In this time where content is king, where is the responsibility for content best placed?This was the topic of a provocative article in Digiday on “PR Nudges Its Way to the Content Table.” My contention is that we’re not nudging our way, we’re already in the game. Whether identified as such or not, public relations pros who are at the top of their game are evolving into “Directors of Content”, responsible not only for developing ideas, but also, for creatively distributing the information in different iterations through varied distribution channels. For example, let’s say xyz hotel launches a new restaurant. The first channel is obviously the PR “evergreen” – a news announcement to the media. The same information can go out as a consumer piece – as a recipe, and in an e newsletter to the hotel’s mailing list. Putting the chef’s or food and beverage director’s byline with an opinion piece on how to make your operation environmentally sustainable – “best practices” – makes it a shoe in for any number of blogs – from hotel industry and Slow Food to those dealing with the environment. And then there’s the whole area of social media where the slant is engagement and conversation, certainly a forte of any PR professional. In a article mentioned, they also referred to “native” advertising, in other words, the world of sponsored posts which are more editorially oriented (less flowery copy) than advertorials. To be sure, the space is purchased, so then it might follow that advertising will do the copy. For PR professionals, this native advertising is just another name for articles we call “service” pieces. And then there’s another perspective expressed in the Digiday article from an ad exec:
“Creating content is still a line item on an invoice, whether that’s for PR agencies or ad agencies. What experts say, however, is that owning content-creation will come down to one thing: execution. PR has just as good an opportunity as any other industry to be in a strong position to own this stuff and play a leading role helping brands,” said Rick Liebling, creative culturalist at Y&R. It comes down to: Do you have chops or don’t you?”
To be sure, the challenge is that PR especially in hotels often has responsibilities other than “content”. Sometimes it’s special events, other times crisis communications, counsel, guest relations, and more. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out. For sure you’ll be reading more about this in future blogposts.
Blogpost by Karen Weiner Escalera, President and Chief Strategist