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Written by Rob Smith
Three years ago we created the position of head of content within Brand8 PR. We believe we were the first pure play PR agency in Leeds to do so.
Why did we do it? Because we regard content marketing as an evolution of public relations enabled by the proliferation of mobile devices and increasingly faster and more available connectivity. It means people carry businesses and brands around with them everywhere, all of the time.
Classic public relations often involves reputation management via media relations. This entails disseminating key messages through respected third party media outlets, whilst content marketing allows direct communication with target audiences via text, video and imagery.
In addition, public relations activity and content marketing both contribute directly to effective search engine optimisation and provide powerful source material for social media activity.
The opportunity we saw was to combine content marketing with reputation management to provide an enhanced public relations service which delivers greater commercial effectiveness.
It means we can create enhanced emotional engagement with a brand’s target audiences, underpinned by the rational benefits of improved online visibility and the leads and enquiries that generates.
At Brand8 PR, we developed a four stage process to integrate our PR and content marketing activity. Comprising Generation, Creation, Amplification and Evaluation, it sits at the heart of our strategic and tactical campaign activity.
We have also designed, and are currently rolling out, a proprietary measurement system called Evalu8, which links media coverage, website performance, social media activity and content marketing with commercial outcomes.
We are excited by the opportunities that a continually evolving integrated PR and content marketing offer provides our clients, and at their appetite to adopt our approach.
From our perspective, PR and content marketing are intrinsically linked. To separate them is to make the same mistake that people did in the noughties by differentiating online and offline PR.
Today, PR and content marketing should be integrated and applied as one and the same.