From Public Relations to Content Relations
It’s time we as an industry evolve. But to modernize simple PR takes more than change; it takes a revolution. And we’re proud to lead the way…
I have an uncle who refuses to use a computer. My family bought him one and he hasn’t taken it out of the box. And this isn’t your crazy uncle Al who has no real need for technology; my uncle builds houses. In fact, he constructs multi-million dollar homes. Now, we all can see why it may be rather important that he owns a computer, or at the very least, an email address. And while he has been wildly successful and I deeply respect him and his profession, resisting change is just bad. But in his defense he is just one man, he is not an entire industry. Imagine if an entire industry resisted change to hold on to the past. Now that would be mighty irresponsible.
Welcome to public relations! Honestly, what does “public relations” even mean these days! It was a term originally defined by Ivy Lee in the early 1900s, and since then has undergone plenty of unsuccessful attempts at redevelopment and revival by the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations and the Public Relations Society of America. But what may have been relevant in the early 1900s up until late 1990s is simply not today. Companies are looking to “relate” to the public about as much as millionaires are looking to “relate” to the homeless, especially in a B2B marketplace. No, companies want to “relate” to the people that matter to them, which is typically a smaller, more concentrated group and not the general public. Trying to reach the entire population or a general audience is a classic example of resisting change-something the entire industry is guilty of.
Let’s not even get into the fact that there are entirely too many differing marketing buckets, which makes it next to impossible to understand who does what. As Robin Thicke said, it’s those blurred lines. They’re not helping anyone in this already confused industry, where more toes are being stepped on than at a Jay Z and Beyoncé concert.
So, allow us to be the industry’s saving grace as we dub ourselves the world’s first content relations firm. Picture us as the cohesive glue needed to put the fragmented pieces back together and unify disparate marketing silos. Our main goal as a content relations firm is to creatively convey our clients’ messages in a way that will effectively get their products and services in front of those who matter most. Whether that means implementing innovative strategies or analyzing content, our objective remains the same: to turn simple messages into stories, and ideas into actions no matter if the content is earned, owned or paid. And since our prime focus is content, we cannot succeed without creating the most stellar content this planet has ever seen, telling compelling corporate stories in a never-before-seen way.
And while the PRSA may say public relations encompasses this type of focus, we beg to differ. Actually, we just blatantly disagree—respectfully, of course. To us, the traditional definition of public relations does not do our tactic justice, which is why we feel we need to rebrand ourselves and, eventually, the industry.
But small steps, right? For now, we are re-launching our firm under the belief that content is at the heart of media, social marketing, digital, SEO and experimental campaigns that drive action. Content fuels results and an attentive and relevant audience. Story-telling prevails over everything else. So consider this the obituary for public relations. It has died. It ceases to exist in the digital realm. And in its place a new form of marketing has emerged that is larger, stronger and more qualified for the digital world. The digital world encompasses far too many opportunities to stay narrow and traditional. Our clients are always innovating, and so are we.
Rest peacefully public relations. You did good, but all great things must come to an end. Luckily we have something even greater taking your place: content relations.