Report: PR pros excluded from content marketing efforts

A recent survey revealed that although the approach is increasingly popular at organizations both large and small, public relations practitioners are often left out of the process.

Many organizations’ content marketing efforts don’t properly align with their PR strategies.

Version 2.0 Communications recently released a report called, The State of Content & PR – Optimized or Opportunity?, which revealed that more than half of communicators surveyed (52 percent) don’t think their organization maximizes its content marketing efforts.

Half of the survey’s respondents say PR pros are not consulted to promote or amplify content once it’s created—even though 42 percent of communicators believe their organizations could benefit from a “single entity” handling both content creation and amplification.

Communicators are creating several types of content, with blog posts as the most popular (94 percent), followed by videos (70 percent), case studies (62 percent) and infographics (62 percent).

However, no matter what type of content is crafted, most survey respondents (65 percent) say they have a limited or short-sighted strategy—often determined on a piece-by-piece basis.

Having a short-term content strategy can stunt the growth of your reach and distribution, make it hard to measure your success and ultimately make you work harder than you would with a long-term plan.

Having enough resources—including personnel and time—can make a different in content strategy success, too.

Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents from large organizations (those with more than 25 people on the marketing team) say they often see value from their content marketing efforts, compared with 47 percent with teams of five to 14 people, and only 35 percent in organizations with marketing teams of fewer than five people.

Communicators say they maximize their content reach with one of two approaches: dedicating resources to writing and/or designing the pieces (83 percent), or supporting content creation with PR amplification (70 percent). Those that turned to PR help lie at opposite ends of the spectrum—either in large or small organizations:

So, how can PR pros become more involved in the use of content marketing?

You must be more involved with your marketing counterparts before content is created. The survey reveals that organizations’ content creators consult PR teams on messages 62 percent of the time—and reach out to PR pros about content promotion only half the time.

Given that 75 percent of respondents say content builds brand awareness and 59 percent say it establishes leadership and expertise, PR pros should be prepared to argue for their piece of the content marketing pie.

Katelyn Holbrook, Version 2.0 Communications’ senior vice president, says:

There’s been a lot of talk about how content will change the PR industry, and this survey shows that there’s been less action when it comes to maximizing that opportunity. And it’s unfortunate, because the data demonstrates just how effective content can be at achieving results where PR shines, such as raising brand awareness.

Come armed with data and ideas, and tell your counterparts that your involvement in content decisions can help you grab more media coverage and craft better guest posts—giving them the most bang for their bucks.

Holbrook says:

PR pros need to demand a seat at the content table if they don’t already have one (our research suggests many don’t) and have an active voice in determining the themes and messaging of content, as well as how it gets promoted and amplified. If PR and content teams are operating in silos, neither will do their best work. This can be as simple as holding weekly, cross-departmental meetings to ensure both sides can weigh in on key campaigns, or as robust as creating metrics that monitor and reward collaboration and shared results.

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