Bryce Wilson (AKA @drjft) has contacted me and request changes to the article below. Specifically, with reference to him using stolen gear for the photographs discussed, and that he profited from this stolen gear. As such, I’ve removed this content.
Let me get this out of the way. I’m not accusing Bank of Melbourne of any wrongdoing, but it’s more of a strange story on the content marketing landscape. In no way have Bank of Melbourne actively supported robbery (obviously), but inadvertently, they have supported a thief and trespasser. Equally, I advised Bank of Melbourne of this post prior to publication (I didn’t want to create a a real headache for someone), and they have since taken the posts down. Also, mentioned Instagrammer @drjft has also gone ‘private’, so the topic of which I’m talking is of real relevance.
Instagram; Started with creators & makers, and increasing in curators
Lately, it seems like I’m getting ‘followed’ by more and more businesses / brands / corporates wanting to explore new territory with regards to their content marketing strategies. I’m generally for it, as it’s a great way of embracing content generated by the creators, and these brands are always on the lookout for a way to curate to new markets. Equally, if a brand is generating great content, that’s an even bigger tick. But the actual content generation seems hard, expensive and the exception, so curation is all the rage right now…
(Quality) Content is King
If I get followed by some known brand – and I’ll use @bankofmelb for this – I’m generally curious on 2 fronts. 1) What type of content are they posting, and 2) What is their agenda (cause, it will have an internal ROI)?. So on @bankofmelb, what do they stand for?
Good idea, and nice content too. It’s all curated, or ‘regrammed’, with a little comment crediting the original author. But one post jumped out at me, and it was really exceptional.
I didn’t quite know how they sourced that photo (I know Melbourne pretty well, but that looked like a hard space to find). Anyways, I followed @BankOfMelb back, and that was a couple weeks back. Last night on Channel 9 News, I saw an interesting news report that revolved around a Melbourne Instagrammer. Turns out, the picture above, was taken by @drjft, who was the prime target. Basically, this guy climbs illegally, and then gets exposure based on the uniqueness of it…
- We’ve got a corporates ‘regramming’ photos
- We’ve got a now-known criminal who has illegally taken these photos (and it’s not unfair to draw the conclusion he used a stolen camera to take this specific photo, from the video above)
- Note, 31st July 2015: Bryce Wilson has informed me that the stolen equipment was not used for these specific photos, so this conclusion was not the case. Equally, he apologises wholeheartedly for the grief he cased from the stolen personal possessions, but has no qualms with the fact he does trespass to gain access to take photographs.
- We’ve got a corporate capitalising on this… Seems kinda strange, huh?
I know Instagram isn’t a cash cow for business, but as per the original agenda of a @BankOfMelb being on Instagram, ROI isn’t unexpected. Equally, I’m not saying that Bank of Melbourne we’re aware of this illegal activity, but reading the comments @drjft’s original post (below), you’d think it be safe to suspect they knew it was slightly dodgy…
I’m not wanting to make a harsh judgment call on Bank of Melbourne, as this hasn’t really been their doing. Increasingly, businesses are doing this more and more, and this is a real ‘watch this space’. The current corporate-content landscape is very interesting and it’s early days. In the future, the notion of regramming will come under more scrutiny. It’s only a matter of time for a big corporate to regram something that a person has has uploaded, that they never had permission to. And that could cause some real legal headaches…
What do I want out of this?
Firstly, content curation is isn’t risk free or easy. Equally, creating content isn’t easy, but it seems that content curation is often looked at as the ‘easy way for cut-through’, because it requires less ‘doing’ and more ‘finding’.
Secondly, if curation is to be the approach, understand the risks. What are the legal ramifications of uploading an image to a social media platform, that you don’t actually own it. Say you get permission; is it legal permission, or anecdotal? If it’s by means of a hashtag, or a ‘reply to a comment’, what happens if that person decides to delete it later? Will there be a record if they wanted to take you to court? I really believe this will get messy with the increasing desire for litigation, and this is of greater significance to brands with more to lose (cash / reputation / whatever).
Lastly, I want marketers to take care with how they operate and understand the landscape. Understand copyright, understand terms of service, and understand that social media marketing puts people in the spotlight, for all the wrong reasons.
Is this just an unlucky coincidence (which I think it is, partly), or will this type of possible PR headache come up more and more (I think it will)? Or, does it even matter (as a creator, I think it does)?
And just a final word on Bank of Melbourne; I really do like their For the Maker campaign. It’s something that I personally align to, and their advert (below) is a real piece of work.