There have been plenty of things to catch our attention lately. The first 2016 Presidential Debate between the Republican and Democratic Nominees, the last Los Angeles Dodger home broadcast by Vin Scully and the sad passing of Arnold Palmer. All noteworthy on many levels to be sure.
But one that may have been overlooked by some was the ending of Charles Osgood’s 22-year tenure as the host of CBS Sunday Morning. He is lauded for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that while over-the-air network audiences continue to shrink, Mr. Osgood’s program achieved a double-digit percentage year-to-year increase with adults between 25 and 54 years of age.
I believe this feat is in part due to his folksy, fireside demeanor that’s matched by his keen attention to detail and adherence to respected journalist practices that are seemingly in short supply. It really didn’t matter what the topic was. Mr. Osgood had a way of making it relevant, educational, colorful and — often — poetic. He wrapped his stories in grace and civility, yet never losing his ability to entertain. It’s a style that should be mirrored by other news organizations and, more importantly, by bloggers and corporate marketers alike.
Now in doing so, I’m not suggesting we all don polkadot bow ties or take up a musical instrument (Mr. Osgood plays several). I’m also not advocating that we even try to mimic his “down home” speaking cadence or soft disposition. What I do propose is that us marketers convey our messages in a story telling format; one that puts the audience in the middle of the scene. It should be laced with people — real ones or at the very lease appropriate archetypes — and all their unique human idiosyncrasies that will endear us to them. Our products and services should play a “best supporting actor” role in these pieces; still prominent in their placement but in context with how others would use them. It is through this approach that we will garner more impressions and, most important, more customer conversions.
If you missed the last, hour-long broadcast of CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, it’s worth sitting back with a cup of coffee watching it on the network’s web site. See how he perfected his story telling prowess over the years to a true art form; one that only comes from continually practicing the craft. When you do, start to look at how to incorporate many of these attributes in your own content marketing and distribution strategies. I promise you it will be time well spent.