The Gong Blog

Should we call it “PRublishing?”


Okay, I know the word “PRublishing” is little hokey, but after some recent client efforts, conversations and new business meetings, one thing is becoming very clear: marketers are ALL OVER the idea of creating content that can be targeted to specific audiences to drive their business.

The marriage of PR and online publishing (PRublishing?) will continue to dominate our industry as it matures over the next year or so.

THP has just launched its first digital magazine on behalf of a client. Right now if we told you about it, the client would shoot us – at least for now. So instead of promoting that specific project, let’s talk about its benefits and what you need to do to get started.

This particular magazine is not about a specific product; it is not “selling” anything. Instead, it is about the brand lifestyle the client wants its company (and its product) to represent. This allows us to create content from a broad palate, content that is valuable to a wide range of readers. This is important given the fact that we need to feed the “content monster” at least eight times a month to keep the magazine fresh and promotable.

But other than content, what are the other elements needed to create a PRublishing platform like a digital magazine?

  • You need a place to house the content. In our case we created a new branded website from scratch. It has its own brand, look and feel, and design, and is separate from any of the client’s other websites. This is not a must-have and depends on how closely aligned you want the magazine to be with the client’s other brands and products.
  • You need an editor and a publisher. We handled both of these tasks in-house. The editor is in charge of the direction and creating of the content which includes articles, photos, videos, graphics, etc. The publisher is in charge of readership, promotion, partnerships, etc., all the things that drive traffic.
  • You need content creators. Whether you accomplish this in-house or hire writers, designers and freelancers, you need to create the content and stay ahead. Our goal is to stay at least one month ahead of our goal of eight new pieces of content (read: magazine-style feature articles) per month.
  • You need a promotional/amplification strategy. In our case, we’re using social channels we created for the magazine. We are simultaneously growing community and driving readers to specific articles using social channels as advertising platforms. We have specific markets and readers we’re targeting and are using the social ad platforms to acquire them.
  • You need measurable goals. From the type of content you want to create to the number of readers and where they come from, the ultimate goal is to reach your communications and marketing goals. This is where you need to start and this is where you come back to repeatedly to measure success.

In a past post I referenced Marriott Traveler as the model for such digital magazine efforts, so if you want to see one in action here’s the link.

While these are significant efforts we are already having meaningful internal conversations on how we can somewhat streamline our processes.

In a world where media relations is getting harder, the idea of creating, targeting and proving the value of good content is becoming more and more appealing to companies and prospective clients. And when you think about it, if they are willing to provide good, valuable content that positions them as thought leaders, doesn’t that make their companies and their products more appealing to customers?

Are you ready to PRublish?

We are.

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POSTED IN: Branding, Media Relations, Public Relations, Social Marketing

Jon Newman

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