Earned Efficiency: Integrate Content Marketing with PR

Last updated: 09-30-2017

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Earned Efficiency: Integrate Content Marketing with PR

Content and direct marketers have mastered their process, but have they mastered their story? Thinking like a PR pro and integrating your PR and content teams can boost your efficiency and add value to your campaign. Learn how with this four-step guide.

They can talk the data talk. Impressions, engagement, site visits. Even better, practitioners often don't discuss their own data, they talk about subject matter experts' big numbers. Investor relations showcases earnings trends, new product releases talk about time, energy or materials savings. Surveys, studies, reports — in public relations, it's about data all day. 

But that's not the key reason why content marketers and digital marketing activators should engage public relations practitioners. 

The ability to reach an audience is easier than ever with behavioral data, personalization and quality UX. But what do you say to them when you get there? Ask a PR pro; they're the storytellers. 

Below are four tips to help content and digital marketing teams maximize the work of their public relations colleagues and turn a good campaign into a great story. 

This is a golden rule for PR practitioners, so when engaging them in a direct marketing or content campaign, the same rule applies. Lead with the message to be delivered, not the process. Talking about where landing pages direct readers or how each UTM matters leaves out the story. What message is on the landing page? Which details are delivered in each step of the campaign? Talking about process helps showcase a thoughtfully designed program, but leveraging the hook that public relations pros can provide makes the program understandable to all. Adopting the mindset of a reader or a journalist helps frame each step of the process as elements of the story, not as technical features of a campaign. In summary, speak the language of PR: story, angle, placement. 

Talk not just about audiences and content the brand owns but also factor in how earned media plays into the content universe. An article in a national daily newspaper could inspire interest in the website; in fact, that's the goal. Map and discuss which placements are most likely to accomplish that and let the content marketing plan help influence the editorial pitch cadence. Some broadcast segments can be purchased and shared as owned content, but first they must be earned. Clearly demonstrate those efforts in the communication plan to fully integrate your communications. 

Media lists can sort similarly to prospect or direct marketing lists based on interest by editors, how the contact was obtained and how frequently PR pros communicate with them. Content and direct marketers work in similar contact universes, and recognizing this means content marketers can pair great pitches with subject lines or calls to action. Though journalists are different than the well-researched target audience your campaign may be after, they, too, are customers and consumers, and knowing what pitches worked, what subject lines led to an email open or even a follow-up call are measures PR and content teams could share. 

Content rarely stands alone. Having writers who always consider newsworthiness, cultural context, trends and more means that stories are crafted with a “what's in it for me” benefit position over and above less compelling product feature descriptions. When developing landing pages, outbound email messages and campaigns, look to the PR team to support compelling storytelling and align the campaign with the earned media plan. The PR team can enhance all content — from emails to website pages — with the same eye to context they use for pitching editors. When the content campaign matches the story angles picked up in the press, the campaign can better resonate with audiences. 

Many communication teams do integrate their planning, marrying contact and content strategies. Truly understanding the mindset of relationship-based communications like public relations professionals do, however, gives the content and direct marketing teams an advantage in leveraging content writing talent. 

Knowing how to use the language and practice of public relations pros amplifies the effectiveness of any plan and broadens the universe of message outreach. Want to know more about pairing your PR team with your DM team? Click here to connect with us for a free consultation and analysis of your content integration practices. 


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