The ‘brand as publisher’ trend is super hot right now. From Red Bull to Amex and Coca Cola, many brands are making serious moves to position themselves as storytellers and content creators – often in ways that are disconnected to direct sales and calls to action.
Beyond the buzzword, however, the reality is that this movement is a challenge.
Red Bull, Amex and Coca Cola are the exceptions, not the rule. Most brands are not wired to be publishers. Their internal marketing teams have been built to be internal marketing teams rather than ‘always on’ newsrooms with a rich and agile set of content skills.
Consequently, most brands struggle to provide their audiences with content that has real value across all consumer touch points.
Good brand publishing needs to transcend social media, blogs, .coms and in-store magazines. It should be about providing audiences with something that’s needed, something that appeals, something that people want to engage with and share, something that has value. And content needs to be through of and generated as a platform for the business – decoupled from any given publishing destination.
If brands want to become effective publishers, they need to learn from real publishers. They need plenty of content, driven by plenty of storytelling brains, editorial calendars, mandates and policies – plus a little bit of new technology to facilitate the process. Content can be created (original), curated (user generated) and aggregated (co-created). Whatever the buzzword, this is what the traditional media business has been doing for decades. Data is also important to this process. A strong analytics cycle gives editors and content producers the power to mine the social web for conversational signals that will help optimize their output. Good data should support the creative hunch.
This is what I’ll be talking about at the 4th Annual PR Summit Conference taking place in San Francisco. [link to http://www.prsummit.org/] on July 30th and 31st.
Well be running the workshop “Brands as Publishers: Why Your Content Strategy is Broken” covering off on where we are now in the market, including brands who are getting it right, the steps to becoming a publisher, and some recent examples of our work here at Beyond in this arena working with brands Cisco, SAP, Virgin and most recently Google.
For more information on the workshop please visit: http://www.prsummit.org/#!day2-schedule-workshops/c133
To register for the Conference please click here: http://www.prsummit.org/#!register/c1oe3
For those who are not in the bay area, you can attend the conference live on Ustream TV:
For more information on Beyond, please visit: http://bynd.com/