Content and communications: stop talking and just do it!

I’ve just read a great blog post by Steve Farnsworth, explaining the importance for communications professionals to get on board with what he calls, ‘content marketing’.

This is something of great interest to me as I have spent the past two/three months meeting with a variety of people in the industry who, for the most part, have asked to see me to enquire about what I want to do. The interest is flattering but the results disappointing.

Having left my post of Digital Editor and Technology Reporter at PRWeek last December, I took time out to consider what I wanted to be when I grow up, so to speak.

I loved what I did with my social media work at the magazine and writing has always been something I’m passionate about and played a role throughout my career. So, with the trend towards the importance of digital media within the communications sector and the ever-increasing value of top quality content, required as a result of this, I saw a niche there that I could partake in.

Edelman were certainly all over it, creating a content division and hiring journalists such as Stefan Stern, Robin Hamman and Richard Sambrook: talk and action! But one swallow does not a Summer make.

To my chagrin, it would seem that this was another case of ‘all style, no substance’, finding that the industry doesn’t seem ready to make this conversation a reality.

It’s strange because with the increased opportunity online, and, indeed, offline, for organisations to engage with their audiences, content surely is, as they say, king.

With many people, like me, out there with journalistic experience and who ‘get’ digital, perhaps someone might proffer some wisdom on this matter to allow us to move beyond no-man’s land.

Are we chasing something of a communications chimera, or is dogged persistence the solution to the search?

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One Response to Content and communications: stop talking and just do it!

  1. Ex journalist here (13 years covering tech), and I’ve been in PR for five years. I’ve found that while I tend to get hired for digital/social media skills, my content development skills usually end up being just as much of an internal selling point.

    Clients often accept the general principle of content marketing, but when faced with the reality of ‘thinking like a publisher’ and creating material that serves the audience’s needs rather than the marketing department’s, they can get a bit twitchy. Paying to create content that isn’t plastered with messaging and doesn’t always directly map onto business objectives is not something traditional marketers are comfortable with, and they often need more than a little gentle persuasion.

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