Update on Ad Age Announcement

Just wanted to provide a quick update as Ad Age Editor Jonah Bloom as made the rounds to a few blogs today and answered some additional questions. Here are the questions and Jonah’s answers:

Question: Over at ExperienceCurve, Mack Collier of The Viral Garden asked: Will Ad Age keep the list as being marketing, pr and advertising all mish-mashed together, or will they split it into separate disciplines? And when is Ad Age supposed to ‘announce’ this move?

Jonah Bloom:
We (Ad Age) won’t split it into separate disciplines. Ad Age has always tried (even if you don’t think it has always succeeded) to be a holistic marketing and media publication. Our content is about the myriad ways in which marketers reach and interact with consumers, and we have no pre-disposition to the channel or technique used. The breadth of our readership reflects that we’ve had some success with that approach. Our core audience is marketers (Coke, McDonald’s, Kraft, Ford and so on), but we’re also well-read by media owners of all types, and agencies of all types. The web has allowed us to target certain sectors of our audience with information more specific to their interests-our daily Mediaworks newsletter for media people; Ad Age Digital for people focused on digital technologies and their marekting applications; our community-created Small Agency Diary for small shops and so on. But part of Ad Age’s mission across all platforms is to look at anything and everything that factors into the selling of products and/or the building or brands. That’s a long way round saying that it’d be totally counter to our ethos to split the Power 150 into some discipline based thing.

As to ‘announcing,’ I doubt we’ll do anything too formal, especially as Todd’s done such a good job of communicating the basic thrust of what’s going on. I hope we’ll have the Power 150 up and running on the site next week and over the months that follow we’ll “market” it in a number of ways, many through our other content channels-particularly, for example, our digital newsletter (which has more than 40,000 subscribers), and perhaps also through our daily (180,000). We’re really excited about this, but I’d rather drive readers to it because they discover it via other sites and meaningful stories and so on, rather than sending out terribly formal press releases that most people don’t read. (Why isn’t the press release dead yet?)

Over at Communication Overtones, Kevin Dugan of the Strategic Public Relations blog commented: One of the metrics making up the Power 150, as you know, is Todd’s subjective evaluation. If Ad Age tinkers with that at all, it could be a whole new ballgame.

Jonah Bloom: To Kevin’s point, here at Ad Age we have no immediate plans to monkey with Todd’s subjective evaluations. I like that the ranking does have a qualitative filter, and that Todd is that filter. We’re going to try to keep him involved in making those evaluations, but if the worst came to the worst and Todd couldn’t continue to do that, or found that he didn’t have enough time to ALWAYS do it, we’d try to emulate his process and do it as transparently as possible.

Question: Over at Marketing Profs Daily Fix, BL Ochman of the What’s Next Blog wondered if AdAge or other MSM thought the bloggers on the lists would still be around after the 3-5 years we’ve all been daily bloggers. Mack Collier responded with “what I think will really be interesting is to see how other MSM sources respond to this.”

Jonah Bloom: Two thoughts:

1. Yes, we definitely thought these things would be here to stay. In fact more than 4 years ago we were telling our readers about a consumer-control revolution that would change their marketing and content models. Long before almost anyone else had cottoned onto the importance of this stuff, frankly. Some people got it, some people thought we were nuts.

2. It will definitely be interesting to see more such technologies used on more different big-reach sites, and as I am out and about speaking about some of the things Ad Age has done in recent years to evolve what we offer to readers and viewers and how we offer it, I’ll certainly be offering thoughts on the potential for many publications to make their many rankings more dynamic and add blogger rankings. I still think a lot of people are too defensive about linking out, let alone about bringing the best bloggers in their space to their readers’ attention. All that said, are we really going to keep up this “MSM” ‘them and us’ thing going? It just feels very 3 years ago. There are very mainstream blogs and there are very edgy mass media offerings-does the channel really define how we’re classified? Shouldn’t it be about the quality of our content and how our readers value us? Just asking.

UPDATE: Valeria Maltoni, who blogs at Conversation Agent, Fast Company, Blog Herald and MarketingProfs, is currently writing her weekly post at Fast Company about the Ad Age + Power 150 partnership and will be inviting readers to discuss the potential impacts of such a move from a customer conversation angle. It will post tomorrow morning with link from her blog and this one. Here it is – check it out.

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