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[Masters of Marketing] Tips for a Successful Content Partnership with a Publisher

A publisher can only ever be as good as the information and relationship they get from the client and vice versa.


If you are a marketer interested in partnering with a publisher, Johnny Ng, Marketing Solutions Director from Morning Studio at the South China Morning Post, gives you 5 tips for how to make this kind of content partnership a success.

1. Know your publisher

Presumably, you are choosing a particular publisher because of what they specialize in and write about, and for the audience profile they have. So it’s important these align with your brand’s objectives.


Ask about readership figures, audience profile, delivery and distribution channels, platform user experience, credibility and reputation, and the means of achieving your objectives. Since you are leveraging on the talents and expertise of a publisher’s brand studio, you should ask for their portfolio of work, the team’s profile and experience, their project management process, performance benchmarks, and the value and the potential return on investment.

2. Communicate a clear brief

The best publisher studios are not just producing quality content -- that should be a given -- but they are also marketers trying to achieve your objectives. Tell them what you’re trying to achieve: define your campaign’s objectives, specify your target audience, indicate clear measures of success and KPIs, communicate desired timelines, and share your budgets.

3. Agree on a process

Each company is different so it’s important to communicate upfront on how each side works and to establish governance rules. Share your expectations when it comes to reviews and approvals, governance and/or brand guidelines, and the roles and responsibilities of all parties.


If you have many stakeholders, or you need to check with headquarters overseas, that needs to be clear as it will affect timelines.

4. Be responsive

With an agreed process and schedule, adherence to timelines and being responsive according to each party’s expectations is crucial to a successful partnership. If you’re rushing the publisher to launch within a certain timeframe then it’s also fair that you are timely and cooperative along the way towards that goal.

5. Give respect.

You’ve decided to work with the publisher for a reason, so trust that the publisher knows its audience and what works best for its platform and audience. They have been tasked to achieve your objectives and meet your KPIs so respect that they are working hard to accomplish those goals. Of course, respect goes both ways.


About Morning Studio

Morning Studio is a dedicated branded content team at the South China Morning Post that is leading the evolution of marketing in the region by more strategically connecting advertisers with readers through enhanced content solutions offerings. Morning Studio combines world class branding strategists, multimedia designers, and audio/video producers with editorial experts who have a deep understanding of SCMP’s readers.


If you are an experienced senior marketer from a brand, agency or tech company willing to share your marketing secrets and would like to contribute to the Masters of Marketing series, click here to get in touch.

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