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Vatican Goes Old School ...

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Once again, a smattering of thoughts related to storytelling techniques, communications, and things digital.

Vatican Picks Fox Journalist For Media Strategist Role

The fact that the Vatican turned to a journalist, Greg Burke previously at Fox, to fill a newly formed media strategist role isn’t surprising.

Given what the Vatican has gone through in recent years, the objectivity, storytelling skills, and grounded sensibilities associated with journalism would seem to be particularly valuable.

Then, I read the New York Times story on the hire and this on Burke explaining the gig:

“It’s a strategy job. It’s very simply to explain, not so easy to execute: to formulate the message and try to make sure everyone remains on message.”

Huh?

Is this the message that Burke wanted to send to the outside world?

That his job is to make sure everyone at the Vatican sings from the same hymn book (sorry, couldn’t resist)

If the Vatican wanted old-world communications, it sounds like they found their guy

Redefining the Role of Posted Comments

Mining posted comments for useful information can be an exercise in futility.

Even publications like the New York Times can attract a crush of yahoos.

Which makes Gawker’s experiment with posted comments worth watching.

If you had gone to Gawker’s story on the Sandusky trial verdict shortly after it appeared, you could have shared specific posted comments such as the one at the URL gawker.com/5920844/?comment=50370025 (plug the URL into your browser and it takes you directly to the comment)

That’s right. Gawker is attaching URLs to comments that it feels advance the story.

Going to the same story later, you find the URLs tied to specific comments gone. Instead, Instead you get this:

gawker posted comments

When you click on “share this discussion,” you again get a URL but this time one that takes you to the latest posted comment

gawker posted comment share button

I don’t pretend to understand the method behind Gawker’s madness when it comes to posted comments.

But the concept of linking to a single posted comment or a group of comments has ramifications for building online presence and SEO.

The Blending of Paid and Earned Media

You periodically see companies blend paid media and earned media, mixing news releases and media coverage.

Now we’re seeing publishers take the same tactic to enhance the value of paid media.

Check out this push email from InformationWeek.

information week push email

All the content comes from journalists with the exception of the two circled items. HP and Intel paid for the Forrester piece on blade servers and Shortel’s M5 division paid for the webcast promo on phones in the cloud.

I know the line between “church and state” has been blurring, but here it’s disappeared.


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