Jul 03, 2018 / in Comms Best Practices / by Annemaria Nicholson

The term “business transformation” is often a catchphrase that people often use without fully realizing what it means. However, as I near my ten-year anniversary with Cision, I can tell you first-hand that business transformation is healthy, and will soon affect our entire industry. As one of our readers, you too can be a trailblazer in an industry that’s ripe for disruption.

PR Daily’s 2018 Digital PR & Social Media Awards has just awarded the Cision blog with an honorable mention, and we’re so thrilled to be part of the transformation we see in our organization and in the greater PR and communications space.

Receiving this recognition would not have been possible without all the hard work and support from the greater Cision community. We are grateful for our loyal audience, content contributors, journalist and influencer friends and lastly, for our amazing internal team. We set out to become the go-to information hub for the next-generation of PR pros, those looking to get more out of their comms and PR programs, and for anyone who wants to prove the value of communications at any company through real business impact.

PR Daily Cision Award Image.jpg

"It is an honor to receive this prestigious accolade from a prominent industry leader such as PR Daily," said Kevin Akeroyd, Cision CEO. "We are proud to be recognized in the category of industry blog as our goal is to be a resource for professionals in the public relations and marketing industry. Cision is committed to keeping a pulse on the latest news, updates and best practices impacting the industry through inspiring, entertaining and educational content.”

We see an incredible change happening in our industry, where storytelling must now be married with data analysis, and where CMOs will start asking PR pros to justify where every dollar spent goes. Communicators and PR pros everywhere must now embrace the use of data to prove ROI for every dollar spent on their campaigns. This situation is already happening, and it’s our job at the Cision blog to document it. As an ideal destination for industry leaders, the Cision blog aims to help PR and comms professionals work toward an understanding of what this new reality will look like, and provide them with the tools to succeed.

Accepting and embracing change may be challenging, but necessary in order to reach the full benefits of transformation and progress. We must all evolve if we want to thrive in this disruptive environment. This mindset was applied at Cision when we took a look at how our blog could be improved to best serve our audience in an engaging and informative manner.

The Cision Blog Transformation

 The Cision blog has been a proving ground for developing measurable improvements. When I took over the content program, I knew it needed an overhaul. So, when we brainstormed internally on how to improve the blog, we asked ourselves the following questions.

  • What topics do PR pros want us to cover?
  • What are the most effective storytelling techniques?
  • How can we help modern communicators evolve and grow?
  • Who is best equipped to tell that story?
  • How can we get earned media for our blog?
  • How can we better serve our journalist audience?

We wanted to make the best content for our audience, so we developed a go-to-market strategy that helped answer some of those questions. Below are some of the steps Cision took to build and execute that strategy.

Establishing a Strong Foundation

  • Last year we unveiled a new brand with a clear identity, design, tone and voice based on research and customer feedback. This helped bring together all of the companies that we’ve acquired and made it easier for our audiences to understand who we are.
  • We set clear content guidelines so we could focus on high-quality content creation, developed a solid keyword strategy and executed a content strategy that capitalizes on our earned media efforts.
  • We unified our narrative across multiple markets and web properties to make sure we are telling one cohesive story across borders, globalizing and localizing whenever possible.
  • Tony Hardman, Cision’s content marketing manager, redesigned the blog with four main sections: best practices, executive insights, media blog and product blog. He worked with the design and web teams to give things a fresh new look and feel, making it easier for people to find what they need.

Improving Content Engagement

  • Our team recruited some the best internal and external thought leaders in the industry. (Read on if interested in joining our ranks.)
  • We ramped up our multimedia production now using video, interactive infographics, gifs and more to maximize engagement and success with our audiences.
  • We created a multichannel promotion program to make the most of each piece of content by optimizing readership reach

These combined efforts helped us better entertain and educate our audience and prepare them for the industry disruption on the horizon. The results have been impressive, other blogs have featured our content, we’ve increased our blog subscriber base, increased visit time spent, decreased our bounce rate and much more.

As we look ahead to what comes next, we want to continue to push the boundaries of what our industry blog currently provide. We’ll continue to ensure best practices for PR pros and communicators, but we’re also looking to expand our coverage of the following topics.

I’m excited to have you iterate with us as we start on the next phase of our journey together. If you are interested in submitting a video or written article for the blog on one of these topics, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at Annemaria dot Nicholson at cision.com, find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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About Annemaria Nicholson

I drive go-to-market strategy for content, social media and community at Cision, an earned media software intelligence company. I engage, educate and inspire audiences with interactive and multimedia projects that serve all areas of the funnel and have experience scaling content programs globally to drive brand awareness, leads and revenue for the business. I revolutionized Cision’s outbound promotion efforts to amplify its inbound lead generation results by creating a multichannel campaign strategy that promotes discoverability, search rank, audience awareness, credibility, and ultimately more topline revenue growth. I also helped with our rebrand and watched Cision go public in 2017, and our blog program was honored in 2018 by PR Daily.