I subscribed to The Telegraph, a right-leaning UK news title, to get me out of my leftie echo chamber. The paper’s general reporting is solid and they do some great work in podcasts. Their anti-woke columnists were hard to stomach sometimes, but that was the point… expose myself to the other side of the argument, however reactionary.
However, a crass and wholly unnecessary take-down of Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, hidden in the middle of his obituary, was too much for me and I reached for the unsubscribe button. Or at least I would have if there had been one.
It turns out the only way to unsubscribe from The Telegraph is to call them and GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! I eventually got through on day three with my longest time on hold being 23 minutes and 15 seconds. It just shouldn’t be that hard.
The Telegraph’s disrespect for a just-dead actor was pretty singular; disrespect of customers that want to opt out of their subscriptions is unfortunately not. Too many publishers make it too hard for customers to cancel and in turn make it too hard for every other publisher that’s trying to win enough trust to sign new subscribers.
Magazine publishers tend to protect their mastheads like they were engraved on golden tablets and delivered from on high. So this is amazing.
Sports store chain Decathlon has reversed the branding on its shops in three Belgian cities. The backwards ‘Nolhtaced’ branding will be up for a month as part of a campaign to promote ‘reverse shopping’ allowing customers to resell old or unused sporting goods to Decathlon.
This is all about getting attention, and having the courage to mess with your headline branding is such a confident move.
Finding and keeping great staff is a competitive advantage and it turns out that holding on to that advantage isn’t just about how much you pay people. Toxic culture is a far stronger predictor of attrition, 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover.
This piece from the Local Media Association talks about how to create a more positive culture. There is some general advice in here about supporting managers to support staff (mostly common sense) but there’s an interesting section on using LinkedIn as a way to communicate a positive company culture rather that your 5am Kale-smoothie habit. I particularly like the idea of forming a ‘Tiger Team’ to take responsibility for content on the platform.
I was lucky enough to catch the inimitable Mark Alker deliver a rollicking oral history of the great ‘Singletrack Hack’ of 2009 at Magazine Street. The point of his tale was to underline the power of a magazine community and it looks like the rest of the world is catching up.
An article from McKinsey, published just last month, pegs community as the “big idea” in marketing for this decade. And Ashley Friedlein of the Guild community platform is promoting a 110-page best-practice guide answering the question ‘What is Community Based Marketing?’
I’m sure Mark’s story of mountain bikers vs hackers is more entertaining, but for community based marketing definitions and step-by-step detail, this is well worth a read.
This week’s magazine song is ‘Blank Space’ by Taylor Swift. It’s allegedly the favourite song of former Prime Minister Liz Truss who, I’m guessing, hoped it was ‘gonna be forever’ before it all went ‘down in flames’.
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