Mark Higginson

Manifesto
How people's attention flows on the web

 

15 May 2016

He has seen declining organic reach and traffic — challenges also being felt at other brand publications like, Coke’s Journey and GE Reporters.

To combat image issues, Walmart bets big on its own newsroom

Here’s another example to add to the collection of big brands who don’t understand how attention works on the web. A blog featuring positive stories that people have to actively choose to visit isn’t going to fix perception problems. I’ve highlighted the nonsense that is ‘brands as publishers’ so many times let me simply juxtapose the above story against this one:

Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties. That’s two calls an hour, every hour, every day.

Walmart. Thousands of police calls. You paid the bill.

Here you’re looking at a problem systemic to the business in question. I’d argue that where people come into contact with their ‘newsroom’ all it does is serve to throw these types of problem into sharper relief. People aren’t stupid. They’re aware of blatant propaganda. If you can’t fix the things the public perceive as problems because your business model relies on these to generate profits then you’re in the wrong business.

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