The Why Behind the News: Q&A (and 2021 Predictions) With the WinmoEdge Team

February 8, 2021
Everyone’s obsessed with WinmoEdge. As a member of the marketing team, I use it every single day. The account management team shares the content with clients and the sales team with the leads. Of course, it’s where each Win More podcast episode scores its topics. And that’s just internally. Our clients use it, I’ve been told, even more, to discover new CMO hires, imminent agency reviews, opportunities, and emerging brands.

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The writers and researchers at WinmoEdge are some of the hardest working people at the company. And also the funniest, since they get to use words like “momvertising” with complete earnestness. I sat down with three members of the team to uncover their creative process, collaboration, Cher knowledge, and predictions on the hottest industries for 2021.

What’s your research process like for creating a WinmoEdge article?

Betsi Nelson: It’s about digging beyond the news. Anyone (or any publication) can simply report “this thing happened at Company X.” What sets WinmoEdge apart from others is the why behind the news. Why should our clients care? Once I know that, I can start the process of truly giving our clients the edge they need (I couldn’t help myself, honestly).

Charlie Bell: A major focus in 2021 is continuing to source more content in-house, so we use the tools at our disposal like Pathmatics to find leads not covered by outlets like AdAge. We also will look at earnings transcripts from public companies. As a researcher, my job is to make sure our data is accurate on the backend and add new contacts and agency relationships.

Samantha Wright: I start with a lead, which is often sourced in-house, and then build upon it with whatever information I can find. I pull data from Winmo, our third-party vendors, Google searches, and company investor information. Of course, the researchers help, too!

How do you work with other members of the team? What’s the collaboration process like?

BN: The team reports to me, so I work with everyone. But, I like to give them the autonomy to report, write, and research in their own style. I’m here to be supportive, bounce ideas off of, answer questions, and guide the direction of the publication. Everyone is bound to get stuck, whether in writing or research, and I can help work out kinks while fostering an environment where everyone is heard.

CB: As a researcher, we collaborate with the writers. We share notes and new findings while verifying information the writers use for articles, so that it can not only be used for that specific post, but also reflected in Winmo the next day. We’re talking with the writers throughout the day to ensure readers have a seamless experience between Edge and Winmo.

SW: The writers tend to work together in two primary ways: by providing each other leads (a new lead to write about) and discussing the writing process in regular meetings (what works, what doesn’t work, etc). We tend to work more with the researchers than each other though. They help the writers with each article and we communicate about everything from information in the database to the person highlighted in the article.

How do you foster your creativity or a point of view in your WinmoEdge writing style?

BN: Creativity isn’t our first priority so, it can get lost some days. Having said that, one of my favorite things about WinmoEdge, and something I encourage, is the freedom to add a signature voice. If we don’t, the writing can get repetitive and dare I say boring? For us and our readers. News can be dry and WinmoEdge should be a bright spot in our clients’ day while still sharing the important stuff. Everyone is so hilarious that we’d be remiss if we didn’t include their personalities. Sometimes, when assigning stories, I’ll say, “Please make [x] reference because it has to happen.” I’m basically a walking jukebox, so anytime I can make a musical reference in an article, I take my chances with it.

CB: I’m not a writer, but since I contribute to Scoops, I can comment a little. A good amount of inspiration for articles and Scoops posts comes outside of work hours. Seeing ads or hearing about a new brand by word of mouth and just jotting down a note to look into it.

SW: I tend to have a more matter-of-fact writing style. I like to get to the point. But, I do throw in some sass and puns here and there to add some extra spice.

How do you use Winmo (or one of our integrations) in your articles?

BN: It’s impossible to overstate how important Winmo’s integrations are to Edge articles. As mentioned, anyone can relay the news. But our integrations, such as Pathmatics or iSpot, allow the team to take the information further than anyone else. We can tell you when and where money is spent and how that plays into your strategy. This work is about putting together a puzzle and our integrations make that happen for every article.

CB: I use Winmo, Pathmatics, and iSpot constantly during the day because of the different search tools on each platform. Pathmatics helps me find information on digital, especially social spending. iSpot is a great tool for TV spending and details on specific commercials. And I use Winmo for contact details when reaching out to decision-makers and agency contacts. The Crystal Insights are great to check before sending emails, too.

SW: It would be easier to list what part of Winmo I don’t use in my articles. I use every part of a profile and as much of the third-party data as possible. Plus, company contacts, address, description, AORs… It’s all useful!

Tell me about your favorite or most memorable WinmoEdge article you’ve written/researched. What makes it stand out to you?

BN: I’ve been doing this for seven years, so I have a bunch of favorites. From a creativity standpoint, the ones that stand out the most are the series of Chipotle articles I did a few years ago.  Someone sent them to our CEO, Dave Currie to tell him how funny I was. Then there was an article about Gap’s Christmas campaign featuring Cher from a few years ago – the whole article was Cher song lyrics linked to her videos. It was informative, but a total blast to write!

CB: WarnerMedia is usually a tough one to research because of all its divisions. But the last time we wrote about them, one of the people I reached out to in order to verify some information was incredibly nice and accommodating. Those kinds of interactions can make your day.

SW: This is going to sound really dorky, but I really like the articles about animal companies like Rover, Battersea Cats & Dogs, and the RSPCA. I get to look at cute animal pictures when researching companies like that and I like to promote animal welfare companies. As someone who’s volunteered at a cat shelter for about 13 years, it feels great to write about animal organizations that deserve more publicity.

What’s the most difficult part of your job? Why?

BN: It’s shifted over the years. Now, instead of doing the daily reporting, I oversee it. My job is to organize assignments and publishing, making sure the team has the resources and support to work efficiently. It took me a while to get out of the day-to-day headspace. Now, the most difficult part, but also the most fun, is planning. Edge works really well in its current format, but what else can we share with our readers? Looking ahead and considering doing things differently can be scary, but we have such a great team that I can’t imagine not using their skills and passion to evolve even more.
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CB: Not being able to find the info you’re looking for in the amount of time given. We don’t want to let down the writers or our clients.
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SW: Word limits. Some companies could have novels written about them, and as much as I want to write that novel, I know I need to be succinct for our readers. Condensing that information is hard!
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Of course, I couldn’t let the WinmoEdge team get off without sharing some of their 2021 predictions with me. Here’s what they expect to be big news for the rest of the year:

  • Retail investing, oh my: It will be interesting to see the aftermath of the GME fiasco and the future role of social media in the stock market. Will hedge funds hire meme specialists? What is the future of the Robinhood brand after attempting to manipulate the market? So many questions.
  • Gaming partnerships: Banks forming partnerships with Twitch Streamers? What’s next, insurance companies partnering with Roblox?
  • Health, health, and more health: Many brands are repositioning themselves as health and wellness companies. Like CVS rebranding to CVS Health and even Petco becoming Petco The Health + Wellness Co. Telehealth will also be here to stay long after the pandemic.
  • eCommerce’s rise: And retail will continue to decline.

 

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If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. Emerging Industries Report: Q1 2021
  2. How Winmo Launches Publishing Giant Into New Verticals: Q&A with Future’s Jason Webby
  3. How I Applied WinmoEdge Insights as an Agency Client

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