PR and content marketing have one main thing in common: They help your company get in front of your target audience to tell stories that drive credibility and awareness.
Naturally, the two business functions can—and should—have a symbiotic relationship. Good content can fuel PR opportunities on its own, and you’ve probably already got a lot of good content.
But if you want to get as much mileage out of your content as possible, you’ll also need to work your content assets into your media outreach. Here are four ways to make your content power PR wins:
1. Use blogs as proof of thought leadership.
The definition of “thought leadership” has gotten muddled by overuse. Thought leadership is just expertise: insightful analysis, predictions and commentary informed by years of experience. Strong thought leadership is vital to a successful PR program. That’s because reporters are always on the hunt for expert sources.
The easiest path? Maintain a blog.
A thought leader needs to be an actual person at your company. Their name should be on your blogs, and they should be able to speak off the cuff about the latest industry happenings. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your CEO, but it should be someone who’s comfortable talking to the media.
The blog becomes the cornerstone of your company’s thought leadership strategy. In owned content channels, you have complete control over what you want to say. That’s a gift you won’t find in other channels.
2. Send your latest blogs as an FYI to stay in front of reporters.
You know that consistency is key for a content program’s success. It’s also key for building up to PR opportunities.
Fresh blog content boosts search engine visibility and domain authority, which makes a reporter more likely to find you when searching for sources. Good content can be the hook that makes that reporter want to talk to you.
Publishing articles on LinkedIn and Medium, for example—with your thought leader’s byline—can also catch a reporter’s attention. We’ve heard firsthand from reporters that they search these platforms to see who’s writing about a topic to find potential sources.
New content is also an excuse to regularly reach out to reporters.
Say you’ve got your heart set on landing a story in a top-tier publication, but so far you haven’t broken through with the reporter. Try a pitch sprinkled with content insights. Share a couple takeaways from your thought leader’s latest blog as evidence that they have nuanced commentary to offer.
What’s the right balance of information to include in your pitch? We’ve had the most success offering a broad overview in an initial email and hinting at deeper insights beneath the surface. The reporter should have to set up a call to get the really juicy stuff.
3. Use webinar and podcast appearances to get speaking engagements.
Writing isn’t the only kind of content that can fuel your PR program.
If your company produces webinars and podcasts, use those assets to prove that your thought leaders would be great picks for a speaking gig. Delivering thought leadership in audio format is a distinct art. Producers want an interesting and articulate guest, not someone who just sounds good on paper. If you have a thought leader with a track record of engaging performances, share those clips with producers of podcasts, webinars and other speaking engagements.
4. Let your customers tell their stories.
Have a customer whose experience with your company perfectly captures your value propositions? Ask them if they’re game to talk to the media.
Customer case studies are useful for sales enablement, nurturing leads, and generating media interest. Why? Three reasons:
- They tend to be less overtly promotional of your company.
- They provide tangible examples of use cases and results.
- A Fortune 500 company or industry leader in the headline grabs readers’ attention.
If your customer is willing, pitch them for stories or interviews on your company’s behalf. They won’t always say yes, but many will recognize that your case study is free PR.
Good content can organically generate inbound PR opportunities, which is reason enough to have a content marketing program. But there’s no guarantee your content will do this work on its own.
If reporters, editors, and producers don’t find your content organically, get it in front of them. Once your content has earned their respect, you’ll have built another foundation for PR: relationships.
Josh Inglis is the founder of Propllr, a Chicago-based PR and content marketing agency for startups and innovators.