“The solution that’s emerging is so grassroots that it’s difficult to even know what already exists. Sites are being launched in tiny Midwestern towns and in big city neighborhoods by instant local news entrepreneurs who’ve never even heard of Nieman Lab or the Knight Foundation…
I make no apologies for using Matt’s quote again as he tried earlier this year to pick up a path for the future of journalism amidst the current climate of fear and collapse.
Another of which might be, say, MuddyStilettos/Norfolk.
Or, indeed, where it all began for founder Hero Brown, MuddyStilettos/Bucks&Oxon
Aside from the fact that I went to school in Bucks and college in Oxon, I’ve always admired Muddy Stilettos.
Because she’s getting it right. Not just in terms of the engaging content – appealing to a certain section of women who want to find urban pleasures in the countryside – but also for the fact that she is following Cindy Gallop’s dictum to a ‘T’.
The one delivered at The Guardian’s Changing Advertising Summit in 2012. The one where she started to redesign the business of advertising.
From top down – to bottom up.
“What’s around us currently is the death of the old top-down model of making things happen through hierarchies, organisations and institutions, and the growth of the bottom-up model – collaborative people power and collective action.”
In 2008 – just before the great banking collapse – MyFootballWriter/Norwich had two stable-mates, MyFootballWriter/Ipswich and MyFootballWriter/Colchester.
As anyone who knows their local and knows their football will confirm, that’s the equivalent audience and advertising-wise of MyFootballWriter/Norfolk, MyFootballWriter/Suffolk and MyFootballWriter/Essex.
Do it again and I’d open up MyFootballWriter/Middlesbrough. Better known as MyFootballWriter/Teesside and look for my audience and advertisers in the leafy, season ticket enclaves of Yarm and Stokesley.
MuddyStilettos is working the same beat; it’s just MyFootballWriter in heels.
All it needs is a simple, local-facing ad platform that married local advertiser to local audience by way of an 85% revenue return. That we can do. Evslin’s Law.
But there is another point here – that goes back to what Cindy says. And what you can do if you start to segment out your audience locally in a simple, GDPR compliant fashion – one that doesn’t need a Location Management Platform or, indeed, Criteo, to tell you that the majority of readers of MuddyStilettos/Norfolk were (a) women and (b) in Norfolk.
You can start to message that audience with ‘advertising for good’ – local health screening services from the local health authority. Delivered to a local audience, bottom up and simply.
“I believe the next level is co-action,” Cindy told that conference. “Brands [MuddyStilettos] and consumers micro-acting together to create impact in the real world that benefit consumers, benefit society and benefit the business.”
What you do by co-acting with Norfolk Health Authority, you repeat out of Bucks & Oxon. Because you, Hero, have the model.
You are the local craft brewer serving not footie news and views in Norfolk, but rather serving where to eat and where to shop for the women that lunch in Norfolk.
The model is beer.
Talking of which, we should do one Hero.
I think we would find a lot to talk about….