Omnicom's FleishmanHillard Strikes UGC Deal With News Corp.'s Storyful

FleishmanHillard continues to expand its brand content chops, announcing a deal Tuesday with News Corp. “social news agency” Storyful that will give the Omnicom unit another way of discovering, accessing and licensing so-called “user-generated content” (UGC).

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the companies said Storyful will provide “complete social curation, authentication and legal support” enabling FleishmanHillard’s social newsroom and content studio to quickly and seamlessly integrate authenticated user content into its content marketing programs for brands.

“Being able to edit UGC for a premium brand, as well as quickly license its usage, makes this partnership particularly powerful and unique,” stated FleishmanHillard Senior Vice President and Senior Partner-Social & Digital Ephraim Cohen.

The move comes as conventional ad agencies, pure-play digital agencies and public relations agencies battle for dominance in a burgeoning brand content marketing industry, as well as tools and resources for powering their “newsrooms” and “studios.” The FleishmanHillard unit already boasts a “24X7” capacity, and operates a newsroom on par with the biggest full-service shops. The deal with Dublin-based Storyful removes some friction and speeds up the ability to clear UGC content on-the-fly that is legal and “brand safe.”

FleishmanHillard’s real-time storytelling capabilities will be on display later this week as part of parent Omnicom’s presence at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin. The PR firm’s social practice will power “StoryConnect@Omnicom,” which will track, analyze and “react” to top trends taking place during the high-profile digital media festival.

In a statement, Omnicom touted the real-time, in-house newsroom as something that will help “attendees and those following along remotely cut through the festival’s noise in real-time to get to the insights and stories that matter most to them.”
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