How has content marketing changed public relations?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - content marketing

The meeting up of content marketing and public relations as an ‘inevitable marriage’. This makes total sense, because PR involves communication and most of the communication today is performed through digital mediums. Content marketing has changed the way public relations professionals do their jobs, broadening the scope of both message and medium with digital media like blogs and social media. Here are a few ways PR has evolved with the emergence of digital content marketing:

There are more channels

Traditional public relations ended with the rise and proliferation of the internet. Before online public relations were possible, press releases had to be faxed or posted to media houses. Mass media was one-way communication via radio sets or television screens. PR professionals had fewer channels available to share messages with their public stakeholders, and even fewer opportunities to engage with them.

The introduction of email, online messaging, digital file-sharing, social media, and public reviewing marked a new era for public relations, with more consumer touchpoints than ever before in history. From informative mailers to social media pages and groups; discussion forums and product or service-reviewing platforms, the digital era and content marketing offer affordable, effective ways to reach target audiences.

Communication is now 24/7

The pre-digital era of public relations was unable to offer round-the-clock, instant communication between organisations and their audiences. A disgruntled customer could write a letter to the organisation and hope to receive a response in a few days. They could call the company, but most likely only during working hours. Most other communication was through advertising channels, one-way messages through radio, television, or print publications.

Today’s public relations world is characterised by its ‘always on’ nature. Content marketing has opened up more channels for brands and audiences to interact and engage, and those channels allow for instant sending and responding to messages. A disgruntled customer can message a company directly on social media, and they usually expect a response as fast as possible. A public relations professional’s role is to monitor this communication and facilitate resolutions.

Contributors have increased

The production and sharing of messages characterise content marketing through mailers, blog articles, videos, social media, and other online content. In the past, public relations departments shared traditional media messages that spoke for the whole company. The organisation’s management shared messages, and when there was a name attached to the message, it was usually the CEO’s.

Adding to the radio, television and newspapers still being used to deliver PR messages is content marketing. Employees from every level of the organisation now have a voice in shaping the brand they work for. Using content marketing collateral like industry thought-leadership blog articles and social networking platforms like LinkedIn, workers become contributors to the public image given off by the organisation.

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DSM Digital School of Marketing - Public Relations