Academics hear it all the time, it’s a mantra of sorts. Publish or die. Publish research, books, articles, etc. in order to maintain your career and keep your job. As a tenured professor, you’re expected to be creating new content on a regular basis.
While publish or die has been a long standing expectation in academia, it is quickly becoming a mantra for public relations, marketing and communications professionals as well. Content creation has rapidly become a foundation for successful marketing campaigns across any and all industries. From universities to tech companies, law offices to start-ups, small businesses to international corporations, content creation is often at the core of the marketing plan.
Between blogging, twittering, updating Facebook pages, sharing on delicious, uploading to YouTube or Flickr or maintaining websites, content creation has become the mainstay of communications. In addition to being great content creators, marketers have to be creative and tech savvy, developing not only print materials and website copy, but good design standards, easy-to-use web sites and other online outposts, and video and audio content as well.
Being a good marketer is no longer simply about being a good writer and strategist. It’s about being a prolific, reliable and engaging content producer. As many marketing managers can attest, publish or die can easily be applied to our positions in any industry. I do think that in many cases, especially in higher ed programs that teach communications and marketing, this publish or die concept is rarely addressed. The focus is on more traditional and high-level marketing skills, but the core skills needed to use the new tools of online marketing are rarely taught. We should not assume that correct and effective use of these tools or the understanding of the new publish or die mantra is understood by online-savvy students. Instead, we should focus on educating a new generation of marketers who understand these tools both from a technical standpoint and from a strategic standpoint.
For example, content creation has a significant impact on SEO, and every marketer will be expected to measure and report on web traffic. When is the last time you saw a core course in SEO and SEM, google analytics and web traffic management in a marketing program at the undergraduate or graduate level? We need to teach students about publish or die standards in order for them to be successful contributors to the marketing community.