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Going from Brand to Publisher & from Publisher to Brand

Whether our efforts are better invested in content or context is certainly one of the major arguments in today’s digital world. While most of us are looking to choose a side, Deanna Brown, CEO of Federated Media, argues that these two players are dependent upon each other: “Content in the right context is ultimately king,” she said in a recent interview with Brian Solis.

In other words, rather than declaring allegiance, our time would be better spent focusing on creating content that is not only reflective of the overall message, but also the platform on which in lives.

Brand –> Publisher

The real question then, for brands and marketers becomes one of publishing. In a vast experience without a visible end — because you can’t just engage and abandon — who do you employ?

Enter a bevy of new, new-ish and renewed trends: brand journalism, freelance blogging, community management, social media management, content strategy, etc. The good news is that you don’t need all of them. The bad news is that investing in any of the above won’t provide the instant gratitude that most of us dream about at night. Adding publishing to your arsenal and building a loyal audience– that’s a process better taken one slow step at a time.

Brown, who claims most brands are currently shirking the long-view and holistic approach for “any metric they can grab onto” says:

“I think the education and the understanding of the value, and what I’ll call ‘asset creation’ is something that agencies and or brands should consider investing in– just as they’ve created 30 second spots or magazine advertisements. I think what we’re seeing, however, is…jumping to full-fledged publisher in the magazine sense…and I think that they’re reaching too far.

…Understand…what your goals are and your strategies are, engage companies and creators and curators that can help, and you know, rinse and repeat. I think the idea of bringing all those services or all those skill sets in-house is kind of over reaching.”

Publisher –> Brand

Meanwhile, for those of us on the other side of the coin, Brown says this is an interesting point in our careers, if not life cycle. “I think publishers need to think about more than just satisfying their communities and ultimately think about their footprints– about becoming brands. It’s really the other side of that equation…and the branding of the publisher is really just an extension of their voice.”

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