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Climate Scientist Reveals Culprits in War Against Science
“It's anti science,” says Michael E. Mann PhD, distinguished atmospheric scientist and director of the Earth Sciences Center at Pennsylvania State University. “It’s a concerted, agenda-driven effort to communicate non scientific, unscientific beliefs. That's what's so dangerous today. That's what vested interests have been advocating, have been pushing forward, have been spreading.”
This isn’t what he signed up for. Mann is a scientific researcher. He’s not a politician or a spokesperson. He does experiments in the lab. But after publishing the famous hockey stick graph which laid bare that the exhaust from burning coal, oil and gas was warming our atmosphere at an alarming rate, Mann found himself on the receiving end of the fossil fuel industry’s public relations war against science. And he’s been chronicling how the strategic communications efforts of inaction have been systemically blocking climate action policy for their own selfish ends ever since.
These are the people who are lying about climate change for oil & gas companies who fund them, says @MichaelEMann at @PSUClimate https://t.co/sOp2XHy26r #climatechange #climateaction #climatecrisis #globalwarming— EricSchwartzman (@ericschwartzman) February 15, 2021
Here’s the hockey graph. The green line projects the direction global temperatures are heading. This is what got the fossil fuel industry so upset, and what propelled them into the war against science.
Caption: Red line: rescaled IPCC 1990 Figure 7.1(c), based on Lamb 1965 showing central England temperatures; compared to central England temperatures to 2007, as shown in Jones et al. 2009 (green dashed line). Also shown, Mann, Bradley & Hughes 1998 40 year average used in IPCC TAR 2001 (blue), and Moberg et al. 2005 low frequency signal (black).
Like the temperature inside a car with the windows rolled up in a hot parking lot, exhaust from spent fossil fuel was getting trapped in our atmosphere, effectively rolling up the windows around our planet. We the people are like trapped dogs inside. But rather than heed the call of science and roll down the windows, those that profit from harvesting and selling fossil fuel-based products kicked into high gear, using the conservative media and the GOP to maliciously weaponize their base.
Watch the full interview: https://youtu.be/4AdJAumtIRo
The Saudis are significant News Corp shareholders, and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and the Wall Street Journal went to work energizing their conservative base against scientists like Mann “...who are getting rich off of promoting the scare, the hoax of climate change, and often providing our email addresses and out our physical addresses.” These bold faced lies resulted in credible death threats against Mann and his family, even prompting an FBI investigation.
Republican politician Joe Barton representing the Dallas suburbs, who was also known as “Smokey Joe” for his consistent effort to block pollution control in congress and who admitted to sending a sexually explicit picture of himself, went on the attack. “But he's just one of rogues in a gallery of right wing politicians. Ken Cuccinelli, former Attorney General of Virginia went after me. James Inhofe, climate change denying senator subpoenaed my emails. All these people, of course, were basically doing the bidding of the fossil fuel interest groups who funded them,” says Mann.
But rather than back off and step down, which is what the fossil fuel industry had hoped he would do and why they sicked their media and political attack dogs on him, Mann decided to lean in. “The effort to discredit me and to intimidate me...
The Big Fat B2B Content Marketing Checklist
Ten years ago, Doug Kessler, co-founder and creative director of Velocity Partners, predicted the content marketing deluge we are experiencing nowadays. The internet is littered with bad content under click-worthy headlines, which makes it harder for good content to get considered because no one wants to risk wasting time wading through so much crappy content. The vast majority of B2B content loses the reader in the first paragraph.
But Doug is convinced that hard work pays off. He helps bigger B2B brands attract buyers with smart content marketing that brings a fresh spin and new ideas to the table. He says we need to stop creating meaningless snackable content. "Snacks are good, my second favorite form of self-abuse, but meals are pretty, pretty important too."
Full video interview: https://youtu.be/qvlUi50zO1U
Doug believes in simple principles like getting granular, breaking down a subject, and choosing a topic you can own. "It's about being smart, picking battles you can win, and then work them," he says.
We are drowning in a sea of content that promise results they don't achieve. And part of that is because crappy and good content looks similar at first glance. The difference is that when we finish reading the crappy content, we're angry that we wasted valuable time. And that negative experience transfers over to the brand that created.
The reason is so many marketing strategies are just about maintaining a steady stream of low-quality content as air cover. It doesn’t matter if it's just a bunch of nothingness or not. Nine simple tips become a 30-page white paper. There's little to no new ideas. That approach doesn’t work anymore. "Don't say the Definitive Guide if it's just a bunch of tips." Every time you publish B2B content that doesn't deliver, you devalue your brand."
Full video interview: https://youtu.be/qvlUi50zO1U
Meaningless content damages your brand because you lose people's trust. Putting the extra work into creating meaningful content strengthens the your brand.
A big part of creating engaging and serious content in B2B marketing is confidence, says Doug. Right from the start, the reader must feel compelled to finish the article. They need to understand why investing the next 20 minutes in reading or perhaps an hour in absorbing the content is beneficial to them. Take your audience seriously.
Doug also discusses what he calls insane honesty, which admitting your weak points to build trust. Most marketing strategists recommend hiding a product's flaws or disadvantages; Doug says highlight them.
Full video interview: https://youtu.be/qvlUi50zO1U
He believes that marketing is both a magnet to attract clients and a filter to eliminate lookie-loos. He believes that every marketing plan should have a list of "who is this product not for."
We also talked about the scarcity of talented writers. For him, it is about being passionate about writing, being curious, and having a voracious appetite for learning about business and marketing.
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Getting Featured in VentureBeat with GamesBeat’s Dean Takahashi
Dean Takahashi, who is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat, where he covers games, hardware, R&D, and other tech. I’ve known him for about fifteen years and have contributed guests under my byline as well over the years.
Dean came to Silicon Valley in 1994, the year that Netscape went public. He says two of the most interesting game tech developments he’s seen over his career was the birth of modern 3D graphics, with titles such as Tomb Raider, and the rise of graphics cards from Nvidia, which Dean remembers being announced as a “Windows accelerator” and now they have more than 10,000 employees.
On the journalism side, of the things that’s changed from when Dean was at the San Jose Mercury News is headcount. He was part of a 300+ person team at the Merc. He still remembers the day when editor Jerry Ceppos asked everyone to stop chasing every little story and start focusing more on context and perspective.
“If you’re covering sales of paint during the middle of the Italian Renaissance, you’re missing the cultural change and you miss the big picture,” says Dean, who was inspired by Jerry’s new mandate. The Merc was located at the eye of the tech storm and this new focus lifted the calibre of the paper’s coverage. They soon became one of the top daily technology business outlets.
I met Dean working on a tech news embargo story where he was among a handful of sources that included John Markoff at the New York Times and Nick Wingfield at the Wall Street Journal, to give you a sense of the level of authority the Dean had at the SJ Merc.
Of course, the Internet has dramatically changed the journalism landscape. There are fewer reporters to pitch, but there are tons of influencers out there with their own sites. They play be a different set of rules, but they command significant audiences.
Nowadays, everybody is your competition. “It’s hard to get out of that daily news cycle, and say ‘Hey, what am I doing different, what’s my unique content?” says Dean. But at VentureBeat, that’s what they strive to do, with an acute focus on AI and gaming industry stories.
“I like to get a little deeper into it than general interest reporters,” which he does through a mix product demos, playing the games and talking to their creators. “You get to know not only the product, but also the people,” says Dean who has been writing about industry leaders for decades and knows many of them quite well.
While many reporters bemoan having to compete against influencers who make their own rules with respect to editorial coverage. But Dean actually admires these online influencers who he considers part of the “leisure economy,” which he defines as being paid for playing games. “If I decide to focus my time and attention on a game, the people who made it extract some value out of that, and they should reward me,” says Dean.
Here are some excerpts from the podcast.
Influencer Marketing in Gaming Industry
“Some video influencers don’t have relationships with companies, and they go on rants about games or technologies and the companies that make them, and they don’t even ask the company to clarify anything, or ask for information. They don’t do the kind of objective information other people would have to do. And yet the companies see that they have a massive audience, so they will think about working with them. I can go to a game preview with a company like Electronic Arts, with influencers and journalists who respect embargos. But other people not in contact with EA may get leaks from them,
Adapting to Climate Change with David Pogue
In this episode, David Pogue talks about his latest book, How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos.
David has a great sense of humor, although the topic of his book and this podcast is no joke. I met him when he was keynoting a digital marketing conference that I chaired in NYC. He's taken the road less traveled to where he is today. And he's more interesting for it.
After graduating summa cum laude from Yale with distinction in music, he conducted Broadway musicals, wrote for MacWorld, and eventually became a weekly technology columnist for The New York Times.
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He’s a five-time Emmy winner for his stories on CBS News Sunday Morning, a New York Times bestselling author, a 5x TED speaker, and host of 20 NOVA science specials on PBS.
Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that the planet is getting warmer because of fossil fuel emissions. To understand why it’s happening, think about the temperature inside your car with the windows rolled up in a hot parking lot. The reason the earth is getting hotter is that emissions get caught in our atmosphere.
The Earth is just one car in a crowded parking lot of planets we call the universe. when we burn fossil fuel, it's like rolling up the windows around our planet. And scientists agree that that's why climate change is happening.
The wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington, the one hundred years of hurricanes that are now happening every five years, or the hottest day ever recorded, which was in Death Valley are all the result of our planet getting hotter. And even if you think these are natural phenomena, David's book is still worthwhile because it’s not about why, it’s about what to do as a result. “Whether you think it’s natural or man-made, you still need to get ready,” he says.
Where are the safest places to live? The East Coast has rising sea levels, hurricanes, storms, bug infestations, and their associated diseases that go along with that. The South will become so hot it will be uninhabitable in some places. The West Coast also has rising sea levels, wildfires, and drought. In many places, there will also be a shortage of freshwater. The two sweet spots in the US are the Pacific Northwest -- which has a temperate climate, rain, lots of freshwater and interesting people -- and the Great Lakes region.
After you figure out where to live, you need to get ready for floods, heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes, tornados, mosquitos, and ticks. You need to think about how to protect your kids, how to protect your business, how to build structures, and what to invest in. “I can spend two hours talking about flood insurance," says David. You also need to be ready for the breakdown of society as we know it.
The book ends with a positive note about where to find hope in these challenging times.
To support this podcast, rate us and post a comment on Apple Podcasts here.
7-Steps to 200k Visitors Per Month with SEO
The process of creating content that captures, keeps and converts attention into measurable transactions is broken. You start by conducting keyword research, then you create content based on that research, then you edit, re-edit, wordsmith it, add links and wait for the world to discover it.
But what if you could optimize from inception? Our guest in this episode is Alexander De Ridder, CTO of INK, a new content performance optimization platform.
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Alexander is a Belgian living in Texas, where he enjoys beautiful nature, excellent barbecue and great success with INK. For those of you who didn’t see my previous episode with Michael Umansky, INK is a suite of AI-powered tools that help storytellers optimize their content without having to worry about technical SEO. They’ve used their own product to grow traffic at their site inkforall.com from less than 2,000 to nearly 200,000 visitors per month.
“It’s all reproducible, and it’s been reproduced by many people who I’ve given similar information to,” says Alexander, citing the case of one INK user who grew his website from nothing to one million organic users in just ten months. He shared with us his six-step execution plan for putting together an effective SEO strategy, which you need to listen to the podcast to really understand, but here are some brief notes:
FOCUS: What do I want to be known for? What am I really good at? ORGANIZE your ideas with a mind map.RESEARCH as many keywords ideas as possible using a variety of techniques.QUALIFY the top competing sites, compile their keywords, choose those with a low level of difficulty.PROJECT an execution plan that includes workflows and realistic goals.MEASURE and optimize.
If you have content that’s disorganized, get rid of it. Remove unproductive content. “You have to measure what works and what doesn’t work. If you have entire sections that add no value, they’re siphoning off authority from the other pages,” says Alex.
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On the other hand, if your performance is a mixed bag, his advice is to take your content into INK and search engine optimize it section by section, starting with your more successful pages. Since I have the INK’s Wordpress plugin installed in my site, we did a live demonstration on how to perform this, which should be very useful for those still unfamiliar with the tool.
In terms of WordPress categories, they can be used to create content hubs (defined as sections of your site devoted to a specific topic). WordPress categories are totally fine, provided that you use only one category per hub (there can be multiple tags, though). He also recommends making content hubs very prominent on the home page, with visual elements leading to landing pages devoted to a specific hub.
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If you're like to watch the full interview and see his graphs and charts, here it is:
Complete video recording of my podcast interview with Alexander de Ridder.
If you want to support this podcast, rate and comment on us at Apple Podcasts here.
Mapping Content Marketing to Funnel Stages
“The best content doesn’t win - the best promoted content wins.”
You know by now that you need content, but a lot of companies make the mistake of thinking that content marketing stops when you hit the publish button.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina
As brands, we need to be thinking of content promotion and PR tactics before even sitting down to write. After all, just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come.
Today, I’m sharing exactly how you can create a high-impact B2B content marketing strategy, highlighting the key takeaways from my recent interview with Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder of Orbit Media and author of Content Chemistry.
Mapping out your content marketing funnel
The modern content marketing funnel may not be a linear one, but the buyer journey still has the same stages.
And they apply to both B2C and B2B content marketing, as well as every industry, product, and transaction people make.
Think about it; anything you have ever done - making a donation, accepting a job, joining a webinar - has required that you become aware of what you need, think about your options, and take action.
Now, consider these marketing funnel stages as they relate to content:
The content marketing funnel stages
Moving through the content marketing funnel stages could be compared to the process of cleaning up a messy garage.
Stage 1: Problem aware >> Seeking general information
You become problem aware when you realize the mess in your garage has gotten out of hand. You’re not sure if you can organize everything yourself, with the tools you have. And you’re not even sure which tools might be right for the job.
You begin Googling phrases like, “how to organize a garage.”
Content idea: This is where, as a company, finding problem-based key phrases for content will help you show up on Google.
Stage 2: Solution aware >> Content marketing funnel
The customer now has questions (or concerns) about the industry and/or are beginning to look for information about the company.
Once you’ve started researching and reading a few things online, you know of a few options you have for cleaning up that garage.
You’re now solution aware.
You’re in the content marketing funnel.
Content idea: You may have promoted content on social media, other sites, or your own site that helps inform customers about solutions and begins to generate interest about your brand.
Stage 3: Consideration >> Cost Lengthens Sales Cycle
The customer now knows about you and their solutions, and have specific questions (or concerns) about the product or service.
The amount of time you are at the solution aware/consideration stages of the marketing funnel depends on how expensive the solution might be and how quickly you need to clean up your garage.
But you may still have research to do.
You think that some sort of shelving can help out. Now you need the details. Will I need special tools? Do I need to have a pro install it? Is this a short DIY project or will it take a week?
Content idea: This is the B2B content marketing stage where you...
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