Curation’s two most important PR assets?

by PR Coach on July 19, 2012

Curation helps find valuable info in the internet haystack

What does PR have to do with curation? Curation offers PR strategists two critical assets: intelligence and discovery.

Search engine results get more polluted every day by spam, localization, personalization and marketing, resulting in a decrease in value and an increase in search frustration. As Paul Kedrosky says in his post Curation is the New Search is the New Curation:

“But then that got too hard. The web got bigger faster than anyone could keep track. Curation steadily gave way to algorithmic search, which at first was just spidering of the web, and then more intelligent spidering with keywords. And then it became Google, with ranking algorithms that placed websites into a hierarchies of keyword-related relevance based on things like authoritativeness, as defined, in part, by links from other sites — by those original hand-curated lists, ironically enough.

That model has now begun to give way too. Any algorithm can be gamed; it’s only a matter of time. The Google algorithm is now well and thoroughly gamed, as I first wrote about late last year, and as now become an entire genre of web writing, and that has grown to include my friend Vivek Wadhwa’s smart piece on TechCrunch not long ago. Google has, they argue, lost its mojo…”

Pardon this mixed analogy. But it’s getting harder and harder to search and find valuable nuggets of intelligence in a haystack of information that has simply grown too large and less relevant.

The good thing is there’s a corresponding increase in the value of curation.

The Public Relations Advantage

Best curation results come from real curators or crowd sourcing. Algorithms and aggregation are useful tools but can’t deliver the best quality content. Strategic monitoring of social media like Twitter can provide a competitive advantage.

That’s part of the advantage of public relations. We know how to sort through mountains of data and information from many sources. We’re able to choose the most important pieces, recognize the trends and then make the content valuable. Turning it into “intelligence.”

We do that in many ways depending on the strategy and the ideas. From blogging, reports, white papers, media relations, presentations, video, through social media channels and any number of other creative tactics.

Through high quality curation, we turn content into corporate or organizational assets.

Meanwhile, the search for the Holy Grail of algorithms, artificial intelligence and curation tools continues.

The value of discovery

The second, and equally important part of curation is discovery! This is the more artistic sibling in the strategic PR family. Discovery implies delight, serendipity, curiosity, wonder and sheer magic in the finding of something previously unknown.

Without our skill in communicating and storytelling, curation is simply drab science. It lies there like a specimen in a science lab or a spreadsheet of data.

Curation only becomes valuable when we do something with it! And it becomes the highest value when we put it into action through skillful, creative, strategic public relations.

PR is in the unique position of being able to use curation as a strategic weapon. We need to understand and embrace that opportunity. Our next test as PR strategists is to learn more about the curation tools that can help us help our organizations. More on that in a future post.

Two examples of PR curation

Scoop.it is a valuable curation tool

Public Relations & Social PR on Scoop.it is a curation example

Here are two specific examples of PR content curation.

Readers of my blog and website visitors will recognize the PR Library. It’s filled with more than 7,500 curated, annotated links to more than 30 topics on public relations. Look in the left column and click to your heart’s content.

Second example is my Scoop.it site Public Relations & Social PR Insight (pictured above). Scoop.it is a tool that lets you curate a topic and publish what looks like a magazine. My site’s built from a combination of my daily curated Twitter feed @thePRCoach, readings from a range of sources and adding in a deeper blend of Social PR insight links. Often, I’ll add comments, amplify or share items on Tumblr as well.

Like Kedrosky, I believe search engines are giving way to curation sites and services. Search Scoop.it, Pinterest or any number of other curation sites. You’ll find superbly targeted, relevant results.

If I had to recommend just one must-read item on curation it would be this presentation by curation guru and mentor Robin Good. Though for educators, it is truly inspiring and amazing. Not to mention a very creative presentation using the Mindomo mind map tool.

I’ve flagged some other suggested reading and viewing on curation below if you’re keen to learn where it’s going. How about you? Are you using curation? Have you any favorite tools you’d like to share? Comments always welcome below.

Curious about curation? Our PR Library has more resources on curation and content marketing as well as strategic PR. No library card required.

Author: Jeff Domansky
Photo credit: BigStock, The PR Coach

Recommended reading & viewing on curation

4 Painless Ways To Find The Right Content To Share [B2C]
5 Ways to Use Content Curation for Marketing and Tools to Do It [Forbes]
Are we stuck in filter bubbles? Here are five potential paths out [Jonathan Stray]
Content Curation Reduces Information Overload [Graham Jones]
Curation is the New Search is the New Curation [Paul Kedrosky]
Curation techniques, types & tips [Steve Buttry]
Facts & Questions on Blogging, Curating & Collecting [Deanna Dahlsad]
How Long Before You Will Scoop.it Instead of Google It? [Huffington Post]
News Discovery: Here’s The Cream of the Crop – Best Apps and Services To Find
The News You Like [The Guardian]
The 30 Best Content Curation Resources for Marketers and Business Pros [B2C]
The Content Conundrum: To Create Or Automate? [Fast Company]
The Elusive 4th C of E-Commerce [Dror Liwer]
The Unexpected Benefits of Content Curation [Beth Kanter]
What Content Curation Is and How To Do It Right [Margot Bloomenstein]