Recently I’ve been struck by how many stories I’ve read in the marketing press about PR agencies adding paid media to their service set. “News” about PR firms’ paid media offerings has been pervasive from announcements of first-ever paid media directors to pieces on how the PR landscape is changing to include paid media to debate over separation of paid and earned. For us at Porter Novelli, what they are clearly seeing as a revolution has been a significant part of our evolution over the past 40 years.
Porter Novelli has recognized the power of paid media in public relations since its inception 40 years ago. You could say it is in our DNA as a firm founded by two Madison Avenue guys – Jack Porter and Bill Novelli – who wanted to use top notch marketing practices to make the world a better place. And, for my 10 year stint at PN, I have been leading the evolution from straight-up advertising and the integration of paid media—traditional and digital—into our PR programs. Porter Novelli believes in the power of engaging all available publishing channels—earned, owned and paid—to create robust, creative, results-driven programs for our clients.
We were pioneers in some innovative paid media partnerships that went beyond advertising. In fact, in 2006, we were partners in DIY Network’s first-ever content integration creating a multi-platform, episodic television series along with their paid and editorial teams. That same year we engineered a multi-publication paid integration with Meredith on the B2C side and Hanley-Wood on the B2B side for both print and digital content. Those three paid partnerships, as part of an overall PR strategy and program, made for a banner year for sales for our client the Propane Education and Research Council.
While the partners and the channels have changed with the audiences and the times to increase presence digitally and add tools like search and content syndication, those types of thoughtful, strategic engagements continue to be an integral part of our offering today. I guess we should have called our publicist, we apparently have been making news.