Back in the day, paid media was the best way to market products and services. Fast-forward a few years, and effective marketing has started to look a lot like brand journalism.
Here’s the thing, though: simply creating your own branded content is not enough. With so many resources published online, it gets increasingly harder to stand out and get noticed by potential customers.
To get your content (and, ultimately, your brand) in front of the right people, you don’t only need a solid content marketing strategy—but one that includes PR activities as well.
In this article, I’m going to cover the following:
Let’s dive right in.
PR vs. Content Marketing – What’s the Difference?
As defined by the Public Relations Society of America, PR is about influencing, engaging, and building a relationship with key stakeholders across numerous platforms to shape and frame the public perception of an organization. Quite frequently, this happens by creating and distributing newsworthy content.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Interestingly, to promote their content and increase their reach, marketers often leverage PR tactics.
Even though PR and content marketing are slightly different, they have the same foundation: consistent storytelling that aligns with the brand and is tailored to a specific target audience. Their end goals—attracting customers, and making them love your brand—are also intertwined.
By combining these two, you’re giving yourself a chance to amplify your reach, increase brand awareness, build thought leadership, and even generate consumer demand in the process. And that’s not everything.
How Can PR Support Your Content Marketing Strategy?
There are quite a few ways in which PR supports content marketing. Here are the top 5 reasons why content marketing and public relations should go hand in hand:
1. PR Facilitates Content Promotion
Let’s face it: with so much being published every day, even the best pieces of content can easily go unnoticed. Thanks to PR outreach, you can easily promote your data-focused, emotional, or tangential content among relevant journalists, editors, bloggers, and influencers. This way, you can get your content in front of the right people, and if it’s good enough—gain more social shares, media coverage, and a wider audience.
Interestingly, many journalists admit to finding stories on social networks or other media outlets, as discovered by broadcast specialist agency ON-Broadcast. It means that the reporters can pick up your story when you simply keep distributing it across different channels and secure guest post opportunities on reputable websites. Regular articles and press mentions will only amplify your reach in the long run.
2. PR Makes It Easier to Build Relationships With Influencers
Promoting your content among journalists and influencers is great, but PR is much more than just sending a single email pitch and hoping to get more eyes on your content pieces. In fact, it’s all about building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships. The better your PR, the easiest it gets to attract new partners.
These relationships can be a powerful force for content marketing, especially if there are influencers involved. Think of a “steady source” of media coverage, co-branded content, social media mentions, or product/service reviews. There’s no denying that working with influencers can be an effective way of scaling your content marketing efforts—which gets easier with PR knowledge & tools up your sleeve.
3. PR Helps You Become a Thought Leader
Thought leadership is one of the best examples of how PR & content marketing can intertwine. Public relations is a powerful tool for building personal brands and increasing authority through speaking engagements, interviews, media coverage, or social media presence. At the same time, it’s content marketing that helps individuals become thought leaders by publishing insightful content pieces.
When combined, PR and content marketing can help you position yourself as a thought leader and ensure consistent messaging in the process.
4. PR Improves Your Online Visibility
The bar for the quality content and backlinks you need to rank goes up all the time, but you can still outsmart Google by aligning your PR, content marketing, and SEO efforts. How so?
Digital PR is often called the new link building. When getting your content published on high authority sites, you can link back to your website (inside the content piece, or in the author’s bio). This will help you build quality backlinks, drive traffic to your site, and have a positive impact on SEO—especially if you optimize your content for search engines.
Keep in mind that any piece of content intended for online use can be optimized and potentially go all the way to the top of Google search results, including press releases. These are usually distributed by PR specialists or via newswire services, but you can easily send them out yourself with dedicated PR tools like Prowly. If they get picked up by media outlets and influencers, newsworthy press releases that link to your website offer a great opportunity to gain more visibility.
5. PR Lets You Leverage New Communication Channels
What can also enhance your organic SEO efforts is having an online newsroom with all your well-optimized press releases. Combine them with in-house announcements, messages from the founders, or other newsworthy stories—and you’ll have a brand new communication channel at your disposal.
What’s equally important, though, is that having a dedicated press room adds a sense of legitimacy to your website, makes it easier to nurture media relationships, and helps you manage your online reputation. Actually, this shared desire for PR and content marketing to manage and improve your brand’s online reputation is another reason these two go well together.
Examples of Successful PR & Content Marketing Activities
When done right, a solid foundation of strategy, PR, and content promotion basically keeps the brightest lights shining on your business all the time. Once you shine a light on your company, you should never ever go dark again, because unlike Google, the market has a very short memory.
Take a look at these few successful examples of PR & content marketing activities that have definitely shined a light on their companies.
Innovative packaging company EcoEnclose teamed up with CanIRank to translate their passion and expertise into rankings, traffic, awareness, and sales. To achieve that, they used PR, content marketing, and SEO.
The key tactics were to create content on relevant topics and keywords, and leverage EcoEnclose’s expertise to turn them into the go-to source for questions about sustainability, packaging, and everything in between.
By crafting press releases and reaching out to journalists in the sustainability space, EcoEnclose’s experts had the chance to respond to media inquiries with real stats and information, which in turn further built links, authority, and general trust.
- Growing the number of referring domains from around 150 to over 1,500,
- Delivering over 100% year-over-year revenue growth,
Going from 2,500 rankings to over 13,500, and,
Receiving regular requests from well-known brands looking for large orders.
All that in 3 years.
Orbit Media is a web design and development agency that puts a lot of effort into content creation—and it pays off. Their website attracts plenty of visitors and backlinks, and it’s mostly thanks to the originality of their content.
Apart from content marketing & SEO efforts, Orbit Media also uses PR tactics. Every year, they reach out to 1,000 bloggers with their Blogging Survey, and based on the answers, they create a comprehensive content piece with statistics, branded charts, and experts’ comments. As you might expect, the article is then extensively shared and linked to.
Apart from the survey, Orbit Media’s Co-Founder & CMO, Andy Crestodina, is a well-known thought leader who often speaks at marketing conferences and webinars, writes plenty of blog & guest posts, and even hosts a podcast. He is also the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.
Like any other marketing team, marketers at Better Proposals need backlinks to support their content efforts. To secure them, they’ve been successfully using PR tactics.
We mostly rely on well-known platforms such as HARO, SourceBottle, and JournoRequest to collect inquiries from journalists, and then we respond to them with our pitches. So far, our success rate has been pretty good, and we managed to get published on various platforms. Not only is it an opportunity for a backlink, but we also get a chance to promote our brand.
Besides getting featured in media outlets, the team behind the web-based platform for writing proposals also uses podcasts to get more attention to their business. They find relevant opportunities on Listen Notes and send about 20 pitches per month. Up to date, their CEO, Adam Hempenstall, took part in more than 20 podcasts (and still counting).
Source: Better Proposals
Start using PR to boost your content marketing efforts
Given the benefits, public relations is likely to give your content marketing strategy a boost. The good news is: from now on, you can easily combine PR and content marketing activities thanks to SEMrush & Prowly integration.
Give it a try – simply sign up to Prowly with your SEMrush credentials and start a free trial.