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PR Your Content Strategy

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Written by: Nicola Michel

Ok, you accept that your online content will have an impact on brand reputation, customer engagement and bottom line business outcomes, so you’ve developed a content marketing strategy for your financial services firm. Now you are busy posting engaging, relevant content to your digital channels.

Job done, right?

Well, not exactly. Now it’s time to think about leveraging your content, increasing its reach and ensuring that it’s seen, heard and acted upon by your target audience through other channels as well. And that means media – still a vital part of the integrated communications holy trinity of “paid, earned, owned”.

There’s never enough budget for everything, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you should either produce content to fill your owned publishing outlets, or take the traditional approach of preparing stories for media. The reality is that a successful integrated public relations strategy uses a mixture of both.

Content marketing drives thought-leadership, page-ranking advantage and develops trust between your brand and your target market, but PR plays just as important, complementary role. Because media outlets rank highly on search engines, earned media can be very powerful in amplifying your messages and driving potential customers to your brand.

Enter the PR strategy – and yes, we have come full circle on this – because instead of “Content as PR” we are now looking to “PR-ing the content”!

Here are some simple tips to help you.

1. SEO optimisation is king

Last week’s blog, “The unlikely marriage of PR and SEO”, describes the new reality of integrated public relations, which is that PR and SEO go hand in hand.

After all, they are both about reaching the right people, making connections and creating visibility, which means that your search results and your reputation are directly linked.

Page 1 of Google search results is the new “front page”, so working out ways of appealing to Google’s algorithm is your best shot at getting front page coverage. For our five tips to achieve this, look here.

2. A salute to the survey

Media by its nature is about “news”. So think about what makes news and then use your resources to make some “news” yourself. One way to do this is to run a survey then PR the hard data results. The trick here of course is to choose your topic carefully – make sure your questions (hence resulting findings) are relevant and interesting both to your audience and the media. The three “G’s” are a great way to consider slicing and dicing results to gain optimum media interest: generation, gender, geography. A well designed survey can give you strong content and PR value that can last six months or longer- if you plan and conduct it properly.

3. Personality matters

People love people and (especially in this age of celebrity) people are news. Look for opportunities to partner with interesting individuals (a.k.a influencers) to build the “news value” of announcements, launches, thought leadership and other activities you undertake.

So, next time you’re looking at your content plan, think like a PR professional: what is news? What is new, different, the “first” the “biggest” the “only”. And shape a portion of your content accordingly. Happy headlines!

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