Developments in technology mean that our phones are no longer just devices to make and receive calls. Mobile journalism – or mojo as it is known – is emerging as a popular form of digital marketing meaning journalists making use of smartphones to gather, edit and distribute broadcast-quality news.
Leading the way in Ireland is RTE’s Philip Bromwell, who shoots and edits news packages on his smartphone. ‘Fifty Shades of Red’, a news report for RTE, was filmed on an iPhone 6 Plus at Kilmoon Cross Nurseries in Co Meath. It looks at the Christmas market for Irish-grown poinsettias.
Bromwell also used his iPhone 6 Plus to produce ‘The Great South Wall’, a special report made on the 300th anniversary of the decision to build a four kilometre wall into Dublin Bay. The piece included interviews from environmental scientist Richard Nairn and historian Rob Goodbody.
Another report called ‘The King of Coffee’ – shot on an iPhone 5S – tells the story of young Lithuanian barista, Seivijus Matiejunas (known as Elvis), as he prepares to represent Ireland at the World Latte Art Championships in Australia in May 2014.
Apps such as Snapchat and Facebook live have made mobile journalism widely accessible to journalists. Popular online publication, The Journal.ie, uses its Snapchat account to post simple but engaging news packages. For example, when plans to introduce a mandatory calorie count on menus were announced, it produced a news package on Snapchat interviewing restaurant workers and owners.
Another of its Snapchat broadcasts covered TDs’ return to the Dáil after a 68-day summer break that included interviews with Sinn Fein’s Louise O’Reilly and Independent Danny Healy-Rae, broadcast over Snapchat.
Taking things a step further is director, Sean Baker, who has turned his iPhone into a movie camera, shooting and producing films entirely on the device. His debut ‘Tangerine’ (shot on an iPhone 5S) was an instant hit when released at the Sundance Film Festival. The story focuses on a transgender prostitute who goes on a rampage looking for her cheating boyfriend.
His second short film ‘Snowbird’, starring model and actress Abbey Lee, tells the story of a young woman, Theo, living in a remote desert community. This was released on YouTube, Vimeo, and Kenzo.com.
If you want to give mobile journalism a shot, you’ll need:
Mobile journalism offers content marketers new opportunities. Mobile journalists have an ‘always-on’ approach to their work. They’re out and about discovering news, instead of just rehashing it from the comfort of their office.
Content marketers need to take a similar approach. Instead of endlessly producing more of the same, mix it up. You have all the equipment required in your pocket. Once you’re creating truly engaging content, those old reliable listicles will start to lose their appeal.
Too many SEO specialists and digital marketing agencies are ploughing the same furrow. To stand out, you’ll need to embrace the idea of producing unique, fresh news packages that catch the attention of journalists and online influencers. So grab your phone and go!
– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.