Happy belated 2014 to all of you. TechRadar Pro is starting the year with a bang with just over 80 companies having agreed to deliver nearly 1,000 bylines for the year. We’ve started to publish them since the beginning of the week and some of them have done spectacularly well, attracting the right kind of audience and spreading like wildfire. We’re also ramping up news content production with to 50 articles published every week. All in all a very exciting start of the year. Also you can view this newsletter and all the previous ones that were sent out on our brand new Techradar Pro blog.
The Year of Content: Cathy Pittham, MD Europe, Racepoint Global
“This is a brilliant era for communications peeps – our horizons are ever-expanding and we are exercising those little grey cells in learning about new tools, new channels, new content strategies and technologies that are broadening our world… All tech brands, whether b2b or b2c, are really ‘getting’ the need for optimal content. We all need to strive to product the best quality, best targeted information and we must ensure that in doing so, we are actually telling compelling stories – which means incorporating data visualization (trying to avoid infographic overload!); video and photography. Instagram and Vine are now mainstream. There’s no use having compelling content without targeting it accurately, through the right channels.
Plus, we still need to show ROI to the budget holders. So we’re going to see more focus this year on insights derived from good data to ensure we are targeting the right stakeholders with the right content through the right channels. And you can’t do that without research – which behoves increasing investment in and application of good research tools and more understanding of how to interpret the data. The lines between paid content and earned coverage continue to blur. This year, watch out for more ‘brand journalism’ where non-branded paid content that accurately reflects the needs of the audience, melds seamlessly with earned content. IBM has been doing this very cleverly and effectively in the US for its smaller (channel driven) customers, and you can expect to see that approach taken up by more tech brands in the UK and Europe in the coming months.
Meaning that we all need to understand how digital destinations are built and how to identify the most important paid influencers and what platforms to use to engage those content-producers effectively. Another key challenge for PRs is the need for real time news analysis and figuring out how best to involve their clients or companies with it – whether to insert the brand into the day’s breaking stories or to protect it from possible harm. Good PR agencies are all providing this as a service to their clients (some are very glossily packaged) but make no mistake, no amount of technology can substitute for good journalist assessments and the ability for in-house PRs and their executives to respond quickly to proposed strategies and response.
Net-net, there’s never been a better time to be a communicator whether journalist or PR. New streams of revenue new strategies, new tools and channels. Those PR agencies that are adapting to this changing world best, are the ones that are training and retraining PR professionals to reflect the reality that finally, the earned world is leading the way.