Many companies that have embraced content marketing engage in public relations, too. The two activities are still often conducted separately, which is unfortunate as public relations can be very important for content marketers.
Traditionally, public relations has been all about ‘earned’ media, with stories pitched to journalists to get them in the media. The focus was on creating awareness, image and reputation. Content marketing is mainly centred on ‘owned’ media, such as company websites, newsletters and magazines, and concentrates primarily on branded content – stories that the company itself can fully control.
Today the two approaches – ‘earned’ and ‘owned’ media – should be reinforcing each other, together with ‘paid’ media, the traditional playing field of advertising agencies. The attention that public relations pays to earned media is of great value to the content marketers. By drawing attention to earned media, public relations can increase owned-media traffic considerably. Public relations therefore contributes to the development of an owned-media audience and, in turn, to the growth of the customer base. A good content strategy comprises both earned and owned media.
Earned media more effective
Earlier this year, a Nielsen study on behalf of inPowered illustrated the importance of earned media. It observed that expert content from reliable sources on earned media is far more effective than branded content at all stages of the purchasing cycle. The reason for this is simple: external experts are more credible than company ones and appear far more impartial. This doesn’t lessen the importance of owned media. They remain a vital link as a converting channel. However, particularly in the first stages of the purchasing cycle, earned media can play an extremely important role, creating context and attracting traffic to owned media.
There are many reasons why content marketing and public relations belong together. The different types of expertise involved in these two storytelling disciplines complement each other. Content marketers tend to have more experience with lead generation, conversions and content optimisation based on measurements than their colleagues in public relations. PR specialists are more adept at developing relationships with experts and journalists, and they’re often naturals at social media. So it’s high time that there was some cross-pollination.
Cypres develops content strategies integrating earned, owned and paid media for maximum effectiveness.
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