Repurpose Traditional Media for Digital Environments

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A Bridge Runs Over It

Many brands struggle to integrate traditional media with interactive environments. In particular, social media can challenge entrepreneurs and marketers.

Here are three easy tips to repurpose traditional media for digital environments:

1) Take Photos in Physical Locations

Often you will see novelty items in an office or storefront. These items show office character, and help customers get a feel for the personality in your underlying corporate culture.

Consider a piece of art in your law office, or neat messages on packaging in the store. Take photos and share this ambience with your online stakeholders. Check out how local sustainable salad company Sweet Green shares pictures like this Big Lebowski napkin on Twitter.

You can use a photo sharing service like Instagram and cross post across major social networks like Twitter and Facebook. If you are a consumer business, Pinterest may be a good option to share photos of your physical location. And if you keep a Flickr page, this site helps your images get indexed into Google. Be sure to tag your photos well.

2) Crowdsource Logo and Ad Decisions

Companies hire creative firms to develop ads and redevelop logos all the time. The final decisions to determine the new logo or the final ad campaign can be a grueling internal process.

Why not ask your online communities for their opinion? Feedback on ads and logos are great things to post blogs and on Facebook.

Your most loyal brand evangelists will love that you asked them for their opinion and gave them a voice. Plus the feedback serves as a great barometer on how your community will accept the design. Check out how Multilingual Mania chose its logo using a crowdsourcing voting platform. Make sure not to commit to the most popular selection. Your CEO may have put her/his foot down!

3) Divide And Explain Annual Reports

Most companies and nonprofits write an annual report. Some produce research reports, too! These documents can become grueling affairs that drive communicators and executives alike crazy!

But instead of publishing a massive document as a PDF online, you can divide your annual report into smaller pieces of online stories, making them more easier to consumer in interactive environments. Locally-based nonprofit Humane Society of the United States divides its annual report into manageable documents like this.

There’s an opportunity to go even further and provide personal insights into the company/nonprofit’s actions. Insider tories offer a great way to bring a dry document alive. Embellish you annual report material with insights, perhaps video interviews. Consider them the case studies and blog posts behind the larger document. See how locally headquartered Case Foundation executes this storytelling style with its reports.

Do you have suggestions to bridge traditional to integrated media?

A version of this post originally ran on the Washington Business Journal site.

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  • jeffespo

    Pictures may be the biggest miss for companies in the digital age (since everything sounds cooler with age). It is one of the things that would help show that human element and do as you say in terms of character. I am guilty of this as well and actually brought my camera with me to chronicle my last work trip of the year… this will mostly be to torment Ms. @GiniDietrich but also to show the kid where i was.

    I would also add video to this list as a quick hit update, like your good morning ones to the lil one, could be a good medium for companies to give quick updates to customers, fans and or followers. I think the WWE does a good job of this with Tout getting fans behind the action.

    • geofflivingston

      Absolutely, great point on the video stuff. As you know, I totally agree on the photography, and it’s just too easy to do it, and not get it done!

  • Paul Biedermann

    Great tips, Geoff, but I have to take issue with #2. Your recommendation is certainly better than crowdsourcing the design and creative development, but crowdsourcing opinion on the final stages of logos, advertising and company branding decisions reduces the process to nothing more than a beauty competition. It devalues the true importance of those efforts which is to satisfy any number of strategic and logistical objectives.

    As I’m sure you know, ads are usually meant to target specific segments of the population and logos are meant to convey a specific image or perhaps signify a change in company direction, among many other things. The objective is not to create something that visually appeals to a portion of an undefined segment of your community that happens to weigh in on what they like on a particular day. At best, that will only provide misleading data and be a distraction to achieving a successful result.

    I can see crowdsourcing being used as one of the many barometers used to make certain decisions, and perhaps there is value in involving your community, but certainly other things can be done that are just as effective instead of compromising such important things as company brand identities and advertising campaigns.

    • geofflivingston

      I guess you could say that. I guess you could also say that once you’ve achieved the value and image that you want to convey with creative concepts and everyone is happy inside, then this is a nice way to embrace your extended community. It is all about your ethos towards your stakeholders and their role (or non role) as brand advocates. Thank you for explaining this differing and valid opinion.

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