23 Jan Where Content Fits into The Future of PR
It almost goes without saying: from our most embarrassing moments to our most precious ones, we live our lives to create stories and share them with others. While the need to create a story for ourselves hasn’t changed, the sharing part has certainly evolved quite a bit over the years. What started as a word-of-mouth process has slowly become a written tradition, eventually arriving at today’s digital ecosystem. Now, there are countless ways to share information across audiences. By using the Tumblrs, Facebooks and Yelps of the digital world, we’re constantly able to tell our stories and absorb the stories of others.
As we scroll through our social media feeds and check our mobile phones, we’ve learned to trust our peers to provide us with the stories we want to hear, and vice versa. That tweet about your best friend’s latest Tinder date or the Facebook post with your latest Longreads recommendation are both valuable opportunities to connect and share on crowded social networks. We still value connections—digital or otherwise.
Brands, too, have stories to tell. No matter its size or industry, every company has an identity, motivation and narrative fueling its strategy. For years, companies spread their stories through earned media opportunities, harnessing PR to increase brand awareness and leveraging it as a necessity. Today, however, with the advent and popularity of social media, blogging and countless other forms of narrative media, PR is no longer the single pathway to successfully spreading a story.
Enter content, that enigmatic buzzword we’ve all dropped in conversation once or twice. They say it’s a form of marketing. It’s apparently pretty big. It’s got a bright future. And all that hype exists for good reason: the strategy and practice of content gives brands the opportunity to tell their own stories. Instead of crossing fingers and hoping for positive press coverage, companies have the upperhand in dictating their narrative and creating their own assets. Content gives brands the opportunity to leverage an authentic voice, a humanity that resonates with their audiences differently than a news story might. As companies take to social media to make jokes, build blogs that offer advice and tips, and contribute articles, audiences can witness the personality behind a brand’s exterior.
Plus, when it comes to today’s connected reality, word travels fast. If a company isn’t taking advantage of the “content opportunity,” someone else might do it for them. Sites like Glassdoor present a challenge for brands—there’s no such thing as hiding behind closed doors anymore, so why not set the record straight?
The rise of content as a storytelling tool has issued in a brand new era of transparency, authenticity and reality among today’s companies. Brands can tell their own stories exactly how they want to tell them. And while traditional PR will never go away, content is increasingly becoming an integral part of any brand’s communication strategy.
PR and content programs are already becoming more integrated—at LaunchSquad, we pride ourselves on working to use both content and traditional PR to create and spread our clients’ stories. As the lines between PR and content continue to blur, both brands and consumers will benefit by the fact that narratives will be able to be shared in more and more ways—through different mediums, at different rates—forging new connections and allowing for better, truer stories.