Medium: The Answer to a Pervasive Communications Question

If you’ve ever sat in a strategy meeting with communications consultants you’ve probably experienced the moment when, about halfway through, someone interjects with, “This is all great guys. But what is the story we’re trying to tell here?”

In the lexicon of PR jargon, this is right up there with, “It’ll be a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’ thing,” and “We should really leverage this across all of our channels.” We all know that we’re supposed to be telling stories. We know that stories resonate and can be memorable. But are we actually telling stories that anyone finds interesting?

Not an interesting story

  • This is a great company because they’ve achieved x, y and z.
  • This is a great company because they’ve invested x dollars in their signature philanthropic initiative.
  • This is a great company because they care about x.

Interesting story

  • This individual (who happens to work for a great company) has an inspirational life story and is using his or her talents to improve a community.
  • There is a big problem (homelessness, education attainment, drug use, climate change, etc.) that has many possible solutions. Here are some examples of how people are affected by this problem. Here’s what our (great) company has found to be effective at tackling this problem on the micro level.

If only there were a platform that encouraged us to be interesting. Enter Medium.

Medium has been around since 2012, and while I could spend the rest of this post explaining what exactly it is, there’s no need, because someone has already created this handy Marketer’s Guide to Medium.

Suffice it to say that there are many benefits to posting on Medium:

Storytelling

Medium is a place where people are actually telling honest-to-goodness stories. Interesting stories. Stories that don’t sound like press releases.

Cost-effective

Anyone can post, and there’s no cost. High volumes of organic traffic aren’t a given, but we’ve had success using promoted social posts to drive traffic to our pieces. Since you aren’t paying for a sponsored native piece, you can use the full amount of the ad buy to generate visits.

Clean Design

The design aesthetic is clean and the formatting options are limited, meaning it’s difficult to make a post look bad. The platform allows for eye-catching full-width images and there are no ads, navigation lists, or recommended content alongside the body of the piece to distract the reader.

Responsive

Posts are mobile responsive, so they provide an excellent user experience across all screen sizes, and can be a good back up plan if your site isn’t responsive but you have great content to share.

Reach Millennials

If you’re trying to attract millennials, sending them to your corporate blog is a poor strategy. Millennials – particularly educated and affluent ones – are already consuming content organically on Medium. With targeted paid social posts, you can attract the specific segments of millennials that you’re interested in bringing to your piece, along with any other audience demographics that are definable on social media.

Follower Base

You can connect your social accounts to your Medium account and instantly start building a follower base if your social followers are also Medium users.

Analytics

Sure, driving people to a post on Medium means that you’re not able to track the traffic as you typically would in your site analytics account. However, I would argue that Medium is better because it measures whether someone is actually reading all the way through your piece. You may think that Google Analytics is giving you this too (time on site and time on page) but those metrics aren’t accurate. This is an incredibly useful article that explains why there is lost time in Google Analytics.

Publishing on Medium encourages us to be better comms consultants because we have to find the hook, the human-interest angle. We have to really think about whether someone will care about our story. Will they be entertained, inspired, motivated or awed? Medium allows us to show that a client is a great company, rather than merely shouting that into the void.

Medium: The Answer to a Pervasive Communications Question

If you’ve ever sat in a strategy meeting with communications consultants you’ve probably experienced the moment when, about halfway through, someone interjects with, “This is all great guys. But what is the story we’re trying to tell here?”
In the lexicon of PR jargon, this is right up there with, “It’ll be a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’ thing,” and “We should really leverage this across all of our channels.” We all know that we’re supposed to be telling stories. We know that stories resonate and can be memorable. But are we actually telling stories that anyone finds interesting?
Not an interesting story

This is a great company because they’ve achieved x, y and z.
This is a great company because they’ve invested …

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