A lot of marketers take a casual approach to moving forward with content without being sure of the legal ramifications.
Marketing strategist, speaker, and writer Kerry O’Shea Gorgone JD, MBA provides the legal lens for what you need to consider when creating and promoting content.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How to publish quality photos that aren’t copyrighted
- The truth behind copying content
- Our collective thoughts on TikTok marketing (admittedly a fun tangent)
- How disclosure comes into play with influencer content
- What to consider when planning a live stream
- Marketing Smarts Podcast
- The Freenoter Podcast
- Creative Commons
- 6 sources for unique stock photos [blog post]
- Fair Use
- Major Flaw in Google Algorithm (What on earth?) [Reddit thread]
- Signature Tones
- Don’t Stare at the Sun | Bad Lip Reading and Disney XD Present: High School Musical | Disney XD [YouTube video]
- Chris Brogan
- Andy Crestodina
Amanda: You may know her as the host of Marketing Smarts Podcast or the co-host of Punch Out with Katie and Kerry or maybe you’ve heard her marketing expertise when she’s spoken at conferences like MarketingProfs B2B Forum or written for sites like Huffington Post and Entrepreneur. However you know her, I’m thrilled to welcome Kerry O’Shea Gorgone to the show. Thanks for being here.
Kerry: Thanks for having me.
Amanda: Of course.
Kerry: It’s already been so much fun. You guys aren’t privy to our pre-show conversation, but it was fun.
Amanda: We have a lot of new podcast actually that came out of conversation.
Kerry: Do you always wish that that was the show? Like what happens before you hit record? That is one of my standard jokes actually I picked up from Tom Webster who hosts his own podcast with Tamsen Webster about free noting or speaking for free, but one of his jokes is to go after the whole interview is over to then say then this time, I’ll hit record.
Amanda: I’m not sure what you’re expecting. This is just a conversation between you and me, but thank you generally for being on the show. The thing I didn’t mention in the introduction was that Kerry’s also a lawyer and the topic today is going to be how to get your content approved by the law team, which has a lot of different aspects to it.
Kerry: Well some people might tell you not to ask first and to just go for it.
Amanda: No forgiveness without permission.
Kerry: Yes. Well, so I just read, I shouldn’t even tell you because it’s bad thoughts. But I mean it’s like a bad example for a lawyer to set for other people. But I read this book called Be More Pirates by Sam Conniff and it’s fabulous and it’s all about how sometime ”no” means go. So you have a great idea and you’re hamstrung by out-dated practices in your workplace. He’s like, yeah, just go for it man. And he’s like, please don’t do that though. I love what he’s about. So check that one out when you’re ready to like get rebellious and you don’t care if you get in trouble or not.
Amanda: I feel like some people probably get frustrated enough that they would take that approach at some point. If they get the road blocks too many times.
Kerry: And I don’t blame them because the laws need to be updated. I mean they were written at best many, many, many years ago and a lot of times they were written with a design toward protecting some moneyed company or something like the copyright laws have been not forged entirely by Disney or anything, but Disney certainly had a hand in extending copyright terms so that their proprietary works could be protected for longer. And so that just has these ripple effects throughout industry and affects creative people in particular that I just think it’s kind of rough. It can have a chilling effect on creation. So I don’t blame people for getting frustrated. I’ll just say that.
Amanda: It seems like because everything’s moving so quickly, the law can barely keep up. I think I was looking at privacy law and before even GDPR was a thing, I think it was only California that even had something you could reference in terms of what you needed to do. And I was like, that’s fascinating that there’s not even like a widespread law about these things.
Kerry: No, I know it. And at this point you just have to kind of pick whatever the most restrictive privacy law is and structure your marketing around satisfying that because chances are good it applies to you anyway if you’re reaching out with your content into your jurisdictions like California or Europe. The European Union and who knows? What are you going to say? I don’t care about Californians and I’m not servicing them so forget it. And it’s that great. So honestly, it’s easier to just pick the most restrictive and plan for it and then you’ll be set when the rest of them come into effect.
Amanda: Speaking of the issue of privacy, have you seen a mistake that marketers are commonly making with that? Something they might not even realize they’re skirting around.
Kerry: Ignoring it. A lot of times I’ve seen marketers be like, well, but they’re not serious or they’re not really basically they’re not gunning for me and it’s like they are in a way. So privacy laws are meant to be applicable across the board. And so what most, I don’t want to say all marketers are bad or anything. They’re not, but I mean what we as people tend to do is think that we’re hiding in the crowd, if you know what I mean. Like, well, everybody’s doing it wrong. So the chances of me getting singled out for punishment are pretty slim. Not necessarily so. Especially if you’re at a larger company, they’ve actually started fining people and it is significant. For GDPR violations, so you don’t want any part of that. That’s all I would say. That’s a common mistake.
But the other thing is take a look at where your data even is, because a lot of times we’re using agencies and we’re using vendors or we’re using different tools. And until we sit down with IT and marketing and sales and do an audit basically of what data we’re collecting and where it’s all housed and who’s handling it, we can’t possibly begin to know what kind of shape our compliance is in. We need to take a more active role in that. You can’t abdicate responsibility over your data privacy just because you use vendors or you use agencies because they act on your behalf and you’re responsible. So that’s a common mistake.
Amanda: That’s a good point. I’m sure a lot of people take that for granted. I’m like, well, they’re handling it let’s just cover it up.
Kerry: Completely. Yes. So you think you can wash your hands with it, but it’s just like when you do your taxes and you have somebody else prepare them for you, it’s still your name on the tax file, tax form that you file.
Amanda: That’s a good analogy.
Kerry: So you’re the one that goes to jail.
Amanda: Earlier when you were talking about people thinking it doesn’t apply to them, you reminded me of the Napster days. Everybody was mass downloading music. And I remember I was like, oh no, I feel like even if you’re an individual, they’re going to come after you and for a while people got away with it but then suddenly just everyday people were getting charged thousands of dollars.
Kerry: I do not agree with that philosophy by the way. I think it’s asinine to try and sue your customers for lots and lots of money and think that that’s how you’re going to build fandom that’s going to carry you forward into the future. That’s ridiculous; it doesn’t work. So just the same way, if people take your company logo and make it their avatar or something to support you or something. Yes, you have to ask them politely, hey man, please don’t use our logo as your Twitter avatar because people might be confused. We’re like super happy you love us. Yes, you have to say something, but cease and desist letters and stuff, it gets out of control. Just because you could theoretically win a lawsuit against somebody for something doesn’t mean you have to act like you’re actually going to do it. That’s something that I think lawyers have been a little – what’s the right word – they’ve been a little slow to adopt a more social approach to enforcement, if you know what I mean. So you don’t want to treat your fans and then people who are trying to kind of jack your trademark or defame it, you don’t want to treat those people the same.
Amanda: Especially like you said, they’re trying, they’re supportive, but it’s not like they’re saying something terrible about your brand or actually an advocate for it.
Kerry: I know exactly. So it’s like, and I’ve said before, if you sell, I don’t know, luxury automobiles and people are taking pictures off your product pages and sharing them on social media and saying, Oh my God, I love this whatever car. If you’re Tesla or something, you don’t go, hey man, that’s copyrighted and I’m going to sue you. You’re like, hey, thanks. Happy you like the car or whatever. There’s a difference. They’re not damaging your ability to sell automobiles by sharing pictures of your automobiles, if you see what I mean. It’s like, just think about it, whether it’s worth your while to chase down every little potential infringement or not. From a business perspective, I feel like it’s not, but what I see more often is the kind of flip side of that coin where marketers or agencies write content or something and they’re like, I just need an image to go with this. And they’ll go on Google and search for beach picture or something and just put that in their blog post and it’s, oh, it’s such a mistake. You get sued for an infringement on that and you get a nasty letter demanding lots of money and there’s actually people who purposely optimize their images for search and put them on Google just so they can do a reverse image search and find anywhere that uses it on the web and then send a cease and desist to those people. It’s their livelihood.
Kerry: Yes. So you can’t make money from your art, sure you can. You just have to not care about being a good person at all and you control the heck out of people.
Amanda: So for images, obviously a lot of people are trying to stray from stock photos lobbies. They have their place, but you can’t really rank for them. If you have the resources, it’s better to take your own just to actually compliment the piece as well as you can.
Kerry: But you don’t even need that many resources. Let’s be honest. You can take really pretty decent photos with a ring light and your phone.
Amanda: That’s true. Especially now that this technology we have every day is getting so good at taking photos.
Kerry: For sure.
Amanda: My phone takes better pictures than a lot of cameras, but you know what? What options do you see for people who don’t want to use stock photos but also don’t want to do what you were saying where they’re just taking random things from Google images or whatever they find online.
Kerry: For sure. Don’t do that. Stay far away from Google images. If you absolutely can’t create your own, you could still see if there’s anybody on your staff, even if you have a small staff, that’s interested in taking photos or creating that kind of content because if they are, and they do it in the course of their work, it’s a work for hire and so your company would own it. You all have to be clear on that because you don’t want them to be upset. But if there are people who have an interest in that, you could definitely encourage the interest and use the content that comes from that. Stock photos you might have to, if you absolutely have no other option, but there are different sources for stock photos. I would try to pick one that’s not so popular. I wouldn’t use Getty images or something if you’re trying to not be obvious in stock photos.
And the other thing about that, so there are places like Pixabay for example, that make people’s art available for free, where people make their own art, I would say available for free. They release it under a license called the Creative Commons license. So that’s where out of the goodness of your heart, you’ve decided to let your artwork be used and you specify the terms under which it’s okay to use it. So some people will be like, use it for whatever. I don’t care. You don’t have to mention me. I’m good. Just go ahead. Then there’s other more restrictive Creative Commons licenses that are like go ahead and use it, but not for commercial purposes, literally anything else. Or they’ll say use it for whatever purpose, but don’t change it or use it for whatever purpose, but you have to give me credit. So there’s all these different kind of flavors of Creative Commons and those are all fine. Provided the person who uploaded the work to whatever site you’re getting it from is actually the creator. So if YouTube has taught us anything, it’s that a lot of that content gets uploaded by third parties who have nothing to do with it. So that’s the main reason that for business purposes I don’t recommend relying on sites like that, that they give you Creative Commons royalty free stuff because you just can’t be sure.
Amanda: I remember I think when Creative Commons first came out and you can search that way that people are psyched about it because they didn’t read the fine print. I think even in terms of those caveats you’re speaking of and they just would take them all and I don’t even think they even gave a second thought to the fact that those people might not be the owner. They just checked a box. They could be lying about whether they’re the original owner.
Kerry: People lie on the internet. The other problem is that even if they put it up there and they are the creator and it is Creative Commons originally; they can change it later though they’re not supposed to. Doesn’t mean that they don’t. So, unless you have proof that it was Creative Commons originally, that which can be tough if you didn’t take a screenshot or stuff. I tend not to rely on those for anything like commercially.
Amanda: So original photos are definitely the best option. But you mentioned some lesser known free photo providers. Do you have any that are your favorites that you’d recommend?
Kerry: I do. I could go give you the link. I don’t have them up like off the top of my head, there’s a list of them that I go to every now and then. I can give you that list and you can put it in the show notes or whatever.
Kerry: And they’re a little more obscure. They don’t have the kind of variety that you’re going to see on Getty images necessarily. But if you can find a couple that tend to kind of work with your company brand, if you know what I mean, like your style, your personality, so these tend to use a smaller stable of artists and so their style tends to be, say it’s whimsical or something. If your brand is whimsical, that one’s great for you. If you’re a little more traditional or something, that’s not probably going to be where you’d look, if you know what I mean. Try to pick one that’s a little more aligned, then that will save you some time, weeding through endless stuff.
Amanda: Yes. That’s a good point. I didn’t think about that we’re only using a certain number of photographers anyway, so the style would inherently be a little more uniform than I use.
Kerry: It’s kind of helpful though.
Amanda: Yes. I know it is. I think you’re absolutely right. Like trying to nail down a style. I’ve used Unsplash, which is great. It’s free and I’ve used it for my personal blogs that I’ve set up over the years, but I think there was a picture of a woman typing on a laptop that 4.5 million people have used out there. I think I’ve seen it a hundred times. So your point it’s good to go for some of the more obscure sites. If you have that option, you can find something that fits well.
Kerry: Right. No, totally. And I think too, it helps. You could even develop relationships with some artists that are willing to kind of barter with you. And if you have software as a service, something they could use like accounting or billing or some of the business stuff, project management, whatever creative people need help with, you might be able to make a barter arrangement and get some really good, more custom stuff that way too.
Amanda: That’s a great idea.
Kerry: So that tends to work pretty well for like SMBs, if you can find something you have that they want.
Amanda: So that covers images. When we’re talking about text what are some of the most common copyright problems that you see?
Kerry: I don’t know why it keeps happening. Why it keeps happening that people will just lift whole articles and republish them even with attribution and be like, oh, I got this from say, marketingprofs.com and think that that’s okay. And even that they’re possibly doing you a favor. And I’m like, no, it’s not okay. You’re not doing me a favor, because you’re taking all the SEO benefits and confusing people as to the original source of that content and it’s a problem. So definitely don’t lift content from anywhere and re-post it wholesale without permission. What I have done and what is permissible most of the time is to say, hey, we’re really struggling. I don’t know about you but we’re really struggling with getting engagement on social media.
I found this great article about it that this person wrote on this site and this idea really resonated with me so this is what we’ve done about it but you link to the original content so people get the substance of it from there. You don’t re-post it all. I don’t even take the most important part and repost it on mine. For example, if it was a top five list of ideas for getting engagement on social media, I wouldn’t just take the bulleted list and post it and be like, hey thanks. Go check out the whole article, because no one’s going to do that obviously.
Amanda: Particularly featured snippet.
Kerry: Exactly. It’s like taking the one good part. Like the muffin top, you took the muffin top. You’re not allowed to take the muffin top. I might say this one tip, this one I’m going to do right now today, the rest of them you should check out over here, blah blah blah. You could do that. It’s a question of how much is permissible to use and there’s no one clear answer for it. There are tons of urban legends about it, like you can use 30 seconds of the video or you can use even seven seconds when vinyl was a thing people were saying, that’s why, because seven seconds is okay to use for copyright. I’m like no, not seven seconds. That was zero seconds. None of it is guaranteed to be fair use because fair use is what you raised as a defense when you’ve been sued for copyright infringement and you’re like, but wait, it’s fair use. And then there are all these factual considerations the court goes through to figure out if your use is fair or not. How much did you use? Did you get any money out of that use? Are you damaging the original, the market for the original work? And all this stuff and you can’t know up front, but I will say the less you use of somebody else’s work, the better off you’re going to be.
As far as text goes, don’t repost without written permission and make sure it’s written. I’ve seen a lot of people think that because they had a conversation, the person’s like, yeah, I would totally love to have my article on marketingprofs. That doesn’t mean I can go grab it and post it on marketingprofs and without written permission I would be in serious trouble.
Amanda: I don’t think I realized how prevalent this was or how problematic it was until I think I was on the biggest SEO subedit and somebody was saying that there is a site that’s been copying them verbatim, taking all of their content and somehow outranking them and they were outranking them. I feel like that has to be the most infuriating situation and Google is getting smarter but they’re not perfect and somehow these sites are able to just steal everything they’re doing and beat them at it.
Kerry: It’s funny when it’s not a fit. There was this girl. She was a woman, but I was always like, hey girl, you know what I mean? She wrote a blog about her experience as a single mother, an Asian woman, single mother, and somebody was scraping it. That was not as a woman, not Asian and not a mother. And they were getting all kinds of crazy traffic and stuff off it. The options are tough because a lot of times you can’t even figure out who to sue in that scenario. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. And if you could it be expensive, but you can usually report that content if it’s on any social networks, if they’ve been re-sharing it. You can report it as copyright infringement. You can report the account for sharing copyright infringing content. You can find the hosting company and report that that website is publishing copyright infringing content or illegal content and you can even report to Google and try to get them de-indexed. I mean that’s tough. That’s playing hardball but you could, you could do it. It’s not like there’s nothing you can do about it, but there’s realistically, there’s a lot of times those are overseas or not in a place where you can even get to them. It’s hard.
Amanda: You think that because we’re in a culture that’s so mean based and you mentioned fine and TikTok these platforms where people are using music and they’re using images and just repeating I’m looking at these things, I’m like, I assume that none of this is technically okay that people are just getting so complacent about it now. I think that nothing’s going to happen, but I would assume if you’re creating something and you want it to be popular and you’re hoping it will, that has to be the worst thing that can happen is it’s going well and everyone’s sharing it and then suddenly you are called out for stealing something.
Kerry: Well, of course. The other thing is too that there’s a difference between using it for personal stuff and using it for commercial and anything that we do as marketers is going to be considered commercial. Even if it’s just like Fun Fact Friday, you have a picture of Queen Elizabeth and talk about our favorite thing to eat at tea time. You don’t own that photo so anytime you’re using content that you didn’t create, you’re running that risk. It’s just the risk is much lower when it’s just you personally not profiting, if you see what I mean. They are a lot less likely to come after you for that, which is not saying it’s impossible, but it’s less likely than if say Amazon runs a commercial taking somebody else’s song and doesn’t get permission. They are for sure getting sued because they have a big target on their back because they have a lot of money and they are a big company and there’s a lot of exposure, versus somebody trying out TikTok that has four followers and one of them is their mom. It’s just less likely they’re going to get in trouble for that. So just keep in mind the purpose to which you’re using it.
And then even from a marketing standpoint, should you be in TikTok? I don’t know. I mean, I was just thinking about that today. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about it. If you market to 13-year olds or creatives or something, maybe you have some reason to be there, but even then, I think I’d collaborate with TikTok influencers. There is such thing, the people who are popular on TikTok and maybe co-create something with them or something I don’t think I’d want to take on as a brand creating something for TikTok.
Sometimes even in a musical situation you have to create your own stuff. Like I actually had permission for a podcast opener and there’s no scary story here everything’s good. But I got permission from my friends to use his song for my podcast opener and I did that for a long time, but then eventually when it was time to kind of refresh everything, we went and got a custom opener, a custom song from signature tones, which does Sonic branding this company owned by David Meerman Scott and Juanito Pascal I think is his name, this great guitarist. But anyway, they do custom stuff. So they would sit down with you and you figure out what your brand’s all about and you send them some pieces that you’d like,, so they have some idea what your style is and then they create something custom.
Amanda: That’s awesome.
Kerry: And no one else has it. So you go into an audio library and pick something. Even if it’s number 99 on the list of 200 most popular, somebody else is probably using it.
Amanda: I remember when I was picking my music for this, there were some I was downloading and I was like, oh, like 4.5 million people have used this song. I’m like, Oh, okay, so X out of that tab.
Kerry: That makes you sad. Even if its [unclear].
Amanda: I know when you were talking about TikTok, I know that question’s been coming up a lot, but there’s such a subculture there. My sister’s obsessed with it and it’s so hard to just decide you want to create TikTok content somewhere to read it and a lot of other platforms. So they just like immediately sniff that if you’re just trying to exist there without doing the research about who they are and like what they like
Kerry: You can exist here.
Amanda: But like the influencer thing you’re talking about makes sense. Because we were like, okay well let me pair somebody who is familiar with this communities in it.
Kerry: You can prevent some awkward moments. The only thing is like I said, you’re not able to abdicate responsibility for copyright infringement just by getting an influencer to do it for you. you’re going to have to work with them. Like when, I’m trying to remember, I think it was Disney worked with the people who do the bad, was it bad lip readings or was it lip sync stuff anyway they created a song for that just to have a video made and like they gave permission and everything. they wanted to be kind of part of the Zeitgeists if you want, but they didn’t want to risk infringement so they gave permission. It was like, alright, use whatever of our stuff you want. And you had Zac Efron in there and everything. It was all cool but we’re giving you permission so it’s not infringement. But that was like a whole thing so you could collaborate. Just make sure that you own whatever stuff they’re using, which is an option for some people.
Amanda: Can’t be easy. So related to working with influencers or partnering with anybody. There’s this concept of disclosure. What exactly is involved with having to disclose those types of relationships?
Kerry: Well first things first, I’m going to get you the link to that. Don’t stare at the sun. Bad lip reading and Disney collaboration.
Amanda: Please do. I just need for that. This is my type of content.
Kerry: You can’t miss that. Don’t watch it. Disclosure comes into play when anytime you’re working with influencers and it’s not clear from reading an influencer’s post that there’s a relationship there between you and them. Either you’ve sent them something free or in some cases you’ve actually give them the money to create content for you or to share something of yours or talk about you or whatever. When you brought them to your event e.g. all expenses paid. If that’s not clear from just reading their post about, wow, so awesome here at such and such summit, such brilliant ideas being shared, totally inspired, # blessed and there’s nothing there.
Amanda: You’re telling me #blessed doesn’t explain the situation.
Kerry: It does not. I’m not saying that you’re not #blessed, but you know, you should also mention, Hey I got paid to attend this summit or I got paid, my trip has been free. Happy to partner with this company. Thanks for covering my travel to Las Vegas for this event. Something like that. Like plain language. But the goal of disclosure always is to just make it clear to anybody who’s coming to it with a fresh eye, which is like most people, they don’t know you, they don’t know about your business arrangements. They need to understand looking at it that there’s a relationship they’re not aware of. And that’s true whether you’re posting on Twitter or on your own blog, your own website, or if you’re posting video to YouTube, it needs to be clear. What the FTC has gotten better at.
The Federal Trade Commission, they weren’t so hot at first at telling you what actually to do. When they first started talking about disclosure, it was more like, Hmm, well this isn’t good enough or this isn’t good enough. Or hashtag S-P-O-N isn’t good enough that they weren’t so much like here’s what would work. It was more like they were waiting to see what people would do. So e.g. tweeting in the first tweet, Hey, I’m working with this company and this next string of tweets is all sponsored, and then you just tweet, tweet, tweet without ever saying anything about it being sponsored, that’s not good enough because we all know what our Twitter feeds look like they’re a mess. There’s no chance that they’re seeing them in the exact order and that they definitely see that first one. what the FTC had said, and I think correctly, was that in every single tweet you need to make sure it’s clear that you’re sponsored so they don’t care how much or how little room you have. That’s your problem. You just have to make it work. But like I said you don’t even have to use a hashtag because nobody really super searches for hashtag sponsored or hashtag ad like no one’s looking for that. So if you just say add you save yourself a character.
Amanda: You did.
Company, I’m going to use it. I’m I asking for it.
Amanda: And it sounds more natural anyway, just to kind of talk about the partnership rather than….
Kerry: It does.
Amanda: Adding a random tag.
Kerry: And it doesn’t undercut your credibility with your audience. If anything, it reinforces trust because they know they’ll be able to tell the difference between sponsored content and not sponsored content. So one person who’s really good at that, it’s Chris Brogan. He posts sometimes when he’s working with a brand, he’ll write a blog post about them, like Staples. He’s done a lot of work with. And so right in the subject line, it’ll be like Selly sell sell, talking about selling. He literally will say that and you’re like, okay, but you’re not like I’m not going to read this, you know? Oh Chris, you’re so funny. And then you scroll through and you see what he’s talking about.
And there’s valuable business advice, interlaced with his mentions about staples and stuff. So you can do it. You can disclose, you should, if you’re doing video, you have to not just put the disclosure in the description of the video. You have to also mention it while you’re talking because a lot of people don’t read the description and not just once. You should mention it periodically, not every 10 seconds. They don’t even tell you by the way, how often, of course, but every so often mentioned that it’s sponsored by whomever. So somebody just jumping on, we’ll see. Especially if you’re live streaming, you have to do that because there’s no way to visually reinforce that it’s sponsored because you’re live streaming.
Kerry: If you’re recording a video and uploading it, you should ideally have a notice as well that stays up that says that it’s sponsored or that you’re working in partnership or sponsored by whatever company.
Amanda: Live streaming must have a lot of other considerations as well.
Kerry: Streaming does, I’m just going to say, keep in mind when you’re on social media, if you’re posting sponsored content or you’re working with influencers that are doing it, talking about your company and they’ve been paid, make sure that any disclosure comes before you’d have to click say more on Instagram. You know if you click more to see additional text, it can’t be down there. It has to be above that so that people can’t possibly miss it. They shouldn’t be able to go to the next thing and spend money without seeing the disclosure, so make sure. But you’re right, live streaming is a whole different set of issues because you’re not typically planning as well as you would a pre-recorded video. Although I think you should. Ultimately that’s the solution to this problem. But a lot of people will just be like, I want to try live streaming. Do you watch the show Schitt’s Creek at all?
Amanda: I love Schitt’s Creek.
Kerry: Okay. Me too. So I don’t know how caught up you are but there is snafu. I won’t spoil stuff for anybody or somebody is live streaming and they neglect to and the live stream. But no, when you’re live streaming you don’t want to be too impromptu. Like you want to have an idea where you’re going to do it. Who else is going to be around? Ideally, it’s in an area that you control and if you just check what’s in frame, remember that you might be live streaming from a mobile device like a tablet or phone, but people are sitting at home watching it or sitting wherever watching it frankly. But I mean like on a big HD monitor. So little things that you don’t think are visible are on full display.
Like Basic Instinct e.g. many years ago had this scene where Sharon Stone un-crosses and re- crosses her legs and you can see into her dress, but when she approved the shot in the studio, it was on this tiny green monitor so you couldn’t see anything and she’s like, I think it’s fine. I think it’s okay. And then up on the big screen, not okay. It was a problem when she realized that, but so the same thing sort of happens in a much less dramatic way. When you’re doing content for a business and you want to live stream, say from your office and you’ve got even like a whiteboard or something with plans or figures or any kind of client information on it, you have to be very aware of what’s visible in a way that maybe you’re not, because live streaming feels really fun and spontaneous. Try to keep spontaneity to a minimum.
Amanda: You said the solution is pretty much to just plan as much as you would for a normal video and not just wing it.
Kerry: Exactly. And there’s no reason that you can’t do that. You pretty much know what you want to cover, you know exactly where you’re going to do it and that’s beneficial for a number of ways a number of reasons because you can’t always predict what’s going to happen outside. If you’re outside, you could have hecklers, you can have bad weather, that kind of stuff. You can legally live stream from anywhere that you have a right to be. So, if you’re in public, normally you’re okay to live stream. I always try to get releases from people who are prominently featured for interviewees and stuff like that. Written releases. I also try to post crowd releases and I’m sure you’ve seen these, but there are things, it’s like, Hey, filming’s happening in the area. If you’re stepping out on your spouse, maybe don’t be here. I don’t exactly say that, but you don’t want to be on film. Don’t come in here. Interesting placement for one I ever saw was that the Holy Land experience in Orlando, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a theme park about Jesus.
Amanda: Oh, it’s so cool.
Kerry: Yes. It’s really cool. Anyway, so they posted crowd releases like by the bathroom because they’re like, everyone’s going to go to the bathroom. It’s like no walking around today, we’re filming so you don’t want to be filmed and used in all our commercial stuff. Just don’t be here. So it’s love Jesus. You can use crowd releases. I don’t rely on them too heavily if I can avoid it, I’d prefer to control the environment. But you could if you had to.
Amanda: And if you’re listening and you want more details about these topics in the show notes, I’m going to include a document that Kerry shared with me. She’s given talks on this before and it kind of even goes outside of the content world, so highly recommend you check that out and dive in a little deeper. But since we’re low on time.
Kerry, one thing I’m asking every guest that’s on the show is which you think one of the biggest mistakes are when people go to pitch their content to stakeholders. And in this case, we can focus on the law lens, but what do you think is something that people aren’t considering? I know you said a lot of people just literally aren’t considering anything in this regard, but what do you think is something that people are doing that maybe they don’t realize that’s keeping them from publishing?
Kerry: I feel like I was very mean. It sounds really mean.
Amanda: Whether they mean to or not. I think it’s on a lot of people’s backgrounds they don’t have these top in mind and then suddenly they’re getting pushed back but they didn’t know that were going to get a lot of the time.
Kerry: What I keep seeing is more like what’s been referred to you by others in the space as random acts of content as opposed to having a strategy. So somebody have one really good idea and they’ll pitch a piece of content and in theory it’s great, but even if it’s wildly successful, if you take that out to its logical conclusion, just that one piece, if it’s not designed to fit into your greater strategy and make people a lead that you can nurture or bring people into your community or nurture them or something, it’s not going to help you. So that happens a lot. Or people will want to create a guide of some kind, which I totally am with definitely do that if it’s something that people need in your audience, but they’ll make a PDF and that’s super, but unless people have to sign up to get the PDF, you have no way after that of tracking it or doing anything with that, your PDF can go viral and you’re just never going to know. I picked that up from Andy Crestodina. He said that and I was like, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So that happened when people propose to a single piece of content. You should really be thinking more in terms of your overall content strategy and where any piece you’re coming up with is going to fit into it and the rights that go along with that piece. So if you want to say license a piece of content and use it like bait or something, they call it something really insulting. But when you use it for to get people to sign up and download your stuff, it really should be your content. Don’t use a licensed asset for that if you can avoid it.
Amanda: I think that’s great advice.
Kerry: You can’t build a whole campaign around somebody else’s content. Bad business.
Amanda: So, the last question I always ask is knowing the objective of this podcast, do you have any recommendations for who should be guests on future episodes?
Kerry: Oh boy. So many people. So I would say, so Chris Brogan has a really cool thing called StoryLeader he’s talking about now. That makes so much sense to me. It’s about how marketing leaders have an idea for something and they try to communicate it to their teams, say with data or examples and stuff, and then their marketing teams go out and try to execute on it. But the creative you get back doesn’t align with what you were hoping for. The vision is not translated correctly. So StoryLeaders, this whole program he’s developed to help marketing leaders use stories to transfer that vision there. I think he calls it their leadership DNA, but like the idea that they want to germinate within the creative work, get it across through story in a way that’s more clear. So I think he’d be great because I haven’t seen a marketing team yet that didn’t kind of struggle with that. He’d be a good one. Obviously. I love Ann Handley; I have to say that because she’s my boss. I really love her. She’s very creative and I adore her. And then I think also there’s some really cool stuff that A J Wilcox is doing with LinkedIn. And if you look up A J Wilcox on LinkedIn, he’s so good at using all the options there for content.
Amanda: Yes. It is great. I actually had him on the first version of this show a couple of years ago.
Kerry: Oh, bring him back.
Amanda: I think he was like the last guest I had.
Kerry: Because stuff changes and I love him so you can tell him I said that and then I’m trying to think. There was another person I thought it would be really good tactically for you. I’ll think more about it and get back to you on it. But there’s a bunch of people. I have so many.
Amanda: Basically, I love this question because I love to hear what everybody else wants to listen to. What episode do you want to hear?
Kerry: Oh, I could listen to Scott Monte all day. Have him on, talk about anything. His voice is like butter.
Amanda: That is always a bonus. Well, Kerry, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show and for providing so many awesome insights.
Kerry: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me. And thanks for the pre-show.