THE PARALLELS BETWEEN PUBLIC RELATIONS & CONTENT MARKETING

Today’s changing marketing environment has opened up a variety of new creative opportunities for brands to tell their story. Now, more than ever, brands are acknowledging that they need to innovate to keep up with new entrants to their markets and stay top of mind with their customers.

Content that has been ‘uniquely created’ by a brand or business has won the digital war as being more valuable, as it provides plenty of possibilities to communicate a message.

Below are a few of the parallels we see exist between PR and content marketing.

What do they have in common?

- Both require an angle or a storyline, which can be developed in greater detail whether it be through video, audio or the written word and used to communicate message to a group of people.

- Both have a key audience, who is willing to listen and fed messages about a topic of relevance to them.

- There is an objective to promote a brand or service.

- There is a relationship in place with members of the public, who have the power to be your customers and your brand advocates.

Why does one need the other?

- Public relations professionals are lost without unique content to create noise, basically because it provides a reason for them to talk to the media about the brand or business they represent.

- Media requires good content in order to tell a good story to their audiences, whether it be photographs of food, interviews with key people or video footage that evokes emotion.

- The public is hungry for the details, especially when it involves a product or place, so having the right content available means that you can surprise and delight them.

- Content is helpful for building positive brand associations with the general public, even if they’ve never heard of your brand or sampled your services.

- Unique content can reach a wider audience without the relationship PR professionals have with the media to act as a third party for news.

- There are synergies between publicity stunts and shareable content for social media.

- Social media is a direct platform for building public relations in today’s tech era, offering plenty of opportunity for customers and followers to share content with their own “friends” and “friends of friends”.

- Content marketing often speaks louder than words on visual platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, by encouraging customers to converse directly with brands…a great tool for tracking what content customers like and what they don’t like.

It’s clear that one really relies on the other, so it’s important that you have the right mix of both.

The Press Garage has adopted PR methods that collaborate with others and foster the development of unique content. Speak to us about how we can help you.

Deana.

4 REASONS WHY SEX & THE CITY HELPED MY TRANSITION INTO PR

Our new account manager, Alexandra Codd, shares  her thoughts on how Sex and the City helped her transition into the world of PR.

So… I am new to this PR gig and while I have come from a similar world of digital marketing, sales and journalism, I am continually learning new, exciting and sometimes surprising tricks to this trade!

Something I have learnt about myself over my years of studying, career changes and industry events, is that my golden ticket to understanding something new… is to translate it into my own language.

Cue… Sex and the City Segway!

I will unashamedly admit that I am a diehard SATC fan.

Carrie Bradshaw and her ridiculous Manhattan apartment, dream-designer-drobe and ‘I’m invited to every NYC club/bar opening’-social life, that she manages to afford on a Journalist wage, had set a very unfair precedent for what I could expect as a fashion and lifestyle writer!

Despite these unrealistic/idealistic plot quirks, I have found that, over the years, there have been many messages in SATC that can be applied to my everyday life and many I am finding relevant in my new role as a PR account manager.

After recently rekindling my romance with SATC Season 6 and coming to the end of my very first month with The Press Garage, I thought I would share some valuable PR lessons to be learnt from the show.

1. Your ‘work’ is only as strong as your ‘network’

It really is true. And, if the awesome foursome bond of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte has taught me anything, it’s the power of friendships (or in a professional capacity, networks).

When it comes to PR, I quickly learnt that my ‘little black book’, which I had built over my few years as a journalist, needed some serious attention!

Learning the name of key media contacts, journalists and sales executives, and more importantly introducing myself and learning how they like to operate, I knew was top priority if I wanted to see traction on anything I was working on.

Luckily, I didn’t have to start from scratch and to further support this SATC friendship theory; my first few projects were graciously supported by some of my existing contacts.

2. The power of a theme

Yes, when you are sitting in bed with a tub of ice cream watching SATC re-runs back-to-back (anyone… anyone?)… Carrie’s rhetorical question theme for every episode, which also parallels as the topic of her newspaper column for that week, can become very annoying (especially because she seems to narrate this question in the exact same tone of voice and inflection every time!).
However, it is a very good example of the power of a strong and consistent theme.

I am very privileged at this stage to be working across all of The Press Garage’s accounts, offering an exciting variety of campaign styles and business objectives.
One of the most valuable lessons that Deana has taught me so far is that for every activity, you need to find what is ‘newsworthy’.

Writing a press release is not just a summary of recent happenings. You need to find a hook, strong quotes and a newsworthy reason that a journalist will be inspired to angle a story about it.

That sounds pretty obvious, but when applied to certain businesses that might not necessarily have headline making newsworthiness, it is about creating this hook for them by offering creative, clever and interesting ideas to employ into their marketing activities.

Two recent examples of themes that we have created for some of our fabulous clients was our ‘Message in a Mason’ campaign for The Chelsea Bistro, celebrating their new menu, new chef and new take on French Cuisine.

Secondly, is our corporate film that we are currently working on for Bouquet Boutique, based on the concept that ‘Floristry is a Feeling’and how fresh flowers in a corporate space can evoke emotions and transport people to a different time and place.

Working with these two strong themes, not only offers a clear and impactful message to send to media or prospective clients (in my opinion anyway) it also helped me learn more about these business that I was working with by summarising their style, personality and business philosophy in a creative way.

3. He’s just not that into you

The golden statement! Yes, there is now a movie solely dedicated to this whole concept – a guy, simply might not be that into you!
But, like many trends, its conception was in SATC, in the scene when Burger explained to Miranda that her recent date was not calling her back, because he was just not that into her!

I think there is a significant lesson to be learnt here, about liaising with media, corporate clients or consumers. It doesn’t matter how fabulous that press release is, how impactful that PR stunt may be or how many bells and whistles you add into a press pack… sometimes, the contact receiving the news might not be that into you (or ‘it’)!

Rather then wasting time and energy on chasing a journalist who is clearly fielding your calls, or pushing a client’s offerings onto a corporation that will never make a budget for what you are selling, it has become clear to me that investing and nurturing fewer but more engaged opportunities, in the end has the better result.

Again… that may sound obvious to you PR gurus… but please remember I am still learning and mentally high five myself when I work these things out.

4. Stay true to who you are.

Miranda always fought against the working mother stereotype, Charlotte never gave up on her quest for true love, Samantha continued to wear her sexuality on her sleeve no matter what anyone said, and Carrie, well she stayed so authentically Carrie through all the heartache, life challenges and Manolo Blanik purchases.

Now working in an agency that is still young, yet with a strong, signature brand and philosophy, SATC reminds me that in the competitive, vibrant and ever changing public relations, marketing and communications space, staying true to who you are as a brand, and not losing your voice will put you ahead of the rest.

Taking on challenges, working through objectives, increasing our following and working with new clients can never occur at the expense of ‘The Press Garage’ message.

I will continue to study the endless PR and marketing resources available to further my development in my role here at Press…but, lets face it… a night in with Carrie Bradshaw and the gals is a little more appealing then cozying up with a PR Daily article, isn’t it?

– Alexandra Codd

POWER OF BRAND PROMOTION.

WHEN you first launch a brand, whether it’s your own company or not, it can often take longer than expected to gain traction with the right audience.

In particular, there are unrealistic expectations around how long it should take us to reach a certain number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

Despite many attempts to get the “likes” on social media, creating an insanely successful brand comes down to delivering great content on a consistent basis.

That, coupled with various other tools in marketing, will earn you a solid reputation.

Below are a few tips to get you started.

 

1. Make your brand easy for media to cover.

Do you have a press kit? Professional photos? Are your key spokespeople media savvy?

Media are more likely to want to cover your brand if they understand it and they are familiar with its story.

A press kit won’t work for everyone, but it is a valuable tool for presenting your key messages, biographies, photos, reviews and what other people in your field are saying about you.

Your press kit should be a multipage PDF file that is designed in an interesting and visually appealing way to suit your brand and the industry you are in.

A demo reel is another important tool, if your brand has a public performance or speaking component.

They are also extremely helpful if you want to get in with TV and radio media. Again, searching for a demo reel on the Internet will yield a high number of returns. YouTube is a fantastic platform to upload this to, as well as embedding it onto your website.

Just pull together some recent TV interview clips, insert testimonials, behind the scenes shots and vision. If you don’t have any of that stuff yet, shoot a quick 1-2 minute video talking about your brand that you can edit nicely and throw in a few clips of media.

Lastly, ditch bad quality digital camera shots and get some quality photos of your business. We mean, its people, its spaces, its day-to-day operations and anything else that you feel will add value to what you do.

Have a friend take you somewhere with good lighting, maybe even outdoors, and capture some amazing shots that make you look like you do your job professionally. All of these things together can only help make you look more reputable and sharpen your image.

 

2. Publicise your existing audience and talk to you followers.

Get on board with lines like, “We’ve reached 5000 followers and growing!” or “Thanks for following, we have hit the big 1000!”

If you have heaps of fans on Facebook, but struggle to get followers on Pinterest, link the two by directing people there. Easiest way is to write a post from your Facebook page that includes a link. Maybe even look into adding a widget to your website, where you can publicize that your active on social media.

Linked In is another powerful tool for promoting yourself as an expert in our field. Read lots, share articles that inspire you and comment on other peoples posts. Engagement helps form relationships and it makes people warm to you, beyond your profile picture.

 

3. Reach out to 15 local media outlets – TV/Newspaper/Magazine

Do research on this first – you do not want to blow your chances with a media outlet by making a poor first impression. Start a spreadsheet document of local media outlets.

From here, determine who the key contacts are and what you might be able to talk to them about, but remember to think in their shoes and understand their audience or readership.

Send your materials in a sharp and succinct way, mostly because in today’s hectic day, people don’t have time to filter through pages of content and information.

Sure, a PR consultant is helpful because they can handle the media enquiries and match the media to the correct story, but often the media prefer dealing directly with you. Talking with you and getting to know you will give them a feel for how articulate, consistent and skilled you are.

Remember, the media probably is interested in what you have if it’s packaged properly, but it’s your job to make sure that they don’t lose their job if you don’t deliver. They need to feel confident in you first.

Good luck!

Deana