HBO Sports recently televised an interview between Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel correspondent, Mary Carillo and Peter King. King is the author of the popular, online Sports Illustrated column, Monday Morning QB.
The embedded video previews the longer Carillo-King interview televised by HBO in late January 2011. I enjoyed this interview because it provides relevant lessons on:
- Personal Reinvention Via Social Media Technologies
- The Significance of Trust and Reputation (Professional & Online)
- The Power of a Relentless Work Ethic
Lesson 1: Reinvent and Adapt to Change
A Traditional Print Journalist Who "Gets" Online Media. King started Monday Morning QB (MMQB) with SI.com 13 years ago. He told Carillo he's better as a new media journalist because he understands:
1. Real-Time Marketing & PR: The importance of immediacy because speed wins
2. Content Quality: Volume is great but it's worthless without quality
3. Content Volume: The Internet rewards high volume (but always remember #2)
He Understands Social Media's Hub-Outpost Model. King's Monday Morning QB functions as his online home base while Twitter and Facebook serve as outposts. Both Twitter and Facebook point his readers back to Monday Morning QB. Here are links to his social media channels
- Hub or Long Form Content Base: Monday Morning QB
- Short Form Content Outpost 1: King's Twitter Profile Page
- Short Form Content Outpost 2: King's Official Facebook Fan Page
Bonus: If you want to learn more about the benefits of the "hub-outpost model" for online publishing, I highly recommend Debbie Weil's latest eBook: Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub.
Here's an image of Debbie's eBook (with the download link) from the Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub Homepage:
Debbie knows what she's talking about. Plus, Debbie's THE industry authority on corporate blogging. Here's the Amazon link to the latest, Kindle edition of her best selling book, The Corporate Blogging Book.
Lesson 2: Trust is Everything
If You Want People to Trust You, Directly Engage Them. King inspires a loyal, tribal-like audience. As I write this post, here are the latest online stats on Peter King and Monday Morning QB (and counting):
- 503,193 Twitter Followers
- 5,902 Facebook Fans
- 3 million weekly page views (according to the Real Sports longer interview)
Study how King converses with his audience in MMBQ Mail: Packers Owe Lions, Eagles Thanks for Super Bowl Run. This piece shows how much he loves talking NFL Football with everyday fans (because he's a fan too).
Look how he answers selected readers' email questions with their names. The selected readers seeing their names and questions published in King's column must feel great!
In the embedded video, King shows Carillo how he alerts his 500K+ Twitter Followers via TweetDeck when the latest edition of his column goes live. It's Social Media Engagement and Content Promotion Strategy 101!
Relationships Founded on Trust and Respect. Former Super Bowl-winning NFL coach and NFL executive, Bill Parcells, described to Mary Carillo why NFL coaches, players, and executives want to work and engage with King. They Trust Him.
In the longer interview, Parcells explained how he respected and admired King's work ethic and integrity. He witnessed how King would do anything to get a story but not at the expense of compromising himself personally.
King has invested 26+ years in building his professional network and reputation. That vast network and stellar reputation provides access to A-List NFL coaches, executives, owners, and players. This makes King's Twitter Feed the place for breaking, real-time news events in NFL Football.
Lesson 3: Unrelenting Commitment
Be Relentless. Peter King covered the NFL for New York Newsday from 1985 to 1989. To succeed, he had to build professional trust with Bill Parcells (then the New York Giants head coach). This was no easy task considering Parcell's sometimes antagonistic relationship with the New York sportswriters.
But, King persevered and won Parcells over. How? Parcells told King he'd be willing to help him if he'd come to the Giants practice facility before 6:30 AM. After that time, Parcell's focused solely on Sunday preparation.
King's solution? Arrive at the Giants facility before Parcells. Parcells remarked how King would greet him at 6 AM (sometimes earlier) at the facility gates. King consistently demonstrated this work ethic and desire to Parcells.
And, he eventually won and earned Parcells' respect and trust. That's why Parcells nicknamed King, "Relentless."
Be Commited. The embedded video doesn't give full justice to King's required weekly, workman-like commitment in publishing MMQB during the NFL season:
1. Completes Sunday evening work on NBC Football Night in America around 10:30 PM
2. Works on MMQB's initial drafts from 11 PM to 5:30 AM
3. Boards the 6 AM Amtrak train to Boston
4. Refines / Posts final draft before 8 AM SI.com deadline
Wow! And, that doesn't include all his other professional and personal responsibilities ...
Inspiring Success Stories Like Peter King Don't Happen Overnight. Members of this community know Successful Social Media Marketing Is Neither Free Nor Easy. There's nothing free in social media. There's nothing free about achieving success.
Peter King achieved his stature over the course of a 26-year career. He's invested significant time in:
- Adapting to change (i.e., building new skills to compete in online media)
- Building professional and online trust (i.e. integrity and authenticity)
- Working relentlessly (i.e., doing what it takes)
Competitive Differentiation. Some traditional, print journalists aren't online media fans. Here's a piece describing Frank Deford's opinions about traditional, investigative newspaper reporting versus the proliferation of online, citizen journalism (i.e., blogs).
King continues developing new technology skills married with hard-won journalistic instincts. Every MMQB post represents how he sees and seizes online media opportunity.
He epitomizes earning audience attention in a digital age. He masters blogging, tweeting, and facebooking as both journalistic mediums and competitive differentiators.
What are you doing to competively differentiate yourself or your organization? How are you earning audience attention?