Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 25 July 2017. In this issue:
If you work in academic publishing there are times when explaining your decisions to authors can be intimidating, whether it’s justifying the price you’re setting, or explaining why you’re not arranging an author tour.
Now it turns out that it’s not just us. This article in THE is written by a marketer at a university (who wishes to remain anonymous, unsurprisingly). In ‘Have-a-go marketers are no heroes’ s/he cites multiple examples of marketing decisions being rejected, of academics improvising their own marketing without consulting their professional colleagues, and of a university’s brand and tone of voice guidelines being ignored.
‘We would never dream of telling them how to do their jobs’, writes the author. ‘Unfortunately, that same courtesy is all too often denied us.’
They do make clear that the marketing department works harmoniously with the majority of academics, but they also give specific examples of the improvised antics and responses of ‘Dr X’ that will resonate if you’ve ever tangled with an author who thinks they’re in a better position to make commercial publishing decisions that the publisher.
Fascinating reading, and the comments that follow are equally so.
Read the article in THE for yourself.
Our Academic Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this. Runs in London on 5 October.
To persuade a reader to act, we have to touch them emotionally in some way. They have to feel empathy with the writer. This is the first report I’ve seen, though, that analyses the relative impact of triggering different emotions on email open rates.
Research Path describes this research project as follows: ‘By evaluating the word-emotion association, we identified the most common emotions perceived by the audience across 40,000 subject lines. Every subject line was classified according to the eight basic emotions from Plutchick’s Wheel of Emotions (anger, fear, anticipation, trust, surprise, sadness, joy, and disgust).’
Their blog post summarises comparative open rates for subject lines drawing on each of these, with anticipation, joy and trust scoring high. Looks like we should be avoiding surprise though.
Read the post on the Return Path blog for yourself.
This topic is covered by our Copywriting Workshop (new date of 3 October in London just announced) and our Email Marketing Workshop.
It seems that the lovable bear, a global brand, is being blocked on social media sites in China following comparisons made with President Xi Jinping. It all started with a photograph of the Chinese president and Barack Obama in which they were likened to Pooh and Tigger, and which went viral some years ago. It’s thought that new comparisons have triggered the crackdown.
The immediate result, of course, is a lot of folks worldwide are now going online to see for themselves. And a surge in publicity for all things Pooh.
Stories like this should also remind us that the world is far from homogenous in attitudes and customs. Our international marketing should be checked with local agents before assuming that they will work universally.
Read the Winnie the Pooh story (and see the pictures that started all this) on the CNN website.
Our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget Workshop includes planning international marketing and working with regional offices. Runs in London on 17 October.
On a course at Bloomsbury last week we were discussing how to ensure that book blurbs retain the enthusiasm of the initial proposal. And one participant made a brilliant point, which was that at sales conferences she consciously uses anecdote and examples to grab the attention of the reps. And why would that approach not work equally well for academics if reflected in copy?
Our next open Copywriting Workshop runs in London on 3 October.