An interesting story – kind of a cautionary tale, really – has been making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook over the last few days. It’s about Cooks Source, a culinary magazine that published an article by Monica Gaudio that it stole from her blog.
As told in Salon Magazine, Cooks Source published the article without Gaudio’s knowledge, let alone permission. The Salon article entertainingly lays out the course of events that occurred as Gaudio struggled to deal with the theft of her story. It’s a great read.
The punch line is that the Cooks Source Facebook fan page and online version of the magazine was hijacked by the “collective outrage” of people who heard about the story. A fake Twitter feed was set up, too.
Sold and Hijacked
The McKinsey article points out that beyond traditional paid media (television and radio commercials, print advertising, billboards, etc.), companies today can “exploit many alternative forms of media,” and that as those forms “reflect dramatic changes in the way consumers perceive and absorb marketing messages…some strategic-marketing frameworks—such as the popular ‘paid, owned, earned’ one—are in serious need of updating.”
The article suggests adding two new media types to the framework: sold and hijacked.
“Sold” refers to a company that “invites other marketers to place their content on its owned media.”
“Hijacked” is what happened to Cooks Source – Hijacked is when “Your company’s asset or campaign is taken hostage by those who oppose it.”
The authors point out that when hijacked, “the company’s response may not be sufficiently quick or thoughtful, and the learning curve has been steep.” Nestlé and Domino’s Pizza are given as examples, and I’ve argued that BP is an example, too. In the case of Cooks Source, they set up a new Facebook page, claiming that their old page had been “hacked.”
Keeping your eye on the pot
The McKinsey authors stress the importance to marketers of being on the frontlines, monitoring the real-time conversations that are taking place on social networks and elsewhere, and of developing “a clear community or social network strategy.”
Cooks Source clearly doesn't have one. Do you?
Note: See “Beyond paid media: Marketing’s new vocabulary” for the authors’ four priorities for marketing organizations (near bottom of article.)