Electric Scooter Briefing November 29

Editorial

A guide To Exploiting New Media

Exploring The Blog

Tue, November 09th, 2010

While we all know that the Internet is merely an unfortunate trend that will eventually pass, it's become disappointingly obvious that publications distributed through it now wield significant influence even outside the young demographic we, as an industry, have otherwise successfully disenfranchised. While we wouldn't dare argue that the specialty print press aren't the only media outlets deserving  your full attention, the ease with which new media outlets, in particular "blogs," can be manipulated makes targeting them, while distasteful, a potentially successful means to disseminate your brand message. Let's explore the various types of "bloggers" in an effort to formulate a series of best practices for manipulating their message.

The unemployed moto journalist

 

Who they are

Ingratiated into a life of free motorcycles and economy-class jet setting, this blogger saw the minor trade magazine he worked for going out of business as only a minor bump along the rode to never living a lifestyle within his means. Now equipped with free publishing software and a site named after himself, the unemployed moto journalist is busy espousing conventional wisdom and toeing the party line, all in an effort to keep the freebies flowing.

 

What value they represent

Invariably equipped with virtually no readers, the unemployed moto journalist’s willingness to unquestioningly regurgitate corporate messages nevertheless represents a potential feather in the cap of mid-level management. Continuing to invite them to product launches and providing them with motorcycle loans guarantees the ability to include in your reports glowing write ups from names the executives will recognize and enables you to use them as an example when asked what your new media action plan is.

 

Recommended course of action

 

They’re already on the list, keeping them there represents little risk and a guaranteed, if small, reward. Include on launches and provide motorcycle loans, but exert control by reminding them they serve at your pleasure.

The enthusiastic child

 

Who they are

The democratization of publishing caused by this Internet fad is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the rise of the enthusiastic child blogger. Not necessarily defined by their  frequently young age, but rather their immature approach to publishing, the enthusiastic child honestly believes that they have a future in motorcycle publishing, but will move onto something more immediately profitable the second their mother begins to hint that she might start charging them rent for that basement room.

 

What value they represent

Through the competent manipulation of basic Internet tools like search engine optimization that comes naturally to their generation, the enthusiastic child can boast of a larger audience than the unemployed moto journalist, but what they won’t tell you is that once most readers realize they’ve accidentally entered the domain of an immature mind, they flee, never to return. Having said that, their enthusiasm can easily be manipulated to flatter them into thinking that you share their belief in a bright future. An occasional response to one of their frequent and annoying emails won’t just get your own name into “print” but your unfiltered and unquestioned agenda too.

 

Recommended course of action

Ignore as irrelevant until such a time as a minor controversy or turn of events requires a manipulated message. At such a time, a brief email will be received so overwhelmingly positively that it will surely be published in its entirety, if only as a way for the enthusiastic child to demonstrate their importance to the world.

The hobbyist

 

Who they are

An honest motorcycle enthusiast who’s seen their career evolve to the point where they have a modicum of free time just as the alienation by their family has reached its peak. Possessing both the professional skills to produce interesting content and the money to indulge their love of bikes, blogging has allowed them to find a way to impress their own particular vision of motorcycles on the rest of the world.

 

What value they represent

Frequently obsessed with the motorcycles they lusted after in their youth, but were unable to purchase until now, the hobbyist is largely uninterested in the modern motorcycle industry. This is a shame because their publications often boast respectably large readerships. Rather than acknowledge the disconnect that’s suggested between the industry and potential customers by these publications, it’s probably best simply to enjoy their content without thinking too deeply about what it represents.

 

Recommended course of action

Strike up a friendly relationship with the hobbyist thanks to your mutual interest in motorcycling’s past and use it to remember why you got involved in this industry in the first place.

The mainstream media outlet

 

Who they are

Publications that possess millions of readers by virtue of writing about a topic other than motorcycles will, occasionally, feature motorcycle content on the infrequent occasions that it’s relevant to the outside world. Unfortunately, the effeminate, New York-based editorial staffs of these publications know about as much about bikes as they do about the part of their country that exists between the Hudson and Los Angeles.

 

What value they represent

Sure, they reach millions of readers and even the young people and women we keep getting told we need to find a way to include in motorcycling, but whenever they do write about bikes, they tend to focus on off-message aspects like speed or danger. Would you believe that mainstream publications have even been known to give more editorial space to alternative brands and motorcycles from outside the industry than they do the big four?

 

Recommended course of action

Dismiss as irrelevant.

The apex predator

 

Who they are

In another world, at another time, these are the people who would have quickly risen to positions of authority at successful print publications. Primarily motivated by a journalist’s calling to disseminate factual information and inform the masses, the apex predator seems immune to traditional propaganda. Fortunately, those two things — the focus on actual journalism and their ill-advised unwillingness to bend to corporate will — have alienated them from today’s print media environment and banished them to the wastelands of the the Internet.

 

What value they represent

Despite successfully reaching large audiences in a new demographic for motorcycles by trailblazing a new style of editorial content and through tireless hard work, the value these “journalists” represent to the industry is miniscule due to their refusal to toe the corporate line. By refusing to play by established rules, they render themselves irrelevant to our companies. Having said that, there is a certain negative value that has to be acknowledged; through foiling attempts to keep stories exclusive to our inner circle of friendly publications and an annoying predilection to publish off-message content, they often spoil our attempts to fully manage messages.

 

Recommended course of action

Avoid at all costs; hopefully industry-wide ignoring will make them go away. If contact is necessitated, attempt to undermine, but be wary, apex predators can often see through our clever ruses.