? How do they want to interact with us (the programmer – in the television sense and the new media sense)?
So I’m working in Marketing but I’m wearing a PR hat and a Production hat and a blogger hat.
I hope you’ll bear with me as I try and share as much information as I can about the hows and whys of this experiment and I promise not to spam you or ignore you or mistreat you as we move forward.
Thanks for your attention; feel free to comment.
Ooh, and here are the new bloggers now in my queue: