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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Content Explosion Increases Need for Pro Online PR and Boosts Traditional Media Relations

Google’s CEO has been reported saying "More information is created every two days than humanity created from the start of civilisation until 2003."

This proliferation of content makes it increasingly harder to stand out from the competition online. That's because there's a lot more competition for the same amount of attention.

Small wonder that a recent PR industry survey forecasts a rise in PR and social media spend in 2011 (Vocus 2011 Strategy Planning Survey).

The survey found 67% of organisations surveyed claiming they are already participating in social conversations.
The survey predicts more concentration of effort in the following three areas:
Social media (69%)
strategic communications 66%)
Measurement (61%)


That's not surprising because 1-2-1 conversations are people intensive and despite a number of automated tools, you still need people - and money - to run social platforms. Plus premium tools to measure the results to continuously improve and refine the effort/reward ratio. Plus budget for mobile apps and customised Facebook pages.

With video often valued as worth 50 pieces of text online, we are bullish and see an increased swing to multimedia in a bid for more visibility.

We also predict a return to traditional media relations to raise profile with the powerful media endorsement of quality media, and their associated web sites with massive rankings. It is still impressive to be able to name drop, "as seen on" TV when that TV has the power and reach of the BBC. Or appear in the FT (and FT.com). Well written and edited content deservedly stands out.

Quality edited content will become increasingly valued and is already starting to appear behind pay-walls. While we may not like it, top writers and editors don't thrive on fresh air. Those unwilling to pay will face an increasingly skewed set of search engine results as those with vested interests spend the time and money gaining online traction while all but the most innovative languish. I'm not even sure that Google's bots will be able to tease out the deserving from the well-promoted, although I do hope that quality wins the day.

As an agency that specialises in media relations, online and off, with a broadcast video capability and online video services, are we just promoting nails because we have a hammer? I don't think so, but, as ever: you are the judge.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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