How To Organize A PR Content Calendar
For many PR professionals, the concept of a content editorial calendar may be a term that they relate to a publishing company. If I were to ask them about a PR content calendar, they would look at me and say “what?” Nevertheless, for others who are a part of companies where Content Marketing is a priority, this concept will certainly be much more familiar to them…
In PR, we can no longer limit our relations to just the media. We have to broaden our circle of contacts, identifying those people who really are influential for our brand and approach them through high-quality content rather than corporate blurbs. It is far from being out of place to talk about content within public relations and start working with a global vision for the whole department.
So today I am going to be proposing a step process to organize a PR content calendar. It merges a traditional communication action plan with the content production to generate a proper brand image.
First, stop for a second and think about the following: What elements may be part of what is being communicated by my brand throughout the year. Research projects, product news, financial summaries, events…. We will now see some of the ones that are used here in Launchmetrics:
In every company, there is a product planning process that sets the steps to be carried out in one year. The Communication Director has to be heavily involved in these decisions and changes…actually, she/he has to be the first one to hear about them, that’s the only way that we are able to come up with a plan that will most likely generate the desired number and types of hits we are aiming for.
Not every single detail that happens within the company should be publicized by sending out a press release. Instead, brands should only send out information that is relevant to their audience. Try to tell a story through your corporate announcements that are capable of attracting people’s attention. This was the case with GoldiBlox in 2013. This toy brand launched a series of games that were entirely different than the princes’s costumes and magic wands tactics used to market to little girls. They took a different path and designed games to make them think, build things and be creative. The campaign slogan was called “Games for future engineers,” using a revolutionary spot like this one:
Internal content production related to your sector
Research reports, analyses and surveys demonstrate that Public Relations is much more than simply picking up the telephone and calling a few journalists. It involves building an accurate message that will later be converted into news. Regardless of what sector you may be in, it’s important that your team makes effort to generate relevant content. Create partnerships with associations or other similar organizations to add more punch to your content. That way you will be able to expand your reach and boost your relevance within your target audience.
According to the findings from a Buzzstream study that included 500 journalists and editors from the USA, 39% stated that the best content they receive comes from studies. This response was followed by breaking news (29%). That’s why we shouldn’t overlook the value of these types of content..although it does require a vast amount of production time, they do lead to worthwhile results.
We launched our first report about the status of Influencer Marketing in 2014. Although it covered the findings of a research project that was developed in-house by our own team, we did have the support of widely recognized organizations such as Dircom, Syntec, ICCO, etc. And it generated more than 50 impacts in the media and blogs…just in Spain alone!!
External and internal events
Events are the best opportunity to make your public relations strategy successful. And if they are your own events, the ones you have organized, it’s even better as it gives you the chance to communicate as well.
We did this with Influence One, the first event ever to be held in Spanish about influencer marketing with three editions between Paris and Madrid. There were nearly 200 attendees and 20 highly qualified speakers and so it was critical to talk about our brand’s message. We posted pre-campaign teasers, posts after the event with photo coverage incorporated, a video summary. We even uploaded all of the speeches and interviewed the speakers, accompanied by a full-blown press release. Yes Sir, it was a communication nightmare, but it ended up being well worth the all effort.
In your own communication plan, you probably have a series of corporate events already lined up throughout your calendar. But you mustn’t forget that you have to track different events that other companies and agencies from your sector may be organizing from one month to the next. It’s never asking too much to drop in on these events and make your own contacts or try to find ways to create content with their collaboration. Summertime may be the best season of the year to do it. Be sure to highlight those dates in your calendar!
Non-stop activity with journalists and influencers
Probably this is something that you are unable to program on an annual basis, but it does play a role in your day-to-day tasks. Interviews, articles for various media, get-togethers with journalists, etc.. Don’t overlook writing down each and every one of these points of contact in your calendar as well as the content related to your interactions with your influencers. Bear in mind that they are not journalists, writing in their own blogs is not their job…it’s their passion and thus the strategy you will have to roll out to reach them will have to be different according to each one.
By using a well-coordinated calendar and synchronizing it with the rest of the team, you will be able to program these communication actions in advance.
So, are you ready to set up your own Second Semester calendar?
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