What is mobile journalism, or MOJO? Some people say it is journalism that is executed on the go, at the scene, using mobile phones for shooting, editing, and publishing the final story. Well, that is not necessarily the case. In fact Glen Mulcahy, Innovations chief at Ireland’s RTE network, calls that the “purist view.” Mulcahy believes “mobile journalism is about empowering the individual storyteller to use whatever consumer technology they have available to them to make the best possible visual story that they can…”. This mean you can still pick up a DSLR camera, take video, transfer it to a portable device, process and send it out and still very much be a mobile journalist.

“For the context of breaking news, think of a mobile phone as a swiss army knife.”
– Stephen Quinn, MOJO Trainer & Writer

One does not need to be bound to shooting only in a studio setting with professional equipment any longer, and this fact has liberated and given rise to many independent news provider. This decentralization of media is exactly what the modern day needs since it’s much less likely that there will be biased news stories being spread out when there are many more individual (not corporate) entities reporting on the go.

A very active and solid example of a mobile journalist paving the way is Barkha Dutt. Today she runs a successful platform for events and independent news called MOJO, but when she first left her job of 20 odd years at NDTV, there was quite a buzz around the fact that NDTV started to call their new form of journalism MOJO. You can find more details on the issue HERE. Barkha has been constantly putting out content that she believes needs to be addressed, such as women’s rights, current political situations, rape and many more. Visit her Facebook Page to see some of the content and quality of content she is generating using simple mobile tools.

Many say that eventually, we all will take to some form of MOJO journalism almost ensuring that news will come from a variety of individuals, rather than a corporate organization. All you need to be a MOJO is a half decent mobile phone/device, (Apple tends to be preferred since they consistently have high quality camera and mics, as well as apps that allow for quick 2-step edits of video) some additional equipment like mini directional microphone, lapel microphone, dolly, rechargeable light, lens adaptors, monopod or light tripod, mini tripod, an SD card, and, an account with a phone company and/or Internet service provider (ISP) and VOILA, you have a mini broadcasting network , and the best part, it can all fit in a small handbag! No more lugging around heavy equipment just to get a clean shot.

MOJO seems to be the future of media & journalism because as we go further into the era of technology, everything has been fast paced and quite in the moment. No one wants to read something that’s being covered 3 days too late. People want to know what is happening, as it happens. And now, the beauty of MOJO is that the people themselves can provide that information to their community and following.

You just need SCRAP,  which is short for Story, Characters, Resolution, Actuality and Production. This is the equivalent of traditional journalism’s 5WH (what, where, when, who, why and how). And need not to worry about having pristine quality content, people appreciate authentic content that is being captured out in the field, it maybe a bit rough on the edges, but it is still well consumed information.

Most people believe that email marketing is ‘dead’. “It’s a thing of the past”, they say. Little do they know what we, as marketers, understand. Email marketing is still the most effective form of digital marketing and yield the highest return on investment. This, of course, requires a certain understanding of your users’ persona and optimizing the information you receive using the various email marketing tools out there like MailChimp.

Source: Salesforce

Here are 10 proven ways how to increase open rates of your marketing emails:

1. Keep your list updated:

This may seem simple enough, but has an impact on the open rates of your email. Sometimes subscribers that were interested in your brand are not anymore, or they’ve simply changed email addresses. We do it often enough! Best practice is to keep removing inactive users every quarter. An inactive user is someone who hasn’t opened your email communications for the past 6 months or more.

2. Send a final follow up:

Before removing a subscriber from your list, always make a last-ditch effort by sending out an email asking them whether they would like to continue receiving the email newsletter from you. Some respond some don’t. Remove all of the subscribers who don’t. You can always send out a humorous email with a catchy subject line like ‘Is the Love Gone?’ or ‘Where Is The Love?’. In the body of your email, you can always give them a couple options like the sample shared by Optinmonster below.

3. Avoid buying a list:

This is basic hygiene. It doesn’t matter how many email subscribers you have on your list if none of them open your emails! You are supposed to tend to your list like tending to a blossoming rose, removing dead leaves and watering them just right. If you’ve purchased a list and have no idea who you are emailing, most likely your emails will end up in the spam folder, never to see the light of day.

“ A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.” – Ramsay Leimenstoll

4. Write a catchy subject line:

Subject lines are the first thing a person sees when they receive your email, make sure they don’t have sales driven lingo like FREE, OFFER, DISCOUNT, SALE, URGENT. Avoiding these words also helps you avoid getting caught in the spam filters. Adding humor and numbers to your subject line is also a technique that is proven to increase email open rates.

Source : Salesforce

5. Use a friendly tone, not a professional one:

In today’s world, no one has time to waste. People are just looking for a reason to not open your email, and sounding like any other marketer will ensure people see right through that notification. Try using a friendly tone, and adopting the style of speech your users would be using to communicate with each other.

6. Perfect your timings:

There is no definitive method that encapsulates the entire global market. Each industry has its own preference, so it’s best to understand your audience and their habits and perform a few A/B tests to see which time works best for your communications. Avoid weekends though.

7. Resend campaigns:

Sometimes people just miss an email without meaning to. Try resending an email only to the people who haven’t opened it, you will see some who click through on the second go.

8. Segment your list:

Make sure you understand and compartmentalize your list since no audience is going to be the same. There will be some part of your list that responds to humour and some part that only engages when freebies are being shared. Make sure you package your communications specifically for each segment, sometimes this means writing a separate communication yet higher open rates.

9. Write to one person:

Even though you are writing an email to thousands of individuals sometimes, you must make sure you sound like you are communicating with just one. This adds a more personal feel to the email, and as you have understood from the point above, personalization is everything.

10. Don’t forget your mobile users:

According to BlueHornet,  67% of email users check their email on their smartphones. This means you must send emails keeping in mind the screen size. A few quick tips to keep in mind would be to make sure your email looks good without images, never keep 2 links on top of each other since the user could click on the wrong one, and always make sure your CTA button is large and easily clickable.

As media is moving from traditional to digital, so is the reporting of it, or journalism. Traditionally, being a journalist meant you were writing for either a physical newspaper or magazine. There were a limited amount of these publications since it was pretty expensive to start and maintain one.

In today’s world there is no such restriction, one can set up a publication with a few quick clicks. They don’t even need to have a physical workspace, at the end of the day, what are blogs? They are certainly a form of online journalism. Even the conventional publications have moved onto digital platforms since they are cost effective and provide invaluable insight on what kind of content is being consumed by their subscribers.

Traditional journalism was restricted in many way, you would have to present your findings in words and sometimes photos. Online journalism on the other hand is the real-time publishing of multimedia (pictures, videos, blogs, graphics, animations) which is available 24/7. Once it’s gone up, it is accessible indefinitely to anyone who has the particular link or access to the site. Additionally, online journalism is more fast, adaptive and time sensitive. Being the first person to write about a hot topic is as integral as writing an excellent piece about something that’s been said a hundred times.

To keep up with the pace, here are 8 essential skills you will need:

  1. Social Media: the average individual does not have much of an attention span, so unless they are already invested in you and follow your work it is rare that they would allocate the time to read a 1000 word articles written by you. Odds are they’ll find someone short and attention grabbing on your social channels which will then route them to your more in-depth work. Stay well integrated within your social network and try and engage your audience in relevance to your area of expertise or trending topics.
  2. Online Administration: your job profile is online, one must be completely on top of keeping your Twitter, LinkedIn, and online portfolio completely updated. Also, make sure that it’s clear how someone were to get in touch with you professionally on all channels. Answering messages and queries is also important since you are handling your own HR to a certain extent.
  3. Network: in a world where anything can happen you will have to know (if it’s of relevance to your field) exactly when it does. Even being a day or two behind on trend or topic will make you seem out of tune with your digital environment and simply uninformed. Gone are the days where information was only absorbed through schooling, today, we must learn everything, everyday. Make sure you have a solid network of mentors who you can rely on to stay informed.
  4. Adapt: you are no longer bound to a 9-5 schedule, today online journalist have to learn to create their own work hours and it really depends on the individual to drive themselves to succeed. Some forms of journalism like social media require a person to be online around the clock, while photojournalism requires you to travel to get THAT shot.
  5. Creating multimedia content: we are no longer bound to just text. You can create content in the form of video, audio, photos or graphics. This is also considered to be online journalism since you can put them out as vlogs, podcasts and infographics.
  6. Specialise: you must find a niche in which to specialize, whether it be fashion, food, travel, music, education or fitness. Since there is a whole plethora of content out there, and it is continuously being created, it would serve you best to become a reliable source of information in a certain sector.
  7. Tools: understanding and analysing which article got the most visits, responding to your readers, and constantly pushing your content over the course of time is essential to keeping your journalism career bright. Learn the basics of WordPress, HootSuite, Adobe Premiere, SEOMoz, Google Analytics etc.
  8. Monetize: learn to generate revenue on your page by selling ad space to the Google Display Ad Network, Youtube Partner Ads, and banner ads for other blogs/publications.

Most important of all, make sure you are sourcing your information from the correct places. Do not be the kind of online journalist that relies on #fakenews to gain popularity.

“The media has changed. We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game.” – Gary Ackerman

Back in the day, when one had to get their product or service out in the market, they would have to rely on traditional media such as the newspaper, TV ads, magazines, fliers, billboards, radio and word of mouth marketing. It wasn’t that long ago when fortune-500 companies were holding a pretty solid monopoly on most mainstream media channels, which meant they had complete control on the kind of products we were being informed of, the services we had access to, and the lifestyle we desired.

The main reason that small businesses were facing difficulties in being successful was because the cost of advertising and marketing was so immense that smaller models could never break even. Only the big fish could survive the cost of ad space and come out the other side with enough profits, or simply because they had the deepest pockets.

In today’s digital world, we are seeing many successful startups, small businesses, and individuals selling homemade products pop up at every corner. Why such a drastic change in the global professional environment? This is due to the digital transformation of our market. People are looking less and less at traditional media for their information, and turning straight to digital media. On average, people check their Facebook feed 14 times in a day. Social media platforms, search engines, and influencers hold most of our attention, and frankly, our trust.

“We’ve moved from digital products and infrastructure to digital distribution and Web strategy to now into more holistic transformations that clearly are based on mobile, social media, digitization and the power of analytics and we think it’s really a new era requiring new strategies.”

– Saul Berman, IBM

Refer to the graph below from www.businessinsider.com to understand how the shift is happening.

Here are 7 key digital media trends to watch for:

1. Content being intelligently curated-

With the rise of content distributors and aggregators like Netflix and Youtube, the new content that is generated is tailored for our liking, based directly on how we’ve reacted and consumed previous content. Due to data analysis and an in-depth understanding of individual customers, digital media can now dish out content which they know we will consume. With traditional media, there were alot of hit and misses.

2. Mixed and virtual reality-

With giants like FIFA creating unique experiences like 360 VR experiences for their fans, and Pokemon Go going viral, filling this need gap is definitely a something that digital media will expand into. It will be an ongoing process of media transformation.

3. Fragmentation-

Gone are the days when we would watch cable TV for hours on end. Today, it’s hard to keep a conversation going without constantly being interrupted by various media we have access to in the palm of our hands. So when media is being consumed, it’s consumed on multiple channels, at once. Targeting all channels is key point in having effective digital communications.

4. Artificial Intelligence-

As mentioned in Forbes, In 2015, spending for AI was $300-350 million. Its projection for 2025: $30 billion. This is quite a large sum of money, and demonstrates the amount of investment the new age media is willing to spend on developing a ‘collaboration’ between the machine mind and the human mind.

5. Big Data-

Advertising is now becoming dependent on numericals and small pieces of information that create a larger picture. No longer are you an individual, you are data. Your likes, dislikes, content consumed, content shared, money spent and people interacted with is all being monitored to serve up a boutique platter of ads and suggestion that would be relevant to you.

6. Social Media-

There has never been a time in the history of man when each person can have a two-way conversation with whoever they like, quite publically. This has given rise to many micro-revolutions. Firstly, there is full accountability now. If someone is unhappy with your goods or services, they can publically claim so and warn others of the same. Secondly, even the smallest voice has a chance to be heard, and pick up momentum if the masses find it reasonable. Media has shifted from a one-way distribution of information to a two-way conversation between entities. Is has become social, and thus giving rise to digital communities that are not based on anything except the love for something shared.

7. Cord Cutting-

We no longer depend on the cord for information. It isn’t required to be connected to a cable and absorb media we have no interest in while waiting for that 1 show. We can simply find our content online, wherever we go. It has created a whole new space for smaller collectives, or even individuals to become the source of information. Youtube, Netflix, Amazon have transformed the entertainment sector of media. People have vast libraries of selection, to be consumed when and how they like. The back end aspect of it is also much more intelligent since it learns from what you enjoy, and serves you more of it, keeping you engaged and entertained for a longer period of time.

“We should no longer be talking about ‘digital marketing’ but marketing in a digital world.”

Keith Weed | Unilever, 2015