How to Get PR and Content Marketing Right_ Think Like a PR Person

Both content marketing and public relations can alone make the difference between meh and stellar results. But combine the two and you can kick it out of the park. Let’s consider why PR and content marketing are a good combination, and how you can use the two effectively.

But first, let’s consider what some pessimists say about using PR to create content and consider the facts involved in this discussion.

Public Relations: Friend or Foe of Content Marketing?

Public relations and content marketing have worked together for years now, empowering companies to reach their various goals.

However, some critics of this union have claimed that PR and content marketing have vastly different goals. They say that the quality of content suffers when it is produced by a PR person.

How do they come to this conclusion?

Ann Gynn of The Content Marketing Institute addressed this very issue in a recent blog post. The overall theme of her post is that PR is limited to awareness, while content marketing does all the heavy lifting in terms of getting leads. She even goes so far as to say that “Your content marketing dies a little each time you only used PR-centered metrics.”

Is this true? Not one bit!

Why do I say this?

There is a hole in her argument: her definition of PR. PR today, especially on the B2B side, is so much more than awareness and spans all stages of the sales funnel, from awareness, to leads, to conversion. Gynn severely underestimates the role that PR plays within a company, as well as within content marketing.

Before we even heard the term “content marketing,” it was PR that handled content strategy. From the very beginning, PR has strategically used content marketing (though we may have called it PR) to boost a company’s reputation and encourage sales. This has intrinsically linked these two fields and make PR professionals uniquely qualified to not only handle content marketing, but also rock it.

Bottom line: The best B2B content marketing uses components of public relations.

Before we even heard the term “content marketing,” it was PR that handled content strategy CLICK TO TWEET

Exactly how do public relations and content marketing work together to reach your company’s goals? Let’s check out a few ways.

PR and Content Marketing: How and Why It Works

Content Amplification

Publishing content without the right amplification is like shooting a missile with faulty radar — the chances of its reaching your audience (and converting them) is not good. But PR can be used to precision target your audience and make your content more likely to reach and affect them.

First,PR pros know how to determine which subjects are going interest their audience — what trends are hot and what holes exist on the content front.

Second, they know where to reach their audience for the greatest amplification. This includes what publications their audience reads and how to interact with journalists in order to get their company the visibility it needs.

Consistent Brand Message

Whether you are reading this from a strictly marketing or public relations perspective, you no doubt see how imperative it is for your company to have a consistent brand message. Why is this important? The more people who are exposed to your brand and the more often they see it, the more it will stay top of mind and slowly build their confidence in your brand and its reputation.

What role does PR play in this? PR is suited to represent a brand’s personality, values, identity, and even value propositions to its audience. Given that PR has this messaging locked down, PR pros can use their expertise to weave this messaging skillfully and consistently throughout the content they create.

PR pros have their finger on the pulse of industry trends and know how to positively influence audiences. Being privy to such perceptions and insights is key to creating content that resonates with an audience and fills a need.

Boosting Your SEO

SEO has become an integral part of content marketing. PR is in well-positioned to help companies boost their search engine rankings and online visibility.

For instance, B2B PR professionals can use their connections and expertise to create links back to their site from high-authority sites, including media outlets. Their focus on earned and owned content can add powerful links back to your site and boost your overall authority.

Press releases are another way that PR pros can boost online awareness. While links in press releases no longer carry SEO weight, press releases remain in the search engines and can enhance your online credibility and visibility.

Nurturing Journalist and Influencer Relations

Influencer marketing has become a powerful asset within content marketing. PR has the power to cultivate and nurture relationships with influencers for long-term benefits.

Influencers and journalists are not a once-and-done tool, to be thrown back into the gardening shed once they’ve served their purpose. On the contrary, as years go on, we see the need to nurture relationships over the long haul — and PR knows how to do so.

PR professionals know how to pitch to journalists and influencers in a way that attracts them to a company and makes the relationship mutually beneficial.

Influencers can be a powerful force for content marketing. Consider co-branding content with an influencer or using influencers strategically to expand the scale of your content. Earned media can also be an effective way of expanding the reach of your content marketing. We try to get journalists to link back to owned content in a synergistic use of earned and owned media.

The benefits of journalists and influencers are undeniable. First, it gives you access to their vast audience. Second, especially with influencers, it gives you a nod of approval from experts that is worth its weight in gold in terms of conversion.

In Review…

PR People Can Help Content Marketing by....

Ultimately, to ignore the power of PR in your content marketing strategy is to severely limit the abilities and reach of your content. Don’t make this mistake. Whether you’re a solo B2B content marketer or work within a B2B content marketing agency, it’s important to use PR to empower your content marketing strategy.

Read more: Become a PR Lion King: Update & Reformat Your PR Content