Latest industry views and advice

January 10

What lessons can we learn and apply in 2023 in the world of public relations (PR) and content marketing?

While last year marked 10 years of B2B PR, marketing communications and content marketing for Metamorphic PR, there’s always something useful to take away from another year’s activity.

  1. Have a communications strategy before you do anything

 It’s too easy for a company to “jump the gun” when it’s in a hurry to start a programme of external (or internal, for that matter) communications. It can risk rushing to tactical activities based on “pet” projects or assumptions about the value of certain PR techniques, such as sending out a press release about something which just isn’t newsworthy and then wondering why the tactic didn’t work.

A communications strategy – outlining how communications activity should help a company take itself from A to B and meet its business objectives – is a way of reflecting on where the company is now, what the opportunities are to change that and the potential options to make it happen. It’s about prioritising thinking before doing.

For example, when we produced a communications strategy for a client in the cyber security industry, it became clear that the merger of two small companies to create a new one wasn’t a strong enough story to warrant a media relations campaign. Instead, our PR strategy recommended showcasing the combined knowledge of the new enterprise in a report which defined the concept of cyber maturity in a new way; tapping into the company’s experts’ unique view of the challenge organisations faced in improving their resilience to cyber attacks. The report was made available to delegates at a trade show and online and our strategy also included creating a graphic representation of cyber maturity – designed by a professional illustrator – which graced the report cover, the trade show stand and helped the newly-launched company stand out and have a “conversation starter” in an often-homogenous industry sector.

A company attempting something similar without a carefully-devised communications strategy, and a B2B PR agency partner to deliver it, could well fall into the “let’s write a press release” trap.

  1. Data denotes genuine thought leadership – and generates credible media relations

 In a media environment that thrives on news about – well – what’s new, is there still a place for basing PR and content activity on an existing campaign format and approach?

When we started working with Appleyard Lees on its inaugural Green Innovation report in 2021, there was nothing quite like it among IP and patent attorney firms. Its success as a piece of thought leadership content and a media relations campaign was founded on a combination of in-depth, insightful data and expert commentary about eco-innovation around the world, while telling compelling stories that resonated across multiple industries.

Creating something that’s a clear “first” in its field certainly helps to attract attention on an initial outing, but would it make sense to do it again?

The firm repeated the exercise in 2022 with its second Green Innovation report – building on the knowledge developed in the first report but, this time, expanding its analysis to other industry sectors and emerging green technologies. The resulting report and media relations campaign reached an even wider audience and has placed the firm firmly in pole position among IP and patent firms for green innovation expertise.

  1. Leverage your front-line customer teams for valuable PR and content creation

 While activity originated and directed from a central marketing/communications team is – generally – a key part of any company’s PR and content plans, there’s also communications “gold” to be found among those working closest to the customer.

Our work with an international company that has business development teams spread across the world offers the opportunity to understand what’s happening with the company’s products in local markets – and how those products are helping address specifically local challenges.

The resulting PR and content activity both supports wider business development in each territory, opens up new media channels and gives greater internal visibility for regional teams and their activities.

Involving pan-global business development teams in developing new PR and content activities also helps create a virtuous circle; where people whose day job isn’t PR and content start to think and behave like it is, so presenting the business with previously untapped communications material and unexpected stories to tell.

You might ask why this blog post hasn’t captured 7 or 10 lessons for 2023? Undoubtedly, there are many things you could differently this year. But, by focusing on a few key areas rather than countless, you have a better chance of converting your PR and content outputs into real outcomes.  

Need to make more of your PR and content marketing in 2023? Contact Metamorphic PR

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