Journalism students need to be taught advertising, branding, building relationships, says ad entrepreneur

Journalism students must be taught about advertising, building relationships and branding – a football writer turned advertising entrepreneur told delegates at news:rewired today.

Rick Waghorn, founder of locally-focused advertising network Addiply, said that if we want to build a pyramid of news we have to start at the bottom level based on a local advertising market and messages.

Waghorn told the audience that he had a lightbulb moment when he read an article by Clay Shirky and Craig Newmark claiming that the only saviour for newspapers was a time machine.

The first person he met on his road to Damascus was an ex-ad man. They teamed up to create Addiply, which has helped hundreds of hyperlocal sites earn more from advertising than they would through Google Adsense. The idea has also being adopted by big media, including the Guardian which has applied the system to its its local sites. Addiply is also translating to the U.S market.

But if journalist students followed Waghorn’s advice, they would find themselves having a vastly different career to the kind envisaged in the YouTube clip below, which was shown by panelist Molly Flatt of 1,000heads.

It was striking how almost all the panelists in the branding and entrepreneurialism session had strong ideas that were formed at transitional moments of their life.

The advice from Rory Brown, founder of Briefing Media, is that business-to-business publishing is the place to be. Rory Brown’s own changing consumption of media inspired him to launch the company, which produces the online title The Media Briefing.

He told delegates that he was starting to consume media from lots of different places around the world and no longer went through the simple ritual of reading the Guardian on a Monday or Marketing magazine weekly.

Brown said that his reading habits had fragmented massively and it occurred to him that it would be useful to put all that content in one place and save people the time of building up a network.

Alex Wood‘s Not on the Wires was inspired by a desire to get closer to the story through the use of mobile technology. Formed with two other young journalists, they pioneered their approach to reporting from the field at the G20 protests in London.

They have formed a network of related organisations with like-minded companies, using Not on the Wires as a shop window for their work.

“We have done a lot of unpaid work, we have done a lot of late nights,” he said. “We do it because we are passionate about it.”

Wood admitted that the idea of entrepreneurial journalism would get laughed out of the door at the business schools he attended in Wales and Japan.

Alex Wood at news:rewired:

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