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Why your content strategy is harming your PR

James Barnes 08-Feb-2019 08:49:03
Is your content strategy is harming PR

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, is often credited with the line "quality means doing it right when no one is looking".

Of course he was talking in the context of assembly lines and how in small, relatively inconsequential moments, the quality of work might go unnoticed. But, in the end, the quality would shine through as every piece built a strong and successful final product that spoke volumes on his company's dedication to detail.

So what has this got to do with content and tech PR?

Well let’s look at how today’s world works and how we build a company profile. It's easier than ever to post content online, be it social media, blogs, or press releases. As well as generating leads, boosting SEO and Google rankings often sits behind the strategy to produce content.

It’s commendable and we certainly endorse having an opinion on the hot topics of the day, especially the ones that are central to your business operations, and ones the press are talking about.

Well-structured opinion will build credibility with your audience and illustrate why they should work with you. The aim should be to engage your audience with thought provoking copy that they will be drawn to because they see you as an expert in your field. In fact, when you get it spot on they will actively seek out your opinion, buy from you and recommend you.

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Creating a successful content strategy

A good content strategy will complement a tech PR programme and will improve the ROI of your PR activity. Opinions will be consistent across the two, and above all it will be something people will be interested in knowing more about.

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However, there can be a temptation to get overexcited when you see how successful a content strategy is and start to flood the internet with content that’s imperfect. It’s at this point that the well-crafted quality coverage you’ve worked hard to achieve in your PR programme starts to be diluted. People are left wondering how you are still relevant to them, and at worst, switch off completely.

In many ways it's like Ford's early assembly line, with lots of individual high quality parts you can build something bigger. Have lots of pieces that aren’t quite perfect and you run the risk of creating an inferior car. Ford's philosophy depended on the care and attention shown to each individual part. A lack of quality at any stage would lessen the overall experience.

It can be a hard message to sell into senior teams, but fewer pieces of content can actually be a good thing. If you know your audience will read specific types of content and are likely to share it then that’s where your focus should be.

High value content

It’s a good exercise to consider what problems your audience has and identify how you can solve them. You can then produce content that will be of high value to them, especially if you put maximum effort into making sure it is a high quality resource they will want to return to. Run it along side high quality opinion in the press and you are on to a winner.

And bear in mind that it's not just a human interpretation, Google will also take note of where your content appears. If it's considered low-quality then it could lead to a slide down the search rankings.

That’s why we often recommend to our clients that they start with identifying the tech PR messages they want to be famous for first and use the coverage they achieve to inform the content they post online.

Getting your PR strategy right takes time, and with PR you have to have a good understanding of media outlets and each journalist you pitch to if you want your high-quality content to get to the right audience.

To get your message across, you could consider:

  • Identifying and researching your target outlets and reporters by reading articles and searching for recent news based on your keywords and messages.
  • Planning announcements well in advance and contacting target journalists early in case they have additional questions.
  • Identifying your key messages on the hot topics so you can respond to opportunities or questions from the press quickly.
  • Learning your contacts' interests, for example through Twitter, to understand the angles they are looking for.

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