Content marketers, listen up!
As we know, the world of Inbound Marketing has created a unique job hybrid: the content marketer–part journalist, part publicist. With this combination, an interesting set of responsibilities sit on the content marketer’s shoulders. They need to create content and then pitch, promote and work their way around some other highly nuanced aspects of public relations. In doing so, they may find themselves in unfamiliar territory and not know exactly what to do.
With that, I thought it would be great to get advice, tips and perspectives from seasoned PR experts to help content marketers. So I posed the question:
“As a PR expert, what would you like content marketers to know?”
Here’s what they had to say…
“No matter the background of a content marketer, there are some fundamental earned media concepts – the traditional bailiwick of PR professionals:
“-Earned media. Every content share, every link, every mention of a piece of content that is earned organically is earned media. It carry’s the power of 3rd party validation, which can be expressed simply as: nothing we say about ourselves is as influential as someone else saying it about us.
“-Relationships. Content is a relationship building tool, because it is a conversation. Markets are conversations, as the Cluetrain Manifesto explained, and content is an extension of that conversation. A story, or a conversation, on the web, isn’t limited by the confines of print, and often it doesn’t.
“-Thresholds. For all the noise on the web, the signal to noise ratio in the email inbox is probably worse for media or influencers. A more effective way of earning 3rd party validation, even from influential publications, is through content marketing. The content marketer that can cultivate a community around an idea, will cross a threshold that earns the attention of larger media publications.” – Frank Strong PR Consultant at Sword and the Script
“Remember too, when you produce content – it’s not just about working in as many keywords as possible and boosting those SEO rankings – but it’s also about how and where you publish it. Recent studies have shown mobile taking over desktop media usage; that’s important because other studies have shown that poor mobile implementation can result in 68 percent less traffic to a particular website. That’s all the more reason to make sure your website is responsive and the content you’re generating is accessible on a mobile device. Ultimately, content marketing is a great way for a company to build brand awareness. But if it doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a solid public relations strategy, it probably won’t be as effective as you’d like it to be.” – Heather Ripley, President & CEO of Ripley PR
“The art of relationship building moves to social media with creative content development and sharing that involves well known bloggers and influencers. Similar to media relations work and the value of the third party credible endorsement, using influencers in your marketing/PR program can help to deliver content with more impact. Whether influencers are providing great quotes, thoughtful interviews or just sharing your content with their networks, the result is more credibility, amplified messages, extended reach, and, most of all, helping to spark an influencer’s community into action. The result can lead to deeper interaction with a brand.” – Deirdre Breakenridge (@dbreakenridge), PR Expanded
“PR is at the root of content marketing. It satisfies the citizen’s right to know essential news and info that influences public opinions through credible storytelling that has the power to change minds.
“PR, like content marketing, is the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling – it’s non-interruption marketing that customers find through credible, third-party sources like bloggers, journalists and influencers.” – Deborah Weinstein (@DebWeinstein), Canadian PR Agency: Strategic Objectives
“One annoyance I’ve seen a lot less frequently lately is the follow-up call to a press release–thank goodness that’s almost over.
“It makes our lives easier if you tell us up-front what makes a product unique and better than its competitors–a basic skill in writing a press release or pitching a product that many PR people miss.
“Don’t ask us to send you a link when a review is published. That tells us you aren’t bothering to read anything we write, aren’t willing to look for it and don’t know or care about what we are writing or doing.
“Finally, please don’t commit the worst sin of all ‘PRdom’: pitching old products. We usually know if a product’s old, and re-pitching it makes you look dishonest and manipulative.” – Charlie White , Emmy award-winning television producer/director, author and PR consultant.
“The wikipedia definition of ‘Storytelling’ is ‘the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment.’
“Telling an amazing story is the ideal aim for any content creator. How can you be the best storyteller? Know your characters, know your plot, know your P.O.V., know your audience. Every word, image and visual needs to feed that story in a cohesive and compelling way. Even if these elements change over time, there should always be a purpose or moral of the story.
“Content marketing is storytelling. What sets a PR pro apart is knowing how to tell the right story to the right audience and has the insight to pull it off. After all, we connect with each other via stories which can create lasting, loyal relationships that are remembered and shared.
“For each story, who is the hero? Who is the villain? Why does the story need to be told? And when you have a clearly articulated outline of the important pieces of the story, then you can craft compelling content that weaves these components together to educate and inspire.” – Molly McKinley, Digital Analyst for IBM, formerly Senior Account Executive at A&R Partners, Edelman
“Furthermore, strategic and consistent messaging should be taken into account with content–and that’s where PR can help. It’s a PR executive’s forte to be a professional communicator–that means PR is invaluable in making sure content is strategic and poignant–not haphazard and off-brand. Please, pull in your PR expert when you’re creating content strategies!
“Content may be King, but PR is its Queen. Without the right placement, content is like that tree in the woods that falls and no one is there… does it make a sound?” – Christine Perkett – SMB owner, digital marketer, writer and public speaker.
“An alarming number of self-published authors, for example, cannot define the people for whom they are writing. (I know that because I ask.) If you don’t know your target market, you may as well be marketing the book wearing a blindfold. You won’t be able to identify magazines, blogs, podcasts, reviewers, and radio and TV shows that are the best opportunities for pitching.
“Other things PR people want content marketers to know:
“The free line has moved drastically. Don’t be afraid to ‘give away’ too much information during media interviews.
“Give helpful answers to the interviewers’ questions. Never say, ‘If you want to know about that, you can find the answer in Chapter 5 of my book.’
“Give away a free chapter, podcast excerpt, video, cheat sheet, checklist or anything else that gives people a good taste of the content.” – Joan Stewart, Publicity Hound
Great advice from some great minds in public relations. If you’d like to weigh in on this, please feel free to email me at [email protected]
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