Content Marketing for PR Pros Is Not That Scary


Let’s play a game: I’ll list two job descriptions, and you try to guess what I’m referring to:

Identify a target audience, build trust, increase brand awareness and help grow business.

If you guessed public relations—you’re correct! 

Now, let’s try another one.

Identify a target audience, build trust, increase brand awareness and help grow business. 

In this one, I’m referring to content marketing. 

Look familiar? That’s because they are. 

Content marketing and public relations are more similar than you think—and today, more intertwined than ever before. The same principles that help PR pros thrive in their field can help lead to sustained success in content marketing—which in today’s competitive media landscape might be critical to your brand’s survival. 

Here are a few ways the two practices are strikingly similar, and how PR Pros can apply their skills to succeed in content marketing: 

You already think big

In PR, you’re searching for the stories that will have the greatest impact and drive your brand forward. With a shared goal between increasing brand awareness in content marketing and PR you should approach story topics the same way. Ask yourself, is this story compelling to my target audience? Does it position my brand favorably? If so, you might have found the right topic for your PR push that can overlap with your content marketing initiative. 

You bring your brand message to life

In public relations, your job is to cultivate the right relationships to help drive your brand’s message forward. In content marketing, the end goal is the same, but the methods of getting there might be slightly different. When you are producing content, you want to insert your brand’s messaging or value proposition subtly to maintain their authentic image. While the ultimate goal is to position your story positively and affect the bottom line, your content should serve a different, clearly stated purpose and bring obvious value to your readers. 

You know how to talk to your audience

In PR, your team knows the target audience better than anybody else. That’s why sharing the relevant details so that it resonates with their target audience is such a big component of the job. In content marketing, you’re in the driver’s seat and control your messaging. By eliminating the middleman between the media and your team (YOU are the media), you can ensure you’re speaking the language of your target audience. 

You know how to cut through the clutter

To be an effective PR pro, you need to learn how to wade through the weeds to get your story heard. Why would the general public care for this story? How is it unique to the countless other stories out there right now? PR pros know how to develop and maintain relationships with the media. These personal relationships help them anticipate their needs and target them effectively with the right stories to drive their clients’ messages forward. 

The same is true for content marketers. There’s no sense in taking the time to produce original content if you send it off into cyberspace to never be seen. But content marketers aren’t targeting media to share their stories, they’re sharing stories themselves. To separate their content from the pack, content marketers effectively leverage the latest social, email and search engine tactics to get the right eyes on their content. 

In both PR and the growing field of content marketing, professionals Identify unique topics, consider their target audiences and use their skills to set their stories apart from the rest of the noise.

About the Author: Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, an award-winning creative agency that specializes in content-focused public relations, content marketing and national media exposure for major brands. Connect with Lisa on Twitter: @LisaArledge 


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