While good content still reigns in PR, Content Delivery Must Go Beyond the News Release
Getting the right press coverage and building brand exposure is important, since third-party endorsements, such as earned media from trusted publications, carries a lot of weight in the minds of potential buyers. However, our definition of media and the ways in which we can ‘be in the media’ have changed dramatically in recent years with the explosion of niche publications, social outlets, mobile technologies, and a huge movement towards brand publishing. No longer are we solely reliant upon a traditional news media gatekeeper to earn that sought-after third-party endorsement. At the same time, decision-makers are also placing increasing value on educational and informative content created by industry and company thought leaders, even on branded channels. It is clear that content is still king, even if the delivery format has expanded.
- 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Roper Public Affairs, 2012)
- 75 percent of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. (Demand Gen Report, 2014)
- The average B2B buyer has completed 57 percent of the purchase process before engaging a vendor’s sales team. (CEB/Google, 2012)
Because there are so many ways to get content in front of your audiences, it’s crucial take a broader approach to your PR strategy that includes traditional media relations, self-published content including articles, social content, blogs, case studies, infographics, and videos placed on non-branded channels, and branded content on owned channels. Afterall, public relations professionals are storytellers, we are your brand’s reporters. So when considering expanding your content arsenal, you need to look no further than your PR partner.
When identifying storylines that would generate interest from media as well as your target audience, here are some key story elements we keep in mind:
- Timeliness: News, by its very definition, is ‘new’ information. How can you contribute to cutting-edge discussions in your industry?
- Relevance: How is your product or service different? What makes it stand out? What problem does it solve and for whom? and What human, relatable, characters and events are involved?
- Novelty: How is the particular angle or argument unique? Are you saying the same thing as everybody else? How can you make a strong case to be heard in the crowd?
- Passion: What struggle does this solve, what challenges were faced in its development? Where are the tension and resolution?
- Proof: How can your story be supported and proven by statistics, data, testimonials, examples?
- Scope: What segment of the population is affected? Does it relate to a national trend? Can it be localized?
The next challenge we tackle is to tailor the story according to each channel we will publish it in and, in the case of media relations, to personalize your story to the interests and audience of the journalist we plan on reaching out to.
PR professionals can take a good story and give it many lives through different forms of content. This broadens awareness of your brand with a consistent message to ultimately grow engagement, generate leads, increase traffic, encourage customer loyalty, influence behavior, and demonstrate leadership. When developing your PR strategy, think beyond the press clip and identify how many channels and formats your unique story can be told.