I love PR. I love media relations. I believe in their power. I honestly think they are the most effective marketing tools out there!
I personally entered the field in 1989 and spent the next 25 years or so building Beckerman PR. I eventually gained a new partner and together, we acquired Antenna Group and built the combined firms into a top 50 tech and real estate PR agency.
I saw firsthand how PR/media relations built brands, made the register ring and was responsible for countless business deals and opportunities on behalf of our clients.
Most of the clients we represented were larger sized companies who could afford a PR firm. Big regional and national developers and brokers. Service firms too. And tech of course over the past few years.
Of course I am biased, but I think my own firm was one of the best out there and today they have an amazing CEO and outstanding leadership team.
But along the way on my own professional and personal journey, I began to realize a couple of things:
- I was turning away a tremendous amount of prospective clients who couldn’t afford a PR firm.
- There was less media than ever to pitch stories to and that would eventually force the industry to adapt.
- The rise of platforms created a huge opportunity for companies to create their own content.
- Social media was increasing in importance and value every day in the business world.
- And personally, I like building things from scratch. I am just wired for that.
All of these trends and observations led me to conclude that there was a great opportunity to build a niche Content Marketing platform to focus on the marketplace that wasn’t being served by PR firms. In my case, my niche is in the real estate space and my platform is The News Funnel.
What I kept hearing over and over again from real estate companies and professionals were things like “I only have a very limited budget, but I want to market my company” or “I would love to blog but I don’t have the time or the confidence that I can write well” or “I get that social media is important but who the hell has time for that?”
It’s extremely affordable. It can be incredibly automated and efficient to manage. There are so many great writing resources available. Social media can be managed using an outsourced team. Analytics are everywhere to gauge how your efforts are working. And most importantly, IT ACTUALLY WORKS AS WELL AS ANY MARKETING TACTIC OUT THERE.
When I first started thinking about this pivot in my own career, Content Marketing was in its infancy. Today, it’s everywhere. It’s embraced by big brands, small brands, young professionals, established thought leaders, etc..
It’s honestly where the world is heading. Platforms are where people are getting their news these days…not from visiting news sites or a company’s own website. And storytelling is the new ad.
PR will always be amazingly effective and needed. There is nothing more powerful than getting a trusted media source to tell your story. But for those that want to tell their own story and share it with anyone who will listen, Content Marketing is an incredibly powerful addition to the marketing arsenal.
And so while I love PR, I am excited to be in the arena where “the puck is headed.”