Carefully Crafted on February 18

Technology Trends Powering PR Storytelling

Today’s guest post comes from Tyler Durbin, marketing manager of innovation for GSW, a Columbus-based advertising agency. We’ve said before that storytelling has always been a core component of effective PR, so we’re excited to share Tyler’s perspective on the topic this week:


Post by: Tyler Durbin

Inbound marketing has been a hot topic in marketing for nearly a decade now, increasing in focus each year. But in the field of public relations, the evolution of media and technology—the birth of social networking and proliferation of technology—has jumpstarted a profound paradigm shift.

While the world gets more technically savvy, great storytelling is still the foundation of cultivating relationships.

The public relations field is well-positioned to be the storytellers of the future. The principles of successful PR—relationship building and great storytelling— are still the foundation, but new media and technology has finally provided the field with platforms to pull instead of push.

In 2014, content creation and management account for the 2nd largest share of brand’s digital marketing budgets.

This seems to be driven, in part, by the desire to populate the nearly infinite touch points and inbound marketing channels being created by mobile and social technology.

Today’s communication funnel is drastically more dynamic than ever before: Humans are constantly checking text messages, Facebook notifications, @replies, bank transactions, emails, and calendars.

The customer touch points are woven throughout this maze of digital habits. The challenge for brands is that this is all done dynamically — no routine, no process, just random acts of content consumption each and every day.

Virgin has become the standard for brands as storytellers. Lead by its billionaire founder Richard Branson, Virgin doesn’t wait for the media to tell their story; they tell their own by creating their own content to support the company’s mission and brands.

In the 2013 book Your Brand: The Next Media Company, author Michael Brito shared 5 characteristics of media companies that brands should encompass when creating their own content. Media companies. . .

  1. Produce massive amounts of content
  2. Provide content that is relevant to their audience at a particular moment of time
  3. Deliver content that is fresh, recent, and breaking
  4. Are present everywhere and leverage multiple channels
  5. Move quickly and aren’t held back by approvals and lawyers

Experienced marketers and PR pros have always been great at assembling large audiences. The missed opportunity is assembling an audience that will ultimately deliver the real bump in ROI brands are seeking. Assembling an audience or creating a community does not deliver ROI on it’s own—it merely creates the opportunity to start a conversation that can eventually deliver ROI.

So, what should marketers & PR pros be focused on in 2014?

  • Developing the skillset required not only to lead a conversation and build your community but converting these communities into a tangible ROI
  • Targeting positive ROI over the long haul and not just after a massive launch or campaign
  • Implementing strategies that keep the audience engaged over extended periods of time with authentic, creative content


Tyler Durbin is the marketing manager of innovation at Columbus-headquartered advertising agency GSW. Tyler is  a passionate watcher of technology and innovation trends, shares his commentary at, and loves calling Columbus, the #1 up-and-coming tech city in America, home. Connect with Tyler on Twitter.


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