If you're still hiring a PR firm to do little more than pitch the media, Ad Age has a wakeup call for you: it's not working.
Today the name of the game is to create compelling content that gets your community (customers, partners, investors, etc.) interested and invested in your brand.
What's interesting about the campaigns profiled in the piece is that social media does not play a supporting role, it is the main focus. Most PR agencies are still media relations agencies that are tacking on social media programs to simply support what they're already doing.
These programs took a different tact from day one, though for large brands. That's similar to the work we at Fresh Ground are trying to bring to the SMB audience. Of course, this doesn't mean throwing out traditional influencer relations completely:
And while they haven't completely abandoned traditional media outlets, big-name marketers such as Procter & Gamble, Best Buy, MasterCard and Coldwell Banker are among those who have taken matters into their own hands by creating content and bringing it straight to consumers.
The great part about social media is that size doesn't matter. Even a small real estate agency can create localized content that would put them on the map, it doesn't have to be Caldwell Banker. The goal isn't always to reach the largest audience, just the right audience for you.
Case in point is UrbaneApts.com, which utilized a content strategy to increase its traffic and rent more apartments. Author Eric Brown, who wrote an article on UrbaneApts.com called "Social Media Myth: It isn't about conversation, it's about sale" goes a little far when he says that sales matter more than conversation. It happens that UrbaneApts.com were part of the conversation and that, in turn, created more opportunity.
When Todd and I set out to create a content strategy we first want to understand the corporate marketing goals. It's the only way we can measure what's working and what painpoints the content must answer. All these pieces are intertwined.
And for you, the right content strategy will help reach the right audience like nothing else.