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What role will digital content curation play in the future of PR?

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259997881_a85fee0ed5_oContent is no longer the issue for organizations. Not in this 24/7 news cycle world. Not in an era where the average consumer takes in as many as 3,000 marketing messages per day, according to Fast Company.

No, the real issue is filtering through all the garbage to get to the nuggets. The information that will help you get smarter or be more efficient.

For years, the mainstream media (MSM) has served this role well. CNN, USA Today, CBS News, your local newspaper. They’re all responsible for filtering through the junk and relaying to you the relevant stories that impact your lives. And, from a PR perspective, they’ve been valuable conduits and tools for us to share our messages with key audiences.

Fast forward to today. Content has moved online. It’s also mobile with the advent of the smart phone. And, nearly everyone has access to the tools to create their own content. As we all know, it’s been quite the shift.

OK, cut to the chase: What does digital content curation mean for your organization?

The old rules no longer apply–well, at least not as much as they did a few years ago. MSM are still relevant gatekeepers. More than 2 million people still subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. More than 1.9 million still read the USA Today. And more than 14 million visit the NY Times Web site each month (hat tip to Rachel Kay for the info). But, the key point here is the flattening that’s happened the last few years. Organizations now have an opportunity to filter and curate digital content for their customers.

Bottom line: Your company has a chance to BE the media. Relevant to your own corner of the world, of course.

For example, you’re an accounting firm. You make your living counting other organization’s money. Consulting. And knowing your client’s business inside out. Wouldn’t you have an outstanding opportunity to be a relevant source of industry and financial stories for your clients?

Instead of just focusing on your ideas, you’d also pull in stories from industry blogs, trade publications and other relevant Web sources. You could even separate it out by industry niche. Have one “channel” on your site devoted to health care. Another to construction/real estate. Yet another to not-for-profits. You’d be the Web destination for your clients for all things tax, accounting and consulting. Eventually, wouldn’t they see you as an expert? A thought leader? An organization that’s given them so much free and insightful digital content over the months that they actually felt compelled to do business with you?

That’s the idea anyway. The challenge for organizations initially is finding the right mix. As we know, the MSM aren’t going anywhere. They’re still very relevant gatekeepers of important information–and fantastic storytelling portals for your brand. However, the mix is shifting. What’s the right balance? I think companies are still trying to figure that out.

There’s also the talent and staffing piece of the equation. Organizations will not only have to figure out how much time to devote to digital content creation and curation, they will also have to find the type of skill set and people who would flourish in a role like this. You don’t even see that job description floating around too widely yet. It’s a whole new job category just waiting to expand.

What are your thoughts? Where do you see this going in the next 2-5 years? How will organizations embrace it? What are the staffing/talent challenges ahead?

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What role will digital content curation play in the future of PR?

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