The media vetting of Facebook and its IPO makes applying for Supreme Court judge look tame.
So how does a media property find that one unique angle on Facebook’s IPO day when thousands of journalists are essentially writing from the same script?
By digging out storytelling standards like greed, cheating, sex and sticking it to the Man.
No one uncovered a paternity suit against Mr. Zuckerberg – I’m sure not from lack of trying – but plenty of fresh fodder did find its way to the digital page.
Here are seven examples of storytelling on the day of Facebook’s IPO that went beyond stock movement, people are rich, and how does the company live up to its valuation:
1) 6 People Mark Zuckerberg Burned On His Way to the Top
Hell hath no fury like a potential millionaire scorned.
Perfect for HuffPo and its never-ending quest for mass eyeballs.
But I do wonder why Aaron Greenspan didn’t make the list.
2) Bono’s Facebook stake to Make Him Richest Rocker on Earth
MTV captures an angle that fits perfectly with its audience.
Also enjoyed the lead:
Talk about a “Beautiful Day.” Once the smoke clears from Friday’s Facebook IPO, US singer Bono could be the richest musician on the planet.
3) What’s Better than Facebook Advertising? How About Free Advertising
Two execs from a tiny company called Baynetwork staked out Facebook’s HQ holding signs promoting their company.
Not only cheaper than hiring a crop duster to circle from above with a banner, but this Forbes piece proves it was more effective as well.
4) Weddings and Divorces Expected After IPO
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Both divorce lawyers and wedding planners in Silicon Valley are expecting a spike in business after the Facebook IPO based on what happened after Google went public.
5) Ruchi Sanghvi: Facebook’s Pioneer Woman
This is so BBC.
The journalist, Naveena Kottoor, deserves credit for the legwork to track down Ruchi, who left Facebook in 2010 after five years at the company.
6) Will Mark Zuckerberg Ever Pay Taxes Again?
For the cerebral types, CNBC’s John Carney makes a case for how Zuckerberg can stiff the IRS.
The best thing for Zuckerberg would be a home equity line of credit-perhaps multiple home equity lines. He would borrow against the value of real estate he owns. The money he receives from the HELOC is debt rather than income, which means it isn’t taxed. Even better, the interest he pays on the HELOC can be used to offset other income he may earn.
7) School Officials’ Facebook Rummaging Prompts Mom’s Privacy Crusade
But the winner of the “Now That’s a Reach” award goes to MSNBC.
Its investigative reporting happened to uncover on the same day as the IPO that a teenage girl was “embarrassed and very upset” – the mom’s words – when the principal of her school forced the girl to log into her Facebook account and share the information.
I can’t say with a straight face that these storytelling techniques can be applied in building brands.
Let’s leave it at this –
If you dig, the story is always there.