Uncategorized Melvin Yuan on 30 Nov 2007 12:34 am
We know that maxims have the power to form paradigms that eventually shape our thinking and consequently (in our case), strategy.
And we would all be familiar with the saying – Content is King.
The only problem with that statement is… when companies stop there, and start channelling their energies to the diligent production of great content. Without a content strategy.
For the sake of articulating what we truly believe, I’d like to turn that saying on its head with this – that in PR, Content is a mere Servant. Trusted Relationships is King.
Here’s what triggered my thoughts on this:
A few days back, I was reading Mitch’s post on his interview with Google’s Avinash Kaushik. Now, incidentally, two weeks prior to that, I was thinking about getting a copy of Avinash’s book on Web Analytics.
I left a comment below Mitch’s post which I will paraphrase here to explain the twist in my decision making process:
After reading Mitch’s comments on his conversation with Avinash, I moved from “I will think about it” to “I will buy it tomorrow”.
Here’s the thing – at that point, I had not even listened to the podcast. But, I made my purchase decision purely based on Mitch’s validation of the man.
We’ve all been talking about how Content is King. But in this case, I had not even listened to the content of Mitch’s podcast. If Content was truly king, it would have been the podcast, that would convince me of Avinash’s credibility on the subject – not Mitch’s comments about the interview in itself. So much for the importance of Content in my purchase decision.
Perhaps Content is king, only because the continual provision or the exchange of meaningful content creates the trusted relationships that PR and Word-of-Mouth thrives on. In my case with Mitch, I’ve interacted with him enough and read enough of his past opinions to know that I can trust a mere mention by him.
That is why ghost-writing is unacceptable on blogs. And paid blog endorsements get ignored.
Because Content is not an end in itself. And it should not serve primarily to impress, entertain or even persuade. It should meet the needs of your customers; and in doing so, serve the goal of creating sincere, trusted relationships.
So when you next consider a content strategy. Ask – how can I provide the right type of content that places my customers’ interests first? Because this is exactly what it takes to build trust and relationships.
We’re back to listening first… then measuring the significance of what we hear… then thinking… and finally talking.
It’s no big revelation really.