If you have good content, do you still need PR? After all, as the argument goes, excellent content does not need any additional help. The answer — yes — may sound obvious, but when marketing teams are filled with content creators, and content marketing is being trumped as the next savior to marketing, that answer can get blurred.
The root of the problem may be that both PR and content marketing essentially have the same goal: to engage the right people so as to ultimately influence them. So, many argue, content marketing aims to replace PR by offering a modern approach to grabbing the right views and influencing decisions.
Content Marketing Needs Good PR
Why does content marketing need PR in order to gain the right attention? In today’s market, most companies pride themselves as being content creators and curators. As such, their marketing teams are creating content in massive quantities through blogs and other social media posts. You can rightfully say that every company can now be called a media agency.
This creates a huge problem for the readers, whose attention spans are becoming increasingly short. In an information-rich world, getting content to the readers is no longer the big concern; getting it read is.
With so much content available, readers are already filtering the information. Just when many predicted the demise of the media, it is now morphing into trusted channels of information. Information curators or curation apps are influencing thoughts and decisions. Which is why it is still a big deal if your content is being referenced in The New York Times or other such journals.
Content is also becoming a competitive marketing tool. Just look at the affects Travel Advisor and Expedia have had on the hospitality markets. They have disrupted traditional markets by simply offering the right content at the right time.
Although the internet has changed markets and business, it has not changed us — humans. We still categorize content based on its usefulness, time constraints, and preferring to read what we believe will add value to our busy lives.
When PR And Content Marketing Work Together
This is where PR comes in. Armed with practices honed during pre-internet days, PR savants can help content marketers shape the right message and channel it to the right eyeballs. When content marketers and PR professionals work together closely, the results can be spectacular.
A good example is Mint. It was entering a market crowded with personal financial apps, and there were some very strong incumbents. They created a blog that offered great financial advice, then coupled that with a PR strategy that helped get this content into the right media and blogs. In fact, the exposure crashed their servers several times due to the high traffic, while at the same time increasing the usage of their financial tools and that eventually led to them becoming a target of an Intuit acquisition!
For content to create the biggest possible splash, it needs to be supported by a strong PR campaign. At the same time, the PR world now considers content marketing one of the main tools of its profession.
PR Also Needs Good Content Marketing
Great content means telling good stories, and those in the PR world cannot afford to disregard its strong benefits. After all, when you combine PR and content marketing, you are putting ready-made stories into the hands of editors, journalists and influencers. They can give your content the powerful lift it needs to go viral.
Besides, the more quality content you produce, the easier you’ll find it is to get the attention of editors. They may have even noticed your content before you reach out.
Let’s put it this way, PR professionals are essentially the custodians of content for their customers. Since the beginning, their job has always been about engaging customers in a way that goes beyond direct advertising (remember PR is NOT advertising). Savvy and engaging content marketing makes PR immensely more effective, making the future of both intrinsically linked together.