Label PRomotion | Content Marketing, PR Complement One Another

Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I recently read an article on the Content Marketing Institute website entitled, “The Role of PR and Content Marketing in 2015.”

Essentially, the article by Jean Spencer, content marketing manager and writer at Kapost content management company, advances the idea that companies need both content marketing—fundamentally self-published information on a company-controlled/owned platform such as a blog—and PR, requiring the buy-in of a credible outside media outlet to profile/feature the company in some way. Uh, okay, is this a novel concept? Not hardly.

But, you would think so by reading further. Spencer notes, “We just hired our first full-time PR person…When we were hiring for the position, I remember cautiously warning each candidate we interviewed, ‘We’ve never really had an [official PR person] on the team. Historically, it’s been our philosophy to avoid traditional marketing tactics…Our company is a firm believer in pure content marketing.”

Apparently, that mindset is changing. Spencer continues, “The best answer is a mixture of PR and content marketing…Content marketing is the golden child of modern marketing – driving long-term thought leadership, page-rank advantage, and nurtured trust between a buyer and a brand. But PR plays an invaluable, complementary role.”

Of course it does. And always has. It’s just that the “content marketing” of decades ago—much of it collateral and other print pieces—has become housed primarily on digital platforms, enabling exponentially greater applications, distribution, and influence. With this has come an awareness of the need for lots of really good content that, yes, isn’t overly self-serving.

But, the basics that made PR valuable decades ago still stand. Having what amounts to a third-party endorsement via legitimate media builds credibility and brand awareness, versus the often self-serving taint of company blogposts and the like. Spencer addresses this accurately when she writes, “If your CEO announces on your blog that the new ‘X’ feature is going to change the game, maybe 20% of people will believe it. But, if a major news outlet publishes your CEO’s announcement that the new ‘X’ feature is going to change the game in your industry, a majority of people will believe it. So, those of you resolving in 2015 to rev up your reputation and credibility with the marketplace may want to consider a few starter tips when it comes to “content management” and PR:

  • Whether you’re pitching a story to a publication or writing a blogpost, make it compelling and valuable to the reader. Spencer notes, “Whether it’s a PR pitch for The New York Times or a Tuesday blog post, your stories should have a unique perspective. Reporters don’t want to cover the same old thing every day, and your audience doesn’t want to read crud.”
  • Map out a strategy encompassing both content management and PR. If properly considered, you’ll see that much of the content developed for one can be repurposed for the other. (Just avoid duplicate content to prevent getting dinged by the search engines.) Too often, these areas are viewed as mutually exclusive. They are anything but. You can get a lot more bang for the buck, and spend less time, by making each effort do double, triple, even quadruple duty.
  • Match the media target to the audience as much as possible. Obviously, a laudatory article in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal carries considerable influence and will build credibility. But, that’s not the norm. So, look at media that target one or more of your key marketplace audiences. If you have a major printing presence in the wine industry, look at publications appealing to this target audience. That said, any legitimate media story will build some credibility, even if it’s in a local community newspaper. Look at a variety of options and determine what’s doable from a realistic perspective.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is president of Lusky Enterprises Inc., a marketing communications and content development company. Since 2008, he has worked with Lightning Labels, a Denver-based all-digital custom label printing company, as a content developer specializing in expert advice articles. Lusky presents common-sense ideas grounded in doing what’s real and right for managing and enhancing public image.

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