Bob Evans moves from InformationWeek to a Brand Journalism gig at SAP

Posted by David Meerman Scott 08:15 AM on May 04, 2011

Bobevans_136 Last February, Bob Evans, who at the time was senior vice president and director of InformationWeek Global CIO, where he was responsible for content strategy and execution and audience engagement wrote: An Open Letter To SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner. The letter included ten very candid suggestions on overhauling SAP's value proposition, corporate culture, commitment to the cloud, competitive outlook and more.

SAP-Logo Now Bob Evans works at SAP as communications strategist and contributor. Bob recently joined SAP and will continue the type of analysis and writing for which he is well known. He's stated a new blog at SAP called The Innovation Business and tweets at @bobevansSAP.

I find this fascinating on so many levels!

Bob Evans got his new gig based in large part because of the content he created and by understanding his new employer, SAP, and writing about it. I frequently tell people that there are new rules for finding a job. Bob proves this.

It's also interesting that SAP is stepping up its commitment to brand journalism by bringing Bob on board. I frequently talk up the merits of companies hiring journalists like Bob, a concept I call brand journalism.

I connected with Bob to get his take on his new gig.

I first asked Bob what he thinks about joining the dark side?

Bob Evans: "The term "the dark side" always implied that over here in the bright light were journalists who dealt in and delivered the clear, pure, untainted truth, and who had the wisdom to discern what people needed to know and what people *didn't* need to know, *when* they needed to know it, and *how* they needed to know it. The online world changed all that, giving rise to everything from people digging for their own healthcare information on sites like WebMD, to Drudge Report and Wikipedia, to mobile news alerts *defined* by the customer, to YouTube, to vast online storehouses of vendor-produced content. At the same time it also gave rise to your profession and the powerful emergence of the blogosphere, in which many new voices of great insight and wisdom have begun delivering more insight and analysis and expertise than consumers can find in the mainstream media. So the old "dark side" concept, I think, has come to mean anything other than the MSM, and whereas that concept still holds sway in the insular and detached world of places like the Columbia Journalism Review, one look at newspaper circulation or viewership of evening-news programs on the three traditional networks shows that the opinions of those that really matter--the consumers of information--don't give two hoots about the provincial concept of dark side//light side."

DMS: What sort of things will you be focusing your time on?

Bob Evans: "In my specific case, my ability to tell stories about the impact that technology plays on business innovation and strategy and competitive balance and global supply chains and real-time operations and cloud computing and more is enhanced by my being employed within a large, highly profitable, and truly global organization with more than 100,000 customers and deep troves of case-study expertise across thousands of corporations in more than 20 industries. As an SAP employee, I have more access to more information and expertise that can be shared with audiences than I did in my former position on the 'light side'."

DMS: Can you comment on the opportunities for other journalists?

Bob Evans: "Journalists with open minds have fantastic opportunities within their traditional profession as well as in untraditional areas, such as the path I've chosen. The key is open-mindedness: are they caught up in the limitations of such nonsense as "the job of the journalist is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable," or are they focused on digging up fresh insights, combining different sets of knowledge in ways never done before, and looking for great stories in unexpected places? Are they focused on delivering great value to audiences, or are they chained to anachronistic tenets of a journalism profession that was in many cases so narrow-minded and resistant to change that it is still struggling to adapt to the new reality of the internet, long after most other industries and professions have done so quite successfully? SAP knows more about business innovation and what it takes to deliver successful business transformations than any software company on the planet--as an SAP employee, I can have access to that incredible knowledge and expertise and share much of that with audiences."

Thanks Bob. And good luck in the new gig!

Hey, maybe now you could do an open letter to the head of InformationWeek (or the parent company United Business Media). That’s only fair, right?

David Meerman Scott

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