The ‘PR Pause’
December 9, 2014
All right stop, Collaborate and listen” – Vanilla Ice
In the magical world of public relations, one of the many (or few, depending on what day you’re asking) perks of the job is storytelling, being able to craft a rich narrative to help tell the stories of our clients. But sometimes, finding these stories requires some Sherlock-style investigating (the BBC version, not the Robert Downey Jr. version). While product announcements, press tours, and funding news can help drive media awareness, most companies have untapped resources that have been too long overlooked—content published from a client’s internal team.
A growing number of companies have designated their blogs as a place for employees to share personal experiences and write on timely topics in which they’re passionate. Corporate blogging is nothing new and is still one of the best ways for a company to promote its culture and showcase its personality. But it’s also a great avenue for employees to contribute to the company’s content base, and this is where magic can truly happen.
Now the caveat: While we as PR peeps love to see companies blog and showcase their opinions, we often find ourselves reading these amazing ideas AFTER they’ve already been published and shared with the general public. So we’re kind of feeling that weird mix of jubilation and regret. You know, the one you get after eating an entire carton of ice cream in one sitting.
The byproduct of this feeling is a new term we’ve coined: ‘PR Pause,’ which we feel best describes our recommended approach with these hidden content gold mines. So what exactly is ‘PR Pause?’ It’s pretty simple actually. It’s just us asking clients to ‘hold that thought’ before they publish valuable content on their website. Not stop doing it. Just holding it.
While there are many aspects to PR, content marketing is a strategy many are still working to leverage and improve. And some companies don’t yet realize how valuable their personal insight can really be, and that many of their ideas and blog content can be stretched to a wider audience, driving more external awareness.
In PR, we spend a great deal of time strategizing new and unique ways to position our clients as industry experts. Often times, the solution is right in front of our face… under the “blog” dropdown menu on a company’s website. By taking these ideas and crafting them for a broader audience – which requires the always-uncomfortable conversation of asking clients to strip out any self-promotional content – and making the material more vendor-neutral, these ‘gold mines’ can drive much more awareness than a standard corporate blog post.
By taking pause and thinking through the best channel to distribute internal corporate thinking, the company – and selfishly, PR people too – can reach a whole new level of audience.