In past years, PR programs have been primarily driven by traditional earned media strategies – submission of product news and pitches to magazine editors. The borders between paid, owned and earned are becoming less black & white and we’re seeing a shift toward content marketing amplification. As the role of PR in communications plans evolves, so must our skills.
This evolution requires strategies related to content creation, influencer relations, social media and thought leadership. PR’s job is to create unique ways for telling a company’s or brand’s story, knowing the trends and challenges the targets seek insight on and turning brands and executives into industry resources and thought leaders. PR programs should extend beyond traditional efforts as part of the larger marketing mix. Big ideas must be executed across paid, owned and earned to ensure success beyond a media hit.
As the saying goes, “content is king” and creating content strategies is not unlike pitching traditional media stories. You must understand how to connect with the audience and create relevant and engaging content no matter the distribution method. The key is to leverage client expertise to generate valuable, sharable content and identify all applicable touchpoints for distribution. And share everywhere!
A word-of-mouth endorsement from the right influencer can be powerful and could result in new business leads. For this reason, it’s important to cultivate influencer relationships. Creating your company’s own sphere of influence via an advisory board can create a great customer insight conduit, forming a group of brand advocates. Offer influencers an insider’s view of the company by sharing business-building insights, testing new products and requesting feedback. And recognize them for their advocacy by weaving influencers into your communications programs. Win, win!