By Neville L. Johnson and Douglas L. Johnson
Creating key business partnerships and strategies in the entertainment industry is paramount to succeeding. Without welcoming new technology, businesses or trends with open arms, it can be challenging to continue fostering a company's growth.
Some partnerships can be an excellent financial and strategic move that still raises many questions. One such example is NBC Universal's (NBCU) partnership with BuzzFeed, Inc., a company with a website that produces content about entertainment, news, celebrities, recipes, DIY items and quizzes. BuzzFeed.com has a national reputation for a fun spin on material and interesting headlines to attract readers – and it succeeds at this strategy.
While both companies have similar goals in mind, some eyebrows are still raised between this partnership.
When partner companies have different tactics
Both of these companies serve the same purpose: to entertain and inform the masses. The approach each one takes and the reputation they strive to create is where they may differ.
As an example, BuzzFeed had used inside information from NBC News to create a quippy article with an attention-grabbing headline. However, when the information was proven false, BuzzFeed backed down and let NBCU take responsibility for handling the backlash.
It is possible the public may not hold the fun-loving BuzzFeed to the same accountability standards as a traditional news source such NBC News. However, now NBCU is left with critics wondering why financial interests and connections in their partnership were not previously revealed.
Managing disputes before and after they occur
It is impossible to know every issue that may arise in a partnership. However, a key analysis of both company's teams, strategies, reputations and business models can help bring possible conflicts to the surface before there is an issue.
Fortunately, if an issue has already occurred, it is not too late to get both companies on the same page.