For what feels like an eternity, ‘content’ has been the buzzword in the world of communications, epitomised by one phrase: content is king. Whilst this statement of the obvious may be true, it oversimplifies the level of strategic thought that must go into the effective use of content. As Google’s Eric Schmidt has said, “every 2 days we create as much information as we did in 2003”. The fact is, what you do with your content is just as important as the content itself!
With this in mind, on January 16th 2014 we hosted an event at our London offices all about content distribution – specifically looking at the importance of context, relevance and engaging with your audience.
We were joined by Jonathan Weinberg, former Sun journalist and now freelance media advisor, Cat Macdonald, Director of Communications at Absolute Radio and Kristie Perrotte, Head of PR & Communications at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment firm.
Here is a brief summary, along with our speakers’ slides.
The event opened with Fiona Hughes, Firefly’s Head of Consumer, giving her perspective from a PR standpoint on content creation and distribution. Fiona noted that, over her fourteen years of experience in PR, client demands have changed. Blue sky thinking – the ‘big idea’ – is no longer enough. Modern communications must dispense with the fuzzy fluffiness of old. Today, PR professionals must take into account how and where an idea is seeded, how and where it is built and finally, how it is measured and evaluated. For us at Firefly, this is embodied in our working mantra: PR in high definition.
The first of our guest speakers Jonathan Weinberg made the point that ‘context’ is the most important thing to consider when creating content. Encouraging communications professionals to ‘think like journalists’, Jonathan warned against simply churning out content ‘for SEO’s sake.’
Jonathan was followed by Cat Macdonald from Absolute Radio. Cat stressed her view that reports of the press release’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, but that the content of the press release, as with any content, needs to be well thought through. She also advised that brands who engage with social media must be prepared to “feed the monster”, lest they seem disengaged and out-of-touch.
Our final speaker was Robert Half’s Head of PR and Communications, Kristie Perrotte. Kristie has worked hard to demonstrate the business benefits of a smart content distribution strategy within the organisation. She called for a ‘marriage’ between the PR message and the challenges and requirements of SEO, arguing that only together can they drive traffic to a brand and make the sale.
Firefly stays close to the news agenda both broadly and within industries relevant to clients. Every morning, the Firefly team reads all national newspapers and compiles an email alert with the top headlines from that day. If you would like to sign-up to a free trial of Firewire, please contact email@example.com
On industry-specific news, the client teams at Firefly compile daily and weekly news round-ups of the top stories for our clients, including ideas on how to piggyback or use certain stories as inspiration to create our own content.
Firefly also works to present a story in a variety of formats to best suit the audience and the story being told. Firefly has done this most recently with clients Omnico and YummyPets; to read more please visit: http://fireflycomms-com.stackstaging.com/pr-case-studies.
Of course, PR content isn’t just to spark engagement with media any more; it should be used to speak to your audiences directly – and what better way than through your staff network. Kristie talked about commercialising PR by empowering her sales team with relevant content and motivating them to share it through their own channels. Firefly has previously blogged about mobilising your LinkedIn army and offers tailored training on encouraging staff to use, share and increase the spread of your brand’s content. Get in touch for more info!
Thanks to our speakers and to all who joined us.