Our Story
PNCONNECT
Digital Marketing Services

Our global team spans 60 countries and brings the combined digital resources of our social media marketing, creative production, paid promotions and web development capabilities together for one purpose — to help our clients share their story with the world.

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Today, brands have to be more than great marketers, they have to be great publishers too.

  • We Think

    The most successful digital marketing programs begin with a solid content strategy.

  • We Know

    Your company’s content is what people are discovering, it’s what they’re talking about, and it’s what they’re passing along to others.

  • We Believe

    Great content is what’s ultimately shaping and informing people’s opinions and perceptions of your brand.

  • And We Can Help

    We manage the content strategies for some of the biggest brands in the world.

  • We Think
  • We Know
  • We Believe
  • We Can Help

Brands We Serve

Sony PlayStation
Disney
Timberland
eBay
Hewlett Packard
NetApp

Our Approach

Successful brand publishing requires a unique mix of resources ranging from strategic planning, web development and creative production, to day-to-day operations, promotions and performance reporting — all services we offer in-house and make available to clients of any size. We call them the Seven P's.

  1. 01 Planning

    We help define your content strategy from audience analysis and goal identification, to fixing workflow gaps and channel misalignments.

  2. 02 Platforms

    We help identify your primary and secondary content distribution platforms and where necessary, we help you plan, design and develop them.

  3. 03 Production

    We help with all of your content production demands from core content that meets day-to-day needs, to highly customized premium content projects.

  4. 04 Publishing

    We help with all of the logistical needs of publishing content to the web, from coding and configuration work to optimization and content curation.

  5. 05 Promotion

    We help activate earned and paid promotion strategies to promote your content, from social ads and keyword buys to media and influencer outreach.

  6. 06 Participation

    We help you understand how the marketplace is interacting with your content, from keyword watch systems to issues response and reporting.

  7. 07 Performance

    We help you capture, analyze and measure the performance of your content, from platform metrics to sentiment analysis to competitive benchmarking.

Client Spotlight

Client: Playstation

We currently provide content planning support for PlayStation’s global network of branded social media properties in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America.

Our Experience

Our approach to brand publishing is the direct result of the years we've invested managing the global content strategies for some of the largest consumer and business brands in the world. This experience allows us to bring incredible insights, practices and efficiences to bear for all of our clients.

Client Spotlight

Client: DC Entertainment

We currently support the social media program and content production needs for DC Entertainment, including several of its brand and character properties.

Our Team

It's easy to bring a divergence of talent and expertise together, however, it's much harder to make this talent operate as a team — AND keep it together. Our team is anchored by a strong and seasoned leadership team that consists of some of the leading thinkers, creators and makers in the communications business.

    Client Spotlight

    Client: Tribune Broadcasting

    We created a responsive platform to power more than twenty-five television station and direct content sites. Working closely with the Tribune staff, we designed, developed and deployed a product that can take the heat of newsrooms across the country.

    “It’s how much can you walk away from to really be bold and purify the product and start clean.”

    Jason Jedlinski, VP of Digital Operations, Tribune Broadcasting

    Connect Blog

    PNConnect Weekly Reading 11/20/14: Facebook Slams Organic Reach, Buzzfeed’s Social Strategy and More

    Social Media

    181746Are Social Media Marketers Losing Confidence?

    “Some marketers may have been frustrated by a lack of alignment across the business when it came to social media strategy—something that could hinder social media’s effectiveness. Just 30% said strategy was “completely” or “very aligned.” Whether despite or because of their disdain for data, two-thirds of marketers said assessing the effectiveness of social media activities was a challenge for them—the most common one faced by respondents overall. Designing a strategy and actually figuring out what to do with social data were the second- and third-biggest problems.”

    PNConnect Insight - If there’s a problem with alignment behind goals then the fault lies with upper management, who should be working to bring disparate departments and programs together. While they may all continue to have their individual goals, they can at least be using the same terminology and such so their reporting can be understood by everyone involved.


    How Individual Identity Influences The Way Audiences Share

    “The challenge for a content creator wading into the torrent of social media noise is to produce content that helps people discover shared experiences, common values, and collective identities – to produce cultural artifacts that people will want to appropriate and incorporate into their individual identities. In other words, to create content that helps people talk to one another in the new “language” of social media sharing.”

    PNConnect Insight – Go beyond the idea of “producing cultural artifacts” and remember one of the biggest reasons for people to share something on social networks is that they get something out of it, often cache amongst those in their networks. So it’s not just about creating sharable content, it’s about creating content that bestows some prestige on those doing the sharing.


    Majority of video sent by ‘super-sharers’

    “While almost one in five (17.9%) internet users are sharing video content with their social networks these ‘super sharers’ are responsible for the majority (82.4%) of all video shares.”

    PNConnect Insight – Sometimes targeting the right audience doesn’t just mean finding the individuals best aligned with the program’s objectives. To expect significant organic social sharing it’s also important to think about behavioral patterns and which audiences may be crucial to reaching a wider distribution.


    ALSO: Facebook is still the most widely-used social network, but sites like Tumblr and Instagram clock impressive “daily time spent with” numbers.


    Publishing

    News Feed FYI: Reducing Overly Promotional Page Posts in News Feed

    “What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads. This may seem counterintuitive but it actually makes sense: News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads (based on engagement, hiding ads, etc.), but those same controls haven’t been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts. Now we’re bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.”

    nf_1113_1

    PNConnect Insight - What Facebook is essentially saying is that if you want to achieve *any* reach you’re going to pay for it. The idea of “organic reach” at this point may largely be an anachronism. This should show clearly that Facebook is not interested in being a “partner” with any brand that isn’t buying ads and that Facebook (and Twitter and other networks) is not an owned channel, but a rented one where the actual owner can change the rules at any time, with brands having little to no recourse.


    Why Instagram isn’t (yet) a great platform for news publishers

    “While Instagram may be the fastest growing social media site year-on-year, according to its communications manager Will Guyatt, that doesn’t necessarily mean that news publishers need to be a part of it. Speaking at the Festival of Marketing 2014, Guyatt explained that the social media platform is still figuring out its strategy when it comes to publishers, and that being on Instagram for the sake of being on Instagram won’t translate to pageviews on the publisher end.”

    PNConnect Insight - When you look at “success” as only being defined by how many click/pageviews are generated then, at least in its current state, Instagram will likely never be a good fit for publishers. But when you look at how some media outlets are using it as a way to show off their high-quality photography or how some retailers have begun using it then that definition seems increasingly narrow.


    ALSO: Airbnb is launching a print magazine that’s not so much about readership but about creating and reinforcing brand affinity. 94% of the Interbrand 100 brands posts to Twitter at least once a day.


    Media/Journalism

    News doesn’t make money at BuzzFeed, but it’s all part of the social strategy

    “Byrne says creating that value is equally important for both news content and native ads BuzzFeed creates. Under the heading of the ‘Commandments of Being Interesting’, he discussed the fact that while marketers and brands used to exist in a one-to-many environment, the internet means that now everyone exists in the same sphere, a many-to-many space. As a result, brands really have to focus on the value they’re offering their audience.”

    PNConnect Insight - To put this in retail terms, news is a loss-leader for Buzzfeed, like the sale-priced DVDs used to bring you in a brick-and-mortar store where you’re then prompted to buy a new TV to watch them on. The news on Buzzfeed is there to help build some level of brand affinity for the site that then translates into more views for their native advertising products.


    ALSO: Public radio stations are measuring how engaging stories are to help guide their editorial planning. Long-lived news magazines are finding new ways to monetize their story archives, which in some cases stretch back a century.


    Tools

    Facebook reportedly wants to be your office’s social network

    “According to the report, Facebook at Work will look similar to the main service, complete with news feed and groups, but will allow users to maintain a separate work profile as well as a personal profile. Facebook has reportedly been working on the tool for at least a year and has begun testing with external companies as a launch draws near.”

    PNConnect Insight – While everyone has been referring to this as a LinkedIn competitor, it actually reads more like a Yammer competitor. Regardless, with the way Facebook has been changing things seemingly on the fly recently, only use this if you’re cool with the site using everything about your usage to further target advertising to you.


    ALSO: Twitter is building a complete and publicly-accessible index of every tweet ever published, so you may want to go delete anything you know you sent after a night out. Facebook is breaking off Groups into its own app, which it hopes will result in increased engagement there.


    Global

    Most WeChat Users Shun Brand Accounts

    “Overall, nearly nine in 10 internet users in the country reported using some kind of instant messaging service. But the accounts followed on WeChat, one of the most popular messaging apps, don’t tend to be brands. More than two in five WeChat users said they followed news media through the service, while more than a quarter followed celebrities. Brands were on the radar of 17.7% of respondents, and retailers just 13.9%.”

    PNConnect Insight – This gets back to something we say frequently: Not every social network *needs* brands to participate and some people are actively disinterested in them publishing there.


    ALSO: Different people in different countries are influenced by social media in different ways. If you’re addressing an Asian audience, there are some cultural concerns that you may want to take into consideration.

    Who is your audience and what do they want?

    We on the PNConnect team think about content strategy a lot, diving into how to build effective strategies for new channels, existing ones, for stand-alone campaigns or any other reason. Which is why this study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school on digital consumer segmentation caught my eye. The study deals with audience segmentation and looks at audience behavior or knowledge along two lines: 1) Digital Capability (how savvy are they when it comes to using mobile apps and other new technology) and 2) Trust (how comfortable they are sharing their personal information with those apps and companies).

    Rethinking-Segmentation

    I think those are interesting axes for audience personas, because they show a different kind of thinking about building those kind of profiles.

    Even more than the specifics of the study itself (though they’re absolutely worth exploring and diving deeply into) it offers a moment to consider whether you are doing enough to make sure the content program you’re running has real audience and context thinking at its core. And if you’re already doing that sort of segmentation it provides a moment to reevaluate.

    One of the ways we approach content strategy is by not thinking of it just as a conversation hub but as a brand-published media outlet that can and should have an editorial plan just like any other publication. One of the key tactical elements that supports the strategy should be defining what the brand’s voice is and what it should sound like when it communicates across owned, earned and paid platforms. It’s not just about what the voice is going to be, though, it’s what role the channels you’re sharing that voice on play when reaching and communicating with the audience on those channels.

    Let’s start off by looking at this slightly contrarian op-ed by George Simpson at MediaPost about how he doesn’t need brands as friends but prefers when they are brightly and clearly marked as ads. To an extent I agree — I’m not out to count a faceless brand as a “friend.” But that’s what makes social media so different from other marketing tools: It’s almost completely opt-in. People have to take the positive action of following a brand in order to see their updates.

    Sure, that statement has more than a little fuzz on it (meaning it’s not always that cut and dried) since you can see all kinds of updates that your social friends are sharing. But in that case it can be argued that it’s not the brand talking to you and trying to be your friend but your *actual* friend sharing something that they feel is interesting or otherwise wants to co-sign.

    But many brands have developed a voice that has as a primary goal “sound like one of our fans” and there’s a lot to be said for that strategy, as long as it comes with a healthy dose of self-awareness. In my view it’s completely fine for many — but by no means all or even most — brand publishers to speak on social media with a voice that’s less Almighty Marketer and more Friendly Acquaintance Who Knows a Lot About This Subject. Casual language, occasional slang and so on can be great ideas if the circumstance warrants. That doesn’t mean they’re trying to fake their way into acting like someone’s best friend, something that can quickly turn into a version of the yappy dog from the Looney Tunes cartoons, always trying to get Spike’s attention. It just means they know what will resonate with their audience.

    Take as an example this story about IHOP — yes, that IHOP — and how the language they use on social media is way on the extreme of being “hip.” In fact it’s probably looking in the rearview mirror at “hip.” But regardless of how an outside observer feels about it, it seems to be working for the brand, at least at this moment.

    And that’s the important question to ask: What’s working? That’s a question that’s best answered when you have goals that you’re working toward. By defining the program’s goals — whether it’s audience acquisition, sales conversions or anything else — you are setting up the framework that can be later used at regular intervals to make course corrections to the tactics being used, even if the overall strategy doesn’t change.B2C_HaveStrategyBut only 23% of B2C Marketers have a content marketing strategy according to this survey. Since we know that the number of brands running content publishing programs is *much* higher, it then raises the question of what those companies in the delta between the two groups are doing? Are these programs being run by marketers who think it’s fine to fill social media — the most commonly used tactic here — with the same sort of generic marketing speak as is used in advertising or tri-fold brochures? That’s disturbing, and that’s not even getting to the study’s other big finding, that there are still a lot of marketers who aren’t tracking their program’s ROI, whatever that ROI might be.

    The target audience for every brand, and especially across categories, have different wants and needs. And each brand has a unique position with respect to its audience and might be equipped to deliver different things. The key is to map out what the fans — or just audience, since few companies can truly be said to have “fans” — really want that the brand is in a good position to deliver, and how to do it well in the context of all of the other ways that audience gets those things.

    Competitor analysis will only get you so far when defining a brand voice since audience perception of each brand is going to be different, even if only slightly, something research should show you. So while hip, casual language may work for one company it may not work for their direct competitor because the audience has a different expectation of them. So to use restaurant chains as an example, what works for Chili’s may not work for Applebee’s if the target audience — which is likely pretty similar — sees them differently. Each program, in other words, is unique. And while there are good directional markers that can be pulled from competitor analysis, “We’ll just do what they’re doing” isn’t a sound content strategy.

    All of this is hard work but it can also be incredibly rewarding and bring some level of success to a program it hasn’t yet seen. One of the ways we approach content strategy is by not thinking of it just as a conversation hub but as a brand-published media outlet that can and should have an editorial plan just like any other publication. So it’s not just about what the voice is going to be, it’s what role the channels you’re sharing that voice on play when reaching and communicating with the audience on those channels. Whether the research leads you to studying up on doge speak or on tracking conversions, it’s time well spent.