This business has changed so much over the past few years I can’t even stand it. I used to freelance because it was so much fun. Who knew that 5 years post-Hooters Magazine I would be writing just as much for marketing? (Although I can’t say I’ve produced any content quite as compelling as my in-depth interview of the WWW Tag Team Champions of the World. )
It used to be that PR people were never supposed to also write for publications, this would be a conflict of interest! Now we have to maintain our own blogs, write blogs (if we can get them) for HuffPo or its redheaded cousin the Examiner , and contribute well-written content for our clients’ content marketing programs. Then we’ve got to distribute that information across what should be a well-developed social media platform that must include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, depending on whether you’re consumer- or business-facing.
I think a good communications person has to be a mini-media mogul in order to survive. We’ve got to be building our own influence as we continue to leverage off of the influence of the media. With increasingly fewer editorial hits available from traditional print, our own platforms need to prop up newer clients’ placement lists. If a client is newer to social media, we’re expected to add the necessary reach through our own accounts, that are supposed to be substantial in terms of followers and likes.
This adds a new layer, and of course more hours, to the work we already do. To make it even tougher, the transparency of media information including journalist contacts, publication guidelines and the like have devalued what we do from a public relations standpoint.
I believe I made it through the recession as a solopreneur because of my writing background, my blog (and I get regularly pitched by others all the time) and my Twitter followers. This small platform gives me enough credibility to add content marketing to my skillset , which I pitched to clients new and old and created new business. These days I would say I’m a virtual communications manager for most of my clients. And I’m thrilled to see the promise of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) finally coming to fruition. (More on that in the next post.)
For those marketers and PR’s stuck in the old days though, I feel for you. Now, if I can just brush up on my HTML…