Anyone that works purely in PR knows how difficult it can sometimes be to explain what they do. The blurring of lines between traditional PR and digital marketing has made it even harder. With content playing a vital role in the overall communications mix, content marketers often find themselves straddling the divide between PR and marketing.
We’ve pulled together answers to some of the most common questions asked by content marketers, when it comes to PR.
A Q&A Guide to PR for Content Marketers
What is PR?
Forget the glamorous image of red carpet events, cocktails and never-ending party invitations. The reality is somewhat less exciting — but it’s also much more relevant to content marketers.
PR is essentially about getting a company in front of the right audiences at the right time, with messages that make its spokespeople sound like human beings, not marketing super bots. Whereas advertising sees a company paying to be in front of an audience, PR means a brand has to earn attention.
Content creation and distribution makes up a large part of the PR pros daily workload. The press, analysts, bloggers, prospects, venture capitalists, and other influencers want compelling content.
What do journalists actually want from external content creators or guest bloggers?
Each and every publication that accepts contributed content has some kind of guidelines for what they’ll take, and most follow the same best practices content marketers do.
Editors will ask you to draft articles that keep their audiences in mind, offer helpful guidance to readers, are compelling and easy to read, leave out the promotional stuff, and deliver something fresh that won’t be published anywhere else. Here at Northern Hive, we have a team of guest bloggers who pitch articles to the media daily. Crafting a pitch and adhering to the guidelines laid out by the publication are essential to success.
Are PR and content marketing in competition?
The changing media landscape has certainly changed PR for good. Content and inbound marketing evolved at a time when PR was evolving, too. With so many publications closing their doors or moving online, and with the rise of influencers and bloggers, traditional contacts at the local newspaper no longer cut it.
There are now fewer journalists typing away in newsrooms and reporting back from the field — 20,000 fewer than in 2008, according to a count Gigaom put out. But that doesn’t mean there’s less need for copy.
And while many web-based publications are eager to publish more material to attract readers, editors are looking for expert content contributions. If an editor wants a 2,000 word article from your CEO on an industry issue, is that a PR request or a content marketing request?
We’re a PR and content marketing agency so you won’t be surprised to learn that we think both elements cannot be successful without the other. We like to think of PR as the relationship and reputation factor. Whereas content marketing involves the creation and distribution of content to drive action and evoke emotions.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR PR & CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?
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Is PR measurable?
Ah, the age old question. Put simply, yes it is.
Just like content marketing, goal-based PR should provide tangible business results — not just a list of press hits. The metrics marketers use to measure awareness, engagement, lead generation, lead generation, investor interest, sales, and other goals are the same ones you can use to measure PR.
We know how hard it can be to sort through all of the information and measure your efforts accordingly. For this reason, we ask our clients a number of key questions they’d like answering by the end of their campaign. Asking these questions throughout a project not only helps to focus your analysis but also keeps you on track.
Examples of these questions could be:
- Are you getting mentioned in analyst reports?
- Are influencers talking about you on social media?
- Are readers clicking through to deeper content from your blog?
- Where are visitors going once they hit your landing pages?
- Are they converting? After a quarter, six months, or a year of PR efforts, how have you progressed toward your primary strategic business goal?
If PR and content marketing overlap, what’s the point in having both?
Like salt and pepper, rosemary and thyme, and strawberries and cream, PR and content marketing work so much better as a pair.
PR pros and content marketers can support each others’ activities, inspire each others’ creativity and keep messages coordinated to better support your overall strategic goals. Here at Northern Hive, our PR pros are actually content marketers too. For us, this means clients can take advantage of their wide expertise and vision.
How can content marketing teams best align with PR?
Content marketing and PR teams need to communicate.
If you’re promoting a new ebook, for example, your PR counterpart might be able to repurpose that asset for contributed content, social media outreach, influencer engagement, media pitches, and more. On the flip side, a successful media campaign should spark ideas for you about which messages are resonating, what prospects want, and how to incorporate that into future content creation.
So there you have it – answers to some of the most common PR questions asked by content marketers. Here at Northern Hive, our strategists are both PRs and content marketers. We train all our staff to be knowledgeable in both areas so as to add value for the clients we work with. Content marketing and PR are something of a marriage made in heaven and the results of both elements working together are truly immense.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR PR & CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?
Talk to our team of content marketing strategists today to see how your brand could benefit from standout content. Email us at email@example.com, call +44 (0) 161 932 1611 or use the button below.