Content marketing became the rage a few years ago. It started out as more of a buzzword than an actual practice.

In the beginning, people struggled to define it. Now, we see brands adopting the practice to further their marketing initiatives and PR efforts as we move into another “Content is king” era.

For PR practitioners, the rise of content marketing has provided additional opportunities to plug what we’ve always been skilled at doing – communicating and reaching out to audiences to raise visibility, educate or promote – into the overall strategy. Veteran PR pros might say they’ve always done content marketing—now there’s a new term for it.

PR and Content Marketing – Alike? Or Different?

While some have seen a divide between the two practices, others see elements they share in common. They both increase awareness, build credibility, and boost thought leadership.

“Both groups create content, and while they have slightly different goals, both want audience reach and engagement,” says Christoph Trappe, Director of Content, Stamats Business Media and author of, Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success. “They can use each other’s content in the COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) model of content creation and publication. When they collaborate and reuse and push content to their different audiences, it can be highly effective and allow teams to constantly repurpose.” 

How PR and Content Pros Can Successfully Collaborate

In light of their similarities, let’s look at some ways PR and content marketing teams are productively working together. 

1) Generating PR through content: John Hall, CEO and co-founder, Influence & Co says that you can create PR through content.

“Imagine something exciting is happening at your company. You write about it on your blog and fill your social feeds with teasers about this big development. Someone else – perhaps a contributor for a publication in your industry – takes notice,” Hall says. “Suddenly, the content you’ve created has put you on the radar of someone with even greater reach and access to your target audience, and that’s powerful.”

2) Creating owned content: Owned content can be created by both public relations and content marketing teams.

For example, ebooks and blog posts are something that either team can create—and either can leverage. PR can give input on these projects, while the content marketing team can write them and create visuals. Then, PR can use the finished products in media pitches, speaking submissions and other initiatives to increase visibility and drive traffic.

3) Building thought leadership: Brands today are striving to be thought leaders in their space. Both PR and content marketing contribute to these initiatives.

“You attain thought leadership – the idea of being the go-to authority and trusted source for others within your industry—through the creation of in-depth content, speaking engagements, and the way you position yourself on social media – all of which blurs the lines between PR and content marketing,” says Wendy Marx, president, Marx Communications. 

4) Spurring content with PR wins: Say, for example, your PR team secures a speaking engagement for your CEO. If the topic is regarding a hot industry trend. Your content team might decide it wants to publish a series of blog posts on the topic. The blog posts are seen by a journalist who calls the CEO for a comment on a story.

Now the public relations effort has come full circle, via content marketing.

5) Grabbing content marketing ideas from press releases: When the PR team creates a press release, how can content marketers use it? They can take ideas from it to use in other initiatives, like a blog post or a video that delves further into the topic.

And vice versa. Perhaps your content marketing team has created a series of articles about ways you can refresh your home as we head into summer. Why not take some of that content to create a press release about National Home Improvement month (which happens to be in May)?

PR and Content Marketing Continue to Bridge the Gap

PR and content marketing work so well together that the relationship is sure to grow closer as the two continue to uncover ways that they are more alike than they are different. To read more about swapping tactics, download our free ebook on the topic now.

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