It’s time to launch your media firm

It’s time to launch your media firm

Seattle coffee giant Starbucks recently announced plans to launch a media company. With veteran Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran at the helm, Starbucks hopes to create “social impact through creative storytelling.”

This is big. As social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk explained, “This will become another watershed moment when we look back in ten years. And we will remember it. Why? Because we will all be creating original content.”

Starbucks has realized that consumers are looking for great content everywhere. Whether it’s from a new original series on Netflix or a funny Instagram feed, today’s hyper-connected consumers expect to be stimulated and engaged 24/7. And more than ever before, relevance depends on content.

There’s a huge lesson here.

Whether you’re a Fortune-500 CEO or a policy expert, you must offer your target audience a steady stream of content. That might mean daily blog posts. It might mean videos and podcasts. It definitely means constant banter and interaction on Twitter and Facebook. At Keybridge, we hope it includes a steady stream of op-ed placements and other media hits.

One should always be looking for opportunities to promote her brand, because these days, you can’t fashion yourself a “thought leader” if you’re only chiming in every month or so.

Starbucks has decided that it wants to be top of mind when people think about ethical sourcing, community ties, and the environment. These areas matter to millennials, and if millennials think of Starbucks when they think about these issues, they’ll probably spend more time — and money — at Starbucks’ retail locations.

The cost of launching a media company today is essentially zero. You can blog at Medium or live stream video on Meerkat. You can post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With a few dollars, you can launch a pro website. New voices emerge every day, and so long as you have a strong one — and offer a unique perspective — there’s an audience that’s eager to hear from you.

David White