PUBLIC RELATIONS: Don’t be captive to the agenda – control it!

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A fascinating article in Harvard Business Review today about top CEOs use of social tools for communication and data analysis. The article details how top CEOs are using internal digital platforms to better share wisdom and creativity among teams, and to encourage greater ownership in and motivation for the company.

In the decentralised corporate model digital enables precise, real-time influence and reinforcement by CEOs, as well as collaboration/ influence by and among rank and file employees, of the organisation’s common purpose, vision, mission, covenants, etc. As a two-way communication tool, social facilitates co-creation of the internal organisational agenda in a way which no amount of town hall meetings or executive retreats can.

Turn this analysis of internal digital communications towards external communications and you inevitably arrive at a conversation about branded content which, when strategically invested for the long term, allows the organisation to similarly shape its agenda, although in this case, among external stakeholders and constituents.

Little wonder then that branded content is the new frontier corporates and agencies alike are clamoring to get a piece of. I recall the explosion of social media ten years ago and the debate around which communications practice should lead the design and execution of communications in social media platforms which were emerging then. Should it be advertising or PR? The same debate is now on in earnest with regards branded content.

I suggest branded content could finally be a place where PR and advertising content might peacefully coexist. I welcome any thoughts and contributions from PR/comms pros and business leaders …

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