Why PR and content are a killer combination when the two come together early
As the saying goes; content is king. Believe it or not, we’re inclined to agree.
We also agree that good content alone isn’t always enough, and in reality must come as part of a bigger, more thought-out strategy.
For every piece of content you create, you need to be prepared to challenge the “why?”. Why do you want to do this? What will it achieve? How does it fit as part of your strategy and alongside other marketing channels and outputs?
Very often, these questions are met with a PR campaign.
PR and content: the synergy
Combining a strong PR campaign with creative content increases the exposure of a client’s key message across various channels and in multiple formats, and amplifies that message to make it more authentic. Here’s why.
PRs and content marketers share common goals.
Aside from keeping clients happy, we want to engage an audience. Capturing the attention of people is easier said than done in the scrolling age, but none the less, it’s what we all set out to do.
Next, we want to tell our audience a story. Ah, storytelling; the art of taking information that is most likely not exciting, and bringing it to life, making it sound important, impassioned and relevant. Again, not an easy feat, but that’s the aim of the game.
Lastly, but most importantly, we want that audience to react, whether that’s to shed a tear, hit the share button, or visit the website and buy a product. Granted, each campaign and each stage of the journey will be different; but it is always about evoking behaviours.
PR is the salt to content’s pepper. The yin to its yang. They complement one another in more ways that can be discussed in this blog.
PR and content: A collaborative approach
So, what is my point here?
Ultimately, content shouldn’t be PR’s second cousin who didn’t get an invite to the wedding.
PR and content go hand in hand. The two should be working together from the earliest stage of ideation and planning.
Think about it like this: good marketing campaigns are about getting a brand seen, and while the way we consume media has changed, people, at a fundamental level, haven’t changed at all.
When PRs and content specialists come together to combine more traditional methods of communication with feed-first content strategies, the results speak for themselves.
PR and content: a fairy tale process
The ideal process looks something like this (I say ideal knowing the reality is often a variation that falls short):
When a brief comes in from a client, the discovery begins. Both PRs and content specialists get together in a room (or virtually), and question everything. The old who, what, where, when, and why ought to do it.
Only after the brief has been interrogated and challenged can we begin to come up with creative concepts in a brainstorming session.
Then we need to question more. Do these shortlisted angles meet the objectives? Who will want to read/see this? Will these themes and ideas spark emotion and reaction?
By this point, we’re likely to have a solid response to the brief in the form of an overarching campaign concept, but are yet to come up with tactics.
Here is where it’s essential to put your trust in the expertise of fellow marketers.
PR people work with media all day every day. They know what the media want to receive and in what formats. In the same breath, content teams tend to be pretty good at making content.
When they’re not producing films, animations, games, etc, they spend their time looking at other content and understanding what works, and what doesn’t.
From this, they can begin storyboarding content and planning deliverables that are creative and meet the brief, but that have also been designed for the relevant media audiences specific to that campaign.
By this point, we’re almost there in terms of our proposal. We have a creative concept, content ideas and deliverables relevant to our audiences, our tactics and amplification strategy to engage, and we’re ready to pitch our ‘award-winning’ campaign.
We win the work, we’re all thrilled, and we skip off into the sunset with our new client and live happily ever after?
Unfortunately, that isn’t always how the story ends and this part we can’t predict.
For any number of reasons, the outcome might not be as we’d hoped but with PR and content working together symmetrically from the outset, creative input and perspective from experts in each marketing field, we can be confident in knowing we went into the pitch with the confidence we could deliver exactly what we were proposing.
This is more valuable to a client than anything else.