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Content Curation within the Communications Industy – Why is it important?

What is the goal of content curation and why does it help journalists and PR pros alike? Keep reading to find out!

Last week, I gave my insight and tips on creating a successful and shareable press release. As my social media assignment for this week, I decided to draft my own social media press release for an exciting Seton Hall alumni webinar panel taking place next Wednesday, April 15, hosted by the Student Alumni Association and the Young Alumni Club.

I serve as the Director of Communications for SAA, so it was very cool for my PR world and SAA world to collide through the assignment below!

Click through the pictures below to read the full press release:

This week, we are talking about content curation. In a nutshell, content curation is the gathering of information from different sources on the same topic, and neatly putting them in one place for your audience to enjoy and learn more about.

I know what you’re thinking… this sounds pretty easy! The coolest thing about content curation is that you don’t need to be a professional in communications or digital marketing to be a curator. With the social media platforms available to us today, anyone has the tools and ability to curate content.

This article from Mashable compared curators to tour guides, as the main goal of their job is to lead their audiences to news, events, and products that spark their interest and may have not been exposed to otherwise. I loved this analogy because I work as a tour guide myself at Seton Hall! My job is to summarize information for families to better understand while adding my own entertaining personal flare. Not only do I physically lead them around campus, but I lead them to where they can learn more about the school and have their questions answered. Curators have a very similar goal.

This quick and entertaining video by CENTERLINE DIGITAL does a phenomnal job of describing content curation.

Curation is a great tactic for both journalists and PR pros to incorporate into their social media strategies. It enables communicators to bring the news to the people in a way that they will best understand it and allows the public to develop their own opinions on a given subject. Curators take articles and stories that other people have written and bring them all together for easy public viewing.

After analyzing this week’s readings, I have found that the first step in being a successful curator is to know your audience. If you don’t know who you are curating for, you may miss your target and the message you are trying to relay to them won’t be effective because they simply won’t care about it.

A great way to make sure that the content you are releasing will be positively received by your audience is to engage with them. Social media polls are a great way of doing this!

For example, Instagram has been my favorite social media and content sharing app for a long time. Though I am not a professional curator and my page is personal, I enjoy using my micro-platform to promote things that I like and that I know my followers will like. Because my content is fashion and beauty heavy, I know that I can share some content about makeup and fashion news from some of my favorite creators and my followers will check it out. This not only makes my page a page that people will want to keep checking in on to see new things, but I am also helping those creators gain some new followers who may not have known about them otherwise.

This Hootesuite article emphasized that a huge pro of content curation is the ability to make new connections every day. Creators such as journalists write their content because they want it to be shared with others, so curators are essentially helping those creators when they use their content and bring it to an audience who will find it interesting. In turn, that audience will check out the creator, bringing in new followers and a bigger audience. That’s what this industry is all about — mutually beneficial relationships!!

My last piece of advice for content curators in-training is to create a digital experience for your viewers. Your followers will look forward to what you put out for them if you make their visit to your page worthwhile, and keep coming back for more. By adding your personality to the work, people will feel like they know you.

A quote from this Hubspot article stuck out to me:

“I don’t want a bunch of browsable links – I want to know why I should read this stuff and how it pertains to me.”

Making your curated content personalized to your audience adds to the experience. People like reading things that make them feel as if they belong to something and can relate to the content!

Content curation is a skillful strategy that is much easier said than done. Anyone can post up a few links to articles they find interesting, but it is how they do it and what they add to the content that will make a reader want to click for more.

By Kassidy Kelly

PR student, new yorker, self-proclaimed shopaholic and apparently I'm a blogger now, too.
CJOR 3422 @ Seton Hall University

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