Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Offer Meaningful Content and Leave Your Audience Wanting More

When you water down your content to try to appeal to a mass audience, you are doing a disservice to your pitch, your messaging and your potential reach by way of earned media. You are trying to appeal to everyone and, in the end, you reach no one. Today’s public relations professional has become somewhat of a social composer, where they create meaningful content for their audiences as a means to engage them and hold their interest over time.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we explore the benefits of creating meaningful content for a target audience and the increased opportunity for earned media as a result. We look at how tailoring your message according to a specific audience can build relationships that lead to earned media, can help build a brand’s reputation and engage consumers in a way that keeps them coming back for more. A great example of targeted messaging is the “Latinos for Obama” initiative, which we will look at closer.

Obama Campaign Courts Latino Voters With Ads, Outreach (ABC News)

President Obama’s re-election campaign is stepping up efforts to mobilize Latino voters, launching its first Spanish-language TV and radio ads of the 2012 election and a new grassroots organizing group, “Latinos for Obama.” The campaign says “Latinos for Obama” is the “largest-ever national effort to communicate to Latino voters and organize and mobilize the Latino vote.” In 2008 Obama won 67 percent of the Latino vote. Most independent analysts say the Republican nominee will need to get around 40 percent of Latino voters in 2012 to win the election. This is an example of the Obama campaign developing focused content targeted at a specific audience. Understanding the target audience allows the Obama campaign to tailor their messaging to the Latino community, successfully gaining their attention and trust.

How to Add More Value to Your Outreach Proposition (Edelman Digital)

Public relations professionals are great at communicating news, but they could become better at articulating the benefits, according to Ben Cotton of Edelman Digital’s Dublin office. All too often outreach is overly focused on client messaging, but for it to be effective there needs to be some middle-ground, to establish something that is mutually beneficial for all. Cotton discusses five ways that public relations professionals to can make their proposition more valuable to bloggers, and provide content that is relevant to the blogger’s niche audience.

  1. Content co-creation — The opportunity to co-create content has much greater appeal than receiving a news release.
  2. Exclusivity — If you want a blogger to write about a new product, launch or event, let their readers have some form of exclusive access.
  3. Competition prizes — Bloggers are typically receptive to hosting a competition and writing about the client if the prize is deemed valuable enough
  4. Product trials — Wherever possible try and get your client’s product into the hands of bloggers. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but will undoubtedly add serious value to your outreach proposition.
  5. Experience and events — If you are serious about enticing bloggers to write about your client, offer them a fantastic, unique and exclusive blogger experience they will want to share with their readers as soon as possible.

4 Ways to Create Brand Content People Actually Care About (Fast Company)

The numbers game (fans, followers, traffic, sign-ups, sales) will always fail as long as we fail to connect to what the customer cares about: footwear that makes a difference, a travel experience that makes flying fun, fresh food and great music. Marketing strategies will maintain their mediocre successes as long as we keep expecting engagement and loyalty from our customers without giving them the same consideration. Whether your goal is to gain awareness of an advocacy issue or sell new product, aim to deliver relevant, sharable content for your customer across multiple touch points that connect to their life moments. Fast Company’s Crosby Noricks offers four suggestions for introducing strategic content strategy into the mix. Read his suggestions in Fast Company.

 How To Drive Earned Media — Even When Your Content Is Less Than Stellar (MediaPost)

According to a recent study by MediaPost, nearly 5 percent of users, on average, who watch a social video take an additional earned-media action after viewing. This means coupon and recipe downloads, store locator usage, Facebook visits, participation in contests, etc. All of this happens, by the way, after the user receives her or his virtual reward. Advertisers interested in generating earned media activity for their videos need not concern themselves with creating the next viral meme. They should, however, come to the table with a clear idea of the consumers they’d like to reach, and the actions they want those consumers to take.

Earned media results are no longer limited to an elite group of viral video megahits. Optimizing your content to your target audience will determine the success of your reach as it relates to earned media.

The Secret to Selling Your Company’s Message (Forbes)

To get people excited about your brand, you first need to get them to understand it. Communicating your brand is an art form. And the first step is coming up with messaging that’s relevant, concise, and compelling. This means indentifying your key messages and streamlining then in a perfect one-liner. The challenge is fighting against an average attention span that’s dipped below five minutes for face-to-face conversations, but with these simple steps from Forbes contributor The Daily Muse, you’ll be able to quickly spark (and hold) the interest of your smart phone-gazing audience.

  • When developing your message ask yourself the “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”, and “Why?” This is the information your audience will need to understand (within seconds) to get why your offering is worth their time.
  • Think of 2-3 questions you never want a potential investor to ask you — and answer them.
  • Once you have all of that language in place, challenge yourself to define your company in just one sentence. Use what you’ve written, and pick out the most important information and some of your favorite words and phrases.
  • Finally, post your mission statement on your website. Tweet it, Facebook it, incorporate it into your LinkedIn profile.

Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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