It is evident we are living through a revolution in technology, yet how many of us recognise that we are going through a revolution in business models – how your businesses and organizations generate income – and that everyone in PR is in the Freemium business?
The fact you are reading this blog post, brought to you by digital technology, is clear proof of the changes in how we deliver communications; in an instant, through an easily accessible channel to share your content, which can go viral.
What we now need to wake up to is how these technological channels have altered the shape of the underlying business models and how it could provide fantastic opportunities for public relations and brand communications specialists.
I like the way Kurt Vonnegut describes business as “two people are giving each other money and you need to be in the middle of them.”
Now, we have to realise that we are living in an age of the Freemium business model – which could put PR centre stage in business success.
‘Freemium’ – the term was first coined by Jarid Lukin and popularized by venture capitalist Fred Wilson on his business blog- describes business models that blend basic free services or offerings with a scaleable progression of relationships to paying for full premium services.
Think about it. Every business in some way is engaged in the Freemium model. You give stuff away.
The PR consultant who gives away profound strategy or processes at a speculative pitch, a trade body that provides useful fact sheets.
It is all about exploiting your content, you asset, what you have to say to the world and then, in the first instance giving it away for nothing; the payback is in developing a relationship and fuelling a sales pipeline for future business.
So, if marketing your content is at the heart of most modern-day businesses, using at some point a Freemium business model, if you were a professional who could identify the potential value of content, its value and interest to future prospects, you would be a powerful person in the organization.
Who is it that has the skills, experience, and wherewithal to be the driving force of a Freemium business model?
The PR person’s CV ideally equips them for the challenge.
The reality is whether again, like how the PR business belatedly got into the Internet, after the graphic designers stole the driving seat, is this going to be another opportunity going begging?
Wake up and smell the coffee of the Freemium business model – at the least smell of it will be free.