Now that brands have the ability to communicate directly with their consumers, PR agencies don’t have to rely solely on media pitching to help create brand awareness.
Instead, agencies are shifting their focus on creating original content based on facts and research that drives traffic back to their client’s websites while attracting genuine interest from journalists.
Fulfilling the demand for information and entertainment can be a challenge for smaller companies with limited manpower and financial resources, but working within these limits is not impossible. For media outlets, churning out content as quickly and resourcefully as possible has always been the name of the game.
The advantage that content marketers have over publishers is the ability to experiment with different formats to keep readers engaged. Here are three types of content that journalists rely on that don’t cost much to produce but are still high in entertainment and engagement value.
1. External contributors
To attract a high frequency of site visitors, content needs to be produced on a consistent enough basis where it won’t get buried by competitors. Trying to sustain a sizable content effort all on your own can burn out quickly.
Industry thought leadership offers a different perspective and variety. It’s also a benefit for your organization to be associated with other influencers. You can request contributed bylined articles on a given topic or give your author the option to choose an evergreen topic.
2. ‘Man on the street’ interviews
This is a classic journalism tactic, where “real people” share personal stories of a challenge or problem they have overcome. Man on the street interviews not only add color and legitimacy to your story through personal accounts, they can also be an opportunity to prove your thought leadership on how to solve that problem, or map how your company’s product or service can help.
3. Twitter chats
Social media is a convenient way to network with industry peers and engage in meaningful discussion. Hosting a Twitter chat that is focused on a topic important to your industry, such as ProfNet’s #ConnectChat, allows you to associate your brand with an industry thought leader while giving your audience access to that thought leader by asking questions.
The more people that participate in the Twitter chat, especially with a branded hashtag, the more visible your brand becomes.
So, how do you find these experts, “real people” and Twitter chat guests? One of many tricks that journalists have relied on is ProfNet, a free service that helps connect writers with expert sources to quote in their stories.
Here’s what Lou Carlozo, a personal finance contributor for Reuters, says about ProfNet: “Journalists live and die by great information and authoritative sources, delivered in enough time to beat the deadline. This is why I turn to ProfNet, again and again. Their experts have made my Rolodex fat and my stories rich. Simply put, I couldn’t do my job as a reporter without them.”
ProfNet is not limited just to traditional journalists. Bloggers and other content creators have access to the same network, at no charge.
Just submit a query detailing what kind of sources you’re looking for — contributed articles, “real people,” guests for Twitter chats or some other type of contribution. It’s always free and easy to use.