Times are changing for public relations, and the world of public relations needs to change in response. According to the American Society of News Editors, the number of full-time professional news jobs at newspapers declined by 14,600 between 2007 and 2012. Readership is declining for traditional media, while use of social and mobile platforms are increasing. So there are fewer journalists to pitch stories, and fewer people are reading the information presented in traditional media.
So how should your public relations strategy evolve? One solution is to increase your brand publishing. In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. A strong content marketing strategy can position your business as a rich source of information, and you won’t need to depend on local or trade press as much to get your messages out. A well-thought-out blog can get reach that equals or exceeds a trade publication, without the cost and effort of placing ads and pitching stories.
Content marketing can also provide an entry point to reach the media as well. Informative and well-researched content that is optimized for search engines and publicized through social media, puts your company in the forefront when journalists are looking for stories or statistics. Some of the ways you can get your story to media outlets include:
Pitch story ideas to specific contacts. This is familiar territory for PR professionals. Build a contact list by researching trade publications and professional associations in your industry. In addition to those more traditional outlets, look for industry blogs and other online publishing opportunities. Ask for information on their editorial calendars or publication schedules, and share your own. With this information, you can craft customized media “pitches” that are actually more like partnerships.
Look for bylined article, content partnership, and guest posting opportunities. Remember that statistic about declining numbers of journalists? That means they can use all the help they can get, particularly if they don’t have to write the copy themselves. If you’ve proven you’re a solid content resource with thoughtful and relevant content, you may well be able to establish a relationship to get your content to a wider audience.
Apply for industry awards and speaking engagements. Both these options position your company as a credible resource for expertise within your industry, and get your messages out to new audiences.
Public relations is, at its core, telling stories to specific audiences to influence their perceptions and behavior. That means public relations and content marketing aren’t really very far apart at all. The same communication and messaging skills that are used in public relations are used for content marketing. If you’re interested in getting your messages out to a wider audience, contact On Target Web Solutions. We have the content and media expertise you need to create compelling stories and deliver them to the best audience for your brand.
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