Inside PR 3.49: Jay Baer wants companies to be more useful


We’ve talked to author, digital strategist and speaker extraordinaire Jay Baer on Inside PR a few times before. In fact, the first time was after the 2009 PRSA Counselors Academy Conference in Palm Springs that Jay references in the beginning of his new book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype (highly recommended by Martin).

Jay is the closing keynote at Meshmarketing conference in Toronto on November 7, so we thought this is a good time to catch up with him and discuss what’s new.

Jay defines youtility, the theme of his book, as creating marketing that has so much intrinsic value people would pay for it. He says many companies are embracing this principle because it helps them break through the clutter we face today.

He encourages businesses to ‘market their marketing’ by developing a launch strategy for their content that leads people to it.

The competitive landscape has altered the information we consume into a mashup of personal and professional sources and Jay he believes businesses need to develop relationships with customers that are similar to the relationship people have with their friends. He calls that friend of mine awareness.

Jay says the PR industry, which became active in social media early on because it understood the importance of stories and relationships, now has to change the way it executes and move from being talkers to skilled makers of content like infographics, videos and white papers. Most PR agencies don’t have makers on staff and have to outsource too much of that work.

Joe experienced the concept of Youtility last week and references a number of blog posts from trusted sources on what we need to know about the new Google algorithm; he received useful information in real-time that helped him.

Gini is surprised businesses are still not creating launch plans for marketing the content they produce in order to help amplify it.

Joe talks about how he’s moved Thornley Fallis into an agency of makers with video, web design and creative people in-house. However, he’s noticed some clients aren’t including PR agencies when they’re looking to develop an integrated campaign and we need to change that.

Gini, who also transformed her firm into a maker agency, agrees and says there’s some confusion on the client side on what we, as new PR agencies, can do.


We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.