Friday, March 7, 2008

Favre retirement frenzy highlights the new-media era

Hey, did you know Brett Favre retired?

Of course you did. I’d link to a story, but I wouldn’t know which of the hundreds of thousands of articles and blogs to choose. Besides, the news is so three days ago.

Few events could have better demonstrated how the media cycle has accelerated, and the landscape changed, than Tuesday’s leak of the “Favre-gone conclusion,” if you will. And B2B marketers need to adapt.

Some of us in this office first learned of the Favre bombshell via a Blackberry news alert from the Small Business Times, just minutes after the story broke (on The SBT isn’t the source you’d think of first for breaking sports stories; rather, it’s a relatively new, niche publication that covers—you guessed it—small business.

But this is Wisconsin; most news outlets would have bumped the moon landing for No. 4’s farewell. That’s partly why it made sense that the SBT was out in front on this story.

It also made sense because of how news spreads today. The cycle is dramatically different from the way stories moved in the heyday of big-city papers and other MSM. Today’s media landscape is populated more by the likes of smaller, nimbler organizations built from scratch to communicate through electronic means—email, Internet, text.

Of course, in B2B, we don’t often have a story with the earth-shattering magnitude of the Favre announcement. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore the changes in the media dynamic. There’s now an online community for every niche interest imaginable, including whatever widget business you’re in. These communities seize upon relevant stories with great zeal, albeit on a much smaller scale.

That’s why, as B2B marketers, we also must embrace new media. It’s a great challenge and, as the Favre saga showed, also a great opportunity to spread messages to more people more quickly than ever before.

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