When you ask the average person what an advertising campaign looks like, it’s easy for most to conjure up an image of some advertising creative placed strategically in a variety of media. You might have some television ads, some pre-roll on YouTube, some print, maybe some outdoor.
These days you will probably also find a growing presence of paid placements on social media, native advertising and maybe even some old fashioned direct mail.
But if you ask someone what a PR campaign looks like, the picture isn’t usually as clear. Public relations campaigns usually have different goals than advertising and marketing, even though they often work in sync. Instead of just trying to sell more widgets, PR aims to change perceptions and influence opinion. Good corporate PR will usually lead to more conversions and sales, but it’s sometimes difficult to draw a direct line between the two.
Unlike ad campaigns, PR is channel neutral, which means that PR agencies tend to select different tactics depending on the challenges at hand. That will usually mean including some media and blogger relations, because publicity is a fantastic way to influence opinions by persuading others to talk about you. But it may also mean a wide variety of other tactics. We will often plan special events, arrange presentations and speeches, and coordinate town halls or public consultations.
Content strategies are core to good PR
Almost every time, a good PR campaign will revolve around your own website and plug in to your evolving content strategy. From there, you can link to social media, email campaigns and a host of other tactics. As a result, our agency has grown increasingly focused on helping our clients own their own stories. If you’re telling your own story, you need to develop a solid content strategy that identifies brand voice, audiences and ensures it’s consistently repeatable over time.
This isn’t anything new. People like David Meerman Scott have been writing about this for years. I also recommend Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach. It’s an excellent, easy to read primer on the principles of developing a sustainable content strategy for your organization.
We have the technology and tools today to create brilliant brand identities online. Whether you’re based here in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Toronto or anywhere else, good PR equals good content.