US based public relations strategist Craig Pearce explores the question of whether or not Public Relations agencies should claim control of content marketing is his regular post at jeffbullas.com this week…The future is unknown and Mkt. believes the key will be to continue to work strategically and collaboratively with our clients agency partners (From advertising agencies to digital, social media and media agencies) to ensure that messaging and positioning stays on focus in a clever and targeted way!
A couple of key points…
- At the heart of content marketing is storytelling, the main strategic approach informing the development of content which enhances brand equity and reputation. The telling of stories in business is the prime responsibility of public relations, so it is a natural progression for PR to take the lead role in content marketing.
- The popularity of content marketing, and its seeming emergence as a ‘new’ tactical element in marketing and communication, is deeply ironic. In fact, content marketing has been embedded in business communication since the first time a street seller starting yelling out across the marketplace about his wares; since the first advertisement; since the first billboard.
- The generation of stories and messaging underpinning efforts to enhance brand equity and reputation has been apparent in PR-driven media campaigns, thought leadership pieces, conference presentations, publications and even events for many years.
- The emergence of social media and its voracious need for more content (driven by digital consumers), due to the plethora of platforms such as blogs and Facebook, has given the term ‘content marketing’ a gravitas it perhaps doesn’t deserve.
- It’s not like content marketing is a new thing, then again, equally, the sheer volume of social media platforms means that perhaps content marketing is deserving of the hype and as the number of journalists and traditional media titles dwindle, there is more demand for corporate-driven content, accompanied by an attendant opportunity for brands to communicate more directly, creatively and meaningfully with their target audiences.
- One of the most important characteristics of this new world of content marketing is its visual dimension. Undoubtedly, the impact of visuals to tell and enhance stories has existed since caveman days.
- What won’t change, however, is the need for communicators to understand the nature of stories which need to be told to enhance brand and reputation. What won’t change is recognising the importance of what platform should be used to best tell the stories and which are most likely to reach and impact on target audiences.
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