Claire Celsi is the Director of Public Relations at Spindustry Digital in Des Moines, Iowa.
Two factors really play into this trend.
- It used to be that mass media outlets (TV, radio, magazines, newspapers) held all the power. They were the gatekeepers of information that was eventually shared with the public.
- People did not have options. Everyone watched the same channels. There was no internet, no NetFlix, no cable TV, no Sirius radio. We all had very similar media "intake" experiences.
Now, each of us have our own personal media intake system. We wake up to our Facebook and Twitter feeds and then move on to our favorite news outlet. There are now hundreds of options thanks to the specialty websites, cable outlets, YouTube and radio channels.
Public relations professionals are faced with a dilemna. How do we help our clients get their news out to all the new channels? OR...how do we help clients get their OWN messages out? Many companies have figured out that its easier and much more effective to create their own content marketing, and use their website and social channels to get the information out to the public - skipping the media entirely.
How does this work in practical terms? My favorite example of digital content marketing is BlendTec. They've used digital marketing to promote a relatively unsexy product and made it fun, findable and viral. A relatively unknown company with a small marketing budget has turned a series of funny videos into marketing gold. Check out one of my favorites - blending a few iPhone 5s into mobile dust.
BlendTec learned that if you create valuable content on a regular basis - people will seek out the content over and over. That is PR flipped on its head. No reporter needed.
Yes, you'll still need old school public relations to get your message out. But in the meantime, start creating great content and attract your customers (like a magnet) straight to your website.