Exploring the Convergence of PR, Journalism and Marketing

Photo courtesy of Tech Cocktail

Photo courtesy of Tech Cocktail

PR practitioners used to have it easy! Remember the good ‘ol days when it was all about our media relationships and campaigns were linear, like this?

  • Step 1: Work with client on strategy; get content.
  • Step 2: Pitch content to media; get placement.

Ok, that’s simplifying things quite a bit, but you know what we mean.

Now, though, the entire landscape has changed with the explosion of the Internet, which has removed virtually all barriers to publication. Suddenly we’re responsible not only for the message, but also the mode and the medium, which follows more of a vicious cycle:

  • Step 1: Coordinate with client on strategy.
  • Step 2: Create actual content, which could be anything from case studies and white papers to blogs, eBooks, guides and all kinds of other collateral.
  • Step 3: Publish content, which runs the gamut from media placements, company blog posts, contributed articles, events and more.
  • Step 4: Promote content via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  • Step 5: Interact with community on various platforms, reacting, responding and re-adjusting your course, as needed.
  • Step 6: Start from the beginning and do it all over again!

Software Advice‘s article on The B2B Marketing Mentor does a great job of explaining the creation and importance of this new kind of role that merges marketing, PR and journalism functions.

In an nutshell, since we now play a larger part in the production of content (journalism), we’re no longer simply pitching and promoting it (PR), but are challenged to leverage it as a strategic tool for lead generation and brand awareness (marketing).

The only problem is that, well, everyone else is doing the same thing, which means it’s pretty noisy out there as we all compete for the time and attention of our audiences.

That’s where the shift to “inbound” comes in; it’s an offshoot of content marketing that focuses on aligning content with customer interest so that they are “pulled” toward your company, rather than the old-school spray-and-pray methods.

We’ve embraced this, both in theory and in action, with our clients. In fact, we recently attending the Inbound Marketing Summit in San Francisco and the Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston where we talked about how it’s not about being the loudest; it’s about having the right content for the right audience at the right time.

Put simply, the only way we can guarantee our clients are in the media nowadays it to help them become  the media. Content has become their new currency when attracting, engaging, converting and retaining customers.

Savvy PR professionals are embracing their status as content custodians. But the most successful ones will recognize the beauty in marketing’s ability to measure return and directly tie to their clients’ bottom line.

Influencers Who Inspire: VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi

As PR professionals, we’re often asked “who do you know” and “will they take your call?” It’s part of the reason that we started our “Influencers Who Inspire” series – to not only validate those questions but to support and promote the work by influencers that we all admire and follow. And we were stoked when Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat agreed to catch up with us for our next interview.  Dean is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He covers video games, security, chips and a variety of other subjects. Dean previously worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Wall Street Journal, the Red Herring, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Times Herald. He is the author of two books, Opening the Xbox and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked. You can follow Dean on Twitter at @deantak.

What’s the strangest/most memorable place from which you ever conducted an interview?

I interviewed Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, in a car driven by his bodyguards. It was hard to concentrate on asking questions in the moving vehicle.

How do you keep your sense of humor when managing multiple deadlines?

Who has time for humor? Well, I enjoy writing. So that makes a big difference. I consider most of my work to be fun.

What are your interests outside of tech/gaming (hobbies or passions)?

Taking pictures. Traveling. Going to the kids’ sports games. And, I do play games for fun.

You have authored two books. Do you have any others in the works and can you tell us a little bit about them?

I’ve written two long stories that we have turned into eBooks for VentureBeat. We posted these on the Amazon Kindle and Apple App stores. The Complete History of Zynga (so far)  and Xbox: The Making of a Bad Ass Machine.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I enjoy my annual trip to Seattle for a game conference. It’s a great city and there are always cool places to see and great places to eat. And good coffee.

What is next for you in 2012?

We’re expanding GamesBeat into a destination site, as the second main property at VentureBeat. We’ve hired our Review Editor, Sebastian Haley, and our Editor in Chief of GamesBeat, Dan “Shoe” Hsu. We have 11 freelance game writers working for us. Now we have to execute on bringing our crowdsource writing team, Bitmob, into GamesBeat and then write as much as we can for rest of the year.

Hopefully we’ll write some more long stories that can be turned into eBooks.