The rapid growth of content marketing is increasing demand for PR professionals. As a result, many are asking what skills they need to capitalize on this industry trend.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, content marketing is the process of generating high-quality online content with the goal of building trust and community among your brand’s target audience, and to establish your brand as an industry thought leader.
A content marketer combines the investigative and content production skills traditionally held by journalists with the outreach skills and promotion skills of PR professionals. This is what Holly Regan of Software Advice recently referred to as the convergence of PR and journalism. This convergence is forcing PR specialists to expand their skill sets and implement new tactics.
In years past, PR professionals relied heavily on producing a press release, developing a pitch, and reaching out to big media outlets. However, the growth of digital content and content marketing has revolutionized how a PR professional can promote a product or brand. Nowadays, shares, tweets, “likes,” links and blog posts can actually be more effective than pitching a big media reporter. Using these digital media strategies allows PR professionals and content marketers directly reach their target audience.
Matt Braun, Director of Public Relations at Hanson Dodge Creative, says: “Organizations now use Twitter to break news versus a press release…and it’s forced people like me to use tools like Facebook, Twitter and blogs as vehicles by which we can get others to publicize products and clients.”
As more companies develop content marketing strategies, they will also need PR professionals who can do more than plan an event and pitch a reporter. These companies will need people who can effectively use search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, social media networks, Google Analytics, and email outreach to reach their target audiences.
Is the Growth in Content Marketing Driving Demand for PR Specialists?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of PR specialist and manager jobs rose by nearly 63 percent between 2000 and 2010, and is expected to rise another 21 percent between 2010 and 2020.
However, we wanted to find out how the growth in PR jobs compared to the rising trend of content marketing. To develop a more accurate picture we decided to search through New York City’s Craiglist page and look for the most common job titles in PR and content marketing. Here’s what we found:
Clearly demand for content marketers is growing. The question you should be asking yourself is how can a PR professional capitalize on this growing trend?
Five Tips for PR Specialists in the Age of Content Marketing
Here are five tips for PR specialists who are looking to capitalize on the growth of content marketing:
- Reach your audience directly. The days of rocking out a press release, pitching a bid media report, and calling it a job well done are over. PR specialists must now learn how to directly speak to their target audience from digital platforms like blogs and social media networks.
- Develop new skills. Nowadays, PR professionals need to know more than how plan an event and send out a press release. It is imperative that you diversify your arsenal by developing skills in disciplines like: SEO, graphic design and digital marketing.
- Sing your own song. PR professionals are usually good storytellers. It is time for you to start using your expertise and skills to develop your own content strategies, such as social profiles and blogs.
- Be ready for anything and everything. Real-time digital platforms like Twitter and Facebook, have forced PR professionals to be ready for anything at all times. That means you should have “post ready” materials ready to go before you reach out.
- Think beyond the press release. In the past, many PR professionals relied on sending out a press release and pitching a big media reporter to generate high-quality coverage. With the rise of digital marketing, you now need to figure out new ways to engage your audience like, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or blog.
PR professionals, if you plan to ride this wave of content marketing opportunity, make sure you skills and tactics are up-to-date.
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