25 Oct

PR & Content Demystified


Ask us about our next event – taking place on November 9th – which will introduce brands to PR agencies .
Email events@ingenuitylondon.com for more information.

There has been plenty of talk in the past few years about the real value of traditional PR and what it actually means. Is PR ‘media relations’ or more about the content itself? Is it a fame generating exercise or can it, and should it, impact directly on your bottom line?


Increasing use of technology has changed the entire landscape of the industry – from how people publish their own content to how they are consuming media wherever and whenever they like, increasingly on mobiles or tablets. This has caused the decline of print publications, and the demise of the traditional advertising sales model.


Content has become the word of the moment and is blurring the lines for PR, so it’s time to define the meaning of both PR & Content. Content is a piece of collateral that is created to allow a brand to spread its message to a wide range of audiences. PR is one technique that can be used to distribute content. That’s not all PR is, but increasingly it is the focus, particularly in the world of B2B. PR is no longer about just media relations, just like content is no longer just about marketing collateral.


According to a recent B2B Trends Report from LinkedIn, about 50 percent of B2B marketers believe their thought leadership builds trust in their organisation. But among actual buyers, that number is more like 83 percent. In other words, marketers are massively underestimating the impact that thought leadership can have on buyer’s confidence in their company.


The reason content and PR are so often associated, and confused, is because PR’s are traditionally the writers of non-sales copy which is required for today’s world of ‘inbound marketing’. They are experts at extracting interesting messages from a brand’s offering, and making them into unique, topical content that their key audiences will want to read. But, of course, that’s just one part of what they do.


Proactive media relations, for example, announcing company news, or the placement of thought leadership articles, are faithful tactics to employ, but publications are now only one ‘route to market’ for news and opinion. Enter PR’s role in content marketing: reaching the right person through the right channel at the right time – real time relevancy. That’s what makes one message stand out from all the others. The key to PR’s future success is to prove it can directly drive new business meetings, real time relevancy helps make that a reality.


Getting the nuts and bolts in place is paramount. Content creation should be a given. Clients naturally expect PRs to handle researching, writing, shaping and filming. What they may not realise is that a good content strategy means the creation of a day-to-day editorial calendar, encompassing targeted distribution, one that ultimately underpins lead generation and nurturing. Media relations is a core component, but the plan should go much further.


In B2B PR, it’s now vital to develop ‘prospect journeys’ much like marketers do (or ought to do) for consumers. Get your content distribution strategy right and the person you’re targeting should have no excuse for ignoring the article, report, video or tweet you are putting directly in from of them, nor should they want to.


There are so many different ways clients can spend budget these days that PR has to fight harder than ever to prove its worth. Traditional aspects of the craft, employed in isolation, just don’t do that job. It’s time to get used to the idea that something many PRs never thought they’d do – namely, cosying up to the new business strategy and effectively becoming part of the lead gen team.
In the modern PR landscape, it’s not just what you say and who you say it to, but how you measure results and prove value back to your client – that matters.


And measurement is a key point here, which again technology has enabled. Where previously, PR relied on the rather ambiguous AVE figures, which referred to the cost of buying the space taken up by a particular article, had the article been an advertisement, we are now able to track Google analytics from source to website visit, use Ahrefs to track backlinks from coverage posted on external sites and use social media to measure engagement levels like shares and likes.


In an ideal scenario, a company would have content creation professionals with both journalist and PR skills, able to create best-in-class collateral, and distribute it via a wide varied of channels (media being one of many). Not much to ask then…


Ingenuity holds monthly new business chemistry session events at Stamford Bridge that offer the opportunity to meet decision makers that are in the market for new agencies.


Every event has a theme that is aligned with current trends and client needs. They address all the major channels, disciplines and issues facing marketers.


If this interests you, head to the website to find out about our upcoming events or email events@ingenuitylondon.com. Alternatively, fill in your details below to keep up to date with all future events.