How PR Pros Converge Media and Content Marketing
Content marketing is a term that’s appeared many times on our blogs. We use content marketing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when we put out our DW Security Update headlines. Despite content marketing being a trending topic in the PR world, many PR pros are hesitant to implement it into their PR strategy. Why you may ask? Marketing. The word marketing throws PR pros off. We aren’t marketers and we aren’t sales people so why should we handle content marketing?
In its simplest form content marketing is building relationships and trust with your audience. You create helpful content for current and potential clients and in turn they see you as someone they can turn to when they need help or information on your industry. This is exactly what PR is.
Why it “Fails”
Content marketing has a reputation of “failing.” The truth is content marketing isn’t failing. You’re just thinking about it wrong. When most people think of content marking they have this general outline in their heads:
Just because someone reads your content doesn’t mean they are going to buy – just yet. Content marketing is a much longer process. It starts with making interesting, usable content. The hope is people will click on it. If they like what you’ve posted then they’ll remember you. You start to build trust and relations with people. You want to show them that you are someone they can trust –whether it be in the product or service you are selling or simply the information you can provide them. When they are ready to buy they will remember you and select your product or service.
It’s Not All About Sales
Content marketing is not about selling. Of course sales are vital to the growth of your business, but it has to be in the back of your mind. It is about building trust and telling a story. When you are writing content ask yourself these two questions: Why does you audience care about this? And, is this news just about your business? If this is just news about your business consider packaging it as an office memo instead of a press release or blog post. Your primary focus is being an expert and helping potential customers and clients do better in their businesses.
Daum Weigle is searching for an outgoing and driven individual currently living in San Diego to work as a full-time Media Relations Specialist.
A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or a related field
1-2 years of public relations or media experience
The ability to develop strong ongoing working relationships with the media
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Experience with Facebook, Twitter and WordPress
Proficient in MS productivity tools
Experience working in the media is a plus
Job responsibilities will include:
Pitch story ideas to local, national and trade media
Develop and maintain a media distribution list using PR contact programs
Maintain current editorial calendars
Develop strong ongoing relationships with media
Write posts for Facebook and Twitter
Meet and interact with client contacts
Create interview briefing materials for clients
Maintain coverage reports
Supervise other team members
Commensurate with experience
Send your resume with a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please no calls or faxes. Only those considered will be contacted.
Guerrilla marketing often aims to offend people in order to gain their attention. It’s not for every organization, but it can work. Officials at the Lung Cancer Alliance seem to have a good understanding of the concept. The group recently launched a campaign that includes posters saying things like: “The tattooed deserve to die” and “Cat lovers deserve to die.”
What the..? Hey! I love cats!
Upon visiting the group’s website, you see a countdown clock until the big reveal of a mysterious disease that doesn’t discriminate: lung cancer. The clock has been removed and replaced with:
“Many people believe that if you have lung cancer you did something to deserve it. It sounds absurd, but it’s true. Lung cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither should you. Help put an end to the stigma and the disease.”
The American Lung Association has always been the top dog when it comes raising awareness/funding for lung cancer research. But this guerilla marketing campaign really put the small Lung Cancer Alliance on the map. I had honestly never heard of the group until recently. Many angry comments posted across social media sites prompted me to check it out.
Well done. I see what you did there, Lung Cancer Alliance. You let the ticked off people do your dirty work for you. Here are some excerpts from the Lung Cancer Alliance Facebook page:
Some would argue for the end of this campaign. It’s certainly not appropriate for all issues or groups. But for a small, cash-strapped non-profit trying to raise awareness about a deadly disease, I applaud the effort.
As a general rule, before I pick up the phone to pitch a media contact, I know their name, have researched the outlet, skimmed through recent stories the journalist has written and have an idea of why they would want to hear my pitch in the first place. This ladies and gentlemen, is the art of romancing the media.
It’s surprising how many PR professionals still operate with the old “spray and pray” method, thinking that quantity pitching rules over quality pitching.
In fact, I just read a great white paper by Cision When in Doubt that outlines the very reasons why we PR pros shouldn’t do that. The most important lesson you can learn in this industry is to research everything you possibly can about the outlet/beat of the person you’re pitching. In all honesty, those that skip this huge step really do damage to themselves and the company they represent. They also do big disservice to industry as a whole.
It just gives PR a bad name. We want the media to see us as a valuable resource, not as annoying spammers. I’m sure it would be maddening for a real estate reporter to continuously get pitched to cover the latest beauty product.
Researching the details is more time consuming, but the paybacks are better quality and even quantity coverage.
Aside from doing research before you send anything to or contact the media I have a couple of suggestions I’ve picked up from my experiences for when I pitch and follow up on the phone:
- Check out editorial calendars. These can be a gold mine. Even if they aren’t interested in covering your news now, it could be perfect for them at a later date. Follow up.
- When you call to follow up, instead of going straight to your pitch, introduce yourself and ask what they are working on. It could be in connection to what you’re pitching. Use your discretion if they sound hurried. By being natural, conversational and not just pushing your pitch, you earn their ear and respect.
- But be ready to deliver the main points of your pitch in less than 20 seconds. More often than not you will run into an editor that has no time for nonsense. Prepare for that.
Of course don’t leave out social media as another avenue for media outreach. It offers valuable insights into what journalists’ are writing about and their interests.
Above all, know that if you continue to spray and pray, it may take a few reporters giving you a piece of their minds before you never again forget to research before you reach out.