'Every company is a media company' fueling M&A

'Every company is a media company' fueling M&A

Summary: PR firms and marketers are hoping to cash in on helping companies become media companies...

TOPICS: Fiber, Telcos

For many years I've been saying that every company is a media company and writing about what that means and its importance to business.

At first people were puzzled by that statement but these days it is much better understood. Its importance has increased tremendously and it is now fueling multi-million dollar acquisitions.

This week, Fleishman Hillard, one of the world's largest PR firms, and GMR Marketing acquired Amos Content Group in a deal estimated at between $5 million to $10 million, to create a new venture called Freshwire

Tanzina Vega, in The New York Times, reported:

Freshwire will be tasked with creating editorial-like content for brands, including videos, blogs, slideshows and more.

"Its almost axiomatic today that every company needs to be a media company," said Dave Senay, the president and chief executive of Fleishman Hillard.

Both Fleishman Hillard and GMR Marketing are part of the giant Omnicom Group. Last summer I was in London making a special presentation at a private internal event, to senior executives of Omnicom companies on how Silicon Valley is  becoming a "Media Valley" and how every company is a media company.

It's always gratifying to be ahead of the trends.

However, it won't be an easy job for Freshwire. PR and marketing people are not journalists or broadcasters, even though they work with many of them. The priorities and the opportunities as seen by media professionals are not the same as those of PR and marketing departments. 

It's one thing to realize that every company is a media company. Now the question is how? 

To answer that requires hiring media professionals and it requires letting them alone to do their jobs. That won't happen in most organizations, or at least, it won't happen unless there are very specific processes and rules set in place that prevent interference, and turning such media ventures into the usual corporate marketing babble.


Topics: Fiber, Telcos

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  • PR people not journalists

    Actually, most PR people come from a journalism background. Marketing people and advertising people tend to be more from the Business department. However, having worked in all three capacities (PR, marketing and Journalism) I can say that often the biggest problem is not the PR person's preparation, but the company's expectations. You tell the company to keep you informed of upcoming news and either you don't hear from them again until right before the release of their new groundbreaking product (or worse after the fact) or they want a press release to go out when the CEO takes a vacation or pictures of the company picnic in the trade journals for that enterprise.

    Likewise, they want a press release to sound like an ad selling the product instead of a news release sounding like a news story. When you hold to a journalistic tone, they think you aren't enthusiastic about the product.

    And if they are minimally informed about the news media, they are totally clueless about social media and want to send out a tweet an hour saying something like "Get a Great deal today at XYZ" or "XYZ, your partner in business, Check us out today." They see it as just a big free advertising pool, not knowing people just ignore those types of tweets/status updates or worse report them as spam.

    It's not that businesses don't have savvy media people on board, its just like the article says, they don't let them alone to do their job.