By Rex Hammock

Nearly 30 years ago, when Hammock first started helping clients develop recurring media programs for association members, customers or enthusiasts, the term “service journalism” was used more than it is today. Typically, the phrase refers to a type of magazine or website that focuses on the how-tos of a topic or passion. For example, Better Homes and Gardens is a quintessential service magazine for several generations of readers.

By Rex Hammock

At Hammock, we use the terms “chronological” and “contextual” to describe two types of information a company should provide as part of an effective content strategy. Here’s how we define those terms:

By Rex Hammock

During the past decade, people like me who live in Nashville have witnessed a fascinating phenomenon. While Nashville had been known for a couple of styles of food (scorching spicy chicken and comfort food served at meat-and-threes), the city was never considered a food mecca.

That has changed dramatically.

By Rex Hammock

This week marks our 150th Idea Email. (Here’s the complete archive.) Until now, we’ve never included New Year’s resolutions for people who market with content and customer media. Pick and choose from these 10 content marketing resolutions for 2019 as needed—or, if you’re feeling especially productive, tackle all 10.

Healthcare Technology Trends
How We Overestimate Tech’s Short-Term Impact and Underestimate Its Long-Term Impact

During the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing lots of articles listing the most important stories of 2018 and predictions for 2019 healthcare trends. Here’s our prediction: There will be very little difference between last year’s and this year’s predictions.


Why? Trends don’t happen in predictable blocks of time. Usually the things we think are speeding past us are actually moving quite slow. A technology trend can take decades—20 years, some experts say—to mature into something that’s viable, usable or real. (Has anyone yet to see a self-driving car on the street in your town?)


By Rex Hammock

Yesterday, the social media dashboard Hootsuite issued a report predicting 2019’s most important social media trends for brands and businesses. It bases its predictions on a survey of large and small social media departments and agencies.

It’s worth a read, but here are its five trends boiled down to one sentence each.

By Rex Hammock

On the Tuesday before each Thanksgiving,
we share this idea. And with it, we send our deepest thanks.

Not long ago, the most powerful word in marketing was the word FREE.
That era ended with the creation of filters that automatically translate that word into spam.

Now, we believe the most powerful word in marketing is THANKS.

By Rex Hammock

Perhaps you’ve heard the big news of the week. No, not the midterm elections. I’m referring to Amazon sending out a 70-page catalog promoting Christmas toys this year. A real catalog. The kind printed on paper pages, not displayed on web pages. The kind of catalog I used to look forward to every year about this time.

By Rex Hammock

The first time I wrote about podcasting was 14 years ago, on September 29, 2005, on RexBlog.com. The day before, a Google search for the word “podcasts” turned up only 24 results. “I can see magazines, associations, churches, schools and companies utilizing podcasting to distribute regular audio content to their audiences,” I wrote. In other words, I was enthusiastic about the future of podcasting. And, despite a constant stream of predictions from “experts” that “podcasting is dead” (not to be confused with podcasts about death), I still believe the golden age of customer-focused podcasting is before us.

By Rex Hammock

On October 8, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced it was pulling the plug on Google+. It was at least the company’s fourth attempt at creating a social network that would compete with Facebook.

When Google+ launched in 2011, it was a big deal backed by nearly a billion dollars and all the great minds they could round up.