Just because content management is a major buzzword doesn’t mean its right for you as PR professional, or as a PR agency. Some questions to help you decide:

1)      Are my revenues and margins meeting my (or my partners’) requirements? If so, you might be delivering such high-quality results in other areas (such as media placement, crisis management, product positioning and analyst relations) that content management might distract you from your core business. Consider partnering with content management consultants who are experienced in, and can provide expertise, in this specialized area while you provide the in-depth knowledge of the client and its needs, as well as of the market.

2)      Are my clients demanding more measurable results from my efforts? If so, ask them how they define success. If they ask for media mentions or story placements, and you feel you can deliver with your existing staff and services, stay the course. But the more they talk about attracting higher-quality leads, or driving higher-quality traffic, to their Web site, the more you should think about including content marketing in your existing services, even if they’re not ready for a full content marketing campaign.

3)      Are my clients asking me for lead generation programs? Even if your client needs more and better leads, they might not expect or trust you to deliver them. Is your relationship with the client good enough that they would find you credible for such an effort? Might they consider a proof of concept if you could do it at low cost?

4)      Have we lost, or might we lose clients, because we don’t offer content marketing services? This question speaks for itself, except of course for whether those clients were worth keeping in the first place. Not to mention…

5)      Is marketing automation, or related skills such as lead generation, something you have the time or energy to learn at this stage in your career? Not only are there new tools to learn, but a lot of sheer effort involved in developing, creating, distributing and monitoring content, not to mention tracking what others are saying about yourself or your client. If you lack the fire in the belly and your existing contacts and skills can see you through to retirement, you might do yourself and your family a favor by taking a pass.

6)       Can I make the necessary commitment to not only learn content marketing, but to market it to my clients? All points made in Question 5) above apply in spades, with the caution that marketing a new service is almost a full-time job in itself.

7)      Do my clients have the commitment to give this a fair shot? This is a major roadblock many marketing and PR firms run into, and you can be set up for failure if your client doesn’t realize it can take six months or more to get results from a content marketing campaign. Remember also that creating a solid content plan requires input from sales and marketing, quality content from subject matter experts within the organization, as well as the budget to give it a fair shot. As with so many other services engagements, if the client isn’t fully committed, consider holding out for another who is.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.