In 2018 compelling content is at the centre of a solid public relations strategy.
The days of mass sending press releases for all company updates are over. Now the goal of content in your PR strategy is to inform and educate your audience – while promoting your organisation.
This is especially relevant as analysts point to the convergence of content marketing and public relations. And this trend offers increased opportunities for PR professionals to communicate. When done right, you’re positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry and a trusted source of information.
There are a few tools and systems you can use to make sure you consistently generate relevant and valuable content.
Google Trends provides a snapshot of what’s trending in search worldwide, and right down in country-level. You’re also able to track a specific keyword and check its search volume over a specific period, e.g the past six or 12 months.
A spike in volumes for a certain keyword in your industry could point to a bigger story – and an opportunity for your organisation to communicate original and relevant insights. It also allows you to participate meaningfully in a popular discussion, boosting the visibility of your brand.
2. Check commemorative days
It’s a good idea to mark relevant commemorative days on your editorial calendar. For instance, if your brand is a known advocate of environmentally responsible business practices, World Earth Day is a great time to speak about the biggest challenges in your space and how your customers can be a part of the solution. If you’re an all-natural cosmetics firm, World Earth Day is a platform to discuss potentially harmful ingredients and offer helpful alternatives.
The key is to make sure the holiday is relevant to your brand. In this way, commemorative days can add value to your public relations strategy.
Hubspot has listed global holidays across several industries in this guide.
3. Industry reports
Industry reports are rich sources of information. You should keep track of these updates to make sure you are aware of developments shaping your industry. This also applies to research commissioned or conducted by your own company.
Once you’ve read through the report, you are also able to weigh in with practical comments on its key findings. Larger studies with new insights are frequently covered by several news outlets and reporters would often want to include stories from firms to add depth to the piece.
Keep an eye out for government reports and new studies from research organisations in your field.
4. Project updates
Large organisations often communicate on the launch of major projects that are in the public interest. A government unit might run a country-wide campaign calling for applications for a new business support programme. Similarly, a landmark building could let residents know of renovations.
Proactively communicating on projects like these can be regular fixtures on your calendar, and keeps your audience informed on the progress of the project.
5. Social listening
Most PR professionals in 2018 are – or plan to be – active on social media. Social listening is one step beyond social media monitoring. With social listening, you’re placing your organisation in an ideal position to participate in conversations about your industry.
Services like Hootsuite will update a stream of specific keywords for your industry, flagging opportunities for engagement. Through this process, you could identify communications opportunities. You might want to respond to a common question in your industry with a detailed and informative blog post, or a live video on the social media channel where the discussion is most active. There are several free social listening tools you can use to boost your public relations strategy.
By using a combination of these tools and systems, you should be able to plan ahead for a few content generation opportunities throughout the year.
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