Media 2.0 is has run its course: Media 3.0 is the new reality . The traditional public relations agency is on the verge of extinction, tried and true programs are rarely successful—even expensive public relations databases can’t keep track of the changes in the editorial space. If your public relations agency is talking about things like podcasts, editorial calendar tracking or the value of company news for generating results: BEWARE!
What has happened you might think? Many of us in the profession have taken a hard look and it can be summarized as follows. Today, the value of SEO is golden because today’s buyer wants to begin their own form of product selection. So where do they start? Google or another search engine. So now, content is truly king. And while in the years circa 2005 to 2007, quality content was the king (Google had even trained its sophisticated search engine to discriminate what was quality content vs. what was not). In 2017, all of that has gone out the window. Now when marketing professionals say “Content is King” we mean the amount of content. The actual talent and writing required for good content is almost irrelevant.
Today’s audience has the attention span of a gnat (they don’t call it the ADD generation for fun). You’re lucky if today’s reader gets through the first paragraph of your content. Instead, readers want quotes, pictures and infographics to spoon feed them their news. With the overwhelming amount of Internet content available, it’s all they have time for.
Publications have figured this out and are quickly changing their tactics to accommodate today’s reader. Flarrio.com is a great example of this.
Publications know companies rarely will pay for advertisement, so to keep enough revenue going, they are moving their pubs online and letting go of high paid editors first, and anyone else that is expendable. The blood bath of iconic editors that have been let go and are now freelancers or marketing writers is unimaginable and tragic.
To compensate for needed content and dollars, publishers have turned to other tactics. One of the biggest changes is the advent of paid editorial “thought leader” communities, where vendor experts appear to be editors. Only after layers of click-throughs, can the average reader see that he or she is viewing vendor sponsored editorial. So publications are utilizing paid content from the technology community to fill their pages while paying their bills.
In response, we offer a few suggestions for this particular change.
- Make a list of your client’s most valuable pubs and do the research to determine if they still offer free “earned media” or free placed editorial opportunities and then have a plan to submit content to all of them.
- Direct budget to this new area of paid submissions and sign up your company’s most relevant executives to get them in the these “Thought Leader” communities so they can write as frequently as possible.
- Consider hiring editors that have been laid-off to write your company content that requires quality and expertise from a top writer. Sometimes it’s possible they will leverage their industry contacts for potential placement or other valuable introductions (more on that in a coming blog).
Well, I’ve just scratched the surface. Moving forward, I’ll be digging a little deeper and looking at other aspects of this major public relations shift so you can make the best out of what seems at first glance, an impossible change to manage.