Exploring the Convergence of PR, Journalism and Marketing

Photo courtesy of Tech Cocktail

Photo courtesy of Tech Cocktail

PR practitioners used to have it easy! Remember the good ‘ol days when it was all about our media relationships and campaigns were linear, like this?

  • Step 1: Work with client on strategy; get content.
  • Step 2: Pitch content to media; get placement.

Ok, that’s simplifying things quite a bit, but you know what we mean.

Now, though, the entire landscape has changed with the explosion of the Internet, which has removed virtually all barriers to publication. Suddenly we’re responsible not only for the message, but also the mode and the medium, which follows more of a vicious cycle:

  • Step 1: Coordinate with client on strategy.
  • Step 2: Create actual content, which could be anything from case studies and white papers to blogs, eBooks, guides and all kinds of other collateral.
  • Step 3: Publish content, which runs the gamut from media placements, company blog posts, contributed articles, events and more.
  • Step 4: Promote content via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
  • Step 5: Interact with community on various platforms, reacting, responding and re-adjusting your course, as needed.
  • Step 6: Start from the beginning and do it all over again!

Software Advice‘s article on The B2B Marketing Mentor does a great job of explaining the creation and importance of this new kind of role that merges marketing, PR and journalism functions.

In an nutshell, since we now play a larger part in the production of content (journalism), we’re no longer simply pitching and promoting it (PR), but are challenged to leverage it as a strategic tool for lead generation and brand awareness (marketing).

The only problem is that, well, everyone else is doing the same thing, which means it’s pretty noisy out there as we all compete for the time and attention of our audiences.

That’s where the shift to “inbound” comes in; it’s an offshoot of content marketing that focuses on aligning content with customer interest so that they are “pulled” toward your company, rather than the old-school spray-and-pray methods.

We’ve embraced this, both in theory and in action, with our clients. In fact, we recently attending the Inbound Marketing Summit in San Francisco and the Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston where we talked about how it’s not about being the loudest; it’s about having the right content for the right audience at the right time.

Put simply, the only way we can guarantee our clients are in the media nowadays it to help them become  the media. Content has become their new currency when attracting, engaging, converting and retaining customers.

Savvy PR professionals are embracing their status as content custodians. But the most successful ones will recognize the beauty in marketing’s ability to measure return and directly tie to their clients’ bottom line.

Brilliant Example Of Engagement Reminds Us All To Keep Pushing The Envelope

bodyformTo say that the lines between PR, media and marketing are blurred is putting it mildly. What was once about facilitating and gatekeeping has now become a creative free-for-all as more brands step into the role of content makers to try to strike a chord with their respective audiences.

As an agency, we’re constantly thinking about best practices among the complimentary disciplines, along with how we can leverage a combination of them most effectively for our clients.

One of the more recent discussions was around engagement on social media. While we’re all familiar with it from a personal perspective, it’s still an area that can be a challenge from a business standpoint.

Even though there’s a general understanding among brands that social media is a marketing tool that can help them reach out to their customers, it can be difficult to convince them to loosen the reins and fully harness their network’s power to unlock the true potential.

Bodyform 1But rather than brainstorming something like a list of the “10 tips for better social media engagement,” we simply wanted to show an example of the magic in action in this video from UK maxipad maker Bodyform, made late last year. The company created it in response to a man’s tongue-in-cheek “rant” on their Facebook wall, claiming that he’s been lied to about the “happy periods” depicted in their ads over the years.

What might make some brand managers bury their heads in the sand to avoid addressing, Bodyform embraced as an opportunity to get a conversation, ahem, flowing in its community.

“We found Richard’s post very amusing and wanted to continue the positive dialogue around periods that this generated,” said Yulia Kretova, brand controller for Bodyform, in a statement. “…Breaking down the taboo around Bodyform and periods has always been a challenge, and I hope that we have started to address this.”
The result? Well, not only did it delight fans and followers, but the video went viral, and we’re still talking about it months later as a hilarious – and effective – example of engagement at its best.

While the saying “no publicity is bad publicity” will always be up for debate, there’s no denying that any kind of feedback – even negative – can be a major opportunity in social media to convert its loudest naysayers into its most fervent fans. And that’s something none of us should overlook – period.

Summer Fun at IMS13 With PerkettPR – Get Your Schwag With Bite

ActualSharksIf you’re attending IMS in San Francisco today, please be sure to find our own Jennifer Hellickson, who will be giving away these cool shark bottle openers to the first 100 folks to connect with her. We’re having some fun at the show by combining our love of summer, Shark Week and our intent on delivering killer marketing. Find Jennifer at the show (hint: follow her or us on Twitter to help you do so) and you will also get directions on how to enter a chance to win our $100 gift card drawing, which will be announced on Friday, August 2 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST on Google+, so join us there, too.

If you’re not at IMS this week, take heart! We also thought it would be fun to share some shark trivia, so follow along today and tomorrow on Twitter or Facebook and test your shark knowledge. We’ll be randomly choosing five online folks to receive a complimentary bottle opener as well. (Hint, you could increase your chances by tweeting with @PerkettPR and #killermarketing in your tweets!)

Enjoy learning at IMS, San Francisco, and contact us if you need help taking a bigger bite out of the industry with #killermarketing strategies.

Persuasive Picks For Week Of 6/17/13

hashtag1The popularity of the hashtag (#) has just received another boost with the recent news that Facebook will now be rolling them out to users. While most of us are familiar with hastags and their rise to fame on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, their background and meaning remains shrouded in internet lore. Who created the hashtag? Why is it called a pound sign, number sign, and a host of other names? And when we use them, are they actually helpful? EContent‘s Jose Castillo explains The Humble History of the Hashtag #And #Why #It #Matters.

Social media can level the playing field between industry leaders and upstarts, between multinational corporation executives and small-business owners, making peers of all participants. So what makes the difference between a following of 500 and a following of 500,000? Brian Patrick Eha, Assistant Editor at Entrepreneur.com, provides 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know culled from darlings of the current social media landscape. Use these tips to increase your influence and make a direct impact on your business strategy.

types-of-social-media-followers-peekTake a look at how many fans your company has on its social platforms. Now, look at how many of those fans are active and how they interact with your brand. There are all types of fans to consider; the casual liker, the deal seeker, and of course the ranters. So what other types of social media fans exist? MarketingProfs‘ Verónica Maria Jarski posts an infographic that provides profiles and suggestions for reaching various fan types in Seven Types of Social Media Fans and How to Engage With Them [INFOGRAPHIC].

Relatively recently, YouTube made a change to their ranking algorithm to favor watch time, which means the longer you can keep viewers tuned in to your videos, the higher they will rank in search. This doesn’t mean, however that you should make lots of long-form videos of 15 minutes or more. Watch time simply means the length of time your videos keep a viewer on the site. In ReelSEO‘s latest “Creator’s Tip #96″ How to Increase YouTube Watch Time by Linking to Playlists, host Tim Schmoyer offers this subtle method to get viewers watching more videos per session.

Persuasive Picks For Week Of 6/3/13

many-suited-businessmen-300x168Knowing how to convey tone in your online writing – including blogs, Tweets, Facebook posts, pins, etc. – is to know your business inside and out. SocialMediaToday’s Kylie Robertson asks readers “If your business were a person, what would it look like?”- stressing the importance of personality, because that’s what your company will be perceived as online: a person. Read more about writing with the right tone in mind in Who Does Your Company Sound Like? Finding Your Tone in Social Media Writing

Social media and blogging has gone from being an activity we started just for  fun and pleasure, to a more serious business. If you need to market and monetize your business, personal brand, website or blog to take advantage of the opportunities, then you need the right tools, resources and advice to guide you. But the explosion of websites, apps, tools and resources online is often confusing. Business2Community contributor Jeff Bullas narrows it down to 39 Awesome Tools and Resources for Blogging and Social Media Marketing.

emailA recent survey of more than 1,000 mobile device users found that for the first time ever, email is the primary reason people are using smartphones. What’s more, emails from brands are second only to personal recommendations when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions on mobile devices. What does that mean for marketers? Michael Truby at PRDaily explains Why Email Is A Key Element Of Mobile Marketing and notes a few key factors to keep in mind.

When marketers list the types of content they’re producing, many put a check next to the box titled “webinars.” These online presentations have been used effectively for many years, and the webinar’s popularity has surged with the decline of tradeshows during the recent recession. But Marketing Automation Evangelist Mathew Sweezey points out that Only 16 Percent of B2B Consumers Prefer Live Webinars, and suggests that implementing three essential techniques will help you earn more ROI out of each webinar and increase lead generation significantly. – via ClickZ