Finsbury Digital Vol. 2

Relentless focus on execution and results

Reuters News on News

‘Reuters survey has good news and bad news for media, but mostly bad’. That’s a typical headline summing up the latest Reuters Institute Report – a global survey of news consumption habits and behaviour. Here’s a useful summary. The central (and unsurprising) finding? Most news consumers, especially younger ones, get their news on mobile and through social media – and say they don’t pay for it and never will.

Apple and Facebook on News

Music got most of the attention at Apple’s WWDC announcement – but for the publishing and comms industries, the company’s News offering may have the greatest impact. The Apple News app will natively publish content from leading news outlets, including The Economist, FT and NY Times. It will also be on hundreds of millions of devices within hours of its launch. The interesting question is, how do you get your company’s content seen, if this is where everyone is looking? If that wasn’t hard enough to figure out, Facebook’s version of this (‘Instant Articles’) is driven by algorithms. Apple, it has been reported, will be using human editors. Which would you prefer?

10,000-character Tweets

Well, not quite. But Twitter has announced its Direct Messages (not Tweets) will soon allow interactions this long, up (quite a bit) from the previous 140-character limit. The company also announced auto-play videos. Oh, and that their CEO is stepping down. Want to know more? Here’s your weekend long read – a fascinating analysis of what Twitter could be, written by Chris Sacca, an early Twitter investor.

The evolution of the annual report

Like everything else, annual reports are (gradually) moving online. This makes them more accessible, flexible and personal. It’s no longer enough to simply post a PDF online. Take a look at a great example from Marks and Spencer’s, which uses clean and contemporary design with headings and links to summarise key information.

Corporate websites

Investis, the ‘Digital IR’ company, have published a report on ‘The evolving use and changing requirements of visitors to corporate websites’. Visits to corporate websites from desktop PCs are down by 3%, it finds, while visits from mobile devices are up 33% and overall visits to corporate websites are up 3%.

Investis also published its quarterly ranking of FTSE100 websites – the full list is here, and the top 10 below:

  1. Shell
  2. Tesco
  3. Centrica
  4. British Land
  5. Aviva
  6. Rolls-Royce Group
  7. BP
  8. Anglo American
  9. Land Securities

Royal #pardon

A rogue tweet by a BBC reporter after an obituary rehearsal led several major international news organisations to wrongly report that Queen Elizabeth had been admitted to hospital. The BBC said the error was a result of a training exercise – which unfortunately contradicted the reporter’s own subsequent Tweet, which said a prankster had got hold of her phone.

Honest mistakes like this happen – and generally the best response is honesty and even a bit of (appropriate) humour.

A great (old) example comes from the American Red Cross. An account manager mistakenly tweeted the following to 270,000 @RedCross followers, thinking it was from her personal account:

Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd.

Whoops. But the organisation took it in stride, tweeting:

We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.

And that’s where the story took a twist. Impressed by the Red Cross’ calm and humane response, other tweeters  – especially @dogfishbeer’s fans – launched a fundraising and blood donation drive. Its hashtag: #gettngslizzerd.

(It’s arguable, or course, whether humour’s an appropriate response to mistakenly reporting a death. But we can all agree that Queen Elizabeth II photo-bombing someone’s selfie is pretty OK).