The 5th Gear: Marketing, PR, and Ideas for 10/21/13

Tagxedo - Creator

One of SHIFT’s 7 core values are connected which means much more than just having a full Address Book app on your phone. Connected means knowing what’s going on, knowing what’s worth reading and sharing. Here are the top 5 most interesting reads that SHIFTers found this past week.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

The Science of Storytelling: How Narrative Cuts Through Distraction Like Nothing Else

Marketing Intern Lucas Stewart on why this matters:

Now more than ever, the differences between what engage a reader and what fail to hold their interest are imperative to understand.

‘Storytelling’ and ‘attention span’ are two terms I have been hearing continuously as of late, batted around in the struggle to find that secret winning recipe for producing online content. And more than most, this piece convinces me (partly by example) of the efficacy of good narrative to engage an audience, and ultimately hold their interest through to the bitter end.

This short article is part empirical, part opinion, and appropriately proves its own point in that the writing is effectively engaging. I also think this post draws an insightful awareness toward the phenomenon of humans spending a large percentage of their time daydreaming, and that rather than the common argument that it is an overabundance of media which is causing an epidemic of distraction, the article suggests that it may be a lack of engaging content which is failing to call to attention our naturally distracted minds.

What Can Opt-Out Boxes Teach Us About Giving to Charity?

CEO Todd Defren on why this matters:

Would you have the #Ballsy to make a pitch to customers never to pitch them again if they bought from you? Smile Train, a charity that provides cleft palate surgery to children unable to afford the procedure, went with #Ballsy in their fundraising campaigns. Donors who make a gift are given the option to never receive another pitch from the charity again. Does it work? Their 46% increase in donations says yes.

Fox News Replaces Desks With Ridiculously Large Touchscreens

Account Coordinator Stephanie Chan on why this matters:

At first I thought it was a joke. Then I realized I wasn’t reading the Onion. These new touchscreen desks are massive! What’s even more interesting is in the article itself: Fox News journalists will basically be using Twitter and Facebook feeds to cover the news and keep track of what’s happening. That means that being socially #Connected to your news sources on social networks is even more important than ever before, especially if this becomes “the new standard” as the article proclaims. You could theoretically circumvent the entire pitching process by just tweeting to your friendly reporters at opportune times.

How to make stress your friend

Account Manager Kristine David on why this matters:

Victoria Boed (one of our San Francisco VPs) sent this around to our team earlier this week and I thought it was pretty enlightening. It’s not an article, but a video of a TED talk about common misconceptions around the way stress affects your health and how it’s definitely a mind-over-matter situation.

Associated Press Is the Latest News Organization to Try Sponsored Content

Intern James Weaver on why this matters:

The AP has announced that they are planning to introduce sponsored articles into their news stream on mobile apps and hosted websites. This is potentially huge news for those in the PR world as the Associated Press has a broad viewership base with over 2.8 million unique monthly users on their mobile app alone. However, this is a tricky area for the AP to work in as they need to be careful not to sully their reputation as a news source through excessive advertising; they first delved into this arena early in 2013 through sponsored tweets. Although this is only the AP testing the waters of sponsored content, its possible ramifications make it important to keep an eye on.


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