Creating engaging content has always been the heart of public relations (PR). PR professionals have been using a plethora of mediums to deliver content, including articles, videos, white papers and social media, that promotes their clients’ brands. In recent times, however, content has evolved and grown to such an extent that we may be heading towards what Mark Schaefer calls a
“content shock”. According to a new global study by The Economist Group, along with a leading PR firm, senior executives of corporations are getting “overwhelmed by content”. Three out of five global executives said they sometimes feel confused by the volume of content they encounter, with more than half noting that “intrusiveness” has increased, stated the findings. However, the good news is that senior executives are still seeking “new thinking and ideas that are credible, innovative and fact-based”.
So, what should PR agencies do in this current scenario? I believe our channels of outreach need to expand qualitatively and quantitatively – especially when India is emerging as the world’s fastest growing economy (with GDP growth rate hovering above 7 per cent) and new buzzwords like start-up entrepreneurs, innovation, demographic dividend and unprecedented urbanisation are in the air.
Only time will tell whether content shock is a myth or not, but for now, mindless production of content needs to stop. Even good content isn’t good enough. What is required is useful, credible content. Communicators need the right insights to tell the right story. Senior executives interviewed during The Economist Group survey said they would consider any content, regardless of brand, if it was backed by authentic research and hard facts. Agencies simply need to do define their audiences, carefully listen to what they are talking about on the social web and then create meaningful content strategies.