Presentation and Panel Highlights from #Whipsmart

In Conferences by Kira Peavley

As a big fan and user of their tools, I flew to NY last month to attend NewsWhip’s inaugural media conference dubbed Whipsmart. I hoped to learn how others were using their tools, and considering it was a one-day conference packed into an afternoon, I figured that would be the focus on the speakers. I did get some firsthand training and insights on the tools, but more importantly, I heard from some powerhouse speakers from media outlets and brands. Folks from MTV to Reebok shared tips and insights on how they do that voodoo that they do, and I was mesmerized. Enough fan-girling and on with the insights!

How and Why Ideas Spread

While we may never understand why people love (and will always love) cats and cat-related content, we have data to help us find opportunities and overcome challenges when it comes to creating content. Paul Quigley, CEO and Co-Founder of Newswhip, shared the following formula with us: Art + Analytics = The Science of Content. He explained how we can harness the power of digital content to help us learn about our audiences and influencers, and how using technology (like Spike) can help our content make an impact despite the obstacles that face us in today’s crowded social spaces.

You Can’t Buy Attention… You Have to Earn it.

I think at this point we can all agree that emotion is what drives engagement. But what emotion is the right emotion? The panel on this topic included folks from Bloomberg, MTV and LittleThings: three realllllly different publishers who gave us some incredible insight on what this means to their organizations. A common theme: listening to your audience. Don’t assume how they are going to feel and don’t try to trick them.

For me, while all of these folks were amazing, I got the most from Maia McCann of LittleThings. She spoke about using emotion without being manipulative and adding hope to your newsfeed after a tragedy. At her organization, they have created a sort of blacklist of words not to use in headlines, allowing them to still be enticing without being shocking.

Niche Content


Data is so important when it comes to maximizing opportunity with content. The panel, Reporting Deep on Niches, talked about the trend of verticalization strategies. That is a mouthful! Let me explain: Verticalization strategies include ideas like creating a category you feel like you can own within your overall brand. For example, if you notice data that indicates you have a niche audience within your primary audience that truly enjoys cheese, you might make a content plan around this topic vs. just one content piece. We heard from NowThis, Reebok, Vice and Edelman.

Platform Appropriateness

Ashish Patel of NowThis spoke about my new favorite term: Platform Appropriateness. NowThis is a unique publisher. If you go to their website, you will notice it is merely a landing page that will take you to their varied digital properties. They pride themselves on putting the right content and story on the right channel in the right format. Different platform? Different experience.


Brand Filters

Dan Mazei from Reebok talked about the “brand filter,” another term I am now in love with. He spoke about this specific to politics and how they decide if they want to jump on an opportunity involving this all too volatile subject matter. There are a lot more ideas generated than actually make it out on-channel. This is due to the filter. An idea has to pass through the filters, and if it does, then production begins. There were several excellent examples provided, but I like the newest one to hit social in response to Trump’s comment to the French First Lady.


Needless to say, Reebok has mastered reactive storytelling, whether it is politics or Pokémon Go.

The Modern Newsroom

The Newsroom at Raidious operates very much like that of a traditional media Newsroom. We are looking to react in real time, capitalize on trends and emerging topics, create compelling content, engage and support – all this relevant to the brands we work with and their audiences.

With constantly changing platforms and algorithms, it was great to hear from a panel of folks with deep Newsroom experience talking about our themes from the day and some questions I think we all consider often. How do you measure the success of a story? When do you jump on trending topics? How do you overcome bias? And how transparent should you be? The answers to these questions will vary from organization to organization, and having a team who can help you understand the environment specific to your brand and your audiences is critical.

Raidious uses both Analytics and Spike from Newswhip as tools to empower our Newsroom to support the goals of our clients. Want to learn more? Check out this short interview from Whipsmart about how we use these awesome tools.