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Inbound Industry Report: Feb. 21, 2012

Top marketing news, articles and tips from the third week of February 2012.

Content Marketing

Rebecca Lieb (@lieblink) of the Altimeter Group (@altimetergroup) looks at how marketers must rebalance strategies, tactics and budgets to embrace content marketing, and “evolve from advertisers into storytellers” in her new report: Content: The New Marketing Equation.

iCrossing’s David Deal (@davidjdeal) gives his take on the report, and argues that embracing content marketing need not be hugely disruptive. However, there must be executive support and a skilled content marketing evangelist to lead the charge.

Deal believes that while marketing should guide and manage content marketing efforts, the best results come with participation from all corners of the organization.

For inspiration, let’s look to Coca-Cola’s new content strategy. Not only did it make content marketing a priority and put a plan into action, it also produced two videos that outline its content plan and execution. Here are a few lessons that B2B marketers can learn from the global beverage giant, via Stephanie Tilton (@StephanieTilton):

  1. Develop your content strategy based on corporate goals and research. Take notice of marketplace shifts, and use content marketing to tap into them.
  2. Center your strategy on themes that matter to your audience; find where they intersect with what you have to offer.
  3. Lay out a plan that specifies how you’ll execute your strategy. Don’t be afraid to reimagine, not just replicate.


Hadyn Shaughnessy (@haydn1701) addresses mistakes the PR industry is making as it attempts to redefine itself. Shaughnessy takes issue with proposed new definitions that center around PR as a manager of information and foster of mutually beneficial relationships—resisting major change from the definition the industry has had for years.

He argues: “PR is about trying to help companies adapt to new realities” or “to interact with clients to forge a new understanding of their role,” and less about holding onto old values.

Forrester’s Darika Ahrens (@darika) also addresses the PR industry’s need to stay relevant with the influx of interactive marketing. Ahren says PR agencies must adapt or die, and if they choose to adapt, she argues that search marketing is the answer.

At PR 20/20, we agree with the need to adapt, but see search as only one of many new skills needed by modern PR pros

Social Media’s Impact on News

The days of the traditional news cycle are over. As Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) states, we’re all part of the journalistic process, dramatically changing the concept and timeline of “breaking news.” Ingram warns that, in this accelerated version of the news cycle, things that used to happen behind the scenes are now happening in front of us—including the validation of facts.

And it’s more than just citizen journalism. The New York Times is getting “deep and meaningful,” by integrating social media into its news reporting, says its social media editor, Liz Heron (@lheron). Following are a few examples of how the news giant encourages social media engagement:

  • Incorporates curated tweets on its homepage.
  • Experiments with the “liveblog” concept using the curation tool Storify to pull in user-generated content along with NYTimes commentary.
  • Encourages its journalists to use Facebook’s subscribe option to better connect with avid readers.

How can PR pros take advantage of social’s growing impact on traditional media?

  • Include social media as a communications channel for media relations.
  • Look for opportunities to “newsjack,” or piggyback on big stories to increase your own company or client’s brand awareness and reach.

In the News

Bookmark of the Week

MarketingLand (@MarketingLand) shares Flowtown’s Social Media Networking Site Cheat Sheet, a helpful infographic that provides a quick overview of each platform.

What articles made your top list last week? We’d like to hear your opinions.


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