Public relations is of inestimable use to reporters and editors, when done well. Smartly developed content and focused public relations initiatives add value, connect reporters with meaningful resources, and provide focus and context to reporters — from the value proposition of a single product to the trends and ecosystems driving entire industries.
But, doing public relations right isn’t always an easy or obvious feat. Truly outstanding public relations programs are built by brand marketers who not only cultivate strong relationships among reporters, but who also make robust investments in solid content, responsive processes and tightly focused, compelling initiatives. Here are a few tips on getting the content piece right:
Build Solid Content
Smart brands realize it’s difficult to expect journalists to understand complex industries – and nearly impossible to hope for consistently accurate reporting – if brands themselves haven’t first distilled, articulated, reinforced those narratives with stats and facts, and made them easily available. To that end, savvy marketers:
- Develop strong corporate collateral. anthonyBarnum recently published an ePaper on Owned Media: Creating a Content Ecosystem that identifies why creating and distributing branded content is of increasing value for today’s marketers, who allocate 28 percent of their entire marketing budget to the effort on average. Today’s public trusts corporate ‘owned media’ just as much as it does ‘media as an institution.’ Developing owned media offers marketers unique advantages, too: Total control, infinite longevity, tremendous reach, versatility (repurposing) and cost-effectiveness.
- Aggressively grow thought leadership programs. Thought leaders are people or organizations with an expertise and vision that makes an impact on business, industry or society – sometimes all three. A thought-leader brand drives industry conversation, priorities and points of focus on topics that are critical to its stakeholder audiences. Brands with unusual innovation, vision and expertise should pursue promoting executives – and the brand itself – as thought leaders. Ultimately, thought leadership can translate into greater brand value, more media attention, stronger interest from customers and even higher margins.
- Use social media to actively engage stakeholder audiences. Social media is sometimes considered owned media or corporate collateral, but arguably, it’s a bit different since LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the rest are practically landlords that brands rent form. Technically speaking, if it was truly owned, brands would have control over the entire experience including, full audience access, and complete use of data. Regardless of how it’s labeled, social media, including blogs, provide a crucial delivery channel for public relations initiatives, thought leadership campaigns and overall brand-building presence.
Compelling company content publicly available on the web and social media makes information about products and services simple for reporters to find, easy to develop interest in, and more likely to be written about and discussed.
But there’s at least one more essential ingredient to great PR, and that’s strong relationship management. We’ll cover the topic shortly in our next blog.