I may have warned you earlier that I’m starting up an occasional series of interviews with people I admire. People who change stuff. People who just see the world differently and want to help us understand it better.

That series is going to be called Conversations. Because it makes sense. I make no promises but to give you an insight into stuff that can help you do business better or get insight into things that can help us become improved people.

My first guest is Alison Gow, editor of the Daily Post here in the UK.

I’ve been a big fan of Gow for years. We used to work in similar circles, she continuing to plough an undeniably impressive furrow in real journalism while I prostituted my trade in the murkier world of travel magazines.

It is reputed that at an early age Gow swapped her veins for RJ45 cables, such is her passion for digital. Now she’s the head honcho of a newspaper.

And not just any newspaper, natch. Only just about the most innovative, creative, dynamic and upsurgingly insightful example of the breed we’ve ever had the fortune to intersect paths with. And that’s quite some risk to take in the knowledge that a journo approaching the peak of her mercurial career will be reading this at some point – starting two sentences in the same paragraph with ‘and’, and finishing the first with ‘with’.

Alison Gow, inexplicably hair-heavy to her right. Photo by Andy Teebay.

We take chances, we run risks, but by hell do we love creating awesome content for ya. Which is precisely why we drafted in Alison Gow, recently-inducted editor of the Daily Post, to opine on where we’re at right now with news and the media, and where it’s all going next.

Why is it important I listen to a newspaper editor? What does she know about marketing?

Well, um, actually, much more than I thought. And my expectations were already pretty high, if not stratospherically so.

I don’t want to appear obsequious in all this, but every editor of an influential publication needs to understand the power of speaking and listening to a community. It’s the lifeblood. If the community is switched off, newspapers don’t get sold and advertisers don’t get calls.

And when that happens, people get fired. So you could say that newspaper editors probably know vastly more about marketing and how to turn on customers than pretty much anyone in industry.

Why news is your business

That having been said, there are two primary reasons why you need to grab half an hour for this exercise in gaining a competitive edge:

  1. As businesses we’ve never been more like a publisher than now. And (damn, sorry you grammatical pedants) it makes sense that you listen to someone at the top of their game in the publishing world to get a unique insight into what matters from both a creating and a consuming perspective.
  2. Newspapers are among the best ways of boosting your profile and generating awareness in your communities about what you do, and your superpowers.

I’ve done some interviews in my time. Ridiculously talented authors, award-winning photographers, craftsmen of every stripe. But I don’t think there’s been anyone who in 27 short minutes has given you such an informative, invaluable and potted prescription for becoming a prominent content creator extraordinaire than Alison Gow.

And besides, if all that goes to waste I’m thinking she’ll definitely arouse your curiosities towards the back end of this web radio sequence. You’ll have to listen in to interpret that point, euphemistically made, for yourself.

And before I run out of sentences starting with ‘and’, don’t forget to pitch in with your comments and ideas below. How are you working with your local newspapers to get the message across about your business to your customers of today and tomorrow across the region?

And that’s it!

I’d love to know what you thought of this first episode of Conversations. If you have someone in mind – or if it’s yourself – who has something useful to say and share, drop me a line.