I was fairly stunned when I read an article in Mashable last week that touted “native advertising” as one of the Top 5 Trends from Advertising Week 2014 in New York.  Guys, that bus has left the station and odds are, your PR agency is driving it. We might not have been calling it “native advertising”… kudos on the nifty buzzword, but we’ve been hard at work, using it as a key part of our PESO strategy.

Native advertising is when brand-sponsored material is integrated into websites and social media platforms seamlessly, so that it looks like it’s editorial content. No pop-ups, no banners, just great content that happens to come from a sponsor. PR agencies love it, because we can share our client’s message with their audience in a controlled way. Done well, it seems as though it just belongs, hence “native.” We’ve been using native advertising in the form of sponsored guest blog posts, and we’ve been carefully integrating keywords and links to drive SEO. We’ve been working with key influencers, sponsoring content on their websites that matches their look, feel and voice for seamless brand integrations. We’ve been doing it in the form of infographics, placing them on websites as part of media buys and through infographic news releases. And, we know how to work with our clients to create videos that fit perfectly with a news website’s existing streaming content.

After all, PR should be the ones driving the bus. We understand editorial content – the tone and voice of new sites, the type of content they are looking for, and how to shape your message so that it fits perfectly. So, the next time your ad agency mentions native advertising, make sure your PR agency has a seat at the table. I promise we’ll have some good advice, because we’ve been doing it for years.