The PR agency of the future is a publisher


Take a moment to think about what’s just happened in the last 6 months.

Think about how many different kinds of content these changes encompass. Video. Audio. Images. Text.

Think about what it costs to license information from all of the different stock sites you work with on a regular basis.

The public relations agency of the future will have a library, a digital repository of content that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice, and the associated creative team to help build and maintain it. Forward-thinking agencies already do. This library will be the equivalent of a stock photo repository, a stock video repository, a stock audio repository, and will be available to account staff so that when they’re representing clients in digital media, they have a wealth of materials to draw from.

See a funny comment on a client’s Facebook Page that deserves an image-based response? Open up the agency library and find an appropriate, on-brand, already-licensed or owned image and use it instantly.

See a YouTube critique of a client? Step into your agency’s video studio and record a video response for your client and post it immediately.

See an opportunity to run an image-based ad campaign to boost an earned media hit? Hit up your agency’s creative team and get an ad running in an hour to reinforce your media win.

Even employees will be media sources. Look around your office today and ask how many people own a DSLR camera or have accessories for their smartphone that go beyond the out-of-box equipment for audio and video. It’s more than you think. Employees of the future even may come with intellectual property licensing in their employment contracts that specify what of their personal intellectual property they license to their employer, under what conditions, and for what compensation. Is your agency prepared to deal with that? Are clients?

If this sounds like transforming PR agencies into publishers, it is, because that’s what all businesses are being forced to become. The value for a client is in not needing to set up their own publishing arm. We often talk about earned, owned, and paid media but neglect to give equal emphasis to the second word in those expressions: media. Without deep media capabilities, earned, owned, and paid don’t matter.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

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Posted on June 21, 2013 in Agency Life, Media, Public Relations, Strategy

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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