The triple treat of content marketing, inbound marketing and brand journalism should be a default inclusion in any holistic organisational public relations strategy. This is because the internet is where people go to for information and where they are influenced; the relevance of SEO; social media helps drive SEO and viral word-of-mouth; it facilities content generation; increasingly mixed reviews on media credibility.
If we don’t use the complementary elements of triple treat, we’ll struggle to have the content to leverage organisations to their potential, no matter what the platform:
- Speaking engagements
- Trade shows/expos
- But especially – SOCIAL MEDIA.
Of course, there will be situation where the utilisation of every (or any) element of content marketing, inbound marketing and brand journalism in an organisational communication strategy will not be appropriate. But they should always be on the list of boxes to check to see if, in fact, they should be leveraged.
Inbound marketing for public relations
Inbound marketing is not about interrupting people with television ads, print publication ads or cold calling, it is about providing resources of value to target audiences (e.g. through videos that potential customers want to see, business blogs with valuable insights and other forms of content such as white papers).
This leads to prospects contacting us looking for more information and sharing thoughts and observations on our organisations through social media and other avenues. The changing landscapes of media, communication and society are making outbound techniques less effective and more expensive.
Inbound marketing is an incredibly important strategic approach that the clever communicator will integrate into a plethora of proactive issues management and reputation building activities.
Additionally, it is a definitive platform through which to promote thought leadership (a prime approach to achieve organisational differentiation). It is an unmediated form of communication, so target audiences receive information and messaging precisely the way you intended it to be received. And, at its best, it enhances the anthropomorphic qualities (human characteristics) of an organisation, which is an effective way to enhance relationships with stakeholders.
Brand journalism underpinning excellent PR
Brand journalism ramps up to a more credible, values-driven level what PR professionals have been doing since the year dot, writing about an organisation and the issues which are relevant to it and its stakeholders.
Brand journalism has become a fundamental element of public relations:
- People don’t trust the media as much as they once did (due in no small part to its trend towards under-resourcing)
- People are looking online for information before picking up a magazine or newspaper
- SEO is directing people’s enquiry to well optimised sources of information.
Enter the opportunity for organisations to be THE provider of credible information on their organisation, their issues, their industry.
As Brian Solis has said of brand journalism, ““We have to become the resource, we have to become the influencer”.
To be an effective brand journalist, you must:
- be a trustworthy, consistent news source about your organisation and its industry
- provide information that has balance, authenticity and is produced in consideration of what your stakeholders are interested in (balanced with what drives your organisation)
- recognise that an emotional connection is key when it comes to stories and journalism.
Content marketing for stakeholder management
- It includes content not generated by the organisation
- It can include content that is not necessarily ‘insightful’ or ‘high-end’
- It broadens the range of issues an organisation might offer content on
- It can increase the number of organisational employees who might speak, or represent the organisation, on certain topics.
Content is more than thought leadership. Not all content needs to be cutting edge, ground breaking etc. But it should provide value to the target audience.
By choosing some core pillars to provide original content (such as thought leadership), then having a ‘satellite’ of secondary topics where a content curation aesthetic is applied, organisations have the opportunity to have their cake and eat it too.
Excellent content educates, informs, entertains and/or inspires – all of which give you the best possible chance of engaging with stakeholders and developing advocates of them.
Other than thought leadership and curated content, options for inclusion into content marketing include:
- case studies
- employee, customer, stakeholder stories: a diversity of voices (anthropomorphising)
- 3rd party/strategic alliances content
As effective an approach as content marketing is, it is an insatiable beast. So remember to repurpose content as much as is feasible, customising it for target audience segments, to save time and get better ROI on marketing efforts.
If you’re looking for a great resource on content marketing, then I heartily recommend checking out DavidHenderson.Com.
Stop press: In a couple of weeks a new, free whitepaper will be launched on this blog called The Holy Trinity of public relations: thought leadership, 3rd party credibility and strategic alliances. Spread the word! #PRholytrinity
Do you include the triple treat methodologies in your organisational public relations or marketing strategy? How does your organisation offer insights and value to stakeholders that doesn’t have the explicit objective of turning a buck? Are you a good (make that an excellent) brand journalist? If so, share your secrets!
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