Why Tumblr hired its own editors

Tony Hallett

Tony Hallett

Managing Director

February 3, 2012 4:01 pm

Great to see the news this week that Tumblr, the other popular micro-blogging service, is hiring an editor-in-chief and (at least one other) writer – in part to report on its own goings on.

Most media that covered the news scratched their heads, at least a bit. To Collective Content it makes complete sense.

No one we read mentioned phrases such as corporate journalism or – icky as it is to some – content marketing.

For non-media companies – and I barely count Tumblr as a media company, in much the same way I don’t count Google, even if Wall Street does – to hire those who know how to tell stories, to engage users, is a huge movement right now. Tumblr looks set to be at the front of corporate reporting.

The key is not to just make it in-house PR. The editor-in-chief of the new venture would appear to get that. In this interview he says: “It can’t sound like some celebratory masturbation machine.”
We think that puts it pretty clearly. We’ll save the What Is Content Marketing post for another day but for companies the equation can be reduced to:

Sales <– Marketing <– Social Media <– Substance on which to base campaigns, sharing and so on.
As we say, that’s reductionist but Tumblr proves that even for a business with what you’d consider a lot of content and visibility, having critical, trained voices that further engage users and advertisers makes sense. In fact it more than makes sense – it’s the smart play and reflects very well on those running the company.