We’re living in a period of profound change in communications channels and tools. How will you change your communications practices to reflect these underlying changes in the communications networks, expectations and participants? What are the opportunities? What are the challenges?
Gini says that the current set of changes are accelerating a move to agency consolidation that she has been observing since the turn of the century. But while we as professionals are finding ourselves in integrated agencies, we are feeling pressure to become expert in related fields – SEO, content marketing, paid promotion. We have to be able to operated above and across the silos as they break down.
Martin Waxman feels that the greatest challenge for PR practitioners is to break out of the publicist mode once and for all. The move to content journalism and content marketing plays to the PR practitioner’s traditional storytelling strengths. And if you’re looking at your career, don’t disregard this path to the future.
Joe points to the trend to anchor integrated communications in marketing departments and marketing programs, places and activities that measure real results against defined objectives. PR practitioners must become platform agnostic, married not solely to earned media, but open to paid media as well as owned media.
Gini notes that she has seen search firms competing for some of these assignments. The challenge for these firms is that they are great at writing for robots, not for human beings. The complete firm will write for both human beings and the search robots. The success of PR firms or any firm will rest on their ability to pull together in one team the analytic and storytelling skills to offer truly compelling, effective content marketing.
Finally, Martin asks how people will be able to make a living as content creators when online outlets like Huffington Post and Forbes.com pay nothing or very little for quality content. Joe suggests that most won’t. There are few Mathew Ingrams or Om Maliks, few people who have something to say, day in and day out. Most of us write more infrequently on a narrower range of topics. As it ever was, few will make a living directly from their content creation. Most of us will of necessity rely on earning our living in jobs in which we benefit from reputations enhanced by creating and publishing smart content.
Also in this episode, Martin gives a plug to the digital communications class at University of Toronto. The next course starts in May. So, if you’d interested in taking this, contact Martin.
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