Creativity in PR – We talk content with Editorial Director & media supremo Anthony Noguera

How do you generate creative content? 35% of people who responded to our Creativity In PR study work in content creation.  We talk to award-winning Editorial Director & media supremo Anthony Noguera for his take. Before starting his own creative consultancy Anthony was Editorial Director at EMAP and Bauer (one of the largest international publishing groups in the world, and the owners of Grazia, Arena, Q, Empire, FHM). In a 15 year career Anthony edited and then ran a division of brands across all platforms in over 40 countries. Anthony has been on the end of every good, bad and very ugly PR pitch going and he is now MD of Ai which specialises in content creation.

75% of people in our survey said that content is the biggest area where there is an increasing need for creative thinking and ideas. “Agencies need to have the flexibility to bring in specialists to work on specific briefs rather than being chained to their in-house creative teams. Most of our work is white labelled on behalf of bigger agencies and we’re seeing more and more of them becoming more comfortable with bringing in editorial experts like us to work with them short term on content projects. The agencies with CDs seem to be the most comfortable working like this.”

On integration: “Too often clients come to their agencies with fully formed campaign ideas that have already been signed off at the highest levels, but aren’t – in reality – any good. The agencies then have to build out and execute campaigns that they don’t actually believe in themselves. Usually the clients realise half way through the campaign that the idea isn’t working but but by then it’s too late to do anything about it (because they’ve spent a fortune on a website that needs daily content) so everyone shuffles around looking a bit embarrassed and hoping it will all be over soon. Agencies have to be brought into the process at the earliest stages so that they can help shape campaigns that a real chance of breaking out.”
On structure: “The lines between marketing, advertising, social and digital media have completely disappeared but still too many agencies and clients are structured for working in the 1990s.”

44% in our survey said that content creation drives great PR work. Often there is huge bun fight amongst agencies as to who will undertake this part of a campaign. On writing content: “If you need real editorial then employ real editors. When you see great content in magazines and on websites or on TV it hasn’t been created by a lone writer/creative (Vince Gilligan excepting)… decent content you see on any media platform has had many hands in its creation, usually including a whole series of editors. Some agencies don’t get that and think that by hiring the person with the by-line that they’re going to to automatically get a high level of work. Which is rarely true. Hire an editorial team, not a lone freelancer.”

On clients: “Some clients say they want “groundbreaking” content; content that “will travel”, that will “go viral”, that will “be picked up and shared by major websites” and have “talkability” but then they gut the content leaving only totally vanilla marketing speak that has no value anywhere. Those kinds of clients should either trust the experts they’ve employed or get out of the content business.”

Ai comprises some of the most respected editors, writers, art directors, stylists, web- designers and photographers in the media today and is lead by award-winning editorial authority Anthony Noguera. He is the only person in European publishing history to have edited million selling issues of a monthly magazine. Find Ai at http://acceleratedintelligence.co.uk/

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