When Content & Communications Collide

by Britton Manasco | Jan 11, 2007 | Content Strategy

Do you have what it takes to generate demand in our exceedingly loud, attention-starved era?

You may be very good at creating marketing content for lead gen purposes. You might have a "resources" section on your web site loaded with white papers, case studies, newsletters and podcasts. Or you may have talented public relations people who have a knack for getting you media placements.

But do you have both? I doubt it. Few do.

There are plenty of writers out there. Copywriters are a commodity. There are also plenty of PR professionals out there. They're a commodity, too.

What's missing is a convergence of the two: Skilled firms and professionals who can both generate rich marketing content and then capitalize on it by getting key influencers -- such as media and analysts -- to retell their tales.

You may have access to writers and other "content producers" now. They aren't hard to find. The best of them can identify the foundations of a great story when they hear it, refine it and make it extremely vivid. Trouble is, they usually don't have a clue about marketing or sales or the customer's decision-making process. They don't understand PR (or AR). Internal product marketers and marketing managers may or may not understand these things, but they usually don't have the skill or time to write compelling content. They have other pressing responsibilities.

PR people, meanwhile, don't have a story to tell without rich content.They tend to merely repeat the dull narratives they are told by their clients, desperately hoping editors and analysts will find these stories interesting enough to act on. Too often, they end up like sales people with a lousy product (in this case, dull, unimaginative stories). What PR people need to truly excel is rich, compelling and insightful content that grabs the attention of prospects and the interest of industry influencers.

The future belongs to forward-looking executives who know that market leadership revolves around thought leadership. Indeed, they will understand that true thought leadership lies at the intersection of content and communications, disciplined research and dynamic engagement, story making and influencer relations. Look for these connections -- these intersections -- if you are looking to elevate your company and drive profitable growth.