The Bad Boys of Brand
What was remarkable about this was “Britain…turned toward a journalist to tell us what is going on”. But aren’t journalists the least trustworthy people on Earth? Apparently not. Despite all the traditional and well respected corporations out there, this individual forged an identity that had people turning to him.
In an increasingly fragmented market place, with huge competition not only from your own profession but anyone capable of setting up a Blogger or WordPress account, carving out your brand identity is key, even if it is within an organisation like the BBC. It is arguable that considering the anti-BBC backlash of recent months and years, the corporation are relying on people like Peston to fly the flag just as much as people like Peston are relying on them for a flag pole. (Although some would say Sachs-gate is an example of what happens when this relationship gets out of hand.)
Basically, to rely on some sort of shared melting-pot to put multi-media content together, I think, seriously threatens to stifle the variety this new age of media offers. (Waghorn appears to be a supporter of choice, chastising regional newspaper groups for rejoicing over the BBC’s climbdown on BBC Local, so its possible I’ve misunderstood him.)
The most successful brands haven’t got there by doing one thing, getting good at it and then sticking with it. The multiple strands of Richard Branson’s Virgin empire are extremely varied; cola, record stores, planes, mobile phones, wine, trains, even space travel for God’s sake. And although Murdoch tends to stay within the communications industry, he hasn’t become the world’s most famous media mogul by refusing to try his hand at something new. The secret isn’t to stick to what you know. It’s to learn something well, add it to your skill set, and move on to something new.