I say “content marketing,” you say …

I think it's the biggest communication trend since social media, but speechwriters give me blank looks. What gives?

I've been around the communication business for awhile now. Over these years, a lot of trends have proven themselves fads. All, in fact, except three: In the mid-1990s the Internet came along and changed a few things. Social media made a massive impact about a decade later. And now almost decade after that, we have this thing called "content marketing."

The term was invented by a Cleveland consultant named Joe Pulizzi. "Content marketing, he said, "is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

I wrote skeptically enough about my first close-up run-in with the concept three years ago at a conference called Content Marketing World, in Cleveland.

That was then. Now, I'm program chairman of the Content Marketing Awards, and if not quite a true believer that "content marketing" will 100 years from now be the permanent industry that last century's invention "public relations" is today—the Cicero Speechwriting Awards garner fewer than 200 entries every year. The first year of the CMAs? More than 800.

If content marketing is a flash in the pan, it's a bright one. And for marketers desperately searching for compelling stories, ideas and personalities—it seems to me that executive communications is a place where they might be looking. And executive communicators ought to be looking for them.

And maybe you are. I want to know, because I'd like to write a story here at VSOTD.com about the confluence, if it exists, between content marketing, speechwriting and executive communications. Comment below, or email me: vseditor@mcmurrytmg.com. I'd love to hear what you're up to—and what you might be doing next. Thanks. —DM

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