Net Neutrality: To Rebrand or Not To Rebrand

Something interesting is happening on reddit that has the potential to impact the net neutrality debate. A California Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, is running a contest on reddit to rebrand net neutrality. Here’s the video in which Congresswoman Eshoo outlines the task at hand, and here’s the primary thread where the contest is going on.

So let’s jump in. I have some preliminary thoughts. I spent some time writing about the pros and cons of using reddit for this sort of endeavor, but I worry that’s burying the lede (the writeup is tucked away at the close of this blog post). I’d like to focus instead on questioning Congresswoman Eshoo’s underlying assumption  that net neutrality is the concept that needs rebranding.

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Is Content King?

Another day, another article about content marketing and brand-as-publisher, this time from Sam Slaughter at Contently (via Adweek). He argues that the content that a brand produces needs to be genuine and good. SHOCKING.

Here’s an excerpt, which comes after a paragraph that acknowledges and then accepts the premise that “content is truly king”:

“Broken down to their core elements, every brand’s content aim is actually the same: creating positive connections with its customers and potential customers. And accomplishing that is deceptively simple —give the user something compelling and of value that they can associate with the brand. Whether that’s a story that informs and helps drive decisions, or simply something that brings them delight…..  Cutting corners here creates cheap brand publishing, makes for a lousy story and, by extension, the perception of a brand that doesn’t care.”

1) Good lord. Is there still really any confusion about this? Or, rather: I can’t believe there’s still any confusion about this. If you’re choosing content marketing as a content strategy, for the love of God, make sure that your content is good. Not “good” in a way that causes the brand manager of your luxury dish soap client to exclaim “Nice use of our value proposition!” (necessarily), but in a way that your target audience will see, appreciate, and link with your brand in some valuable way. Don’t stop at good; make sure it’s also genuinely, believably attached to your brand. This last part is key, and is why getting your college intern to slap together a listicle or find cute pictures of cats looking sad probably won’t cut it, either. If content shouldn’t be coming from your brand, people won’t ignore it; they’ll notice it, and then be bitter or annoyed that you put it in front of them. Be good and be genuine.

So, yes. Slaughter’s right. There’s a part of this that is, in fact, incredibly simple. Of course, there are other things to consider, which leads me to…

2) Is content really king?

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