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A PR Guide for Content Marketers

A presentation for the 2nd Annual Content Marketing Conference (April 23 & 24, 2013 at the Old Mill, Toronto)
by

Brian Rosevear

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of A PR Guide for Content Marketers

What does PR have to do with Content Marketing? We pretty much invented Content Marketing. The first press release was issued by Ivy Lee in 1906. It was a public statement from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company issued to journalists in conjunction with a train accident near Atlantic City. Press Release
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timely content content content content One of PR's core competencies is to generate media coverage (user generated content) by providing information and resources (content) to a targeted audience (journalists). Our methods include: written (press releases, matte stories, corporate backgrounders, fact sheets), audio (audio news releases, phone interviews), and visual content (photos, videos, information graphs) that is produced specifically for journalists. It's produced in a specific style and convention that makes it appealing to journalists who are looking to build stories for their audience.

If you haven't explored the possibilities an online newsroom could open for your organization: you should. It's one of the simplest ways to supercharge your PR programs and compliment to your
direct-to-consumer content marketing strategy. Online
Pressroom content content content content content content content content content content content 6 Universal Principles of Newsworthiness In order to ensure that the content we generate will get picked up by the audiences we target, we evaluate it against: Timeliness Significance Human Interest Prominence Proximity Novelty oh, and: #KITTENZ Timeliness If it's not happening now: it's not happening. The most successful PR programs add-to or build-on existing events that are happening in the world.

Publishing your company's POV on a current event or trend is the kind of contextual detail people love to talk about and share with others. How you present it is up to you: give it a personality that matches your organization's public persona. Timeliness Case Example: Oreo Brilliant in its execution, Oreo's brand-focused content marketing puts a premium on timeliness and visual content. In addition to brand-produced content like the examples below, it also celebrates user generated content from fans who can resist eating them long enough to make fan art. Significance Case Example: Red Bull Holy Shit! That guy just jumped from space! Felix Baumgartner's jump from the stratosphere captured the attention of the whole world - and it should have. It was an epic demonstration of technology, bravery and lunacy.

Red Bull's content strategy is focused on adrenaline and extreme sports and is an example of a content strategy that focuses on content that has real significance to its core audience. Significance Proximity asdfadf Case Example: Mastercard Stylicity Mastercard enlisted Toronto fashion bloggers to create engaging, content about the neighbourhoods where they shopped in order to leverage the brand's Toronto Fashion Week sponsorship to support local retailers.

Organized around topic areas like fashion, food, lifestlye, nightlife, and beauty, the content is timely (when it's published), but more importantly: of relevance to locals both permanent and visiting for the fashion shows. Prominence Topic experts and celebrities: we could all use more of them. Every company is full of experts and every PR pro knows that one of the best ways to raise a company's profile is to showcase those experts to consumers and media. All good Content Marketers know this too. The social web provides a myriad of ways to let consumers and influencers access your in-house experts directly and indirectly providing an almost endless fountain of content - if you can commit the time.

For brands who want a little bit more, or need to supplement their in-house offering, celebrity partnerships can be a powerful way to generate compelling content. Case Example:
Rubbermaid's Adventures in Organization Rubbermaid's Adventures in Organization Blog is a classic example of an informed, and straight forward topic expert program designed to connect Rubbermaids' in-house professional organizers with a community of like-minded people.

Written by organizers for organizers the blog is a case study in quick, digestible, optimized content organized around a very narrow topic area. Prominence Novelty OOOH! It's new! Things that are new (products, innovation) and delightful (101 ways to use ketchup, 10 things you didn't know about Vaseline), or things that are just plain novel (banana art) never cease to attract attention and generate interest. If you can find a novel way to promote your product, demonstrate it's use, or create off-the-wall content that appeals to your target audiences go for it. They'll tell you if they like it or not. Novelty #thankyou Brian Rosevear Find me here: about.me/brosevear @brosevear @brosevear Presented by: Brian Rosevear PR is all about Content. This is the same as the "Holy Shit" rule of Content Marketing. Get people to have that reaction and you'll have great content success. However not all content has to be so wild it makes you leap out of your chair yelling obscenities. In fact, taking this approach to content is not right for all brands.

What you should be doing is challenging yourself to develop brand content that has magnitude, scale, impact or consequence. PR pros know that revealing a startling statistic, or undertaking an offline feat that demonstrates an inordinate amount of effort are surefire ways of generating content that spreads. Proximity Things are always more interesting when they happen close to home. From a PR perspective, it's always easier to generate news coverage when there is a 'local angle'. When coming up with story angles we always ask ourselves: what is the part of the story that will effect people directly, where they live?

This is where Content Marketers should be looking at their stats and research to understand where their audiences (targeted and/or existing) live and create content narratives that focus on localized information or insights. And it doesn't have to be hyper-local: regional, provincial and even country-specific relevance can have great resonance with consumers. Human Interest Pull on those heartstrings! Human interest stories are about emotions. Human interest stories seem to trump all other content rules, but when you've got one you can feel it. Right here: . Draw on unique consumer stories, testimonials, or brand stories that make people feel something. You'll find they give right back.

Some brands are able to find these stories from within, while others will look to build larger CSR programs designed to help consumers find that emotional connection on an ongoing basis. For the Content Marketer sometimes finding a little humour in the everyday can go a long way. Human Interest Of course, if all else fails: #KITTENZ Case Example:
Will it Blend? One of the earliest examples of successful content marketing - they posted their first YouTube video in 2006 - Blendtech's Will it Blend hosted by former CEO Tom Dickson is still a brilliant example of a novel approach to content.

Even if your product won't grind up household items, behind the scenes footage from your innovation department and controlled product testing can make for compelling content. So can simple how-to-guides, tips and tricks and any other visual demonstration of how your product works. Who wants a user manual? Case Example:
Hellmann's Real Food
Grant Program Hellmann's Real Food Movement is a Canadian program designed to get help Canadians eat more real food. The Hellmann's Real Food Grant Program provided money to community organizations to help them launch initiatives promoting real food. Each grant activation provided an opportunity to create content (by the brand and by the grant recipients) to support the program and talk about the brand's real food mission.

Having celebrity chef Chuck Hughes on board didn't hurt either... 6 Universal Principles of Newsworthiness Timeliness Significance Human Interest Proximity Prominence Novelty Banana Art It's not all or nothing! The more of these you can check off with each story, campaign or peice of content, the better – but you don't have to. In fact: if you can do only one really well you'll probably have a story that will have legs with the right audiences.
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