Over the last few years, the overlap between marketing and PR has become almost translucent. PR agencies are now running social media campaigns for their clients, writing blog posts, coordinating research studies and designing infographics. Heck, the last PR agency I worked with even had a photographer on staff that took all the headshots of our executive team. Why the change from clip books, media mentions and TV interviews to content and social media?
I hadn’t considered up until a few years ago how important content was to a company’s PR strategy. I mean, I knew that content helped support thought-leadership and gave the company a tool agnostic voice in the industry, but helping PR to get media placement and establish relationships with media contacts and bloggers? Not so much.
But, alas, its true and it works.
Your content and the media
There is a reason why journalists and bloggers want case studies about your product and not a product pitch: people are more likely to read them. Ok, maybe some reporters and bloggers will talk to you about your product but most likely not during the first conversation (unless you are Google and just came out with +). They want help and support from vendors and one way to do this is by providing them with content. What problem does your product solve and why do you believe the problem exists? What’s your point of view on the state of the industry? Why are you even creating what you are creating or serving what you are serving? Find a way to talk about the problem you solve and why it’s important without mentioning your product.
Your content and the second paragraph
David Meerman Scott talks about this idea of the second paragraph. It’s the notion that a reporter or blogger has written and covered a topic or story and you provide them with the ‘next’ part or as David describes the ‘interesting new angle in the story.’ I love this idea because you don’t have to create a story, you just have to find something extremely relevant that already exists and tie it back to your own point of view on the topic.
Your content and the seeding process
I only just came across this idea of ‘seeding content’ about 6 months ago when I had a conversation with a gentleman who owns a PR agency here in Boston. The idea is to take your content and ‘seed’ it on sites where your relevant audience will see it and react to it either by clicking through, contacting you or commenting. To do this effectively, your content must be relevant to the topic so consider what whitepapers, blog posts, webinar recordings, videos, etc. you have that you could include that tie back to the original content in the article or blog. The bonus with this strategy is you are getting your content in front of key influencers and your customers and prospects.
Your content and your PR strategy
What is your strategy for public relations and have you considered how your content fits? Your PR agency is responsible for keeping their eye on your industry for you (you should be doing it too by the way) so they know what reporters are focused on, what they are writing about and what they need more information about. Use this information and feedback to incorporate content into your 30, 60 or 90 day strategy. Work collaboratively with your PR agency or internal team to review the types of content, focus of the content and the promotion to ensure everyone is onboard with the plan and the goals.
Content is affecting every facet of marketing from lead generation to buyer journey support to customer relations and to media relations. It’s a truly integral component of any marketing strategy and should overlap and dovetail into all communications, especially public relations. Define your goals collaboratively and ensure ‘thumbs up’ from the participants regarding the content plan and projected outcome.