Publishing defined. Not.

Increasingly, as brands recognize the inherent marketing value of their own content, many are investigating the viability of producing their own brand communications – fulfilling the role normally undertaken by content or publishing agencies.  In effect, they are looking at becoming publishers.

The NYTimes reflects on this with some great insights from brands such as BestBuy and Net-A-Porter.

All this raises an interesting and, given the launch of the iPad, a highly topical question: what is publishing anyway?

My MacOS 10.6 Dictionary (which refer ences the Oxford English Dictionary) believes publishing is: 

“The occupation, business, or activity of preparing and issuing books, journals,  and other material for sale. ”

Wikipedia defines Publishing as:

“The process of production and dissemination of literature or information – the activity of making information available for public view.”

Dictionary.com believes publishing is:

“The activities or business of a publisher, esp. of books or periodicals.”

What do these definitions tell us? Not much. And that’s the point. Publishing is a grey area. Not grey as in ‘dull’ (far from it), grey as in ‘unclear. ‘

What is abundantly clear however, is that brands are feeling emboldened enough to try ‘it’ themselves.

Bad news for content agencies? Much the opposite. As brands become more aware of the power of relevant content, so the opportunity for the business of creativity becomes greater.

Whatever publishing is, content agencies know it best. For now.

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