How the mobile journalism philosophy helps you to create a good content strategy

How to make a good content strategy for your company using mobile journalism. That was the subject of the workshop I gave at #ABUDigital.

When you choose to use mobile journalism (‘mojo’), it implicates much more than just filming or producing content with your mobile phone (which obviously is part of it). A mojo workflow means:

  • Reporters can work autonomously
  • Work with a low budget
  • Work discreetly
  • Work with user-generated content, as everyone has a mobile
  • Work remotely
  • Use the phone as a content creator tool
  • Make one story in multiple formats: video, audio, photography, writing.
  • Focus on an audience that consumes content on their phones.
  • Make use of user-generated content and engage with your audience
  • You use social media as the main platform.
  • Incorporate new technologies (VR, AI, drones) in a lean and mean way.

This article highlights the first step in working towards a successful mojo strategy.

“Everything you need is already there”

An important concept of the ‘mojo’ approach is understanding that everything you need is already there. Think about that. After all, when you have your mobile, you can work. This is an important realization — almost a philosophical concept — because often we immediately focus on the things we lack instead of the things we own. Which creates a thought of scarcity instead of abundance. Philosopher and author Karim Banammar wrote an interesting piece on making that paradigm shift:

Scarcity-thinking is (…) based around the feeling that there’s not enough for everybody. The only way to get what you want is by fighting against nature, in order to extract its resources by force, and fighting against other people, using your elbows because there is only limited space at the top. (…) Abundance thinking is the realization that you have plenty and that you can easily meet whatever needs you might have. (…) The fact that one person has more doesn’t mean that someone else will have less. This way of thinking allows for cooperation that is more productive than the competition.


Who would think philosophy can help you make a good strategy?

In order to see what’s already there and to not fight your own nature, you need to look inside instead of outside. This is where the question of the ‘Why’ pops up. Ask yourself why you do what you do? Why are you on earth? If you ask yourself ‘why’ at least five times, you’ll get to the root of your why.

Let me give you an example of my flow of thoughts:

Why do you do what you do?
I want to teach people who make good quality stories how to make a strong content strategy.
Because in that way good stories get spread to larger audiences.
Why is that important to you?
Because I believe we understand each other better if we get to know each other and each other’s ideas/opinions. It’s also a way to fight fake news.
Why focus on strategy?
It’s nice to produce good quality stories, but it’s useless if nobody gets to watch, hear or read them. And nowadays that’s easily the case because there’s so much content out there.
Why is that important?
With reaching more people, your story can have an impact on society and change something for the better.
Why would you care about that?
I want to live a meaningful life and make the world a better place.

The challenge with formulating your why is to find a certain depth in your why. In my workshop, people would write:

  • To make a digital platform to prepare audiences for the digital age.
  • To gain knowledge to spread the media content through the latest digital technology
  • To use a digital platform to join the bandwagon
  • To get in touch with a younger audience
  • To spread out the thought and a personal point of view
  • To reach a bigger audience and engage better
  • To educate the youth
  • To challenge myself on different perspectives in news reporting
  • To follow the trend and the technology, to compete with the market.
  • To make on the ground sensational stories
  • To make fast and exclusive reports
  • To work cost-efficiently
  • To reach more with less manpower/resources

All these why’s are still quite superficial. Why do you want to reach a younger audience for example? Obviously, because that audience has the future and if you don’t reach them your platform won’t survive. But why is it important for your platform not to die? Probably because you think your content ads something to this world. So, what does it add? Keep asking questions and find your roots.

Without knowing your roots, without understanding where you come from and why you do what you do, it’s not only hard to find an audience, it’s also very hard to keep yourself motivated.

Understanding the deepest goal of your work or your company is understanding yourself as well. Because if your goals in life don’t align with that path, you’ll get disconnected and you’ll find yourself burning out very soon.

This is why finding a good strategy, starting with everything that’s already there and asking yourself what that is (‘The Why’), has everything to do with knowing who you are and what motivates you in life. And the good thing is, once you know this, the rest of the strategy follows from that understanding.

Now I know why I want to guide good quality storytellers towards a strategy to reach an audience, I need to find the problem to solve. Because why would you help someone who doesn’t have a problem? This relates to an entrepreneurial mindset, step 2 in developing your strategy. You’ll read it in my next blog.