The Mashable Shift

BY BETH MILLER

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, PRO

Last week, Mashable announced major staff layoffs in, as they put it, a "strategic shift" toward video. The news came on the heels of a $15 million round in funding for Mashable to build video content in partnership with Turner Broadcasting.  With essentially no news editors or reporters left on board, Mashable is going to have a very different look in the near future.  

So what does this mean for the PR professional? As most of us know, gone are the times of relying solely on traditional media to create more awareness for a client. While having your client appear on Good Morning America certainly has its media value, it’s not enough in today’s world of Snapchat, YouTube, VICE and other popular video driven platforms. Digital content in general is more prevalent and clients are expecting it to be part of the PR campaign.

I’m sure I’m not alone in having clients ask for an infographic design to accompany a press release, or how to work with influencers to get more visibility. And of course the favorite, how can we make a video go viral.

While clients may think a funny, spoof video is a must-have, PR professionals need to know when to pump the brakes and have a candid discussion with the client. Ideally you’re keeping up on best practices for content development and can guide the client toward what will work best for their target market within the respective campaign.

Just because you post a video online does not mean it’s good content that will actually engage with an audience. The public still has to care about what you’re sharing.  Don’t allow your clients to assume because an A-list pro athlete or a skateboarding dog is in the video, it will automatically generate a million views.

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever for PR pros to work closely with marketing and design teams. Ensuring that all of the teams are part of the development process and on the same page, hopefully avoids a PR pro stuck pitching content they don’t feel strongly in, which can ultimately ruin media relationships you’ve worked hard to develop over the years.  Moreover, you’re doing your client a disservice by allowing bad content to be pushed out.

Pay attention to what the Mashable’s of the media world are publishing and share relevant content with your clients to keep them in the loop on trends and what’s working in their industry. It's on PR professionals to do their due diligence and determine what will work best for a client and what has the potential to flop. 

So while Doug the Pug in a basketball jersey shooting trick shots seems to be wildly popular with certain audiences, it doesn't necessarily mean your team should borrow the intern’s dog for an afternoon video shoot.

Let us know your thoughts on the latest shift in content development and how you’re staying up on the trends by sharing with us on Twitter @SportsPRNews.