Foreword: Opinions On PR and Marketing

Content may be king, but in the marketing industry today there is still a whole court that attends to it. If you’re looking for someone to produce content, you will have no shortage of squires volunteering.

Accordingly, the relatively newly minted discipline of content marketing can mean many different things and cover many of the different marketing and communications skill sets. PR will undoubtedly continue to be one of them.

Apologies in advance for my inevitable generalisations, but it seems to me there is something of a turf war over content. The questions at issue are who gets to produce it and how should it be distributed, but in my view there will be room for all players to expand – provided they meet the needs of the end consumer.

There are specialist content agencies, many of which have a heritage in magazines and customer publishing. And their focus for the most part tends to be on editorial quality and readability.

There are creative agencies, which specialise in being, well, creative. They are perhaps where you go if you want to achieve impact through execution.

And there are PR agencies, which have all the established routes to market that a brand could want for reaching their target audiences when they are in an engaged mode. Many of the following essays cover this last set of options on offer to marketers.

But they also make it clear that it is an evolving area. As far as content is concerned, PR agencies have already won the right to play in social media, the blogosphere and traditional media channels through journalist relationships. But they are also recognising that consumers care less about channels than marketers.

In their quest to reach the ‘channel-agnostic’ consumer with high-quality content, PR and communications are undoubtedly going to become more ambitious as functions of marketing, both in what they create and how they get it to market.

Michael Barnett, features editor, Marketing Week