Home > Marketing > How a Period Begins a Conversation; Off Script #8:  Mitch Joel

How a Period Begins a Conversation; Off Script #8:  Mitch Joel

How a Period Begins a Conversation

The period used to be the end of the story. Today, it’s just the beginning.

In many ways Mitch Joel has built a business around this concept and recently he (and his partners) sold that business to WPP.  There may have been a period or two in the acquisition agreement, but again, the conversation is just getting started.

Typically, Off Script interviews are conducted by email, but this will be the first conducted by Google Hangout. Moreover, I asked Mitch – a blogger, author, podcaster, speaker and entrepreneur – for 15 minutes and he ended up giving me about 30.

Occasionally, I’ll take in some of Mitch’s ideas – his podcasts and his book Ctrl Alt Delete for example – by listening to the audio format while driving, working out, or simply doing chores.  I’d invite you to do the same with this interview.

5 Takeaways from the Discussion

The complete interview runs just over 29 minutes and I’ve summarized my interpretations of a few of his answers below, but you’ll have to watch the video to soak in all of the goodness.

1. Digitization of content changed the responsibilities

It previous years, journalists filing story had less vested interest after a story was filed.  Rather, the publisher and editor was responsible for the circulation.  The digitization of content moved the world from a model centered on scarcity to a model based on abundance. The web clearly enables anyone to have a platform and the success of content is often defined by what we do after a story is published.

2. A content solution comes in many forms

The web doesn’t spell the end for long form or more in-depth content – even amid listicles and click-baited headlines.  Instead, it’s presents an opportunity to connect with a community to which long form appeals.

See these related interviews:
PR, Twitter, and a Navy Master Chief; Off Script #5: John Barnett
Journalist Goes to Law School; Off Script #4: Chris Bagley
PR Pro with a #socialCV; Off Script #1:  Ruby Simmons

3. Influence breeds a new leadership challenges  

Mitch says his own influence and reputation has introduced new leadership challenges in an agency environment.  It’s a challenge to provide his viewpoint, in a team environment, as a team member. In other words, avoiding a discussion from becoming “the Mitch show” rather than just “a person with ideas and thoughts about how brands can better connect with their customers.”

4.  External views as internal vision

One benefit of online influence is that employees “don’t have to go far to see a vision.” A blog post, for example, doubles as an internal communications vehicle.  In a transparent business, why should what internal audiences receive be any different than an external audience?

5. An acquisition as a path to growth

After considering several growth options – including organic growth and making an acquisition of their own – Mitch his partners at Twist Image subtly pursued an acquiring partner. He sees this as a path to grow the business, which is a unique twist on an acquisition. It’s a chance to be aligned with much larger marketing organization.

* * *

Thanks Mitch for taking the time to chat – congratulations on the deal and best of luck to you and your team.

For those interested in a conversation beyond the last period in this post, you can connect with Mitch on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
PR and Storytelling; Off Script #7:  Lou Hoffman

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