Weber Shandwick releases its own content management and publishing platform for clients

With its Mediaco unit, PR agency Weber Shandwick was already offering content creation and publishing talent to its clients, and it’s now backing the people up with software.

Weber Shandwick is releasing Mediaco Publish, a custom content management platform it developed to give both its content publishing team and their clients a platform specially designed for creating branded content. The Mediaco Publish platform is the first product to be developed by Weber Shandwick’s new content technology unit, a team of creative technologists, user experience designers, and software engineers charged with creating custom solutions for content marketers.

Although we’ve seen content marketing along with social media marketing increasingly become the domain of PR agencies, it’s rare to see an agency get into the software game, developing an in-house platform to be used alongside its team of creatives.

“In our extensive work supporting client efforts, we’ve investigated and even worked with a number of content management systems powering top-tier digital media outlets today,” says Eric Helgesen, executive vice president, technical product development of the new Mediaco tech unit. “It became clear there wasn’t a CMS leveraging best-in-class technology from the media world that was also tuned to the unique needs of brand-centric content operations, so we decided to address the gap ourselves by building Mediaco Publish.”

The Mediaco Publish platform is designed to be used by content marketers who don’t have a great deal of technical savvy, with a big focus on making an easy-to-use interface, says Eric Weitner, product lead for Mediaco Publish. It includes modules for creating a variety of branded content, including tweets, long form articles, listicles and interactive galleries, which can all be scheduled for publishing on a content calendar.

Through an integration with Google Analytics, users can keep track of the performance of each piece of content. Helgesen says the team is working on rolling out more integrations for created content to be used in conjunction with other marketing platforms as marketing automation and CRM systems.

With so many options available for content publishing and website management systems such as WordPress or Drupal, Mediaco is designed to “platform agnostic” so it can work in a variety of IT environments, says Weitner.

In addition to content creation, the platform allows for multiple users with varying degrees of usage permissions, which enables large teams to work together and monitor/approve content as it goes out. Jason Wellcome, global head of Mediaco says a lot of Weber Shandwick’s clients use the platform for content creation themselves, but some choose to let the agency team do the content creation, only keeping access for reviews.

“A branded content ‘newsroom’ is a great idea in theory but difficult to do with so many IT challenges and disparate stakeholders involved in the process.” says Wellcome. “Mediaco Publish is all about using technology to lean into, and organize that content orchestration process.”

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