How Do Brands Gain Authority In The Age Of Digital Overload?

Edelman’s Steve Rubel shares some suggestions at Mashable Connect 2011.

We’ve all felt overwhelmed by the amount of information, news, ‘expert opinions,’ blog posts, Tweets and the like on a daily basis. This has created an enormous opportunity for curators, experts, authorities, or influencers (pick your buzzword) to help focus, specialize and streamline the flow of things – and more importantly, to make sense of the overwhelming amount of information out there. What is most meaningful, notable and actionable?

To this end, Steve Rubel, EVP of Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman, recently spoke at Mashable Connect around the topic of gaining authority in the age of digital overload. Mashable’s piece covers the full spectrum of great points made by Rubel (including Edelman’s notion of a Media Cloverleaf – four distinct categories of media that should be utilized by brands to reach their audience). But in the interest of brevity, we’re boiling down Rubel’s suggestions for how brands (and individuals) can aim to engage audiences across those media categories by creating meaning – subsequently developing a leading, trusted voice: – and becoming an authority:

  • Elevate your experts: Identify your company’s experts across different subjects, and empower them to initiate meaningful conversations around their ideas.
  • Curate: Sort out the junk, and showcase what you deem to be most meaningful, interesting and valuable.
  • Make data compelling: Make it visual, fun & interesting. Data visualization has exploded for a reason (only one of which being that people that have shorter attention spans when it comes time to read).
  • Propagate what you’ve created: Publish your company’s content, including videos, slideshows and white papers on platforms like SlideShare and Vimeo. Use it to start a conversation.
  • Ask & answer: Starting a conversation can be as easy as that. Use social media to serve as a source of knowledge – not just information. Rubel recommends that companies empower all of their employees to ask and answer questions via social media, instead of putting a few people in charge of that responsibility (think of Zappos and Best Buy’s Twelpforce. It takes a village.

Rubel’s full presentation can be accessed here.

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