In 2014 Annual Conference, 2014 Conference - Tuesday

David GrinerBy Terri Behling, APR, CPRC

PR pros were the original content strategists and created long-term storylines centered on brand and found the right content creators to help craft the narrative. What is limiting PR today is the belief that paying for any form of content is unethical. Professionals need a bigger mind set than just earned media. Earned media from journalists is only one part of the equation. Well-compensated bloggers and content creators are vital pieces of today’s marketing mix. Spending money isn’t unethical. Lack of transparency is unethical.

PR as a field often clings to its traditions despite clear inefficiencies, frustrations and emerging opportunities. You have two options:

• Keep writing 2-page press releases no one wants to read.

• Leverage your ability to create and fuel conversation, making your team more important than ever. Newer college graduates have this philosophy but can’t find jobs with companies that believe the same thing.

Earned Media – generating unpaid content packaged as news or features. Largest investment is PR hours.

•Pros: It’s authentic
•Cons: It’s hard to measure.

Griner also reviewed characteristics of the best PR people. It was a good reminder of media relations 101. It’s all about the relationships. It takes time, years even, and patience.

Sponsored Content – paying a media outlet or personality to run content that helps support your brand.

•Pros: Credibility with controllability.
•Cons: Content is often seen as a press release or is stuck in approval limbo.

Native Advertising – working with a site or produce content that fits seamlessly into the site’s user experience.

•Pros: It’s tailored to the audience and non-disruptive.
•Cons: It’s specific to one outlet and requires a lot of collaboration and trust.

Promoted Content – paying a social or ad network to promote content. Vital part of social media and PR today. If you’re helping generate content, you need to insist on being involved in promoting it, as well. PR is about being responsive, and that is where promoted content truly shines.

Griner shared a great story about a logo redesign! Subtle logo change turned into a “can you spot the difference” game for the company’s fans. Hugely successful social media push which generated traditional media coverage.

Take away message: PR is evolving, don’t be afraid to buck tradition and do things differently!

Follow on Twitter: @griner


After eight years of helping brands accomplish amazing things through social media and digital content strategy, David Griner joined Adweek in 2014 as its first social editor. A longtime contributor to the magazine and its blog, AdFreak, Griner now oversees a wide range of social media channels for the publication, totaling more than 1.5 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Previously, he was VP/director of digital content for Birmingham-based Luckie & Company, where he helped client brands like Little Debbie and Alabama Tourism build large and highly engaged social audiences. A frequent public speaker, Griner has also been featured by many high-profile news outlets, including The New York Times, Mashable, “Good Morning America” and CNN.

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