Weber Shandwick Expands Mediaco to Address a Rapidly Evolving Digital Media Environment
– Incorporates R&D Network to Assess & Deliver Custom Brand Publishing Solutions for Clients –
– Vivian Schiller Named Editor-In-Chief, Head of Mediaco in North America; Will Chair New Innovation Council of Advisors –
As seen in PRWeek, Weber Shandwick announced the expansion of Mediaco, its award-winning content offering. In response to a media space marked by accelerating change, Mediaco will incorporate new services and an expanded network of external partners and innovators from across the industry. The moves will help clients better utilize brand publishing to address complexities that come with the rise of social networks as media gateways, native advertising, ad blocking and programmatic storytelling.
“The convergence of publishing, social networks and influencer power continues to reshape the rules of engagement,” said Chris Perry, Weber Shandwick’s Chief Digital Officer. “Mediaco is a catalyst to help clients navigate this shift as well as show tangible impact from new marketing practices with branded content at the core.”
Mediaco Adds Innovation Council
Building on the firm’s expertise in earned engagement, Mediaco will allow clients to deploy uniquely tailored solutions for specific business challenges. To support the updated offering, Mediaco will be guided by a new Innovation Council comprised of accomplished innovators in media and technology to workshop solutions with the firm and its clients. Initial members of the Council include: Tony Haile, founding CEO of Chartbeat; Gaby Darbyshire, principal of Framestore Ventures; Mariana Santos, director of interactive and animation at Fusion and Knight Chair of Innovation at FIU; and Rahul Chopra, CEO of Storyful.
The Innovation Council will work with members of the Mediaco team to shape best practices, analyze new services and open doors to partnerships that span editorial analytics, influencer engagement, media distribution, as well as emerging content platforms like virtual and augmented reality.
Executive editor-in-residence Vivian Schiller will chair the Council and assume a new position as editor-in-chief and head of Mediaco in North America. Schiller, formerly global chair of news at Twitter and general manager of NYTimes.com, will guide operations and continue to expand the network of Mediaco talent and advisors. Jason Wellcome will continue to drive Weber Shandwick’s content and digital build-out across global markets.
Taking an R&D Approach to Deliver Custom Services
Complementing Mediaco’s core capabilities in content operations and brand publishing, the expanded offering instills an R&D approach to co-create custom services that help clients address both creative and technical requirements to deliver value through brand publishing programs. These include:
• Creative Accelerators: As part of a new open architecture model, Mediaco will incorporate a carefully-curated group of technology and content companies into its network to accelerate the analysis and deployment of new category-defying capabilities. The first two ventures include a new data-driven, multi-platform video and content advertising offering from Visible Measures; and a preferred video distribution and live media partnership with ViralGains, a consumer-centric video advertising platform.
• Content Analytics: Mediaco’s Content Analytics service roots brands’ content engines in data throughout the duration of operations in order to deliver increasing value to audiences. Marrying data science, consulting and testing, the offering helps marketers create pathways to real-time adjustments in content programs.
• Interactive Experiences (iX): A fast-growing platform development and technology unit within Mediaco, the iX team workshops creative ideas around emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, as well as creating custom solutions for clients, such as the firm’s Mediaco Publish content management system designed for brand publishers and award-winning social crisis simulator, firebell.
Mediaco’s R&D approach and new service offerings are based in part on specific client needs discovered through hundreds of social media and brand publishing programs executed on behalf of brands around the world. More on the Mediaco approach, work and team can be found at mediaco.webershandwick.com.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to building brands and protecting reputations today,” Perry said. “We’re excited about building the most agile, inclusive, global offering possible to lead our clients through one of the most chaotic but opportunity-rich eras in media and communications history.”