In his article, Public Relations is not the Same as Media Relations, David Meerman Scott (@dmscott) explains how organizations no longer need to rely on mainstream media to tell their stories. He says:
“Many PR professionals still operate as if their only conduit is mainstream media ... [However] In this new world, smart PR pros realize they have a tremendous opportunity if they can effectively communicate directly with the public. They are transforming themselves into content creators.”
At PR 20/20, we think David is right on the money. By marrying blogging and traditional PR, you can:
- Share your story direct with target audiences, bloggers and reporters, and
- Build and nurture personal relationships with these individuals.
Read on for tips on how to create the perfect content/PR love affair.
Communicate Directly with Your Audience
A blog provides you with an opportunity to communicate directly with your target audiences (customers, prospects, employees, investors, etc.), without having to rely on traditional media to relay the story for you.
By publishing your news, insights and stance on topics and trends relevant to your audiences online, you can guarantee that you are part of these critical conversations.
Share your posts, as relevant, in online social communities and with your customers and prospects to amplify your reach and thought leadership. For example:
- Link to posts within related answers on LinkedIn and Q&A websites.
- Share posts via social networks to promote them to your community.
- Reference posts in blog comments.
- Email posts directly to those who may be interested in the topic / your stance.
An added benefit is that traditional media often rely on the Internet for story research. Therefore, blogging about a particular topic increases the likelihood that reporters will find, and potentially cover, your point of view.
Support Media Pitches and Speaking Applications
As we mentioned in our blog post, How to Use Content to Propel Public Relations, blog posts can be used to demonstrate your expertise in a particular subject, making media and speaking pitches stronger.
For example, at PR 20/20, we used the blog post, Pinterest: An Introduction for Marketers, to demonstrate our knowledge on the emerging social network and land a spot on Cleveland morning show, Good Company.
Nurture Influencer Relationships
Blogging, paired with social networking, provides an additional avenue for more personal outreach and relationship building. Examples include:
- If a reporter or blogger writes a story or blog post relevant to your company or areas of expertise, respond. Leave a comment with your own take on the topic, and a link to relevant blog posts you have written. This will make the writer more familiar with your company and stance for future stories.
- When writing posts, source reporters and bloggers with links back to their stories. If actively monitoring their name and inbound links, media will find your post—again improving brand awareness. Note: PR 20/20 commonly links to trusted media and bloggers in our weekly curated posts to not only share great information with our community, but also to connect with the writers themselves.
- When sharing posts on social networks that were heavily influenced by or source influencers, be sure to tag the individuals in your updates.
By regularly sourcing, sharing and commenting on influencer content, you demonstrate that you are an avid reader/watcher/listener, and view them as a trusted resource. This way, if you reach out the reporter down the road, they are already familiar with you and your company; increasing the odds they will be receptive of your pitch.
Reach New Audiences with Guest Articles
Sometimes publications and popular blogs don’t have the time or staff available to cover a particular story (no matter how enticing the topic is), or are looking for an insider’s perspective. To support their content, they may accept guest blog posts and articles from industry experts.
Research target publications and blogs to see if this opportunity exists, reach out to gauge interest with an abstract, and then pitch them full stories. (Be sure to adhere to writer’s guidelines when doing so.) Note: Even if your guest post isn’t accepted, you can still publish it on your own blog to get the message out.
What Strategies Do You Use?
How do you use blogging to support public relations? What successes have you seen? Comments welcome below.
Image Source: Aunt Owwee
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