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January 26, 2011
'Content Curators' Save the (Blogging) Day!
 
Keeping a corporate blog going, important a mission as that's becoming, is challenging, especially when the roles aren't entirely defined and management wonders, "What's going on over there?" ("Over there" being where the blogger(s) sit starry-eyed at their keyboard(s).) Well, there's a name for people who assemble corporate blogs, especially those that don't permit much free-ranging expression because of regulatory limitations: Those folks are "content curators."

We were led by a pertinent post on Todd Defren's PR Squared blog to consult Google for a definition of "content curator": The top listing took us to  a "Content Curation Wiki" (on the Content Curation Marketing site). And there we found it,  the preferred definition, by Rohit Bhargava,  among several that had been suggested: "A Content Curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online."

That's us at Flack Me. We exist! That's what we do. We're content curators—we write, typically, after roaming the Web for leads we haven't developed from our own rounds in the physical marketplace.

Now, this content curation wiki was posted last July and the question wasn't entirely settled then. Maybe it is by now, with a somewhat different appellation for web-roaming bloggers. But this is the lead Google listing, so maybe it is settled. Maybe we truly exist.

Aside from the pride involved, this is a matter of no small moment for businesses that have tighter regulatory constraints than others and, thus, may have a hemmed-in feeling about business blogging.

As Todd Defren points out (bless him!}: "If your social media engagement is stuck on the content creation planning—change your plan. Your company can still add value as a content curator. In the pharmaceutical industry (as an example), patients crave reliable information that helps them manage their health and feel a sense of community. Healthcare companies can achieve both objectives without ever penning a single blog.

"When it comes to health, pharmaceutical companies have added authority. The patient population would welcome their help in identifying content that a credible expert deems reliable..."

This may not be the yeastiest type of social media expression, but, Defren notes, "In a space that is beholden to regulations, like Pharma, it's a step on the path to a full social media engagement strategy."

Distilling information from digital sources may also represent creative expedience in those business settings where full consensus hasn't yet been reached on the role of a blog, but PR is urging that one be started nonetheless. Don't start a blog unless it can be continued with copy that's helpful to visitors, but consider content curation as the way to move ahead. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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