By now, it’s safe to say that everybody and their mama knows the name Stephen Curry.
It’s probably also safe to say that, earlier this year, no one outside of Hayward, CA, knew or probably even cared about a high school teacher named Matt Amaral.
But thanks to some timely commentary and the hype surrounding the Golden State Warriors golden boy, Mr. Amaral shot himself into the spotlight.
When I got word of the blog post the Mt. Eden High School teacher wrote, encouraging Stephen Curry to stay away from visiting his school now that he is really famous, I was actually quite impressed. Not just because Mt. Eden High is my alma mater (On the real, almost nobody outside of Hayward remembers anything special about that school, and I’m OK with that). But it also takes some balls to go after someone who is so beloved by other people. Unlike some unforgiving souls, I understood Mr. Amaral’s underlying message—that our society often places more value on getting rich quickly and attaining celebrity status rather than on putting in hard work.
What does this all have to do with digital content? Just about everything.
When you’re trying to put your opinion out there, especially on the Web, you have just moments to make an impression with people before they move on to the next attention-grabbing thing.
If there was one thing I learned from being a journalist, it was that time can be your friend. If there is an event or a topic that has suddenly captured a lot of people’s attention, then you have an opportunity to hop on that racehorse and ride that pony all the way to the Triple Crown. That’s not only good timing. That’s smart content strategy.
I don’t know if it was Mr. Amaral’s intention to cause so much controversy with his blog post, but it can be a lesson to anyone who is wondering how to grow your brand online. If I were Matt Amaral, I might create another blog or a site dedicated to hatin’ on Steph Curry and all the altruistic celebrities just like him. Of course it would be controversial, but it could also bring some much-needed attention to a place no one really cared about before. And that, my friends, is how you really play the game.