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11 Simple Ways for PR to Score Content Marketing Points

Turner Field Home of the Atlanta Braves

PR has an increasingly important role to play in building out media platforms an organization owns – owned media.

Why? As author and keynote speaker Dan Pink has articulated in his talks for the last 18 months or so, brands used to have a controlling influence on information about their products.  Dan’s example is the car dealership.  It used to be that the salespeople, knew far more about a vehicle than the consumer ever could.

The web has obviously changed that – a few quick product searches on a mobile device leads a buyer to reviews and commentary from sources other than the brand.  It’s easy for a consumer to solicit instant opinions friends, the micro-moment before a purchase, on social media sites.

Trust and Credibility of Information

These changes have had a generational impact.  The web has completely changed attitudes and behaviors of buyers – the same way significant events change generational outlook (i.e. how historical events like the Great Depression, the Cold War or 9/11 impact a generation’s world view). In this case, market research has consistently demonstrated people favor recommendations from peers over brands.

While there are several factors leading to the rise of content marketing – the fractured media landscape notwithstanding – the generational impact on information availability is one of the key drivers:  content marketing is a path for brands to re-establish trust and credibility as an information source for buyers.

Trust and credibility as an information source…those are business responsibilities that rest squarely in the sweet spot of PR expertise.  So while content marketing is the new branding, it’s becoming more evident that PR is the best kept secret in content marketing.

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Repurposing content does not mean regurgitatex600

11 Ways for PR to Fuel Content Marketing

Corporate communications and PR, especially those with media or influencer relations duties, can have a tremendous impact on content marketing.  No better opportunity exists than in repurposing content.  While repurposing is tactical, it’s prime for building new PR processes that scale and serves as natural stepping stone into the strategic aspects of content marketing.

Studies suggest that especially in B2B, upwards of 70% of content goes unused.  This is because even as marketing invests time or budget in developing content, the furious pace of work means as soon as a piece is complete, they move on to the next thing.

Few businesses realize the full potential of the content they’ve already created.  It’s a continuous effort to produce more and more and more, without really thinking through distribution.

Repurposing content does not mean regurgitate. Rather, PR should apply the editorial filters that come second nature, weave insight from other sources, and generally, add value along the way.

Here are some easy ways to get involved and make a significant impact:

  1. Break sections from existing white papers into guest blog posts.
  2. Re-write white papers as long form contributed articles.
  3. Get to the latest infographic before it’s published – and pitch it to a media outlet first.
  4. Thread contributed content into blog posts.
  5. Weave media placements earned with a case study for blog posts.
  6. Review webinars for pitch-ideas, contributed articles or guest posts.
  7. Repurpose archived webinar recordings for blog posts and contributed content.
  8. Mold two or more existing blog posts into a comprehensive contributed article.
  9. Transform a solid media pitch into a blog post.
  10. Round up 10, 20 or 50 customer comments from NPS surveys into a blog post.
  11. Canvas previous published contributed content for evergreen pitch ideas.

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From SlideShare and infographics — to podcasts and videos, the opportunity to repurpose and extend the shelf-life of existing content are limited only by creativity.  What I’ve identified here are those opportunities I think most closely mirror traditional PR tasks.

Outside the noise of marketing circles, content marketing is still a nascent concept.  It’s providing a chance for businesses to do things differently and break through the clutter.  PR ought to have a profound influence in how this seeps into the larger marketing organization — because the discipline centers on imporant apsects of business such as trust and crediblity.

Additional suggested reading:

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Content Marketing *is* PR

Photo credit: Flickr, Geoff Livingston, Turner Field: Home of the Atlanta Braves (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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