‘Content Marketing’ is the grown-up child of traditional PR. It has had to breed more tools and methods than ever before in order to cope with the mass adoption of online communication and an explosion of online publications, like virtual magazines (some stand-alone and some in-addition-to-print versions) as well as user-generated shared content tools like Instagram, Pinterest, on-site blogging and guest blogging.
It wasn’t so long ago that PR professionals were able to hold up their hands and shrug when it came to anything digital. They were wordsmiths first and foremost with some having the ability to interact through social media, but many resigning themselves to ‘others’ doing that for them.
Nowadays it’s a different situation altogether. If you ‘don’t do digital’ you don’t do PR. Simples. With all marketing and digital disciplines traditionally being split across different departments, and often across different agencies altogether, there has become an increasingly blurred line between what public relations should manage. All too often we are approached by a new client that already has an existing PR agency looking for ‘social’ to back up a campaign, project or comms plan, but in fact end up working with them on a number of activities that includes PR to further amplify their message, event or brand because we understand it better.
Our work to ‘listen’ to what is being talked about and shared, always leads to more integrated collaborations; optimized content incorporating the right keywords, correct brand messaging, tone of voice, news and topical features to spark comment and engagement, market research to back it up, and potentially events or opportunity offline as well as online.
Lee Odden of Top Rank Marketing recently wrote an article on this topic on HeidiCohen.com and I though he explained it well; “Today’s PR professional understands the intersection of content, social technologies and marketing in ways that achieve common PR objectives: credibility, thought leadership and influence. It’s less about managing information flow and pushing content – and more about creating content, networking and engagement.”