A Feisty Woman Speaks out – Content Marketing is NOT the Same as Thought Leadership.

I know I can be a bit feisty in January, so I promise to be more tranquil in February but for now I need to get something off my chest. I have a growing sense of irritation with what I have seen in some really good, tier-one business magazines recently on the topic of content marketing and thought leadership. These guys should know better, but they seem to think they’re the same thing.  No they aren’t!!? So our journey begins in resected business Bible Management Today, which lured me in with its promise to tell me ‘Five tips for getting started with thought leadership’ . Now this is a perfectly fine article… after the intro, which makes this assertion: ‘Whether you call it “content marketing” or “thought leadership”…’  Ex-squeeze me? They’re interchangeable? My puzzlement mounted when I then read this in probably the world’s biggest business magazine of them all, America’s (usually) wonderful Forbes. There, I was told yet again

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Getting Grounded about PR

You know all this worry and stress we have every day about some bit of technology not being properly understood by its target audience, or a misquote that has got the client up in arms – the ‘etc etc etc’ of daily B2B public relations and brand journalism? Here’s a quick, sure-fire cure. Go and work for a bit with a real-world, real-problem client. Because that’s a guaranteed way for you to both see the wood for the trees… as well as reminding yourself that what you do really does matter. This was all brought home to me by a bit of a situation relating to my current pro bono client, South Wilts Mencap. Note I said ‘current;’ I absolutely would recommend any PR worth their salt to have a charity or small startup or artist or community organisation that you offer your help to, for reasons I think will come clear in a second. (Note I also said ‘pro

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Einstein, Socrates, Assertiveness – All In One Day

Today I have two things to cover. One is a bit of philosophy. The other is a reminder of the need for some backbone. Oddly, they are definitely related – and even more oddly, they both came out of quite a moment I had in an important client meeting a week or so ago. The first thing was a real moment of doubt. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that if you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself? That genius’ definition of clarity came back to me that day when a client looked me in the eye and asked me, flat out, ‘What is it you do, what does PR do – explain it to the team?’ It was a bit of a scary moment, as you can probably imagine. But every now and again, in no matter what walk of life you’re in, is it not a good idea to challenge oneself and

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The Bilingual PR: Or, Why It Really Is OK To ‘Speak Siobhan’ Sometimes

If you used any of the following words this week… get ready to be shamed. ‘Unicorn’ – as applied to a business idea, not the charming mythical quadruped. ‘Rockstar’ – when you mean an outstanding employee, not, you know, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott. (Ask your Dad, if confused.) ‘Hack’ – when you mean ugly but efficient way of solving a problem… not what you do when your partner finally succeeds in getting you to attack the weed issue in the garden! Yup – you’ve been using and abusing the English language again. Which probably means you work in IT… but, to my squirming discomfort, means you are just as likely to work in B2B PR! The list comes from the latest regular cultural health check on all this from our friends at leading US business magazine Forbes. The magazine’s point; we are too keen to use jargon, clichés and meaningless but cool-sounding verbiage to make our points in business these

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Work to Lose the Work? A grown up perspective on Acquisition Comms

Today’s puzzle… When does it make sense to take on a client you know you will lose… if you do the job correctly? Has to be a contradiction in terms, surely; why would a sensible business person – which it says on my business card I am, right?! – take on work that they know will be only judged a success if it results in the job disappearing for good? This is an aspect of B2B hi-tech PR that I think you have to have a certain amount of maturity to not just take on, but get right. And it’s PR for acquisition. That’s to say, your job – perhaps a mission, known sometimes only to you and the very top level of managers at the client – is to get the firm bought. A lot of agencies take on clients assuming that they will last for ever – or rather, their contribution is to work for as long as

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Sarum’s Award Triumph Is Great – But It Also Has Relevance For All Of Us In B2B Marketing

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate blowing my own trumpet. Thankfully, as so much of the work is down to the amazing team we have here at Sarum, I can today blow it on their behalf. We’ve had something of a major win in terms of recognition by our peers in the communications business. To make all this even more satisfying, it’s a global win. I am amazed to be able to say that our client work has been honoured by one of the most prestigious bodies in the business, who evaluated no less than 1500 submissions from right around the globe – and found our project worthy of very high praise indeed. What’s happened is that The League of American Communication Professionals , or the LACP, a group set up to create a space for the world’s PR practitioners to mark of best-in-class practices within the field, while also recognising those teams demonstrating “exemplary communications capabilities,” have

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