What Happens When Breaking News Doesn't Come From the News

by Shannon Paul on September 1, 2009

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It was a pretty exciting morning for me – one of the companies I work with at PEAK6 Online, ONN.tv, actually broke an important financial news story this morning on its site about increased margin requirements for a specialized type of investment called leveraged ETFs. If you’re curious, you can check out the article here: FINRA 09-53 Boosts Margin Requirements for Leveraged ETFs

The interesting thing I thought I would share with you here is that anyone with a blog or a site posed to publish content can do this now. Rather than focusing on selling, what if your business became the resource?

An Example Worthy of Trust Agents?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about sponsored conversations and monetary interests when publishing content, but isn’t integrity and trust important to building a business?

Chris Brogan and Julien Smith seem to think so. I’m about halfway into their new book, Trust Agents, and it seems that this is exactly the type of thing they’re encouraging businesses do – become a resource and build trust in your community.

Is breaking your industry news a path to becoming a Trust Agent with your customers as well as the rest of your community?

Photo by just.Luc
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

September 1, 2009 Eric Brown 1

Hey Shannon, Hope all is well with you,
This is a great post, and something we are taking a shot at with our Urbane Life Blog. The blog has nothing to do with our apartment business, and lots to do with local events, hip and cool people and new businesses, restaurants and art, plus just stuff that is on folks minds.

I think Gary Vee is on target with his posts about Radio DJ’s

By the way, We Miss You here in the D!


September 1, 2009 Shannon Paul 2

Thanks, Eric!

It’s good to be missed :-) I think your blog (and your company’s approach in general) is a great example of how to use social media the right way. Keep on keepin on!


September 1, 2009 Maya 3

I think this ties back very well into providing value before trying to sell.
By now, we all know how much time it takes to actually be valuable – and that is reason enough to trust a person eh??


September 1, 2009 Shannon Paul 4


Thanks for stopping by!

Yes – becoming a trusted resource is a much more effective strategy – and a lot more fun than just shoving your sales pitch in peoples’ faces. I know there are a lot of implications to this since the “independent media” isn’t doing so well. We always relied on institutions in the past to provide a stamp of integrity and quality – now we rely on people. That makes the world a bit more tricky to navigate in some ways, but trust and integrity are important to business.

You’re also right to point out that it takes a lot of work on the front end. Rather than earning media, now we earn attention (I think I got this idea from Greg Verdino, but I’m not sure at this moment). Earning attention is hard work, but we do it through cultivating trust. :-)

I love your steps for social media engagement on your blog, btw.

Thanks again!


September 1, 2009 amymengel 5

Lee Aase and his team at Mayo Clinic have embraced this idea of producing their own content (both as a way of breaking news and creating newsworthy stories that build buzz until a mainstream outlet picks it up). Lee has a slide in many of his presentations that says something to the effect of, “Don’t just pitch the media. BE the media.”

However, I think there’s a fine line to be walked here. Often I think people tend to be skeptical of information that passes unfiltered from company to consumer. Especially with companies or organizations that haven’t yet built the trust that you reference in your post. People are pretty good at sussing out “marketing drivel” so it’s important that companies who are trying to be their own media outlets make sure that the information they’re producing is actually news. Organizations don’t have a chance at becoming Trust Agents if they just push out content that’s padded with superlatives and phony quotes. Like you said, being a resource and offering real value to an audience is what will build trust.


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