Regulars of this blog know that I often talk about context building as a marketing strategy. Granted, many of the parts in the marketing mix are coming together and blending these days, a good thing when they are wrapped around the customer communication and buying needs.
New media is an odd duck, still. It is often described as a function, instead of a mindset in organizations that are wrestling with hiring by function on an org chart. Which adds to the confusion that splits strategy and tactics.
Do you have one person who puts a scoop of Twitter and Facebook on campaigns? Who is driving marketing and communication decisions?
However, it is possible to work your news page to become the new newsroom. Which brings up to the topic of building a platform with PR.
From article to topic
Craig Newmark wrote something recently about the new unit of reporting that PR professionals should pay attention to. Fragmentation and the continuous demise of trade publications are both a challenge in building a cohesive story about a company or a brand. You rarely know what news is going to tip, and it takes more than one press release to build a story.
Some organizations also have the added challenge that they may not be able to talk about what they're working on in too much depth due to regulations. While one article with tips and considerations may be a good start, it's not enough to become the go-to resource for a certain topic -- neither with readers, nor with search engines.
Hence the need to build a platform and develop a topic onto it. One of the compelling reasons that makes readers go back to certain online publications, some of which were born as or still are blogs, is the ability to explore one topic in breadth and depth.
Think about it, if your services are focused in a specific area, dripping content that explores that area on a regular basis is the way to go to be found, establish yourself as an authority in the subject matter, and gain visibility for your business.Considerations of building a platform with content
News items become one area of links and interest, not the center. You start moving from embedding links to Web landing pages to constructing your document so that it's embedded news -- someone could take it as a very specific piece of the content puzzle that provides depth, insights, or proof for a subject matter.
Each piece of content is not trying to say it all, it develops one thesis or way of looking at a topic. Together, all the articles, posts, slide decks, videos, podcasts, and comments, form the platform. This is where the topic is co-owned by you, the host, and the community that builds content on it and links to it.
To put it in checklist format:
- construct your document so it becomes embeddable news
- develop each piece as a specific part of the whole
- curate the content contributed by the community
- connect all the content contributions
- facilitate and encourage social proofing
- enjoy improved search results both from keywords and social
- learn about new content angles from the interactions
If you were to ask reputable PR firms what their biggest growing practice was today, in addition to content generation, they'd say community management. You know how to harness influence, and earn your media. There is a little more to it and we'll expand on the client-agency relationship further in a future post.
Have you taken some of these steps at your agency? Is your company retooling talent to be able to build a sustainable platform to engage alongside all of the other tactics in the marketing and communications mix? Are you seeing a transformation in the opportunities associated with PR? Or it is same old, same old for you?
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.