How is the growth of content marketing changing PR?

Content marketing is accelerating its role in B2B marketing. And with the addition of content marketing as a key component of many companies’ communications strategies, the approach to B2B public relations (PR) has shifted as well.

As the Council of Public Relations Firms observes:

“The role of PR within B2B organizations has shifted from simply disseminating news to sharing insight relevant to core constituencies.”

This shift is even more obvious as we compare the previous mentality to today’s mentality across the various PR components of public relations.

Audience

Trade media and other journalists continue to be important to brands seeking earned media, but the number of others who have the ear of our audiences has increased significantly in recent years.

These influencers may be bloggers, analysts, industry experts or others who are trusted by potential buyers in a particular industry or market segment. Like journalists, they are important because they can help spread our messages and give them credibility.

Channel

While traditional media is still influential, we also have the opportunity to disseminate content via owned channels, such as blogs, where a journalist doesn’t serve as the gatekeeper.

We’ve found that owned media can even help strengthen relationships with the media by demonstrating knowledge and expertise.

Content Type

Press releases used to be the industry standard to share information about a company. While they are still a viable option for disseminating newsworthy announcements, the ways to communicate with audiences continues to grow: blogs, ebooks, infographics, videos, slide presentations, etc.

Now, it’s common for one story to be turned into mulitple forms of content to match the preferences of the entire target audience.

“Searchability”

There was a time when PR pros didn’t think about search engine optimization at all and were hyperfocused on direct contact to media. Then they overcorrected, and for a period of time press releases were being written to drive up rankings through strings of keywords.

Today, there is a balance. SEO continues to be an important goal of PR, but it is achieved with quality, relevant content and earned back links from domains that have authority.

Measurement

The old ad value equivalency, or AVE measurement, has fallen out of favor. This is a practice that uses advertising rates to calculate the “value” of a clip or media mention.

AVE is being replaced by outcome measurements, such as website traffic, leads, social engagement, search rankings, reputation and revenue. This transition means we’re using technology more frequently to determine the true impact of PR efforts and spend.

PR remains an important way to build awareness, influence reputation and promote thought leadership, but with the growth of content marketing and its intersection with public relations, the overall approach has had to change.

What questions do you have about the role PR plays in today’s world? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

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