The End of the Press Release and Corporate Website?

No sooner had I posted my last blog than I noticed more content marketing research showing a drop in the outsourcing of content creation from 56% to 40%. This makes more sense to me – you can’t outsource your voice to someone else, but you can hire in people who are able to bring your stories, culture and values to life – articulate them in a way that engages others.

CocaCola have recently created a new blogger network of experts. Watch the following video, which says a lot about changing attitudes to content marketing. It only lasts a couple of minutes, but in it Ashley Brown from Coke is able to give us a glimpse of the future:

  • The corporate website is dead – think beyond it and turn it into a media property.
  • The blog is more important.
  • Kill the press release – by 2015 in Coke’s plans
  • Create something that you would want to share if you weren’t at Coke – spark emotion and connection
  • Hire brand journalists

To fully understand brand journalists we need to think about what we understand a journalist to be. According to author David Meerman Scott:

“A story teller is a story teller no matter who is telling the story”

Anyone who writes or creates something, who understands the need of the reader, could therefore be classed as a journalist. As the journalist Dan Gillmor said:

“We are all creating media. Any one of us can, and many of us will, commit an act of journalism. We may contribute to the journalism ecosystem once, rarely, frequently or constantly. How we deal with these contributions – deciding to try one, what we do with what we’ve created, and how the rest of us use what’s been created – is going to be complex and evolving, But it’s the future”

As I said in my most recent post, it is the blogger who is most likely to be able to articulate the brand for the reader that you want to engage.

And I’m now finding this through experience – companies are currently approaching me to write for them not because I am a trained writer, but because I can write things in a way that engages HR professionals and InHouse and Agency Recruiters. They are my network, and an audience whose needs and concerns I understand.

A future without a traditional corporate website, press releases and old school comms may seem a big leap but it will certainly happen. If Coke can envisage this for 2015 then smaller businesses can be looking at this now, leading the way and innovating.

It will start with understanding your customers and employees, their journeys and needs, and finding story tellers with the insight, authority and creativity to talk to them.

Mozart and the Art of Content Marketing

I love the play and movie Amadeus. The portrayal of both the vulnerability yet precociousness of genius has always intrigued me, and also how it impacts on those less gifted but still creative.

My favourite scene is the one above. Everyone’s viewpoint is played out on a daily basis in our lives.

  • Who is His Excellency to question the creative process? The end product is exactly what the creator wants it to be, exactly what he hears in his head. The audience will have to accept it.
  • Why doesn’t Mozart accept constructive criticism? After all, without the receptive ‘ordinary ear’ of the audience his music will never gain its true reach.
  • The chance for mediocrity to triumph is to show those who are more gifted and creative to be somehow elitist and out of touch with the audience.

What about if Mozart was a content marketer and not a composer??!!

On Tuesday morning I will be taking my place on a keynote panel at Social Media World Forum to discuss Social Content Strategies. I’ll be leaving the cottage industry of recruitment and HR to debate with the great and good from Google, BskyB, Adobe, New Look and Brandwatch and we’ll be talking, amongst other things, about:

  • Why is content becoming king in social? Why should brands become content creators?
  • How good content strategies can re-humanise brands and develop emotional connections between content and the customer

I’ll be thinking about Mozart as I prepare…there are only so many pieces of content the human brain can assimilate in a day.

What do you think?