Content marketing is kind of a big deal. Its meteoric rise in recent years is driving companies to invest more of their advertising dollars in assets such as blogs and social media, as opposed to traditional forms of promotion – and for good reason. In-your-face sales tactics just don’t cut it anymore as people find more value in information, which is where content marketing shines.
But as the old approach to advertising has fallen by the wayside, it has left public relations in a weird state of limbo. Marketers often neglect PR because they don’t realize the impact of writing an article and approaching the press to cover the story or have any idea how to go about doing it. Even worse, many consider media relations as category separate from content marketing.
The truth is that both are as vital to the advertising world as yin is to yang, the forces in Chinese philosophy that form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the separate parts. Media relations and content marketing are complementary, interconnected and interdependent – and necessary to your promotions strategy.
Media relations is using the news or business press to publish stories that highlight a company or its products, so it’s similar to content marketing. The difference is who’s doing the publishing.
PR has more credibility because the information is coming from a third party source, instead of a business tooting its own horn. So when you have a big announcement to make, posting only to your blog isn’t the best approach. You need media relations to get the word out as well – a complement to your content marketing tactics.
Content marketing is using great storytelling to engage your audience, while media relations is all about gaining wider distribution of stories through relationships with journalists. But you make the biggest marketing splash when you connect the two.
When you combine great content with PR strategies, you’re putting compelling stories into the hands of media professionals and thought leaders. These people can give your material the boost it needs to get the public’s attention.
At the same time, the better content you publish, the easier it is to get coverage from journalists. If you excel at content creation, they may even know about your company before you reach out to them. Media relations is the business of conveying great stories to the world, so your incredible content helps these professionals do their job.
In a sense, we’re all content creators—publishing blogs, posting to social media and distributing white papers and ebooks. So what’s the point of media relations in this environment? This abundance of content marketing is exactly what makes PR more important than ever, such that the two depend upon each other.
Marketing is gaining visibility among the right people, but it’s difficult to stand out with all the content being created. And if your material isn’t seen by your target audience, you might as well not publish it at all. This is where PR comes into play—to provide the visibility your content needs. When your engaging story is covered by a journalist, it gains the attention it deserves.
So, as yin is to yang, media relations is to content marketing. Each may work individually, but they’re much more powerful as a whole, rather than separated. PR feeds off content, but content isn’t seen without PR coverage. The sooner you realize the value of integrating media relations into your content marketing strategy, the faster you’ll start seeing results with your campaigns.
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