Content and PR: A Power Couple for the Digital Age


Alice Wilkinson, Digital and Content

Content and PR: A Power Couple for the Digital Age

27million pieces of content are shared each day.

In fact, every two days we create as much data as was produced between 2013 and the beginning of civilisation.

We live in a world of mass-produced online content and a deteriorating print media.

Consequently, PR has had to adapt to include the production of online to an ever-increasing degree. Similarly, content creators and marketers increasingly depend on PR to ensure their work is visible.

In the digital age, this alliance is not only necessary, but advantageous.

The decline of print media

Before the digital age, PR agencies focused on enhancing client reputation through offline visibility – often through articles in newspapers and other print media.

But print media is in decline.

  • In 2013, 32% of people said that they access news on websites and apps. Today that figure has reached 41%.
  • Unsurprisingly, younger people (16-24) are driving the surge in online consumption, with 60% using the web or an app to access news 2014, up from 44% last year.
  • Further, 45% of 16-24s said that websites or apps were their most important sources for news, up by a half over the year (30% in 2013).

Progressively, news, articles and information are accessed online rather than in print.

Consequently the focus of PR has shifted, gradually moving away from print media and placing increased emphasis on the importance of online news publications, blogs, and social media to raise client profiles.

Online content and PR

Given the vast amount of content produced, it has become difficult for any one article to stand out.

Every minute:

  • Facebook users share nearly 2.7 million posts
  • Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times
  • Email users send over 200 million messages

There are thousands of user-created and professional blogs online, hundreds of online news publications (BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, LifeHacker, Gizmodo), and close to two billion social media users publishing and sharing information.

In order for content creation and marketing to be successful, it needs PR. Unless articles are seen by the right people - the target audience - it serves no purpose.

Just as it is better to get national news coverage than a two-line story in the back pages of a local newspaper, so too do online articles need to be published in the right places.

It has to be visible or else it’s worthless.

Making content visible

For online content to be visible, it must be published on an important blog, online news site, or linked to influencers. Only then will it have a chance of ranking well on Google or getting shared on social media.

And, whilst it is essential that businesses have their own blogs, it is also necessary for articles to be published on external platforms.

For example, a post on a company blog about a new product launch will have a limited readership. The blog may extol the virtues of this new product but - because it is the company blog – readers may be unconvinced.

But that same blog post published on TechCrunch or Wired becomes far more credible; credibility is extremely important to readers.

Thus PR becomes an invaluable tool. PR involves reaching the right people and building relationships with editors, journalists and influencers. These skills are vital when getting content published, read and shared.

Demands on content

There is greater access to information than ever before.

More is written, more is read, and even more is ignored.

In this digital age, PR is increasingly focused on online articles and blog-writing with the aim of raising client profiles.

But as readers are inundated with content, the quality of the articles plays a critical role.

This quality is defined by a variety of factors. For example:

  • Relevance and readability (layout, word count, etc.)
  • User experience
  • SEO/keywording
  • Writing/prose quality

There is also high demand on the amount of content needed.

So, not only does it need to be of high quality but there needs to be a lot of it.

An alliance

PR is about reaching the right people and building profiles; content creation is about grabbing attention through targeted, high-grade writing.

By combining the two, we are able to put pre-written, quality stories into the hands of the right offline and, importantly, online publications - and the more quality articles produced, the more attention received from editors.

The two elements – PR and content creation – are a marriage made in heaven. Each complements the other, making both more successful: the ultimate power couple for the digital age.