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Public relations and content marketing are two very different departments that do very different things—or so you think.

Although each department has different responsibilities, it’s essential to note that the two can create an unstoppable marketing powerhouse.

While both public relations and content marketing deal with the creation and distribution of information, they do it in two very different ways. When combined, each of these methods can be used to solidify your marketing efforts across multiple channels. Read on to discover how.

Marketing channels

Source: Smart Insights

Public relations focus on building mutually beneficial relationships, while content marketing focuses on building relationships between a brand and its audience. When compared, they share one crucial job: sharing content.

Public relations and content marketing aren’t mutually exclusive.

A public relations specialist is very different from a content creator. Neither one can adequately replace the other. However, they can work together to help create an unstoppable marketing powerhouse.

Public relations and content marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. However, they’re very different areas of expertise and deserve to be defined independently of one another.

Defining content marketing

Content marketing is a specific marketing approach. It focuses on the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable content that’s put out consistently. This consistency helps to both attract and retain a defined targeted audience. Content marketing drives a customer to take action, like clicking a link in an email or downloading a report.

Content marketing process

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Defining public relations

According to the Public Relations Society of America, Inc., public relations is defined as a strategic communication process that helps to build mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its audience.

 The difference between public relations and advertising

Source: Forbes

Public relations and content marketing: better together

Public relations and content marketing are two very different strategies in business. They both have massive potential in helping a brand reach its goals. However, to create that marketing powerhouse mentioned earlier, they need to play well together.

While you won’t be able to combine these strategies all the time, there are many ways in which public relations and content marketing can support one another.

Public relations and content marketing have shared goals.

Public relations and content marketing have very different methods; however, they share many of the same goals. When done right, both departments share goals such as:

  • Reaching a precisely defined target audience
  • Creating/sharing media that captures the attention of the public
  • Amplifying a brand awareness
  • Generating new leads
  • Fostering relationships between industry experts/influencers

To reach these goals, public relations and content marketing should work together. Not only to come up with valuable, sharable content, but create a list of possible partners that your brand can work with. These can include businesses that share your values, and industry influencers that can help you expand on our reach.

Public relations can help validate your current content.

Marketing teams often overlook the fact that you can use your public relations outlets to help validate your current content.

Public relations specialists have access to media outlets that the standard marketing team doesn’t. A press release is defined as an official, written statement that communicates specific, brief information about a product, event, or other circumstances. News outlets use these statements to formulate news stories and get them out to the public.

When it comes to receiving information, people tend to trust their favorite news outlets more than they typically trust a brand. When trying to build brand awareness, not only is sharing information via your site vital, but it’s also essential to get these news outlets and media influencers sharing your news as well. This way, your audience feels as if the information you’re sharing is valid and worth knowing.

For example, eMarketer recently published a post stating that the brand Target finally made it onto the top U.S. ecommerce ranking list. In their report, they included several stats and graphs to help prove standings. Now, this blog was shared on their website on February 23, 2020. The very next day, they published a press release that not only shared the same title as their blog, but included the same text as the initial article.

Top 10 U.S. Companies ranked by retail ecommerce sales share 2020 Press Release

Source: eMarketer Newsroom

So why share the same information in the form of a press release? Once the press release was sent out, more outlets started printing similar stories. To prove credibility, those outlets must link back to the original source, which helps eMarketer to build authority on the subject.

The right content can help generate press.

Just like the right press can help you produce great content, the same is true of the reverse. Say you have a new product launching and you excitedly share the news on your website’s blog. From there, a few different things can happen:

  • You take your blog content and turn it into a press release
  • Someone reaches out to you to share your big news

For example, Campaign Monitor recently announced that it joined forces with Conversio. They also announced that they worked side by side to create an all-new product: CM Commerce. Excited to share the big news, officials took to the brand’s blog to announce the purchase of Conversio and the new CM Commerce platform.

Campaign Monitor CM Commerce Blog

Source: Campaign Monitor

From there, not only was an official press release sent out, but multiple other blogs and other media outlets began sharing the big news.

Campaign Monitor CM Commerce Announcements

Source: Business Wire/CM Commerce(formerly Conversio)

As the news continues to spread, your brand awareness potential starts to skyrocket. Again, the more sources that report on your content, the more backlinks are created.

Creates a shared platform for sharing ideas

Now, we mentioned that both public relations and content marketing share several different goals. The primary shared goal between the two is the creation and distribution of content, so it’d make sense that, by working together, public relations and content marketing could create a platform for sharing ideas.

For instance, when it comes to creating new, shareable content, your public relations and content marketing teams could get together and create an idea board or editorial calendar of sorts. This would be a place where the two groups could brainstorm content ideas and see where they’d be best suited to go:

  • Marketing content
  • P.R. content
  • Content that falls under both

Some great content ideas could include:

  • Social blog editorial calendar
  • Infographics
  • Webinar announcements
  • eBooks
  • Industry reports and more

Once the ideas have been put onto an editorial calendar, teams from various departments can pull which ones they’re most suited for. When there’s information that can be shared in multiple ways, such as an industry report, then teams will have to take turns pulling information from the final piece.

In the example of the eMarketer report from earlier, the content marketing team had to do the research and create the piece. Once the article was complete, the public relations team could pull the share-worthy fragments of information from it. The final piece would be a trending piece of industry news.

Can help boost your search engine optimization

Finally, one area that many brands neglect to notice is just how vital search engine optimization is, for both their public relations and content marketing materials. And, while marketing teams understand that sharable content needs to be properly optimized for search engines, not everyone has caught on to the fact that press releases can and should be optimized as well.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a piece of content not only to be found on search engines, such as Bing and Google, but to increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to a brand’s website through organic search engine results.

Now, most marketing teams understand how to do this for their landing pages and blog content. However, it’s essential to understand that press releases have gone digital as well.

That means your public relations team needs to properly optimize their press releases with the right keywords to be found by the right audience members.

In the example press release below, we automatically see that it was optimized for those searching for the keywords digital marketing and marketing.

Example of an SEO optimized press release

Source: P.R. Newswire

Public relations specialists are great at putting together the facts. However, they may not understand all that goes into SEO optimization. This is where teaming up with your content marketing team can help. They know exactly what goes into the optimization process.

Wrap up

Public relations (P.R.) and content marketing are two very different areas of work. While they can both function independently of one another, combing the two can prove extremely beneficial to any brand. Not sure how these two areas can boost one another? Here are just a few ways:

  • Public relations and content marketing have several goals in common
  • P.R. can validate current content
  • Content marketing can help generate press-worthy content
  • Public relations and content marketing can create a shared idea platform
  • Combining the two can help boost your SEO

Curious what other areas work well together? Why not combine your content marketing and email marketing efforts? In this guide, we tell you how to do just that.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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