The content ownership question for brands can be a struggle
There’s so much content today it’s mind-blowing. In fact, 95 million photos are uploaded to Instagram per day. Consumers can’t get enough of it. Brands can’t seem to churn it out quickly enough and since content is the darling of communications, everyone on the corporate team wants to own it.
Who should be the ruler of the content kingdom? The debate includes good arguments for teams like digital or social, marketing or maybe even advertising. But for the most logical owner of content, look no further than the team that’s been telling brand stories without seeming like used car salesmen ever since the first press release was issued in 1906 after a train wreck on the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Why? Because PR knows how to tell and not sell, which is the key to successful content marketing. Let’s be honest, one of our biggest content marketing challenges is the quest to find compelling stories within our brands to help us stand out from our competition. The PR team already knows how to do that from the sheer volume of story ideas that PR needs to keep journalists happily covering their brand.
If you’re a brand struggling with content ownership and want to give your PR team a chance to own content, where do you start?
Start with Processes
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Start with the big picture and analyze the things that are already working. Look inside the PR team’s best practices for finding, developing and creating stories. These processes already work for stories that they develop to pitch to journalists and can easily evolve to be used for stories created and amplified from your brand.
Become a Newsroom
The most successful brands operate their content teams like a newsroom. Start with morning meetings to understand the trending topics that your brand might be able to tie into so you can get your experts a part of the national conversation. You’re likely going to be creating a lot more content than previously, so start instilling a culture of turning over quality content quickly by shifting to more frequent deadlines.
Establish Beat Systems
Think about covering your products and services like a journalist would cover their beat. Back in my TV news reporter days, I was the police reporter and started each day stopping by the offices of detectives and narcotics officers to understand what they were working on. You can do the same thing by assigning your team to develop relationships with the people who understand what’s happening in key areas of your company.
Model Industry Experts
Pay attention to the brands that are already doing it well. The Mayo Clinic has one of the best content marketing machines in our industry. Their experts are always willing to share their knowledge in articles and at conferences. MediaSource partners with brands for content initiatives. In this video, I asked our partner at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to share how they evolved their content processes, which began in media relations, to extend throughout the organization via their blog.