Welcome to Content24. Why is it different? Because it’s a digest of the stories that have made an impact over the past 24 hours, and not just a platform for recycled content marketing. Today we’re looking at the UK government’s endorsement of content marketing, the danger for publishers and the Johnston
To start things off, here is a humdinger of a story from the Press Gazette (yes, it is still going). The government has commissioned a new report looking at how to revamp its communications. It contains suggestions on new structures, media trends and general ways to use the 3,650 PR people it employs.
It also contains the line that the newspaper sector’s “declining business model” presents an “opportunity” for the government to produce its own content. To prove those words have not been twisted, here is the direct quote: “The media industry’s struggle to cope with a declining business model offers the opportunity for government to produce more ‘direct-to-consumer’ creative “The opportunity is not so much about government pushing native content, rather about GCS [Government Communication Service] creating fully-fledged media production teams, sensitive to the nuances of each channel and audience.”
On the one hand this backs up what we’ve been saying all along. Publishers are increasingly hard pressed to operate to the level they did 20 years ago. But we were talking about content marketing from the commercial and brand perspectives. Government? Now that is slightly different.
This is a piece from FirstWord director Adrian Michaels looking at the parallels between payment mechanisms, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, and social media’s current push into content delivery.
Services like Google Wallet are not banks, working out what is (or is not) in your account. They prefer to harvest your buying habits and leave the sums to the professionals.
Apple News and Facebook Notify perform a similar function. Just as the banks add up your balance, so they rely on content producers (publishers) to come up with the content. As Michaels says: “In effect, they can appropriate an industry’s value without manufacturing anything.”
Regional publisher Johnston Press, whose publications include The Scotsman, is launching a content marketing subsidiary. Named Voice Local, it will create native advertising with the aim of connecting “brands and local enterprises with consumers”.
The move follows a three-month trial where it created 59 campaigns across the country. Examples include a national supermarket discussing cooking tips for salmon and a local vet helping people in the area to keep their animals safe on bonfire night.