Marketers, skillsets and content marketing

Are journalists, publishers, and editors better at content marketing than traditional marketers? Ali, PR Director at Browser Media, gives her opinion.

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Browsing the web yesterday I came across this article from The Drum. It may be well written and quite persuasive but I felt the need to write my own post to counter some of the arguments given.

In particular the notion that journalists, producers, publishers, editors etc. are all better at content marketing than traditional marketers.

The Drum - Traditional Marketers and Content Marketing(Source: The Drum)

In the past, I’ve worked with many journalists who moved over to the PR world (commonly known as the ‘darkside’ if you were a hack) and whilst they knew the inner workings of various newspapers, had great contacts and clearly could create beautiful prose, many lacked creativity.

In today’s world, where the boundaries of SEO, online PR and content marketing are very much blurred, I can see why hiring a great film director or copywriter could add a certain something to the execution of a campaign. However I’m yet to be convinced they all have an eye for the little nugget of an idea or the seed from which a campaign can grow.

Creativity comes in many different forms – an artist can’t necessarily write and a videographer can’t necessarily draft a script. Whilst all being ‘creative’, they have very different areas of expertise and I think a marketers’ creativity is quite hard to pinpoint. It’s having a real nose to the ground about what makes shareable or newsworthy content at any particular moment, overlaid with a broader sense of the target market in question and a good handle of the most appropriate ways to promote that content.

I still believe that a marketer is best placed and has the best eye for creating the overall campaign but that there is merit, budgeting permitting, to employ experts in different fields for the execution.

And please excuse my splutters as I choke on my mid-morning coffee but as for the ‘experience of going to a weekly conference with a tough-as-nails editor – where, if your ideas aren’t good enough, you’re shot down in flames’ – where do you think many of the ideas come from in the first place? The marketers, media relations experts and PR community! Particularly if you’re in an agency, if your ideas don’t cut the mustard, being shot down in flames by your manager would be the tip of the iceberg.

I don’t mean to entirely knock the band of new-comers to content marketing who clearly have very specific expertise but I imagine that many of the award-winning, cross-channel campaigns that really hit the mark, will continue to be born in the marketing department, not elsewhere.

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