Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

'Every Company Is A Media Company' Is Fueling M&A

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 23, 2012

For many years I've been saying that every company is a media company and writing about what that means and its importance to business.

At first people were puzzled by that statement but these days it is much better understood. Its importance has increased tremendously and it is now fueling multi-million dollar acquisitions.

This week, Fleishman Hillard, one of the world's largest PR firms, and GMR Marketing acquired Amos Content Group in a deal estimated at as much as $10 million, to create a new venture called Freshwire

Tanzina Vega, in The New York Times, reported:

Freshwire will be tasked with creating editorial-like content for brands, including videos, blogs, slideshows and more.

"Its almost axiomatic today that every company needs to be a media company," said Dave Senay, the president and chief executive of Fleishman Hillard.

Both Fleishman Hillard and GMR Marketing are part of the giant Omnicom Group. Last summer I was in London making a special presentation at a private internal event, to senior executives of Omnicom companies on how Silicon Valley has become a "Media Valley" and how every company is a media company.

It's always gratifying to be ahead of the trends.

However, it won't be an easy job for Freshwire. PR and marketing people are not journalists or broadcasters, even though they work with many of them. The priorities and the opportunities as seen by media professionals are not the same as those of PR and marketing departments.

It's one thing to realize that every company is a media company. Now the question is how?

To answer that requires hiring media professionals and it requires letting them alone to do their jobs. That won't happen in most organizations, or at least, it won't happen unless there are very specific processes and rules set in place that prevent interference, and turning such media ventures into the usual corporate marketing babble.

Unless serious checks and measures are put in place, the desire to meddle will be overwhelming for most of the PR and marketing people involved in such ventures.

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