When deciding between public relations and content marketing, should businesses choose one service over the other?
In business, public relations and content marketing are separate and unique services. Some companies will hire a PR firm without a content marketer or vice versa. While these services certainly are two separate ways of promoting your brand, they complement one another in many ways. In fact, a seasoned content marketer will tell you that content marketing is essentially a digital form of public relations. So when people ask us to choose one service over the other, we almost always recommend using both services together to truly take your brand to the next level.
Let’s back up a bit to better understand the two fields.
PR creates hype and maintains the image of your brand. The chief initiative is to get your company’s message viewed on external platforms with more credibility and reach—because there is nothing as valuable as a third party endorsement. This could mean anything from a guest blog post on a known internet site, or an interview in a trade publication. PR personnel hustle to bring your brand to the top-of-mind for your target audience.
Content marketers establish and control your brand’s image on its own website, blog, social media, and through anything created in writing. You own this content, and this material is used to build trust and create a community for your readership. Content marketers - build awareness and convert website visitors into loyal audience members whom, in turn, become customers.
Bringing it together.
Now, imagine combining best practices of PR and Content Marketing and turning it into something greater. Content marketing platforms, such as your website, email campaigns, and social media platforms, can be strategically used to promote all of the positive PR your business is receiving. Otherwise, all of that good PR won’t get the legs it deserves. Keep in mind, social media is vital to projecting a positive image for your brand, and it is, in effect, digital PR for your business. So having the two outlets working together can majorly qualify your company messaging.
Don't choose one service over the other. While content marketing can be used as a standalone service, engaging a PR provider without having a content strategy in place won’t get you very far. And content marketing is only effective on a long term basis when third parties are spreading the word about your brand. However, treating your public relations as part of your content marketing can boost your engagement and readership. Utilizing these tactics to bring your content marketing and PR together will truly maximize your marketing campaigns and provide your business additional value.