Drawing on the skills of seasoned newspaper journalists, FirstWord helps its clients create content marketing that stands out and connects with their audiences.
Content marketing has grown hugely in recent years into a powerful and direct way for companies to talk to their audience. But whether it grabs anyone’s attention is another matter. Certainly, readers gravitate to articles that interest them but they will soon drift away if what they read is boring, plain wrong or obviously written for the benefit only of a search engine.
Successful content campaigns demand that companies think and act like publishers: and to do that they need all the disciplines and skills found in a newsroom – commissioning, writing, editing, graphics, sub-editing, pictures, video and social media. These skills are hard to find in-house, although some companies manage it. More likely, it means using an agency. But not all agencies have been created equal.
“Working with the best businesses in the world is what gets us into work every morning” – Ross Cathcart, FirstWord co-founder
Adrian Michaels is the co-founder of FirstWord Media, a content marketing agency that harnesses the experience of seasoned reporters from some of the world’s most respected newsrooms to help its clients stand out and connect with their audiences.
“There’s a lot of content out there,” says Mr Michaels, “and that’s an understatement. On Instagram alone, 80 million photographs are shared. Ninety of the top 100 brands in the world have an Instagram account, so how do they make themselves known above the noise? It has to come down to connection.”
Annette MacKenzie, FirstWord editor for clients such as Pirelli, is succinct: “Content marketing isn’t marketing. It’s journalism. Adverts bang you over the head with the product, journalism is a much more involving and engaging process.”
Her background includes the BBC. She’s just one of a dynamic team whose CVs read like a Who’s Who of credible media, public relations and consultancy: from the Financial Times to the Telegraph, from Ogilvy to McKinsey. The result is high-quality content that puts its clients in front of the right audience at the right time to ensure their messages hit home.
“Content covers such a wide variety of material,” says Mr Michaels. “The screens and surfaces around us are teeming with it. We believe that quality will always win out and keeping in mind the priorities of a journalist means we are not just shouting our message, we are genuinely asking who it is for, and why it is there. It’s not ‘what can I tell them?’, it’s ‘what do they want to hear?’”
Ross Cathcart, FirstWord co-founder, agrees: “There’s arguably too much content out there and it’s only going to get more crowded. But the one thing you can’t mass-produce is quality, and that’s where we beat the competition – 86pc of B2B companies are using content marketing and that means that the content produced has to have a viable business benefit to the reader. Otherwise it’s a waste of time and money to read, let alone produce. The best content respects the commitment of the consumer.”
With household names such as Pirelli, GE and Deutsche Bank among its clients, FirstWord is trusted to deliver content that will build reputation and visibility.
“They are great clients,” says Mr Cathcart, “and we’re very proud to have them. But we also know that we can’t sit back and bask in the reflected glory of their reputation. Because that reputation is, in many ways, in our hands. And working with the best businesses in the world is what gets us into work every morning.”
For more information, visit https://www.firstword.co.uk/