Beyond PR

Oct 04, 2012

Evolving Media … And Evolving PR

When PR Newswire was founded almost 60 years ago, television was in its infancy.   Throughout the course of our company’s history, we’ve been ringside as media markets have transformed in response to new communications technologies, from television to the fax machine, from the internet to today’s social web.   The transformation of the market – and PR Newswire’s ensuing evolution – is the subject of an article in today’s Financial Times titled, “PR and News Boundaries Are Being Redrawn.”

“Today, it’s in your organization’s interest to make your products available wherever your audience resides,” notes PR Newswire CEO Ninan Chacko. “Every product is digitized, and the context for consumption is created by content marketing.  If the product has to be available everywhere, so does that context.”

This means pushing the boundaries for content beyond the organization’s web site and its Facebook page.  So where else does it need to be? Simply put, in channels you don’t necessarily control, and where your audience lives, such as third party web sites, search engines, and across the broader social sphere.

“Find the nodes that amplify your context,” notes Ninan.  “Those nodes exist – all over the web, on blogs, within communities of interest, across social and in search. These are the primary means of discovery today.  Communicators need to expand the context of what they’re promoting, and that context needs to be available across this entire universe.”

As the information and attention marketplaces evolve, so has PR Newswire.   Our customers expect us to deliver their press releases and other content to the target audiences they’ve identified.  Today, that means a few things:

  • Being a credible new source for journalists and bloggers, and cultivating relationships with that influential audience
  • Making content compelling and easy to find – in search engines and on web sites – for other constituents our customers need to reach
  • Enabling (and encouraging) social conversations around and sharing of the content we publish
  •  Developing content audiences want to read in the formats they find most attractive and compelling, ranging from pithy tweets to fully-loaded multimedia experiences that render beautifully on tablets and mobile devices.

“Bringing the brand to the audience is the essence of what we do,” says Ninan. “We’re not competing with agencies and the brand in content creation.  We amplify the efforts and the capabilities of the agency.  The heavy lifting is done by the agency and the brand to create the content and the strategy. That’s the hard part.”

The core driver for PR Newswire is the incredible opportunity to develop earned media that exists today for PR pros and marketers, thanks to the engaged audiences populating the social web.   We understand that every piece of content an organization publishes today carries the potential to capture the significant credibility (and visibility) that’s generated when readers like, share, link to and comment on owned media assets.  We’re calling that “evolved media” and it’s central to the agile engagement construct PR Newswire has developed, because it’s up to us to ensure our customers are capitalizing on these opportunities.

So we’re arming our customers with new communications capabilities, designed to deftly target influencers, deliver actionable intelligence, identify real-time trends and opportunities and to drive messages into relevant niches previously unknown to the brands and organizations that work with us.  The media marketplace is in the midst of a sea-change, and the way people make buying decisions has morphed.  The agile engagement framework is the map we offer our clients to help them navigate their course in this new environment.

In addition to the industry’s largest and most comprehensive syndication network, PR Newswire has developed a number of solutions offering reach and functionality not available elsewhere.

“We have different ways to get you to the audience,” said Ninan. “Relying solely on the notion that the audience will come to you overlooks the incremental gains afforded by seeking out your audience.  Our platform enables our customers to capitalize on the evolved earned media landscape by combining content syndication with search optimization and social media engagement, providing comprehensive visibility for your brand across all the channels your audience relies upon.”

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

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