PR Training

What ‘The Lion King’ Can Teach PR Pros About Making Old Content Roar Again

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You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

On July 19, Disney’s classic “The Lion King” hits theatres again for its 25th anniversary — this time in live-action. Featuring stars like Beyonce, John Oliver and Donald Glover, the movie is predicted to be one of the summer’s biggest movies.

This is a clever move on Disney’s part. Not only did they secure a star-studded cast; they also already have proof that the storyline can win the hearts of moviegoers. With the help of a cutting-edge animation team, all they’re doing is taking one of their best stories and reviving it for a new generation.

If Disney can do this, then why can’t PR pros do the same? Just like a good story is worth retelling, good content is worth reviving. Repurposing old content ensures you’re spending your time wisely. Not only is the bulk of the work already complete, but you have data to prove it will resonate with your target audience.

If you’re like Disney and have old content that’s just lion around (pun intended), then follow these tips to help it roar back to life.

Try a new medium

Just like Disney took a tried-and-true story and retold it with modern animation, repurposing evergreen content in a new medium can revive established messaging.

For example, taking a blog post and turning it into a podcast, infographic or video is a great way to present identical information in a new format. Best of all, the new content will use fewer resources than similar pieces created from scratch.

Reframe it for a new audience

While your original content may have performed well with a specific group, reworking it for another audience can expand reach. For Disney, this meant retelling a story for a new generation with a familiar cast and updated animation. For content marketers, this could mean anything from revising messaging to new visuals.

Find a timely twist

Keeping an eye out for relevant milestones and trending topics can help you find opportunities to reshare old materials. Whether this means writing a timely social caption or reframing the piece, it’s a great way to make old posts relevant. 

This will allow your organization to quickly plug into a larger conversation while increasing the likelihood that people will engage with your content.

Build some buzz

It’s no accident that the whole world is waiting to see the new “Lion King” — a dedicated promotions team has ensured people everywhere are hyped about the new movie. Similarly, promoting your content across paid, earned, shared and owned channels will help get your content in front of the right people.

For example, partnering with relevant industry influencers can help promote your content to an untapped audience while utilizing paid social ads can target the people most likely to engage with your stories.

In the world of content marketing, we’re producing great stories all year long and sometimes they deserve to be shared again. Putting a new spin on old content can boost SEO and social traffic while giving your best content extra life.

So take a page out of Disney’s playbook and repurpose your old content. Who knows? A new take on an old classic might make it bigger and better than ever.

Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, an award-winning communications agency that specializes in video production, public relations, social media and strategic insights, constantly securing national exposure for major brands. Connect with Lisa on Twitter: @LisaArledge

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Lisa Arledge Powell

1 Comment

  • I really enjoyed reading about how big brand companies such as Disney, truly use PR tactics that I, as a public relations student, learn about on the daily. These tips on how to re-purpose old content in the PR industry are very relevant. Disney re-making this popular animated film in a more current light enticed audiences that grew up watching the older version to go out and see the new one, and essentially had the entire world buzzing. A big kudos to the Disney PR team with this one.
    -Ali Cushing, writer/editor for Platform Magazine

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