Flight to quality content
As online publishing has become cheaper, we had the rise of citizen journalism. But what got less attention was that brands were having to become media companies, this was partly forced upon the brands as consumers looked for a more transparent form of brand engagement. Some of it has also been forced on the brands as the media industry has collapsed in on its self. When I think about the UK technology sector and the amount of technology publications that have folded over the past decade, PR people have it so much tougher now than I did starting off my career. There are less print titles with less journalists and less space.
In some sectors, if the company did not become a media brand in its own light then it would no longer have a channel for message propagation or thought leadership. If you don’t know what I am talking about check out @themediaisdying and look at the way people like News Corp. have been trying to find an effective business model for their news titles recently.
Reputation management agencies are already trying to game search for brands by utilising content farm tactics, however consumers will quickly wise up to that which is the reason why organisations need to think very carefully about:
- How content fits into their overall strategy?
- How they can create quality content?
- How they resource the content, what is appropriate to be done internally versus what can be outsourced?
- How should the content be syndicated to maximise the benefit from organic search and aid discovery by the audience?
All of these are areas that agencies are in an ideal position to help and it is no coincidence that former journalists and producers are being employed not only for their contacts and newsroom insight, but also because of their expertise as content creators. Their expertise will only take them so far as organisations and media brands alike look to take advantage of proliferating platforms of consumption including e-book readers, tablets, PCs and mobile devices.