What happens when a public relations firm sobers up and realizes it actually has limits? When it realizes clients could benefit from content it doesn’t have the bandwidth to provide? This is a serious question that plagued the founders of San Francisco-based PR firm LaunchSquad, and instead of trying to create a new content division, it decided to make a new company instead.
Enter Original9 Media, a new venture that will focus entirely on content creation and occasionally hook up with LaunchSquad on projects. Original9 will be focused on managing blogs, writing blog posts, creating videos, making infographics, and developing mobile apps.
LaunchSquad co-founder and Original9 adviser Jesse Odell (pictured) told us that the current structure of his PR firm didn’t allow for enough content to be made. He said, in many cases, providing content like viral videos and engaging blog posts will work much better for some clients than the traditional PR approach of pitching news and hoping journalists bite.
“To do this well, you have to create high-quality content and do it at a high frequency,” Odell told VentureBeat. “LaunchSquad will do its own content for clients, but it may bring in Original9 to work on other kinds of content.”
Original9 will be led by Jeffrey Davis, a former journalist who worked at Business 2.0, BNET, and Bizmore. Davis has been senior VP and editorial director at LaunchSquad since August 2010, but he will now run Original9 with his instincts for how media thinks.
“This is an amazing time in the world of online media and we see an opportunity to build a company dedicated to providing high-quality content married with distribution and analysis,” Davis said in a statement. “Our goal is to help our clients connect and engage with specific target audiences through great content no matter where that audience is living online.”
At VentureBeat, we’ve been pitched by LaunchSquad many times on behalf of great companies like Evernote, Marketo, and Dolphin. But in those dealings, it’s easy to see where the pitch could fall short. Sometimes it takes a funny video, a well-worded blog post, or striking infographic to grab our attention when so many amazing companies are pitching us news every day. This is a reality that LaunchSquad has woken up to, and from what we’ve seen, this seems like a good move from a marketing perspective.
Even if VentureBeat or other tech blogs don’t cover a deserving company, it now might grab attention from consumers through social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And sometimes, when a company begins gaining traction like that, then the journalists start paying attention too. And then the circle is complete.
Jesse Odell photo courtesy of Launchsquad